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Warner Home Video presents
Gilligan's Island: The Complete Third Season (1966/1967)

Gilligan: I have an idea!
Skipper: Gilligan, we don't need another one of your ideas. We're in enough trouble now!

- Bob Denver, Alan Hale Jr.

Review By: Jeff Ulmer  
Published: August 11, 2005

Stars: Bob Denver, Alan Hale Jr., Jim Backus, Natalie Schafer, Tina Louise, Russell Johnson, Dawn Wells
Other Stars: Phil Silvers, John McGiver, Vito Scotti, Don Rickles, Denny Miller, Rory Calhoun, Strother Martin, Sterling Holloway
Director: various

MPAA Rating: Not Rated for (nothing objectionable)
Run Time: 12h:36m:41s
Release Date: July 26, 2005
UPC: 053939733129
Genre: television


Style
Grade
Substance
Grade
Image Transfer
Grade
Audio Transfer
Grade
Extras
Grade
A AA-A- C

DVD Review

Considering that it has been on the air nonstop since first broadcast in 1964, it is hard to believe that only 98 episodes of Sherwood Schwartz' fan favorite, Gilligan's Island, were ever produced, concluding with this third and final season. Although it was optioned for a fourth season, the show was abruptly cancelled in order to make room in CBS' schedule for the return of the long-running Gunsmoke. The series continued to gain popularity in reruns and syndication. An animated version, The New Adventures of Gilligan, made ABC's Saturday morning lineup from 1974 to 1977. In 1978, NBC revived the cast (minus Tina Louise) for a two-part special, Rescue from Gilligan's Island. Two more specials, Castaways on Gilligan's Island (1979) and The Harlem Globetrotters on Gilligan's Island (1981) followed, but plans to relaunch the series never gelled. After more than forty years, Gilligan's Island remains one of the most popular and funniest sitcoms ever created.

It is hard to think of a sitcom more perfectly cast. The antics and physical comedy abound as Bob Denver and Alan Hale Jr. continue to deliver brilliant performances as Gilligan and The Skipper. These two make the show, and each episode promises at least one or two of their routines. Dawn Wells and Tina Louise each bring sex appeal in their own way, while Jim Backus and Natalie Schafer represent high society with their portrayal of the extremely rich Howells. The islanders would be doomed for sure without Russell Johnson's resourceful Professor, who can fashion just about anything out of coconuts and bamboo, including the "Gilligan Mobile," the foot-powered car that makes an appearance in several episodes.

There are no radical changes to the formula from the second season, as the show continues to create bizarre scenarios or bring in outsiders to play out each week, and they are all as nutty as ever. Dopplegangers are featured in a couple of episodes, first when a Russian spy impersonates Gilligan, getting him into all sorts of trouble with the rest of the castaways, then an embittered woman arrives on the island who is a dead ringer for Ginger (All About Eva). Gilligan becomes sheriff, has his world turned upside down, amd faces baldness, while Mary Ann thinks she is Ginger, Mrs. Howell gets a secret admirer, the Professor is turned into a zombie, and the whole castaway crew become heirs to the Howell fortune.

Visitors are plentiful, if not very helpful in rescuing the castaways. Phil Silvers appears as a famous Hollywood producer (in fan favorite The Producer), John McGiver as an avid butterfly collector (Man with a Net), Vito Scotti returns as mad scientist Dr. Boris Balinkoff (Ring Around Gilligan), Don Rickles plays a bad guy (The Kidnapper), Denny Miller shows up as Tongo the Ape Man (Our Vines Have Tender Apes), Rory Calhoun is The Hunter looking for adventure in a nod to The Most Dangerous Game, Strother Martin as a game show contestant (Take a Dare), and Sterling Holloway is the keeper of a carrier pigeon that the castaways hope will deliver their SOS message. The gang also has several run-ins with headhunters and natives from neighboring islands, which lead to all kinds of misunderstandings, including Gilligan being revered as a god (High Man on the Totem Pole), being forced into a battle to the death after rescuing a young girl (Slave Girl), or posing as a goddess in order to be rescued (Gilligan, the Goddess). The island is also prone to having objects wash ashore, including radioactive seeds that give the gang superhuman abilities (Pass the Vegetables), a box full of plasticene, which is useful for making everything from tableware to fillings, with one catch—it's explosive—or an attaché case carrying secret documents, which the islanders believe the army will soon be searching for. Hopes for escape run high when an experimental jet pack arrives, a space capsule lands, and the gang discover travel instructions on ancient stone tablets.

Perhaps the most notable inclusions are the numerous dream sequences that allow the cast to have fun in alternate roles, from cave men to Cinderella, secret agents to Jekyll and Hyde. Dawn Wells notes the dream sequence in And Then There Were None as her favorite, where she gets to put on a Cockney accent, while Russell Johnson points out the season opener in which Gilligan believes he has become a vampire as one of his favorites.

Even if the humor works on a different level viewing as an adult today, Gilligan's Island packs a lot of laughs into each half hour episode, and remains as funny today as it was when I was a kid.

Rating for Style: A
Rating for Substance: A

 

Image Transfer

 One
Aspect Ratio1.33:1 - Full Frame
Original Aspect Ratioyes
Anamorphicno


Image Transfer Review: The show's second color season looks pretty darn good, although not quite as good as the previous one, but not by much. For the most part colors are bright and eye-popping and contrast is even. There is a bit of edge enhancement, some minor compression artifacts, and some overall softness, which lowers the detail level. There are a few places that seem a little on the dark side, and grain levels are a bit more prominent, and there is the occasional dust or scratches. Still, I can't ever remember the show looking this good over the air.

Image Transfer Grade: A-

 

Audio Transfer

 LanguageRemote Access
DS 2.0Englishno


Audio Transfer Review: Mono audio is as good as can be expected. Dialogue is clear, though there is some minor source distortion in places. Sibilance is ever so slightly present. No major defects were noted.

Audio Transfer Grade: A-

 

Disc Extras

Static menu with music
Scene Access with 30 cues and remote access
Subtitles/Captions in English, Spanish, French with remote access
1 Documentaries
1 Feature/Episode commentary by Sherwood Schwartz
Packaging: Digipak
3 Discs
2-Sided disc(s)
Layers: dual

Extras Review: The third season has a few extras, beginning with an introduction to the season by series creator/producer Sherwood Schwartz, which also includes comments by actor Russell Johnson. Schwartz also provides an interesting commentary on The Producer, which was the only episode to feature two directors (Ida Lupino and George M. Kahn). In both of these features Schwartz demonstrates his enthusiasm for the show and and its cast, and is deservedly proud about its long-lasting appeal.

The set also contains a documentary, Gilligan's Island: A Pop Culture Phenomenon, which features an analysis of the series' impact by Robert J. Thompson, Syracuse University's Director of the Center for the Study of Popular Televion.

Once again, there are no chapter stops within the episodes.

Extras Grade: C

 

Final Comments

With its broad and lasting appeal, Gilligan's Island remains one of the highwater marks in television sitcom history, as this third and final season attests. Highly recommended.

 


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