My Thoughts - Gilligan's Island: Gilligan's Living Doll (1966)
Synopsis: When an experimental robot lands on the island, the castaways try to program it to help with their rescue. However, when they are unable to get it to help even with simple chores, rescuing them seems to be even beyond its reach.
The Skipper (Alan Hale, Jr.) not believing in a lucky rabbit's foot seems a bit out of character. He has to be one of the most superstitious characters in television history but still draws the line at Gilligan's (Bob Denver) good luck charm? This is the same guy who quickly blamed thefts from the supply hut on voodoo.
The Skipper and Professor (Russell Johnson) seriously did not see that robot standing there? Gilligan couldn't have walked away more than a few dozen feet in a straight line before bumping into it. I think a pair of castaways need to get their eyes checked. Gilligan at least had an excuse; his nose was buried in comic book.
The Air Force sure gave up on searching for their missing robot awfully quick. Sure, they didn't know where it was ejected, but it's not like they didn't know the unmanned drone's flight path. At minimum, you would think they would send a plane along that same path in search of the parachute. It's even more baffling when you consider they wouldn't necessarily want the technology to fall into wrong hands.
So, is the island located between Hawaii and California? The robot took off from Hawaii with a planned landing in California, so it would certainly seem that way. Unless it took a very indirect route, it makes the lack of a search even more confusing and really raises a question about why the island doesn't have more traffic.
Maybe they should have tried re-wording the boat question. The term "boat" can mean a lot of things (though I did find it interesting they would teach it to make a model boat). Perhaps they should have asked it to build a raft instead. Or maybe ask them to build the toy ship at a larger scale?
I feel like the castaways missed an obvious step in their rescue attempt. There was no guarantee the robot would make it to Hawaii in working condition, even without Gilligan's rabbit's foot. Why not hedge their bet by including a note? Maybe Gilligan deserves most of the blame, but a little common sense wouldn't have hurt.
Couldn't the Air Force use clues from the robot's scrambled message to retrace its steps? Again, they knew the drone's flight path and the robot told them it had been on an island. That kind of narrows their search down by quite a bit. Or did they not have any interest in finding out who found and tinkered with their experimental (and likely expensive) robot?
Final Opinion: There are definitely some questionable decisions by both the castaways and Air Force in this one but, overall, it is still a fun episode. It's definitely one of the better later episodes if nothing else.
My Grade: A-