"The Pigeon"
Season 3, Episode 28
A homing pigeon gives the Castaways hope of calling for help.
Basic Info
Air Date: April 3, 1967
Written By: Jack Raymond, Joel Hammil and Brad Radnitz
Directed By: Michael J. Kane
Guest Cast: Sterling Holloway as Birdy
Episode guide
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It's a Bird, It's a Plane Bang! Bang! Bang!

The Pigeon is the 96th episode of Gilligan's Island and the 28th episode of the third season. It first aired on April 3, 1967.

Synopsis[edit | edit source]

A homing pigeon lands on the Island after a storm, and the Professor is convinced they can use it to send a message to get rescued. However, the poor pigeon has been injured and lost from the storm and it may take a few weeks to nurse it to health. Through the night, the impatient Castaways over-feed it, so the Professor adds another week to get it into shape. Gilligan, meanwhile, names the bird Walter after a friend from home. Once in shape, it turns out the pigeon has a second home in addition to the island, and its real owner doesn't believe the Castaways' crazy stories, even dismissing the $1000 bill Mr. Howell sends. The Professor believes sending a photo of themselves next to the wreck of the Minnow will convince Birdy, the pigeon's owner, but first, they have to rescue the pigeon from the cave Gilligan keeps it in, which is also the home of a huge spider. It's Walter that actually saves them when they get trapped. They escape the cave and soon send Walter off, but Birdy, an inmate at Los Angeles Correctional Institute, sends Walter off without seeing the Castaways photo after learning he has been paroled. Eventually, the Professor once more tries sending Walter off, but Gilligan forgets to connect the message.

Message[edit | edit source]

  • "Freedom for one sometimes leads to imprisonment for others."

Highlights[edit | edit source]

  • Coming up

Credits[edit | edit source]

Main Cast

Guest Cast

Trivia[edit | edit source]

  • This episode is basically a loose retread of The Sound of Quacking.
  • Janos Prohaska, who played most of the large apes in the series, plays the Giant Spider in this episode. This was his last appearance in the series.
  • The latch on the door of the Supply Hut in It's a Bird, It's a Plane that vanished at the end of that episode is back again.
  • When the Castaways try fast-feeding the pigeon, Gilligan and the Skipper give it most of a mango pie, Ginger and Mary Ann feed it a bowl of coconut milk and the Howells roll in a cart full of food for it.
  • It's never explained how the Professor slept through all the people coming and going from the Supply Hut to feed the pigeon, especially since they pulled loosely the same stunt in The Invasion.
  • Once again, the Castaways' efforts to get rescued in a hurry almost ruin their chances for rescue; their haste also had side effects in Don't Bug the Mosquitoes and Splashdown.
  • The Professor says it will take three weeks for the pigeon to lose all its weight. By the time two of those weeks pass, Mrs. Howell, Mary Ann and Ginger are all wearing the exact same outfits as the day the pigeon's fast started. When the pigeon is set off for the third time, Ginger and Mary Ann are again wearing the exact same outfits!
  • Considering it takes two weeks for the pigeon to lose all of its weight, this episode lasts longer in "Gilligan time" than any other episode in the series.
  • Both times Walter the Pigeon takes off, the Castaways are watching him fly off in different directions.
  • Grover Cleveland's portrait appears on the $1000 bill. He was the 22nd and 24th U.S. President, distinguishing himself as the only President to ever serve two non-consecutive terms. The U.S. Federal Reserve began removing the $1000 bill from circulation in 1969; so it is plausible, at this time, Mr. Howell would still have the denomination in his wallet.
  • Since the Minnow was destroyed in Goodbye Island, the Castaways wouldn't have a wreck to stand next to in the photo.
  • When Gilligan overturns the mirror cart, it's revealed the periscope doesn't actually have anything to see through in it.
  • While Burt shouts "I'm Free." the background changes to the Third Season ending tag showing the Castaways sitting in the lagoon usually shown with the credits.
  • The Castaways could always send the pigeon out again.
  • In the syndicated version of the episode, the end scene with Walter is not included.
  • This is the second time Gilligan breaks a mirror that would lead to the Castaways getting rescued; he also shatters a signal from a mirror in X Marks the Spot.
  • The character of Burt was clearly inspired by Robert Stroud, the "Birdman of Alcatraz," who raised birds during his time at Leavenworth Prison (though not at Alcatraz, where he was later incarcerated.)

Quotes[edit | edit source]

  • Gilligan - "I wish I could drink it and grow some feathers. I've always wanted to be a bird."
    Skipper - "That shouldn't be too hard for you, Gilligan. You've got the brain for it!"

  • Gilligan - "I guess you're right, Skipper. When it comes to putting on weight, you've got a lot of experience under your belt."

  • Professor - "What about you, Mr. Howell? Certainly you're a member of this Take-A-Pigeon-To-Lunch Bunch?"

  • Skipper - "You know there's no giant spiders on the island. Why must you always blow things up out of proportion?"
    Gilligan - "I didn't do that. The spider did it all by himself!"

  • Skipper - "Good old Professor's Spider Cider... Guaranteed to knock him off his feet... all eight of them!"

  • Professor - "Why the spider thinks he's looking at another male spider; he's scared of himself!"
    Gilligan - "That makes it unanimous!"
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