Season 3, Episode 17
Gilligan pirate.jpg
The Skipper learns over the radio that he has been blamed for the shipwreck.
Basic Info
Air Date: January 9, 1967
Written By: Roland MacLane
Directed By: Gary Nelson
Guest Cast: None
Episode guide
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Take a Dare The Hunter

Court-Martial is the 85th episode of Gilligan's Island and the seventeenth episode of the third season. It first aired on January 9, 1967.

Synopsis[edit | edit source]

While relaxing on the beach, Gilligan and the Skipper hear on the radio that the Maritime Board investigating their disappearance has found the Skipper of the S.S. Minnow negligent for its loss and has stripped him of his command, recommending he be held criminally liable if it is determined he is alive. The revelation upsets him so much that he retreats to his hut where Gilligan discovers him tying a noose from a vine. The Professor stops him by suggesting they re-enact the wreck with a mock-up of the S.S. Minnow. With Mary Ann and Ginger creating the weather conditions and the Professor using pulleys to rock the craft, the Skipper realizes that Gilligan threw the anchor overboard without attaching it to the ship which caused the boat to wreck itself on the beach. Realizing he is truly responsible for the crash, Gilligan retreats to the jungle in disgrace, with the Skipper discovering him tying a noose from a vine. Disgraced for causing the shipwreck, they together decide to go in exile on the other side of the Island. That night, Gilligan's imagination turns to pirates and he dreams he's an Admiral transporting Mrs. Howell and the girls through pirate-infested waters when Captain Hook, Long John Silver and Captain Kidd take over his ship. Gilligan fights valiantly against them before losing his sword and getting taken hostage. Waking just as he's sent to walk the plank, Gilligan is roused from his sleep by the Professor rushing to find them with more news from the radio. In the announcement, the Maritime Board has reviewed the case and reversed their decision, determining that it was fault of the harbor's radioman who was responsible for warning the Skipper of the forthcoming storm, but instead repeated the weather forecast of the previous day, which had no storm warning. Gilligan and Skipper are happy to be acquitted.

Message[edit | edit source]

  • "No one should blame himself for events beyond his control."

Highlights[edit | edit source]

  • The S.S. Minnow mock-up
  • Gilligan's pirate dream

Credits[edit | edit source]

Main Cast

Guest Cast

Trivia[edit | edit source]

  • The episode opens with Gilligan repairing the fishing net, last seen in Our Vines Have Tender Apes.
  • This episode has a lot of dark humor in it; the Skipper and Gilligan both come close to taking their lives out of guilt just to be pulled back at the last minute both times.
  • It seems kind of far-fetched that the Castaways could build a complete an entire Minnow mock-up as well as a pulley system to rock it within a few hours.
  • If the Castaways can create a fake Minnow, they should be able to make a suitable raft to escape the island. The concept of making a raft was acted upon, but often thwarted, in one case Gilligan and Skipper saw their makeshift raft attacked by sharks.
  • Ginger uses the Electric Generator from Castaways Pictures Presents to generate lightning.
  • This episode runs parallel to the episode, Quick Before It Sinks, where Gilligan and the Skipper attempt to ride out a fake storm on a fake Minnow only to discover the entire thing was a waste of time.
  • This episode reveals the Minnow was lost when its anchor was tossed overboard by Gilligan without the line attached, but no one questions why it wasn't attached in the first place.
  • The Skipper reacts like comedian Oliver Hardy after the wreck of the Minnow mock-up.
  • This episode resolves the question as to why the Skipper would have taken the Minnow out of port with a severe storm approaching.
  • Although the episode is entitled The Court-Martial, no court-martial is actually held, only a Maritime Board inquiry. A court-martial would only have been convened if the Minnow had been a military vessel.
  • According to Maritime Law, the Skipper is required to watch over his passengers in the case of a shipwreck until returning them to civilization, so abandoning them on the island to live separately doesn't exactly make sense.
  • In the dream sequence, The Skipper is Long John Silver, Mr. Howell is Captain Hook and the Professor is Captain Kidd. Long John Silver was the main antagonist in Robert Louis Stevenson's novel Treasure Island. Captain Hook is from Peter Pan by J.M. Barrie. Captain William Kidd was a historical pirate from the 17th century.
  • If one looks closely in the dream sequence, Gilligan turns the telescope to get to in position to droop.
  • As usual, Gilligan can't do anything right. In his dream sequence, he tosses his sword away by accident.
  • There is no historical evidence that pirates actually made anyone walk a plank.
  • The Professor should have had no idea where the Skipper and Gilligan were camping, and yet, he finds them in just enough time to hear the radio broadcast.
  • The Howells only make two appearances in this episode.
  • In the dream sequence, Captain Hook and Long John Silver are fictional. William Kidd, however, was a real pirate, and when convicted of piracy he attempted to bribe the judge and jury by claiming he buried treasure and would share it with them. The bribe failed, and Kidd was hanged, however it was the genus of the concept of the idea that pirates bury treasure, which was the concept used for Long John Silver in Robert Stevenson's Treasure Island. In actuality, most pirates spent their loot as soon as their voyages were over.

Quotes[edit | edit source]

  • Skipper - (looking over cliff) "I bet those rocks down there are as hard as a rock."

  • Ginger - "Well, Gilligan is a boy, and Mr. Howell is a married man and the Professor is only interested in my mind."

  • Skipper - "Gilligan when you threw the anchor overboard, was it attached to the anchor line?"
    Gilligan - "The anchor line?"

  • Skipper - "Gilligan, little buddy, I got to admit... when you abandon ship, you really abandon ship!"
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