Nominated for zero Emmys in its short three-season stint, Gilligan’s Island nonetheless has carved itself a notable niche in the television hall of fame. The brainchild of TV icon Sherwood Schwartz, longtime TV writer and creator of The Brady Bunch, Gilligan’s Island quickly gathered a strong cult following, reaching successive generations of fans via syndication following its cancellation and even spawning a cable TV reality show four decades later.
An original CBS series, the show was shuffled between time slots (much like its contemporary program Star Trek), but later became more popular than ever in its syndicated reruns. With a memorable theme song the average viewer will find stuck in his head for days, Gilligan’s Island is classic family-friendly television entertainment the way it used to be…
Gilligan’s Island follows the adventures of a tour group of varying personalities whose boat, the SS Minnow, falls victim to a torrential rain storm during a three hour tour. Shipwrecked upon a deserted Pacific island, the seven guests and crew spend their days and nights trying to escape the island or be rescued by passersby.
In addition to Gilligan (Bob Denver) who is the SS Minnow’s first mate, the island plays host to the Skipper (Alan Hale, Jr.), millionaire couple Thurston (Jim Backus) and Eunice Howell (Natalie Schafer), college professor Roy Hinkley (Russell Johnson), movie star Ginger Grant (Tina Louise), and Mary Ann Summers (Dawn Wells). Most every episode revolves around the group’s feeble attempts to escape the island, undertakings usually thwarted and foiled by Gilligan’s trademark buffoonery…
The Gilligan’s Island DVD features a number of hilarious episodes including the season premiere “Two on a Raft” in which the cast is initially stranded on the island. Crafting a homemade raft, the Skipper and Gilligan set sail to find help.
Along the way, they face dangerous sharks, the relentless sun, and hunger pains, until they eventually land on an island (not knowing it’s the very one they set sail from). But Gilligan and the Skipper think the island is inhabited by unfriendly natives, while the rest of the cast believes that Gilligan and the Skipper are unfriendly natives themselves.
Other notable episodes from Season 1 include “So Sorry, My Island Now” in which Gilligan’s Island is captured by a Japanese Admiral who thinks World War II is still in full swing, and “My Fair Gilligan” in which Mr. Howell declares Gilligan his adopted son after Gilligan saves Mrs. Howell’s life…