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Thread: Time and Memories

  1. #1
    Five-O Home Page Author Mr. Mike's Avatar
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    Mar 2019
    Vancouver, B.C.
    I have re-viewed Time and Mamm ... er ... Memories from season 3.

    This episode is very well written and the acting is very good (and Diana Muldaur is gorgeous!), but there is a big goof at the end.

    Part of understanding this episode is the "tie line" business that becomes Martin Sheen's character's downfall.

    I still don't totally get this, but the basic idea is, you can phone the head exchange for such a line and then get it to call anywhere so it would appear that you are calling from the head office, wherever that might be. But this was in the days before call display, wasn't it?

    To demonstrate how this works, McGarrett calls the San Francisco office where Sheen works and gets them to relay the call back to Honolulu. Sheen himself did this when he was in Hawaii murdering his employer and then calling his girl friend (the employer's daughter), giving the impression he was back in San Francisco when this was happening. This was around 12:30 in the morning Hawaii time ... would there have been an operator in the SF office who would relay the call back?

    The big goof is ... the phone number for the San Francisco office is exactly the same as the pay phone at the Honolulu airport that Sheen used to call California before he got on the plane going back to the mainland! And you wonder how he would call the office through a pay phone. Could you use a credit card to do a long distance call like this in the early 1970s? Did he have a pocket full of quarters to put in the phone, and, based on a comment in the show, this kind of call would probably have been pretty expensive.

  2. #2
    Good catch! Some fine anal-ysis!

  3. #3
    Wondering if he called the operator and used a credit card...That ability existed at the time, but only on certain phones.

  4. #4
    Mr. Mike

    I want to thank you about the "Tie Line" as you explained how it works in Time And Memories. Think you explained it in another post as well. It's something I never could figure out completely and it led me to mark down the episode. I'll give it another 1/2 star back to the good. I like the flashback scenes to a younger McGarrett and his girlfriend Cathy during his Naval career years. It worked out for McGarrett that they didn't marry. Cathy seemed attracted to money, power, status etc. She was from a wealthy family I think from the story. JC

  5. #5
    Mike, itís funny that you call Diana Muldaur gorgeous because she never appealed to me in anything Iíve seen her. She always has a very dour face. Especially in this episode. And I just donít like her voice. Not sure what to call it. It sounds like a granny voice lol.

    I will always maintain that Marj Dusay was the perfect woman for McGarrett!

  6. #6
    Five-O Home Page Author Mr. Mike's Avatar
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    Mar 2019
    Vancouver, B.C.
    Dusay would have made a good companion for McGarrett, but I think her past was kind of "tainted." To me, the ideal woman for McGarrett was Lois Nettleton in #176, “Sing A Song Of Suspense”. Look at the way they are walking away from the camera at the end of the show, they look like they are married!

  7. #7
    This was what I posted in another thread about "tie lines" (and the episode itself) last year:


    As an aficionado of old telephone systems, allow me to explain this "tie line", and why it didn't make sense at all in this episode.

    A tie line is actually a direct long distance line between two locations. This was popular for large businesses around the time of this episode (1970), because of the pricey per-minute long distance charges, as well as the cumbersome nature of placing some long distance calls at the time.

    Employees wishing to place calls between offices would pick up the office phone, dial a short code (often 2 digits) to indicate which office they wanted to reach, and the tie line would make a quick connection to that office, giving the employee another dial tone. Then the employee would dial an extension number, and would be connected to the number he wanted to call. This was quick and much cheaper, though establishing a tie line was expensive (usually $1,000 per month, per line -- about $6700 per line today!)

    However, tie lines had a huge limitation. They could only call within the office buildings with which they were connected! There was no way to use a tie line to call elsewhere within the city!

    Recall that the party in question was at Roswell Borden's house. A tie line could NOT have been used to call Joan there! In fact, it couldn't have been used to call anywhere in Honolulu EXCEPT for Frank's office! (If the party had been at Frank's office, this plot device would have worked better!)

    That was problem #1.

    Problem #2 was the little dramatic demonstration McGarrett did at the end. When Arthur Dixon got the call, and the operator said it was "from San Francisco", this would not have happened, because tie lines specifically exist to avoid using the operator! That's the whole point of them! The operator would not and could not have been involved in placing that call.

    Problem #3 was the ability of McGarrett to access the tie line from his office. Doesn't work that way. You had to be physically present at the office where the PBX system is located in order to access the tie line. You can't just call the operator and say, "Tie line, please!"

    One other problem with this episode was the fact that McGarrett didn't bother to verify the phone records until near the end. Whenever an alibi depends upon a phone call, that is checked very early on in the investigation -- back in 1970 AND today!

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