"The Kidnapper"
Season 3, Episode 12
Mrs. Howell is kidnapped and then Mary Ann and Ginger. Someone on the island is abducting the Castaways.
Basic Info
Air Date: November 28, 1966
Written By: Ray Singer
Directed By: Jerry Hopper
Guest Cast: Don Rickles as Norbert Wiley
Episode guide
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The Invasion And Then There Were None

The Kidnapper is the 80th episode of Gilligan's Island and the twelfth episode of the third season. It first aired November 28, 1966.

The ransom note

Synopsis[edit | edit source]

A stranger covertly lands on the Island and kidnaps Mrs. Howell, leaving behind a note demanding $10,000 and requesting Gilligan and the Professor to deliver it to a hollow log on the north side. Meanwhile, Gilligan is distracted by the idea that the log is twelve paces from a large rock than seven paces, even squeezing in the last five steps to make his point. When he delivers the money, he doesn't think it's far enough into the log and crawls in further, getting stuck, stumbling around with it over his head then flipping himself into the air. Mrs. Howell is found bound and gagged before she's freed, but she's unable to describe her kidnapper before Mary Ann vanishes. The kidnapper demands $20,000 for her return and requests that the Howells deliver the money to an idol on the South end of the island. Mary Ann vanishes to escape, but Ginger gets kidnapped next and the price for her is $30,000. When she returns to camp, she reveals her abductor plans on kidnapping everyone else then starting all over again. The castaways wonder if hostile natives could be behind this, but the Professor disagrees, thinking the natives would not be motivated by money. The Skipper and Professor set a trap for the criminal with Gilligan as the bait, but he gets scared and trips the trap. In the confusion, the Skipper captures Norbert Wiley, a career con-artist whose boat got beached on the island and left his propeller bent. He's kept in a bamboo cage to keep him under control, but the island bars do not stop him from showering the Howells with flattery. As the Skipper and Professor work to repair his boat, Ginger tries to psychoanalyze Wiley. She convinces the rest to let him out, but at a party for Wiley that night, he secretly steals the women's jewelry and pick-pockets the men of their valuables, eventually slipping away and escaping on the repaired boat. As the Professor turns to Ginger to remind her it's not so easy to reform a criminal, she confesses that the exact same thing happened in the movie from which she got the idea.

Message[edit | edit source]

  • "It's hard to teach an old dog new tricks."

Highlights[edit | edit source]

  • Gilligan disputing the number of steps to the log
  • The Howells putting the ransom money in the idol.
  • Ginger's impression of The Kidnapper.
  • Ginger acting like a psychiatrist to reform Mr. Wiley.
  • Gilligan and Skipper riding on the propeller and making a hole through one of the huts.
  • Mr. Howell finding out Mr. Wiley took his solid gold suspenders.

Credits[edit | edit source]

Main Cast

Guest Cast

Trivia[edit | edit source]

  • This is one of two episodes where Ginger actually botches a possible rescue; the other being The Big Gold Strike.
  • Two island landmarks are featured in this episode including a big rock and hollow log on the north side and a wooden idol on the south side. The idol is possibly Kupaki in origin as the totem pole in High Man on the Totem Pole.
  • Wiley's prison on the island is possibly the bamboo cage left over from Topsy-Turvy, maybe even dating all the way back to the one used by the Japanese Sailor in So Sorry, My Island Now. It's unrevealed why they didn't reuse the Skipper's jail from Forget Me Not and Gilligan Goes Gung-Ho.
  • The Skipper and Professor never try searching for the kidnapper's boat. After so many problems with other "visitors," they don't remove the spark plugs to keep Wiley from leaving without them.
  • Ginger's decision to free Wiley from imprisonment and jeopardize their hopes of rescue indicates that she requires psychological attention. She also reveals similar characteristics with Jackson Farrell in Little Island, Big Gun, Jonathan Kincaid in The Hunter and with President Rodriguez in The Little Dictator.
  • The Castaways having a party with Wiley so soon after his crimes on the island is one of the most far-fetched scenarios in the series.
  • Wiley takes Gilligan's pocketknife, Mr. Howell's wallet, gold lighter and suspenders, Mrs. Howell's necklace, Ginger's earrings and the Professor's watch. Mr. Howell supposedly lost his wallet in Will the Real Mr. Howell Please Stand Up?, but he might have been wrong, or it floated back or he just has multiple wallets.
  • The personal possessions of the Castaways turning up on the mainland probably should have lead to an investigation as to where Wiley obtained them.
  • This episode seems to be a loose remake of Little Island, Big Gun which also had a criminal hiding on the island.

Quotes[edit | edit source]

  • Gilligan - "Wow, a two-page ransom note!"

  • Skipper - "Kidnappers don't have to have a sense of direction!"

  • Gilligan - "Why couldn't it be the fat one in the captain's hat?"

  • Gilligan - "Professor, what am I going to do?"
    Professor - "I think it might require a tree surgeon."

  • Ginger - "She's gone! Mary Ann has been kidnapped!'
    Mrs. Howell - "Why that nasty little copy-cat!"

  • Mr. Howell - "Well, it's going to take an active person with muscles of steel to climb up and put the money in the mouth of that idol. So, come on, Lovey. I'll give you a boost!"
    Mrs. Howell - "Thurston, I couldn't possibly climb that idol."
    Mr. Howell - "Well, I paid the ransom money! Must I do everything?"

  • Gilligan - "Okay, but if I get killed, I'm not talking to either one of you as long as I live!"
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