Can you imagine taking a scheduled three hour tour out of Hawaii and being stranded on an island for 3 years (or more). This is the plight of the passengers and crew of the charter boat S.S. Minnow. The show ran from 1964 to 1967 with the castaways on the island all that time.
Running the S.S. Minnow was the Captain or The Skipper (Alan Hale, Jr.) assisted by his First Mate Gilligan (Bob Denver), Gilligan and the Skipper had both served in the Navy. A good bit of the confusion on the island could be traced to the bumbling of Gilligan. However, the Captain in good times would refer to Gilligan as “Little Buddy” and in bad times he would swat him on the head with his hat.
The group was able to fashion many necessary (and unnecessary) items from bamboo. The had clothing and food and shelter and were able to listen to AM radio broadcasts out of Hawaii. Somehow they were never able to repair the boat or fashion and navigate a raft so they could leave the island.
During their stay the group did have visitors come to the island. Although they all wanted to leave for some reason they didn’t leave with these visitors and the visitors never sent rescue back for them. Those watching the show are left to wonder why visitors could not help and why the castaways could not figure a way out for themselves. The castaways did make some attempts to escape only to have Gilligan ruin their effort by trying to help.
Marooned on the island with The Skipper and Gilligan are the five passengers: Thurston Howell, III (Jim Backus) and his wife “Lovey” (Natalie Schafer) rather snobby millionaires, The Professor (Russell Johnson), Mary Ann Summers (Dawn Wells) the very nice young lady and Ginger Grant (Tina Louise) the movie star.
Recurring throughout the series were the visits from others, dreams in which one of the group sees himself as a character related to that week’s story, news from outside the island that causes some disagreement among the group and, of course, ways to leave the island.
Gilligan’s Island was a fun show to watch early in the evening once a week. It had good solid ratings during its run. The show was scheduled to continue for at least another season after 1967. So when it was unexpectedly cancelled before its fourth season the crew and passengers were left still stranded on their island. They would have to stay stranded until the 70s when made for TV movies finally rescued them.