My Thoughts - Gilligan's Island: The Producer (1966)
Synopsis: When a famous movie producer, Harold Hecuba (Phil Silvers), crashes his plane on the island, the castaways see an opportunity to be rescued. When he insults Ginger (Tina Louise) and she refuses to leave the island, they attempt to remedy the situation by putting on a musical version of Hamlet.
I know I've said this before but why don't they have a signal fire already built? Ultimately, it didn't make any sort of difference this time around since Hecuba's plane was crashing but, under normal circumstances, the time they spend trying to gather up firewood seems like a good way to miss out on being rescued. It's also not as though it would hurt anything to keep one burning at all times, just in case they don't see a plane or boat as it passes.
I am going to take a moment to give a shout out for the legendary Phil Silvers. This was a character that had to be memorable and enjoyable to watch while, at the same time, not be something that was easily likable. I can't think of many actors that could have pulled off that sort of thing the way Silvers did with this character. It's easy to understand why he was a legend.
One thing I've never been able to figure out about Ginger is just how successful of an actress she is supposed to be. She seems to have a lot of movie credits to her name and is reasonably recognizable. She even had a starring role lined up before becoming stranded. Yet, in episodes like this one, she acts like she is a struggling actress who is desperate to get some sort of a break. Which is it?
Overall, I like the castaways' musical version of Hamlet. In fact, the first time I saw this television episode, it made me want to read the play. However, I feel like the musical failed to properly showcase Ginger's talents, which was the whole point. If anything, she is a secondary character with Gilligan (Bob Denver) as the star.
Wait a minute, didn't Hecuba say there was a plane following him? Why was rescued by a boat then? OK, maybe the plane radioed the boat, but you would think someone would have seen it pass over the island. And, if it did pass over the island, wouldn't it have seen the huts and other signs pointing to Hecuba not being alone?
Speaking of boats, what happened to Hecuba's life raft? It seemed like something that would be difficult to retrieve and stow after it was inflated, especially if he was leaving in a hurry, and he didn't seem like the type of person who would necessarily care if it got left behind. It had a motor, and the castaways could have used it to get off the island. Granted, he might have taken it with him to prevent their escape, but it would have been nice to have that clarified.
On that subject, at one point do the castaways stop trusting people? At this point, I would think the castaways would be taking no chances when it comes to people promising to rescue them, even going as far as to lock them up somewhere so they can't leave without their knowledge. At minimum, you would think they'd be keeping watch to make sure their guests don't leave while they are sleeping. Yet, that's exactly what happened again. Heck, I wouldn't have even waited for Hecuba's plane. I would have stolen his raft the second he arrived.
How did Ginger take Hecuba's desertion? As upset as she was when he insulted her, you would think she would be inconsolable after he left the castaways behind and stole their idea. Yet the episode glosses over that part and, instead, ends with Gilligan and the Skipper (Alan Hale, Jr.).
Final Opinion: This is easily the best episode from the final season of the series and probably one of the most memorable overall, though a lot of that has to do with Silvers' performance more than anything else.
My Grade: A
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