Gilligan's Island Wiki

Gilligan and the Skipper building a raft at the Lagoon


The Lagoon is a small bay on the island connected to the ocean by a waterway which seemed to bend to the shore out of side from in-land. It had a waterfall being emptied into it, and the Castaways sometimes swam in it which could be an indication that it is freshwater. Since the Lagoon's water is often calm, most of the island visitors are seen arriving or leaving by means of the Lagoon.

The lookout Tower

The Lagoon was also the site of the sunken ship of Fifi LeFrance and her husband Ricardo Laughingwell, who formed the South Sea Film Productions. After they were married, they sailed on their yacht to the island on their honeymoon to make a motion picture together. Their yacht somehow sunk, leaving their film, camera, and costumes for the castaways to find years later. It is unknown if they were rescued or died on the island.
The Lagoon was also a catch-all for all sorts of objects being washed up near the island including a government attaché case, a crate of coconuts, a box of radioactive seeds, a live lion, tubs of ice cream, an experimental jet pack and a crate of magician's tricks possibly linked to Laughingwell's yacht. A pirate's chest, the Eye of the Idol and tiki-statue of Kona were found buried on separate occasions within the same proximity of the lagoon. The Castaways subsequently built a Lookout Tower to the side of the lagoon to watch for ships on the shore.

The lagoon as it appears in the credits in Season 2 & 3. (The curved roof of Soundstage 3 can be seen in the top left.)

The lagoon was also a source of food for the castaways on the island, for they caught fish, as well as lobsters in the lagoon. It is also the scene where several objects wash in from the sea such as a military attaché case, a crate of radioactive vegetables, a box of plastic explosives and other objects. Visitors also tend to land here, such as Dr. Boris Balinkoff, Jackson Farrell, Duke Williams, Erika Tiffany Smith and a Japanese Sailor among others. The Professor once placed a stick in the lagoon with markers to keep track of the water level on the isle. Gilligan once put his lobster traps on that stick, and was placing it in deeper water to catch larger lobsters, which led the Professor and the others to believe the island was sinking. The Castaways have also dug up items here like a tiki statue, pirate chest and a rare gem that seemed to grant three wishes. The digging of a lobster trap, however, seemed to cause a section of the bank to float out into the lagoon.


Beauty Is as Beauty Does

  • The Lagoon was constructed at the CBS Studio Center back lot. It was located about half a mile from an interstate roadway and the sounds of rush-hour traffic often resulted in huge delays in filming..
  • The Lagoon was only about 4-feet at its deepest point.
  • Filming of "Gilligan's Island" occurred during the fall and winter months and required cast members to sometimes swim in the chilly 50 degree water. Bob Denver often wore a wet suit under his clothes to combat the cold temperature.
  • During the summer months, the Lagoon would become stagnant and offensive due to the lack of care during hiatus. Bob Denver and Alan Hale, Jr. once put a live fish in the water to prove it was too filthy to work in and it died. Network executives were hesitant to change the water until the cast demanded the executives swim in the same water they had to work in.
  • The ending of the second and third seasons show the Castaways still waiting to rescue beside the lagoon using the same back lot location and appearing much larger than the small bay seen in the series by use of a wide angle lens. The top of the curved roof of Sound Stage 3 can be seen behind the trees in the top left corner of the wide shot photo above.
  • CBS Studio Center in Studio City, Los Angeles, CA was where the show was filmed and where the lagoon was built. The hut camp scenes were all inside the sound stages.
  • Although the pilot was filmed in Hawaii, the entire series was filmed inside and outside at this studio. The pilot had cast changes so they were able to use some of the footage eventually for the series. The 1st season B & W closing credits with the gang on the beach was a built prop Minnow, not looking anything like the "Minnow" they used in Hawaii. These scenes and the scenes of exploding collapsing "Minnow" were both done at Point Dume State Beach in Malibu, CA. The Greens Dept. stuck a palm tree in the sand of this famous desert beach.
  • In the Second and Third Season color opening credits, the designers built another "Minnow", not looking anything like the others once again, leaned it on some fiberglass rocks at the back lot lagoon beach and called it a day. Apparently, they had no concerns for the series design continuity.
  • This CBS lot was the original historic "Republic Studios". The lagoon is shown in the top left corner of the Republic lot below along the Los Angeles River flood control channel.
  • A "Mad TV" episode shows seven skeletons still beside the lagoon... still awaiting rescue which is completely contradictory with the later movies.
  • In the first episode of the third season of "The Larry Sanders Show," Larry escaped the pressures of his fame to a cabin on a lake in Montana, thinking he will go fishing. The cabin was a set, previously built as an "old mill" for another show. It was sitting in the middle of the old water-filled Lagoon at CBS on the exact lot used to film both series.