Gilligan's Island Wiki
"Smile, You're on Mars Camera"
Season 2, Episode 4
An Earth space probe for Mars lands on the island, and it just might spell rescue for the Castaways!
Basic Info
Air Date: October 7, 1965
Written By: Al Schwartz & Bruce Howard
Directed By: Jack Arnold
Guest Cast: None
Episode guide
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Smile, You're on Mars Camera is the fourth episode of Season 2 and fortieth episode overall in the series. It first aired on October 7, 1965.


On the Island, Gilligan is collecting feathers for Mr. Howell to make a pillow for Mrs. Howell, but he's rejecting all of the feathers Gilligan is finding, dumping them into a big pile in the Supply Hut. Meanwhile, NASA Scientists at Cape Canaveral have sent an unmanned Mars Probe into space to take photos of Mars, but the probe has actually failed and crashed to Earth, ending up not far from the lagoon and sending back brief pictures of the island before losing its lens piece. When Gilligan finds the probe, he falls over the leg and stares up at what seems to be a terrifying beast. He brings back the Skipper and the Professor who recognizes it for what it is, and partially dismantles it to study it and repair it. Meanwhile, radio reports confirm that the probe has caught pictures of the island, which leads everyone to realize this is the Castaways' new chance to be rescued. They just need to find the missing lens to the satellite. Ginger and Mary Ann briefly terrify Mrs. Howell when they blindly clutch her large diamond ring on the other side of a large boulder into which they reach. After searching, the Skipper and Professor return to camp unable to find the lens, only to discover that Gilligan has had it the whole time. Unfortunately, in his excitement, the lens gets shattered, and the Professor plans on using tree sap as glue to restore it. The Skipper sends Gilligan to get the tree sap which proves to be so adhesive that he loses his shoes and socks in it before getting stuck himself. Unfortunately, no one knows when NASA will reactivate the probe, and they wait hours for its reactivation. As they're waiting, the tree sap which has been boiled starts percolating. When Gilligan put the lid on it, the steam from it started building up in pressure, and as it explodes, everyone gets covered in the sticky tree sap. Everyone's clothes are ruined, and they chase Gilligan into the Supply Hut where he tries hiding in the five-foot-high pile of feathers that Mr. Howell had created. Everyone gets covered in feathers as a result, and as the Probe activates, everyone is seen by stunned NASA Scientists as large humanoid bird-creatures. Realizing it's working, the castaways try in vain to communicate with the scientists, but when Gilligan rushes to get their signs, he stumbles over the leg of the Mars Probe, knocking it over and severely damaging its sensitive electronics, getting chased from camp by the others upset over his clumsiness. The following morning, the Professor is trying to salvage the workings of the probe with the Skipper who reminds Gilligan of his punishment: acting as a giant cuckoo bird announcing the hour from the Supply Hut.


  • "Things are not always what they seem."


  • Gilligan covering everyone in sap glue.
  • Everyone being covered in feathers.
  • Gilligan acting as a human cuckoo bird.


Main Cast

Guest Cast


  • The title, “Smile, You're on Mars Camera,” is an homage to Allen Funt's slogan “Smile, you're on Candid Camera!” from the 60s series, "Candid Camera."
  • The satellite lands near the lagoon near a one-time hut that hasn't been there before nor since. It should also have descended to Earth by means of a parachute, but there isn't one in the scene.
  • The Skipper must now be taking Gilligan's tall tales more seriously to investigate the Mars Probe since the incidents with the Head-hunter and Japanese Sailor.
  • Since the Howells have several cameras with them, the Professor could have checked to see if one of their lenses would have worked with the probe.
  • The Skipper asks Gilligan if he knows how to get sap out of a tree, and Gilligan says he saw it in a movie. Gilligan also got sap out of a tree in Goodbye Island. Later in a Laurel and Hardy-like bit, Gilligan tries to get sap out of four trees, but it only works when hes not near the trees.
  • The Skipper loses his sneakers and socks in the spilled tree sap, but for some reason his socks remain standing up in it. He also claims to be stuck by the sap after which Gilligan bonks him with a hat; yet, he must have gotten out since he is later seen with the other castaways.
  • The Professor must have refined the tree sap used as glue on the Mars satellite since it destroyed the Minnow. He also uses it as latex in You've Been Disconnected.
  • A loss of a lens should have produced a hazy image instead of static.
  • The news reporter has a microphone with the CBS logo on it; CBS was the network "Gilligan's Island" aired.
  • Since the Professor often stays in the Supply Hut, and Mary Ann would be constantly coming and going to make meals, it seems odd that they wouldn't notice the feathers in it.
  • It's mentioned in this episode that the iconic red shirt that Gilligan wears is not his but his brother's shirt.
  • It's seems obvious from where Gilligan dumps the signs that an accident is about to occur.
  • It's kind of preposterous that two NASA scientists would confuse a tropical island for Mars. Furthermore, even if they eventually came to the alternate (erroneous) theory they were watching a native tribe on Earth, anthropologists would have sought out the island to study its inhabitants.
  • It also seems far-fetched that the Castaways would retaliate by chasing Gilligan into the Supply Hut in order to punish him.
  • On close-up, the Castaways are just grabbing and throwing feathers around after they "catch" Gilligan trying to hide in the pile.
  • The door to the Supply Hut opens and closes itself during Gilligan's punishment as a cuckoo clock.
  • Assuming the NASA scientists were discredited, it is logical anthropologists would have traveled the South Pacific trying to track down the Mars Probe to study the mysterious "bird people."
  • The TVLand syndicated version cuts out the part where Gilligan answers why he won't appear on camera and the end when in punishment for messing up another rescue, Gilligan becomes a cuckoo clock bird coming out of the Supply Hut.
  • MeTV airs a version with the restored cuts in its version.
  • This episode is ranked as the #5 most liked episode, according to E!


  • Skipper - "You mean they think this camera landed on Mars?"
    Professor - "Exactly."
    Gilligan - "Then there is life on Mars because we're alive!"
    Skipper - "Some of us are!"
    Gilligan - "Imagine getting shipwrecked and landing on Mars! Boy, What a storm!"

  • Mrs. Howell - "This bush is so dusty!"
    Mr. Howell - "Here, let me get that. One thing I can't stand, that's a messy Jungle."
    Mrs. Howell - "Thurston, I found the lens!"
    Mr. Howell - "No, my dear! That's the bottom from a bottle of bubbly. I've been throwing our empties there. Sort of our secret stash."
    Mrs. Howell - "Darling, you think of everything!"

  • Mary Ann - "I'm exhausted. We've been looking for this thing for over an hour."
    Ginger - "I must be losing my touch. If there's a camera lens around, I usually find it."

  • Professor - "I asked you to listen to the radio"
    Gilligan - "Oh I did, I heard a new song, it goes, Don't go in there, Yeah, yeah, yeah, There's nothing in there, Yeah, yeah, yeah"

  • Skipper - "We couldn't care less if you had the feather off the goose that laid the golden egg"
    Gilligan - "What goose?"
    Skipper - "The goose that laid the golden egg in the fairy tale."
    Gilligan - "Laid a golden egg?"
    Skipper - "Yes Gilligan. Once upon a time, there was a goose, a goose that laid a golden egg... and this goose was very important... Never mind Gilligan!"

  • Gilligan - "It's too bad we can't send for a TV repairman."
    Mr. Howell - "A TV repairman? I don't mind golden time, double time, but TV-repairman time... I mean, even I can't afford that!"

  • Professor - "We need something to stick the lens back together."
    Gilligan - "How about rubber bands?"
    Skipper - "Where are we going to get rubber bands, Gilligan?"
    Gilligan - "We could cut up my sneakers!"
    Professor - "We all appreciate your sacrifice, Gilligan, but we need something that won't interfere with the camera lens. Some type of glue."
    Mr. Howell - "Oh! Well, let's start drilling for some immediately!"
    Skipper - "Mr. Howell, you don't drill for glue!"
    Mr. Howell - "Oh no? You should see some of the oil wells I got stuck with!"

  • Skipper - "What are you doing back there, Gilligan? When the camera goes on, they won't be able to see you!"
    Gilligan - "That's what I had in mind"
    Skipper - "What do you mean?"
    Gilligan - "Well, if I stand in front, the whole world will see me, and if the whole world sees me, that means the United States will see me, and if the United States sees me, that means my hometown will see me, and if my hometown sees me, that means my brother will see me, and if my brother sees me, he'll punch me because I'm wearing his shirt."