Fantasy Island (1977–1984)
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King for a Day/Instant Family 

Plumber Ernie Miller's fantasy to be a king challenges him with diplomatic problems and a troubled Queen. Grad student and self-proclaimed child-rearing expert Gail Grayson is put to the test when she baby-sits her mentor's kids.



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Episode cast overview, first billed only:
Queen Aurora of Carpathia
Ambassador Eric Soro
Ernie Miller
Gail Grayson
Herbie Block
Mildred Grayson
William Glover ...
Dr. Sidney Block
Barbara Baldavin ...
Selma Block
Christian Zika ...
Conrad Block
Harry Sand (as George D. Wallace)
Emperor Bakota
Kristi Jill Wood ...
Laurie Block


A plumber's fantasy to be a king challenges him with diplomatic problems and a queen with a secret; and a graduate student who thinks she knows everything about raising kids learns otherwise when she's assigned to babysit her mentor's children for the weekend. Written by Kim West

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Release Date:

6 May 1978 (USA)  »

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Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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30 July 2012 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

This episode's two stories are more of a lighter context which revolve around a plumber's(David Doyle)fantasy to be a king for a day, and the other story has a graduate student(Melinda Naud)getting more than she bargained for, as she thinks she's an expert on children, as she has a doctorate in the subject. I thought the chemistry between Doyle and Diane Baker(Queen Aurora)was evident, and I was slightly surprised by his performance, as I don't know too much about him, other than Charlie's Angels. Ernie(Doyle)finds that being King isn't always that exciting, as he's almost pushed around a neighboring country's Ambassador, played solidly by Theodore Bikel. The real King may have been assassinated, according to Aurora, and Soro(Bikel)is rumored to be behind it, and although Ernie feels used by Roarke and Aurora, he agrees to play the role to keep Soro off her and her country's back for a while. As I said earlier, both Baker and Doyle fit well together, and he agrees to be King and plumber in her tiny country, and I felt this was the stronger of the stories.

The next story has Gail(Melinda Naud)and her mother Mildred(Jane Wyatt)on the island looking to work for a famous doctor, because that's what Gail prepared a thesis for. When they meet the doctor(Don Dubbins), he and his wife Selma(Barbara Baldavin)are rushing out the door, leaving for a vacation. Gail and her mother weren't expecting this, as they're left to babysit three kids and a dog named Igor, which includes Herbie(Adam Rich, who looks like he just came off the Eight is Enough set). Gail thinks she's an expert on children because she wrote a glowing thesis, but she wasn't prepared for the mess these kids get themselves into. When all is said and done, they all make sure the house is nice and clean when the couple gets home, although the doctor found a seal in his closet. He ends up hiring Gail in some capacity, and so all ended up happy.

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