"Ring Around Gilligan"
Season 3, Episode 9
Dr. Balinkoff returns and puts Ginger under his control with a mind-control ring.
Basic Info
Air Date: November 7, 1966
Written By: John Fenton Murray
Directed By: George Cahan
Guest Cast: Vito Scotti as Dr. Boris Balinkoff
Episode guide
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Ring Around Gilligan is the 77th episode of Gilligan's Island and the ninth episode of the third season. It first aired November 7, 1966.

Synopsis[edit | edit source]

Reading a change in the currents around the Island, the Professor has Gilligan and the Skipper start construction on a raft to reach the shipping lanes. Meanwhile, Dr. Balinkoff is back to normal and returns to the island with another plan. He leaves a ring for Gilligan to find that allows him to control the First Mate that night and lure him to his cave where he shows off his Mind-Control Machine and announces the crime of the century. The next morning, Mrs. Howell sees Gilligan with the ring and borrows it from him. That night, Balinkoff has Gilligan rob the Howells, not knowing Mrs. Howell is wearing the ring. She judo-flips Mr. Howell when he wakes and tries to stop her then delivers the money to Balinkoff. When she returns to her hut, she has no memory of what has happened and blames the attack on him on a dream. The following day, she returns the ring to Gilligan who has the Skipper hold it for him as he works on the raft. When Balinkoff hears they're building a raft, he orders the Skipper to destroy it. When Ginger gets the ring to return it to Gilligan, she also has a sudden urge to destroy the raft. When she shows up at the cave, Balinkoff is convinced the ring will work on anyone, and has his pet monkey, Igor deliver a bag of six more rings to the other Castaways to wear, ordering them to collect coconuts all night long. The next morning, everyone is sore and confused, and as they turn to Gilligan for answers, Balinkoff takes control of them again, having them rehearse their robbery of Fort Knox with the Supply Hut standing in as the Depository and coconuts representing gold bars. Everything seems to be going to plan until Balinkoff asks them to deliver the "gold bars" at which time they start tossing the coconuts. His remote control gets smashed which breaks his control on everyone, leaving them all confused and bewildered. With Gilligan in the Bamboo Island Taxi, he drives after Balinkoff to stop him, driving the taxi into the lagoon. Unfortunately, they miss the change in currents to get them rescued, but the Howells come out of it with a nice taxi to deliver them around the island.

Message[edit | edit source]

  • "How to succeed in the hero business without even trying."

Highlights[edit | edit source]

  • Gilligan telling Skipper about a French Foreign Legion movie and inadvertently insulting the Skipper
  • Mrs. Howell flipping Mr. Howell over with a Karate move
  • The Skipper and Ginger getting hypnotized
  • Ginger slapping Dr. Balinkoff after he pinches her
  • Gilligan acting like Igor the Monkey, Dr. Balinkoff's monkey
  • Dr. Balinkoff making the castaways go faster.
  • Gilligan and the Bamboo Island Taxi.

Credits[edit | edit source]

Main Cast

Guest Cast

Trivia[edit | edit source]

  • Vito Scotti also portrays the Japanese Sailor in So Sorry, My Island Now and Diogenes, Won't You Please Go Home?.
  • This is possibly the most sinister and dark episode in the series as it has Balinkoff planning to brainwash the Castaways into committing crimes for him against their will.
  • It's never revealed how Balinkoff got his body back after the events of The Friendly Physician; many fans suggest the episodes work better in reverse order since the castaways didn't seem to recognize him when he was taking off, though this is possibly because he was already a distance away from them to get a close-up of his identity. Another possibility is that since he already seems to know the Castaways' names that the effects eventually reversed themselves-certainly Gilligan in a trance does remember Balinkoff and Balinkoff does know the castaways by name.
  • It's odd that the Skipper decides to wear Gilligan's ring when he could have just placed it in his pocket. Likewise, Ginger also takes to wearing it so Balinkoff can control her as well as the Skipper.
  • Every time the ring{s} are activated, there is a special effect of a white sparkle light in the victim's eyes as they enter a trance. It is joined by a special effects "boing" Sound.
  • The so-called raft which the Skipper has Gilligan build is actually so flimsy it wouldn't have helped anyone. It was actually built this way so it could be smashed apart much easier. Although, Gilligan did mention he still had to add some planks, which would reinforce the raft considerably.
  • Since Balinkoff is asleep when Ginger arrives in his cave, it's uncertain as to who gave her the instructions to smash the raft - unless it was an echo of the previous commands given to the Skipper.
  • Apparently, while Balinkoff's ring controls the higher motor functions of the brain, it doesn't affect each person's sense of morality; hence, Ginger slapping Balinkoff when he pinches her cheek. While entranced, Mrs. Howell isn't restrained from using a judo flip on Mr. Howell, suggesting that in her sleep state she might be acting out for some perceived slight.
  • The METV version of the episode includes the scene where Mrs. Howell telling the Skipper about Mr. Howell falling out of bed and getting bruised The Skipper then adds that he probably fell off of his wallet. This scene is not in the syndicated version.
  • After Gilligan gets his ring back, he passes the Howell's Hut and stops before the Supply Hut before Igor the Monkey takes control of him. This hut set-up of the communal area is faithful to the set-up in the rest of the series, particularly The Producer, Love Me, Love My Skipper and Feed the Kitty
  • After discovering the rings and Mary Ann's response about belonging to a club where they wore rings, Mr. Howell comments, "In fact, I consider them [i.e. clubs] suspect if they consider me a member!" This reference is a variation on material by Groucho Marx.
  • In The Friendly Physician, Balinkoff expressed no interest in money but rather in power, but he must have revised his views because now he uses his inventions to rob Fort Knox.
  • In an interview, Vito Scotti remembered the monkey in this episode had no teeth, and when it tried biting him, it gummed him on the hand.
  • The METV Version has a part in which Gilligan under control of Igor the monkey, astounded the Skipper and the Professor by doing a monkey dance and then climbing a tree like Igor climbs in the cave. This scene is usually omitted from syndicated versions due to time restraints.

Quotes[edit | edit source]

  • Dr. Balinkoff - "I am Dr. Boris Balinkoff."
    Gilligan - "The mad scientist..."
    Dr. Balinkoff "No... Scientist, yes... mad, no!" (followed by creepy laughter)

  • Gilligan - "Yes, mad scientist..."
    Dr. Balinkoff - If I told you a million times... Scientist, yes... mad, no!" (followed by creepy laughter)

  • Mr. Howell - "Mother warned me about you Vassar girls and your year-long gym classes."

  • Dr. Balinkoff - (upon seeing Ginger) "Our robots are getting better every time!"

  • Mary Ann - "I was once in a club where we all wore the same ring."
    Mr. Howell - "Young lady, I only join exclusive clubs. In fact, I consider them suspect if they consider me a member!"

Gallery[edit | edit source]

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