Gilliganís Island: The Story of Seven Castaways
by Erika Cox
ďJust sit right back and youíll hear a tale, a tale of a fateful trip..Ē
The famous opening verse of one of the most popular television sitcoms
ever. The Gilligan Island show was so popular, even in reruns that a new
reality TV show is in the works for the show. The show lasted from 1964
to 1967, but remained in reruns throughout the 1970ís and beyond.
Gilliganís Island was a comedy that portrayed seven castaways lost at
sea. The song was a brief synopsis of what the show was about. Once you
listened to the words of the song, it gave you a clear indication of
what the show was about and the hope that one day the stranded crew
would make it off the island.
The castaways consisted of Gilligan, played by Bob Denver, a character
that remains an American icon. Gilliganís sidekick, the skipper played
by Alan Hale. The relationship between Gilligan and the Skipper was
similar to a father and son relationship with the Skipper playing the
father role and Gilligan the son role.
The skipper was constantly directing and reprimanding the actions of the
hopeless and hapless Gilligan. Just watching the clumsy and befuddled
Gilligan made one understand why they became stranded.
With all the
miscues caused by Gilligan there is no wonder why and how the boat ended
up on stranded on a vacant island. He often was the main reason why the
castaways never made it off the island.
The other members consisted of the Professor, an intelligent science
teacher, who you might think should have been able to get them off the
island, but despite his best efforts in successfully doing this someone,
usually Gilligan, would disrupt it. The Professor was the one who helped
the others survive on the island.
Then there was Mr. and Mrs. Howell, a financially well to do older
couple, that seemed unaware of anything but living the rich life but was
forced to live the life of a stranded castaway, and therefore, a life
they were not use to living. Mrs. Howell was always teaching others the
etiquettes of life.
The next castaway was Ginger, an attractive but aloof movie star, who,
at times in a strange way, was seemingly attracted to the confused
Gilligan. However, Gilligan never felt the same way to Ginger as she did
Gilligan had the mindset of a child, and not only could he not
figure a way to get himself and the others off the island or keep
himself from screwing up the ideas of getting off the island, he had no
clue why Ginger was attracted to him.
The final character was Mary Ann, who along with the Professor and the
Skipper, seemed to be the only logical ones on the island. Mary Ann was
a small, farm girl, who seemed naÔve but was very down to earth.
The show focused on the many ways the crew and its members were to
finally get off the island and how they survived while waiting for that
elusive rescue. Some of the characters, in particular, Ginger and Mr.
and Mrs. Howell, seemed almost obsessed with how being stranded would
totally destroy their lives.
Perhaps, their concerns were legitimate, after all Ginger was a movie
star, and Mr. Howell had many investments and financial considerations.
One of the strange occurrences, which happened many times, was how
visitors appeared on the island but either were unable or unwillingly to
rescue the stranded crew for whatever reason.
Yet, somehow these visitors made it off the island successfully. However
the Skipper and Gilligan, supposedly experienced crew members, could
never figure out how to get off the island without the help of the
Although the crew had a reliable transistor radio, they never made it
off the island. The show ended with the stranded castaways still
stranded. I must say this is a pretty disappointing end. It is similar
to reading a book and never reading the end of it.