Gilligan's Island Wiki
"X Marks the Spot"
Season 1, Episode 18
X-MtS epi.jpg
The Castaways discover the US Navy will be doing missile testing in the area.
Basic Info
Air Date: 1/30/65
Written By: Sherwood Schwartz and Elroy Schwartz
Directed By: Jack Arnold
Guest Cast: Harry Lauter as Major Adams, Russell Thorson as General Bryan and Charles Maxwell as Radio Announcer
Episode guide
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Little Island, Big Gun Gilligan Meets Jungle Boy

X Marks The Spot is the 18th episode of the First Season. It first aired January 30, 1965.


At the Pentagon, the military gives the go-ahead on Operation: Powder Keg which involves launching an experimental nuclear warhead in the vicinity of the small uninhabited islands in the Pacific, one of which is the island on which the Castaways are. Meanwhile, Gilligan and Skipper are planning on building a playroom on the island since they might be there for a long time. The Skipper soon goes on a search for the radio and finds it at the Girl's Hut. However, when he arrives and finds them listening to an exercise program, he reaches in through the window and turns it off to tease them by imitating the program. When Ginger and Mary Ann discover the deception, they are not amused. They try turning the radio back on, but now, it's not working. Upon analyzing it, the Professor discovers that the batteries have gone bad, robbing them of their only access to the outside world. This irks Mr. Howell until Lovey shows him the batteries came from his company. Fortunately, the Skipper has fresh batteries he has never used, but have gone bad in the interim. However, they are rechargeable, and he shows the castaways a high school science trick to recharge them. The process works just in time to hear on the radio that the military is launching a missile which the Skipper realizes is right into their area. Meanwhile, the military has disarmed the missile to test by itself, but they don't release the news. Still believing the impact will wipe them out, the Castaways are still making amends. Mary Ann makes pies for the Skipper and Gilligan, and as the Professor reviews his academic career to Ginger, he realizes they could be rescued as the military would send out a scout plane to search for natives and charter crafts in the flight range. As it comes, he tries signaling for it with a mirror made for the Howells, but Gilligan smashes through it on a vine as the plane passes overhead. Everyone listens helplessly as the radio announces the missile launch unaware it's been unarmed. It's announced as a perfect shot, and minutes later, it comes down in the lagoon with its after-thrusters propelling it onto the beach and into camp. The Professor thinks he can deactivate it, but Gilligan is the only one thin enough to crawl inside of it. Analyzing its schematics from a hatch, the Professor relays Gilligan the instructions on how to deactivate the non-existent explosives. All goes well until Gilligan's screwdriver completes a circuit, reactivating the after-thrusters and sending Gilligan in the missile on a trip through the jungle and then out to sea. Believing he's been lost, everyone is grieving his sacrifice. The Howells want to rename one of their homes after Gilligan, and Ginger wants to make a movie about him. Swimming back to shore, Gilligan thinks it all sounds so good that he turns around to drown himself before everyone rushes back to stop him and drag him back home. The next day, Gilligan reveals that he found the will Mr. Howell made when he thought he was going to be blown up, but when he tosses it back, Mr. Howell dives into the lagoon to get it back.


  • "Sometimes it takes a life-and-death situation to show us what's really important."


  • Skipper having a little fun with Mary-Ann and Ginger's exercise routine.
  • The Castaways show compassion in the belief they have lost Gilligan.


Main Cast

Guest Cast


  • The batteries in the Radio die out; they have to get recharged again in The Postman Cometh.
  • In this episode, the island coordinates are 140 latitude and 10 longitude. However, in Big Man on a Little Stick, the Skipper tells Duke Williams that their position is approximately 110 longitude by 10 latitude suggesting he has since updated their position.
  • The approximate location of the Island in this episode is latitude 140 by longitude 10 degrees, which is impossible because latitudes only range ±90. However, reversing the numbers gives a more accurate location for the island.
  • In this episode, when the Castaways try to signal a search plane with a mirror, Gilligan breaks it when he swings off a roof via a vine. In The Pigeon, when the Castaways try to use a mirror to intimidate a giant spider, Gilligan again breaks the mirror.
  • When the Skipper and Professor pick up the mirror, it's round. After Gilligan smashes through it, the pieces in their hands have straight angles.
  • If Gilligan had really crashed through a mirror, the shattered glass would have cut up his face and hands.
  • Given so many failed rescues, it's odd the Professor tried only one method to contact the search plane instead of also including a smoke signal and a message on the beach.
  • The Professor looks for someone small enough to get inside and defuse the missile. He chooses Gilligan despite the fact Mary Ann is smaller, but then, he just might not have been willing to involve the women.
  • The missile doesn't match the missile used in the stock footage.
  • The size of the missile would have produced a larger splash in the lagoon.
  • In Mine Hero, the Professor remarks that an explosion in the lagoon would have detonated the island,s subterranean gases and set off a chain reaction of explosions. When the missile explodes, no such event is evident. However, it might be guessed the lagoon restrained the landing a bit or the missile lost some thrust on its descent.
  • Despite the professional exterior of the rocket, the interior of it looks cheap and shoddy with loose wires.
  • When it's believed Gilligan gave his life to save them, Mrs. Howell proposes changing the name of their Southampton Estate to Gilligan's Acres. Mr. Howell suggests starting a Gilligan Scholarship at Harvard, the Skipper says he will name his next ship, "The Gilligan" and Ginger announces she will turn Gilligan's life story into a movie.
  • Even if a playroom was built, there is not much equipment the castaways could use for recreation, except perhaps the Howells' pool table (which could also be used to turn into a ping-pong or card table), bamboo barbells, and the Radio for exercise and dancing. Also, given the fact that the Castaways would be constantly gathering food and water and trying to get rescued, building a playroom seems to be a waste of time and resources.
  • Considering the fact they're testing an experimental warhead, the Army doesn't try to retrieve it even after knowing it wouldn't detonate.
  • The ending where Mr Howell dives back into the lagoon to get his will back is left out of syndicated versions of this episode.


  • Skipper - "Oh, well, thanks. I'm more interested in the radio than the mirror." (pauses) "I'm more interested in good news than bad news."

  • Mary Ann - "I don't see how you can exercise anyway in that dress, it's so tight. I'm surprised it doesn't cut off your circulation."
    Ginger - "Honey, in Hollywood, the tighter the dress, the more the girl circulates."

  • Mr. Howell - "That's women for you. One is more concerned with what other women are wearing while the other one is more concerned about who they're wearing."

  • Mr. Howell - "I wonder if Thomas Edison started this way?"

  • Mary Ann - "What are you doing?"
    Gilligan - "Straightening things so everything will be nice and neat when it get blown up."

  • Ginger - "Although, I was a nurse. For one day, I was Ben Casey's nurse, and you know something, Professor? In that one hour, we saved six people, and if it hadn't been for the commercials, we would've saved eight."

  • Mrs. Howell - "Thurston, are you sure that you want to make a new will?"
    Mr. Howell - "Yes, I'd like to get things right before we take a long walk up that great flight of stairs to the big bank vault in the sky."

  • Radio Announcer - "And the countdown has begun on Operation: Powder Keg... Five... Four... Three... Two... One! It's a perfect shot!"
    Mr. Howell - "It would be."