"Operation: Steam Heat"
Season 2, Episode 25
Basic Info
Air Date: March 10, 1966
Written By: Terence & Joan Maples
Directed By: Stanley Z. Cherry
Guest Cast: None
Episode guide
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Operation: Steam Heat is the 25th episode of the second season of the CBS-TV series Gilligan's Island and the 61st overall episode in the series. It first aired March 10, 1966.

Summary[edit | edit source]

Tired of having to heat up fresh water for the Castaways, Gilligan discovers a hot water spring on the island, and shows it to the Skipper who shares it with the Professor, who begins to suspect there may be a volcano on the island. After reading up about them, he leaves for the other end of the island to examine it. Meanwhile, Gilligan creates a pipeline to the spring as the Skipper, Ginger and Mr. Howell all compete for sole benefits from it. Gilligan rectifies this by using a three-prong bamboo system to cover all their wants, but when everyone tries to enjoy the benefits of the labor, there are so many leaks in the system that it actually benefits no one. The Professor meanwhile discovers rises in temperatures in the island, listens to the rumbling in the ground, witnesses a flash of light from the volcano and measures resulting tremors on his Seismograph. Meanwhile, tired of excessive complaints from the Castaways, Gilligan says he wishes the earth would swallow them up just as the worst of the tremors shake the island. When he notices snow falling, the Professor reveals its actually ash being spewed by the volcano. When the activity abates, he worries the volcano could be building up pressure to subsequently blow up, but he believes he can counter the effects with a explosive to relieve the pressure. Meanwhile, Ginger recalls a movie with Gilligan where a volcano was satisfied by throwing a beautiful woman into it, and after she wanders off, Gilligan fears she has gone to throw herself to the volcano. He rushes back to camp to tell everyone and drinks a bowl of liquid in the Professor's Hut that the Skipper thinks was the Professor's crude nitroglycerin. Briefly worried he could explode if he hits anything, he soon learns from the Professor it was water to dissolve his ingredients; Gilligan eventually reveals that Ginger went to offer herself to the volcano. As the Professor and Skipper get the bomb ready, Gilligan goes to find Ginger, who had no intention of actually jumping into the volcano, but ironically, they both tumble into a steam-filled cavern connected to the volcano that they can't escape. When the Skipper and Professor show up with the bomb, they find them in the cavern only after they tossed the bomb into it and rescue them and the Skipper who falls in as well. The Professor also wrangles with the bomb stuck to Gilligan's foot tossing it back into the cavern seconds before it explodes, causing a vacuum effect that causes the volcano to suck back in its smoke and ash. The next day, Gilligan is stuck heating up water for the Castaways again, but when he drops the buckets in disgust, he hits another hot water spring and flees in terror.

Message[edit | edit source]

  • "Near misses don't count; the result does."

Highlights[edit | edit source]

  • Gilligan, Ginger, The Professor and Skipper each trying to get the bomb out of their sights.
  • The volcano sucking back its smoke and ash.

Credits[edit | edit source]

Main Cast

Guest Cast

  • None

Trivia[edit | edit source]

  • Since the Castaways have a shower in Water, Water Everywhere and a bathtub in Gilligan Gets Bugged, there's no reason for the Skipper to bathe in the lagoon.
  • The Castaways never try using their waterfall through an improvised hot water system.
  • When Gilligan activates his hot water system, he strains as if it doesn't move very hard, but then he lets go of the lever, and it just falls limply to the ground.
  • Mr. Howell tries turning his steamer trunk into a bath tub, which would have surely ruined the steamer trunk. He's also seen with the same bathtub toys Gilligan had in Gilligan Gets Bugged.
  • The exterior of the Supply Hut is actually the exterior of Gilligan and the Skipper's hut.
  • Gilligan tells Mr. Howell he has two marbles, two cents and his lucky charm (either his rabbit's foot from Gilligan's Living Doll or his four-leaf gold lucky charm from Mine Hero) in his pocket.
  • The Professor's nitroglycerin includes sulfuric acid from crystallized copper in the caves, glycerol from papaya seeds and potassium nitrate from the rocks at the lagoon.
  • Since heart patients regularly take nitroglycerin tablets, Gilligan would not have had any effects from the Professor's nitroglycerin formula.
  • The Professor shows poor judgment in mixing nitroglycerin in the hut; surely, it would have been safer to carry the ingredients closer to the volcano and mix it there.
  • Setting off a bomb at the base of a volcano would not prevent an eruption.
  • Although most of the caves on the series were filmed on sound stages, the exterior cave scenes of this episode were reportedly shot in a park just off Ocean Boulevard in Newport Beach, California across from the southern tip of the Balboa Peninsula.
  • In May 1995, the TV Series Roseanne had a homage episode to "Gilligan's Island" where the cast played the Castaways. One of the series references they made was to the volcano from this episode (even using the footage of the volcano) and to Gilligan becoming a radio from Hi-Fi Gilligan. The cast of "Gilligan's Island" also reunited to play the "Roseanne" characters.

Quotes[edit | edit source]

  • Skipper - "I wonder if we're on the Christmas Island!"

  • Gilligan - "Mrs. Howell, I might blow up."
    Mrs. Howell - "Oh, don't you dare get angry with me!"

  • Skipper - "Gilligan, do you realize that if you move the island will blow up?"
    Gilligan - "I don't care about the island. I'm worried about me."
    Skipper - "But Gilligan, if the island blows up, you will be leading the way..."

  • Gilligan - "First one to drop it is out!"
    Skipper - "First one to drop it, we all get out! The hard way!"

  • Skipper - "Gilligan, couldn't you hear everyone calling you?"
    Gilligan - "I could hear them if I was in Hawaii."
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