Having seen my good friend Jeff's latest TV-based discussion, Jeff Watches Torchwood, I thought, "Since Jeff is posting about a current program that he's watching for the first time, I ought to post about an old program that I'd be watching for what would be at least the fiftieth, but which I haven't looked at in quite some time - and what better program to watch than one of the seminal comedies of its generation, one which had a profound impact on American television, and which went on to inspire such varied fare as Dusty's Trail, Far Out Space Nuts, and Lost.

Gilligan's Island is one of the first television programs I ever remember watching - Having been born in 1963, I was a touch too young to watch it in first-run, but I must've caught it in its earliest re-runs - I'm pretty sure that "Happy Birthday to You" and "The Ballad of Gilligan's Isle" are among the first songs that I knew all the words to.

I debated putting a spoiler warning on this thread - it's hard for me to conceive that there's anyone out there who hasn't seen Gilligan's Island - certainly not in the U.S. Anyway, if by some chance you haven't seen the show, but might want to watch it someday - be forewarned! There will be discussions of plot points, here.

As for the rest of you, "Just sit right back..."

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Jeff of Earth-J said:
I remember that one. He had been bitten by a bat, hadn't he...?

That's right.
The Big Gold Strike:

In which Gilligan and Mr. Howell discover a gold mine and the castaways catch gold fever, while the girls recover the Minnow's life raft.

Back Story: Mr. Howell is allergic to gold.
The Professor describes himself as a "schoolteacher".
Ginger can't swim.

Taking It Seriously: Not sure how wise it was to have all seven of them set off in the raft - strikes me, it might've been smarter for the Skipper and Gilligan to go out for help while the others reamin behind, as they did with the raft.

Gilligan Spoils A Rescue: Nope. Everyone else's insistence on bringing along some gold is what sinks the raft.
I have a confession to make… in 2004 I watched a reality show: The Real Gilligan’s Island. I don’t mean I saw a bit of it while flipping channels, or watched a single episode… I watched the whole thing. I’m not proud of it, but I admit it and it feels good to get it off my chest.
I heard of that show, and might have watched but for my strong philosophical objections to the very concept of "reality television".
I know, I know... I overcame mine and ended up wishing I hadn't.
The Baron said:
The Sound of Quacking:

While the castaways face a food shortage, a migratory duck lands on the island, and the castaways capture it. Opinion is divided whether to eat the duck or to send it off with a message. Gilligan is protective of the duck and will not let the others eat it.

This episode has the first of the program's many "dream sequences", in which Gilligan sees himself in the Old West as "Marshal Gilligan", protecting the duck against a lynch mob consisting of gunslingers Mr. Howell and the Professor. The Skipper is Gilligan's bumbling deputy, Ginger a dance hall girl, Mrs. Howell an older "Latin" lady, and Mary-Ann as a demure young girl who is the only one on Gilligan's side.

In the end, the duck leads the castaways to a new food source and the castaways' food problems are alleviated.

I notice we see Ginger wearing a dress that says "S. S. Minnow" on it, which implies that she at least is wearing new clothes made from material that was on the ship.

Back Story: Gilligan's grandfather's name was "Everett".

Taking It Seriously: I know nothing about the migratory habits of ducks, so I far as I know, there's nothing unbelievable in this episode.

Gilligan Spoils A Rescue: When he finally releases the duck to leave the island, Gilligan forgets to attach the message to its leg.

I meant to note about this one: Russell Johnson looked mighty convincing in his "gunslinger" outfit.
PowerBook Pete said:
Please run a discussion when you do.

Heck, I might even join that one.
I think I may have you beat, Jeff...I actually performed a couple of times in Gilligan's Island: The Musical. And no, I wouldn't bother trying to track anything down.

Jeff of Earth-J said:
I have a confession to make… in 2004 I watched a reality show: The Real Gilligan’s Island. I don’t mean I saw a bit of it while flipping channels, or watched a single episode… I watched the whole thing. I’m not proud of it, but I admit it and it feels good to get it off my chest.
I'd watch Gilligan's Island: The Musical.
Really? Not many other people did...

The Baron said:
I'd watch Gilligan's Island: The Musical.
Randy Jackson said:
Really? Not many other people did...

The Baron said:
I'd watch Gilligan's Island: The Musical.

Well, I'm a unique individual. ;)
Waiting for Watubi:

The Skipper digs up an idol of Kona, the god of war, and becomes convinced that he is cursed. Gilligan must pose as Watubi, a legendary witch doctor, to convince him that the curse is broken.

I'd forgotten how many episodes revolved around how superstitious the Skipper was. I must say Hale does a good job of portraying a man who's slowly frightening himself to death. Of course, the number of odd coincidences that seem to happen around the idol don't help.

There's also a nice scene where Ginger tries to build the Skipper's spirits back up. Whatever else you may think about this show, these folks were some pretty good actors.

Back Story: The Skipper was in a bar fight in Singapore in 1947. He has a ring that has been in his family for over two hundred years.
One of the Professor's favorite books is The History of Tree Surgery.

Taking It Seriously: To the best of my ability to discover, no culture seems to have a god of war called "Kona". We see in this episode the first hints that "magic" of a sort does seem to work in the "Schwartzverse".

Gilligan Spoils A Rescue: Nope. Another episode where Gilligan does his best and helps the Skipper get over his feeling of being cursed.

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