A Guide to the Baron's Favorite Fictional Characters (SPOILERS)

(Hamlet of Earth-1948)

Real name: Hamlet, son of Hamlet

Aliases/Other Names: None,.

First Appearance: The Tragedy of Hamlet, Prince of Denmark

Occupations: Prince of Denmark, student, avenger

Bases of Operations: Elsinore Castle, the University of Wittenberg

Place of Birth: Elsinore Castle, Denmark

Group Affiliation: Royal House of Denmark

Friends/Allies: Horatio, Marcellus, Barnardo

Enemies: Claudius, Polonius, Laertes

Height: Varies*

Weight: Varies*

Eye Color: Varies*

Hair Color: Varies*

Strength: Above average human

Speed: Above average human

Intelligence: Genius level human

Energy-Manipulation Ability: None

Magic-Manipulation Ability: None

Special Abilities: Excellent swordsman, skilled forger, gifted actor

Special Weapons/Equipment: None.


History: Hearing of his father's death, Prince Hamlet of Denmark returns home from Wittenberg, only to find that his uncle Claudius has assumed the throne and married Hamlet's mother, Gertrude. Already suspicious, Hamlet is visited by a spirit purporting to be that of his father, which asserts that the elder Hamlet was murdered by Claudius. Feigning madness, Prince Hamlet, with his friend Horatio's help, schemes to trap Claudius into a public admission of guilt, which would allow Hamlet to avenge his father and assume the throne of Denmark. Claudius, aware of the threat that Hamlet poses to him, plots to find a way to eliminate Hamlet. Thus begins a game of trap and counter-trap, resulting in the deaths of almost everyone involved, leaving only Horatio behind to watch as young Fortinbras, Prince of Norway, assumes the throne of Denmark.

Why He's a Favorite: Hamlet is the protagonist of my favorite Shakespeare play. I own eight different versions of the play of on DVD, and I enjoy watching them all.  there's just something that I find enthralling about the play, and it's always interesting to see how various actors interpret the part, and how different directors choose to film the story. I enjoy the cat and mouse between Hamlet and Claudius, and Hamlet's interaction with the not-as-clever-as-he-thinks-he-is Polonius. I find it interesting that the only character who seems to be able to match Hamlet's at wordplay is the First Gravedigger. Anyway, you can find way more of what I think about Hamlet here.



*Depending upon who's playing him

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Thank you, sir. I was astonished to discover it, myself.  Before I researched it, I was sure they'd never revealed his first name, but I figured I'd better check it in case they had.

Never knew that about McGarrett.  Of course, I never was a great noticer of small details like that. I wouldn't have made a good detective.

I always tip my hat to someone who does his research first.  Incidentally, if you took any of your Columbo information from The Ultimate Columbo Site, by Burns, Hoey, and Kerin, then there's a curious bit of serendipity.  You see, I contributed quite a bit of amplifying information for the site's page containing Columbo's biography.  (The webmasters were good enough to cite my contributions.)

That was several years ago, and it's also where I first learnt about Columbo's first name on his ID card.

I think maybe I did see that site. I tried to check a couple of sites to see whether there were varying stories out there.



Commander Benson said:

I always tip my hat to someone who does his research first. 

Heck, I try to doublecheck my facts first even when I comment on Doctor Who, and that's the one show I've studied as thoroughly as you seem to have studied most other Silver and Bronze Age television.

Real Name: Jonas Grumby

Aliases/Other Names: The Skipper

First Appearance: Gilligan's Island  "Two on a Raft"*

Occupation: Sailor

Base of Operations: An uncharted desert island in the South Pacific

Place of Birth: Unknown

Group Affiliation: United States Navy (formerly)

Friends/Allies: Gilligan, Professor Roy Hinkley, Thurston Howell III, Lovey Howell, Ginger Grant, Mary-Anne Summers

Enemies: Various unnamed foreign agents, an unnamed Japanese submariner, others

Height: 6'2"

Weight: 220 lbs.

Eye Color: Blue

Hair Color: Blond

Strength: Average human

Speed: Average human

Intelligence: Average human

Energy-Manipulation Ability: None

Magic-Manipulation Energy: None

Special Abilities: Expert sailor

Special Equipment/Weapons: None

History: Little is known about the Skipper's early years. At some point, he joined the US Navy, and was present at the Battle of Guadalcanal. While still in the Navy, he met a young man named Gilligan, who saved his life by pushing him out of the way of a depth charge which had broken loose on the deck of a destroyer. After they left the Navy, the Skipper started a boat charter service in Hawaii, hiring Gilligan to serve as his crew. In 1963, the Skipper's vessel, the S.S. Minnow, was caught in a sudden storm, and wrecked on a deserted island. The Skipper, Gilligan, and five passengers were stranded on the island. They survived there until 1978, when they were able to return to civilization.  The castaways met some time later, for a reunion cruise, only to find themselves stranded again on the same island. They managed to escape again, and Mister Howell purchased the island and built a resort hotel there, making the other  castaways his silent partners.

Why He's a Favorite:  Gilligan's Island was another old favorite show of mine.  I always liked the Skipper as a character. In retrospect, I think it might be because he reminds me a bit of my paternal grandfather, a heavyset, loud guy with a full ration of authority, but deeply sentimental not too far below the surface. Alan Hale Jr. did a great job in the part.I thought he had excellent chemistry with the others, especially Bob Denver. Whatever else you can say about the show - and I know that some people love to pick on it - it was very well cast.

*I'm not counting the pilot as "canon".

Updating My List So Far

  1. Hamlet
  2. Winston  Smith
  3. Green Lantern Alan Scott
  4. The Doctor
  5. America
  6. Bender Rodriguez
  7. Osaka
  8. Godzilla
  9. Sherlock Holmes
  10. Daffy Duck
  11. Popeye the Sailor
  12. Captain Haddock
  13. Excel
  14. Speed Racer
  15. Baby Bonnie Hood
  16. Son Goku
  17. Princess Ozma
  18. Astro Boy
  19. Randall Flagg 
  20. Montgomery Scott
  21. Superman of Earth-Two
  22. Takashi Kamiyama
  23. Doctor Strangelove
  24. Super Milk-chan
  25. Ebenezer Scrooge
  26. April Patterson
  27. Kayako Saeki
  28. Mo Testa
  29. Tom Servo
  30. Haruhi Suzumiya
  31. Frankenstein's Monster (Universal)
  32. Worf
  33. Gamera
  34. Vyvyan Basterd
  35. Asterix the Gaul
  36. Brian Cohen
  37. The Flash Jay Garrick
  38. Ellen Ripley
  39. Yosemite Sam
  40. Doctor Doom
  41. Black Jack (Tezuka)
  42. Kamandi
  43. Jed Clampett
  44. Ryuk
  45. Ms. Marvel Kamala Khan
  46. Lieutenant Columbo
  47. Superhero Girl
  48. The Thing Ben Grimm
  49. Homer Simpson
  50. The Skipper Jonas Grumby



The Baron said:

Real Name: Jonas Grumby

Aliases/Other Names: The Skipper

First Appearance: Gilligan's Island  "Two on a Raft"*

Look here for an extended discussion about the whole series: "The Baron Watches Gilligan's Island"

The Baron - what does he know?  ;)

The Baron said:

Whatever else you can say about the show . . .  it was very well cast.

Ab-so-lutely!

That's what makes Gilligan's Island so beloved.  No-one is ever going to insist that it's television's equivalent to Citizen Kane.  Or even great comedy.  (Although, to be fair, a witty, or even laugh-out-loud, line would often take you by surprise.*)

You watched it because of the people.  The actors hired for Gilligan's Island represent one of the best feats of casting in television history.  Producer Sherwood Schwartz commented that it was nearly impossible to cast the Skipper.  He required an actor who was authoritative enough to be believable as a leader, yet comedic enough to be funny without diluting his authority, and at the same time with all of that, be warm and likeable enough to not seem cruel when he browbeat Gilligan.  He went through dozens of potential Skippers before he found Alan Hale.

And no doubt Schwartz put the same kind of care into the other rôles.  But most important---and a producer cannot create or build this; it just happens---all of the actors had perfect chemistry together. (O.K., maybe Tina Louise not so much.) Moreover, they liked each other.  (O.K., again, maybe Tina Louise not so much.)  Their affection and respect for each other came through when they portrayed their characters.  Because they liked each other, we, the viewers, liked them. We cared what happened to them.  We probably cared more about the castaways getting off the island than we did about Doctor Kimble finding the one-armed man.

We all know the episode "Don't Bug the Mosquitos", first aired on 09 December 1965, and we remember it primarily because of the début of Mary Ann and Ginger and Mrs. Howell as the Honeybees.  Their rendition of You Need Me is the most memorable sequence in the episode.  But going to the subject, there's something else in that sequence that I noticed a while back, and it's stuck with me ever since.

During the Honeybees performance, there is the occasional jump cut to the male castaways or to the Mosquitos, watching the girls sing.  But at one juncture, right as Mrs. Howell is concluding her solo, there is a quick cut to the male castaways. Here's a screencap of that cut:

Even in the screencap, one can see that these are people who truly enjoy working together.  And it's even more evident in the actual scene.  There, it just shines through.  

And there are quite a few moments like that in Gilligan's Island.

_______________________________________________________________________________

*  Lord Admiral Gilligan's "Ho! . . . Ho! . . . Ho! . . . oh," still makes me laugh 'til it hurts.



Commander Benson said:

*  Lord Admiral Gilligan's "Ho! . . . Ho! . . . Ho! . . . oh," still makes me laugh 'til it hurts.


I can hear Bob Denver saying that, even now. That was some great line delivery.

Gilligan's Island was a staple when I was growing up. It was a live-action cartoon and as a kid, you knew that Gilligan got on everyone's last nerves but they all forgave him and liked him. That must have been reassuring to a lot of kids out there!



The Baron said:

Updating My List So Far

  1. Hamlet
  2. Winston  Smith
  3. Green Lantern Alan Scott
  4. The Doctor
  5. America
  6. Bender Rodriguez
  7. Osaka
  8. Godzilla
  9. Sherlock Holmes
  10. Daffy Duck
  11. Popeye the Sailor
  12. Captain Haddock
  13. Excel
  14. Speed Racer
  15. Baby Bonnie Hood
  16. Son Goku
  17. Princess Ozma
  18. Astro Boy
  19. Randall Flagg 
  20. Montgomery Scott
  21. Superman of Earth-Two
  22. Takashi Kamiyama
  23. Doctor Strangelove
  24. Super Milk-chan
  25. Ebenezer Scrooge
  26. April Patterson
  27. Kayako Saeki
  28. Mo Testa
  29. Tom Servo
  30. Haruhi Suzumiya
  31. Frankenstein's Monster (Universal)
  32. Worf
  33. Gamera
  34. Vyvyan Basterd
  35. Asterix the Gaul
  36. Brian Cohen
  37. The Flash Jay Garrick
  38. Ellen Ripley
  39. Yosemite Sam
  40. Doctor Doom
  41. Black Jack (Tezuka)
  42. Kamandi
  43. Jed Clampett
  44. Ryuk
  45. Ms. Marvel Kamala Khan
  46. Lieutenant Columbo
  47. Superhero Girl
  48. The Thing Ben Grimm
  49. Homer Simpson
  50. The Skipper Jonas Grumby

So far, I've got - 

10 characters from manga and anime

8 characters from live-action TV

7 characters from US comic books

7 characters from books and other literature

7 characters from films

4 characters from Western animation

4 characters from US and Canadian comic strips

2 characters from European comics

1 character from video games

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