"The Friendly Physician"
Season 2, Episode 29
Dr. Balinkoff rescues the castaways...are the castaways doomed?
Basic Info
Air Date: April 7, 1966
Written By: Elroy Schwartz
Directed By: Jack Arnold
Guest Cast: Vito Scotti as Dr. Balinkoff and Mike Mazurki as Igor
Episode guide
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The Friendly Physician is the 29th episode of the second season of the CBS-TV series Gilligan's Island and the 65th overall episode in the series. It first aired April 7, 1966.

"I'm going to cry!"

Synopsis[edit | edit source]

A scientist named Dr. Boris Balinkoff living on an island nearby spots The Castaways' smoke signal and rescues the castaways by taking them back to his island. Both Gilligan and the Skipper are spooked by the spooky décor of his home and start having reservations about what his motives really are. They explore the dungeon and find a dog that sounds like a cat and a cat that sounds like a dog in the dining room. When Balinkoff describes his mind-exchange experiments to the boys and his plan to use them in his experiments, he has his manservant Igor take them hostage. The others meanwhile have no idea what is happening, and after Balinkoff tries to indict Mr. Howell as his partner and accomplice, they're all taken captive. Gilligan and Mr. Howell are swapped for each others' bodies as are the Skipper and Mrs. Howell and the Professor with Mary Ann. However, behind Balinkoff's back, Igor swaps bodies with Ginger, and she uses his incredible strength to free the others. The Professor restores everyone's true identities, but by now, Balinkoff shows back up and realizes what has happened. The Skipper jumps Balinkoff and holds him as the Professor restores Ginger to normal. The castaways then trap Balinkoff and Igor in the machine as Gilligan puckishly flips the switch. As they're leaving, Balinkoff as the cat leads Igor as the dog out of the castle while Dog-Igor chases Cat-Balinkoff through the house.
Back at the Island, the Professor realizes they can use the rowboat to reach the shipping lanes, and the Castaways rush off to gather supplies. Gilligan meanwhile confesses he thinks Balinkoff's boat has seen better days; he's just not confident of its seaworthiness. The Skipper tells Gilligan the boat is fine because he said so. Just then, the worn craft sinks quickly into The Lagoon, only the pole at the bow visible over the water. The Skipper becomes upset with Gilligan, but he restrains himself since he made a bad call about the boat.

Message[edit | edit source]

  • "In spite of Tennessee Williams, one cannot always depend on the kindness of strangers."

Highlights[edit | edit source]

  • The Skipper jokingly telling Gilligan if they're being rescued by Mary Poppins or Moby Dick.
  • The dog meowing, The cat barking and Timothy the parrot roaring like a lion.
  • The Castaways take on each other's personalities, particularly Jim Backus and Bob Denver as each other's characters -
  • Mr. Howell trying to kiss the Skipper in the body of Mrs. Howell
  • Igor as Ginger saying, "I'm going to cry!"
  • Ginger as Igor saying, "I'm here. Feels good."

Credits[edit | edit source]

Main Cast

Guest Cast

Trivia[edit | edit source]

  • Like several episodes in the series, several minor scenes are cut from the episode for syndication.
  • The haunted house set used as Balinkoff's home is reused in Gilligan's vampire dream in Up at Bat. It also superficially resembles the interior of Collinwood with a foyer, passageway under the top landing and adjacent room on the 60s series, "Dark Shadows." The exterior film shot of it is from the movie, "The Pit and the Pendulum" with Vincent Price and reused in "The Terror" with Boris Karloff and Jack Nicholson.
  • This is the only time in the series that the Castaways successfully leave the island.
  • This is the only episode in the series where Mr. Howell, Mrs. Howell, Ginger and Mary Ann only have one wardrobe change.
  • According to the device, Balinkoff can transfer the minds and personalities of separate individuals into their opposing bodies, as evident by the experiments on the Castaways and his and Igor's experiences with the dog and cat. However, it is quite obvious at Gilligan and the Skipper's initial arrival to Balinkoff's Island that the "meowing" dog is still acting like a dog and the "barking" cat still acts like a cat.
  • Dr. Balinkoff's mind experiments have Gilligan and Mr. Howell switch bodies as well as the Skipper and Mrs. Howell and Mary Ann and the Professor. A continuity error results when Igor changes with Ginger. Balinkoff obviously has no knowledge of this switch, and yet, how did Igor trap Ginger long enough to switch bodies with her, and for what reason. (Was he tired of being large and homely and switched with Ginger behind the doctor's back? And who operated the controls?) Likewise, when Balinkoff and Igor changed minds with the cat and dog, who let the cages open seconds after the transference? Could the glass cages have an auto-unlock mechanism?
  • In Feed the Kitty, it's established that Mrs Howell is allergic to cats. Yet, several fans count the fact that there's a cat in this episode, and she doesn't sneeze near it. However, it should be added she doesn't share any scenes with it, and her brief contact with it is obviously not enough to trigger her allergy.
  • If you watch closely, the subtle mannerisms of the "Gilligan" and "Mr. Howell" characters are missing when Bob Denver and Jim Backus play each other characters; thereby detracting from what could have been much more credible scenes. However, being shot on a television schedule, the actors would not have had the time to watch each others performances to better hone their acting skills.
  • It's never explained why Gilligan as Mr. Howell or Mr. Howell as Gilligan just casually wander back to the dungeon when they could have escaped the castle. The only reason for them to go alone would be to stage the fight which would not have happened had Igor had brought them down to the dungeon by force.
  • After the castaways get their bodies back, they put Ginger in the machine to restore her to normal. She starts shaking as if an electrical current is going through her body, but she also tosses her head back as if knocking the hair out of her eyes.
  • If one looks closely, Vito Scotti can be seen awkwardly fighting back as the Skipper holds him back for the Professor to restore Ginger and Igor.
  • When Dr. Balinkoff later comes back to the Island in Ring Around Gilligan, he returns with a small monkey named Igor, but there is no indication it's his original manservant in the monkey's body.
  • Syndicated versions of this episode cut the scene with the rowboat at the end. Other scenes removed from syndication include Balinkoff's attempted proposal to Mr. Howell and the scene where Igor captures Gilligan and the Skipper. In the latter, when Gilligan offends the Skipper, he slides his chain to better hit Gilligan with his cap!
  • Character actor Vito Scotti would guest star on Gilligan's Island four times - twice as the Japanese Sailor and twice as Dr. Boris Balinkoff!
  • The boat is again seen in Ghost a Go-Go in which it is booby trapped to blow up-with dummies of the castaways aboard it.
  • At the end of the episode when the boat is returning back to the island with the castaways, the cameraman seems to have shot the scene a bit too high because at the very top edge of the scene, one can see some buildings in the background on CBS Studio Center's back lot where the lagoon was located. Today, the area has been converted back into a parking lot.
  • One wonders why the Skipper and the Professor didn't just dredge the boat out of the lagoon and fix it for the Skipper and Gilligan to go for help.
  • Vito Scotti commented in an interview that the parrot in this episode had a habit of relieving itself on his shoulder. The resulting stains can clearly be seen on Scotti's dark costume.
  • This episode ranks high as one of the most-remembered episodes in the series.

Quotes[edit | edit source]

  • Skipper - "Gilligan, there's nothing to be scared about unless you let that rescue fire go out."
    Gilligan - "If the fire goes out, what should I be scared of then?"
    Skipper - "Me!"

  • Mary Ann - (kisses Dr. Balinkoff) "That's for seeing our fire."
    Ginger - (kisses Dr. Balinkoff) "That's for coming to our rescue."
    Mary Ann - (kisses Dr. Balinkoff) "That's for taking us off the island."
    (Ginger gives Dr. Balinkoff a longer kiss.)
    Dr. Balinkoff - "What was that for?"
    Ginger - "That's for being a man!"

  • Gilligan - "It wouldn't be so bad if he didn't keep staring at us."
    Skipper - "Gilligan, we're alone in here. Nobody's watching us."
    Gilligan - "When I look back at the picture, it looks back at me!"
    Skipper - "What picture?"
    Gilligan - "That picture!" (points out spooky portrait) "Skipper, the eyes are different now."
    Skipper - "Oh, Gilligan, stop that! Eyes are eyes, and those are both blue."
    Gilligan - "But before they were bloodshot!"

  • Gilligan - "Skipper, am I getting close to what it is?"
    Skipper - "Don't put your hand too close, he may bite it off!"

  • Dr. Boris Balinkoff - “Buy me for money? Bah on money!”
    Mr. Howell - “Bah on money!? What are you? Some kind of an atheist!? A Yale man!?” (hidden wall starts moving) "When does this thing get to Albuquerque?"

  • Professor - "I'm beginning to believe the good doctor is sneaky, cunning and under-handed."
    Mr. Howell - "Good heavens, that's my territory!"

  • Gilligan/Mr. Howell - "Hey, Mr. Howell, what are you doing in that mirror?"
    Mr. Howell/Gilligan - "Let me see that... Good grief! I've been short changed! I've got Gilligan's body!"

  • Mrs. Howell - "You must be one of those silly doctors who voted for Medicare."

  • Mr. Howell - "Lovey, I'm back to me!"
    Skipper/Mrs. Howell - "You kiss me and I'll belt ya!"

  • Mr. Howell - "Lovey, are you sure you're you?"
    Mrs. Howell - "Well, of course, I am..."
    Mr. Howell - "Well, then, it's alright... except..."
    Mrs. Howell - "Except what?"
    Mr. Howell' - "Well, if you were still the Captain, you'd be able to go to the steam room with me in the athletic club."

Gallery[edit | edit source]

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