Gilligan's Island: Season 1, Episode 15

So Sorry, My Island Now (9 Jan. 1965)

TV Episode  -   -  Comedy | Family
6.8
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A Japanese solder arrives on the island, thinks it's still WWII, and holds the castaways prisoner on their own island.

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Title: So Sorry, My Island Now (09 Jan 1965)

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Japanese Soldier
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Storyline

A Japanese solder arrives on the island, thinks it's still WWII, and holds the castaways prisoner on their own island.

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hot pants

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Comedy | Family

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9 January 1965 (USA)  »

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1.33 : 1
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Trivia

The Japanese Soldier mentions several movie stars by name, including Lloyd Bridges. Most of Bridges' movie roles prior to and during the war (when the soldier could have seen him onscreen) were unbilled or minor parts. He didn't become a star until well past the end of Work War II. See more »

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When the periscope of the supposedly submerged submarine being piloted by Gilligan is running circles in the lagoon, a scuba diver's air tank rises above the water just behind it. See more »

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User Reviews

 
An Episode that has Not Aged Well...
28 July 2013 | by (Sooner Nation) – See all my reviews

While bagging some lobsters in the lagoon (yes, lobsters), Gilligan has an encounter with a "one eyed sea monster" (the kind of story that told to the wrong person would get you slapped). The monster turns out to be a World War Two-era Japanese midget sub piloted by a Japanese sailor who doesn't know the war is over.

It's not long before the Japanese sailor starts capturing the castaways one by one until everyone but the Skipper and Gilligan are his prisoner. Unable to pilot the midget sub out of the lagoon, our two remaining castaways are forced to free their friends.

Highlights include Gilligan's explanation of Ginger's scream to the Professor, the well designed cages that hold the castaways, Gilligan questioning the Skipper about whether the midget sub they found is the "Monitor or the Merrimac" along with getting the Skipper out of the sub and Ginger's attempt to woo the Japanese sailor.

Unfortunately, everything about this episode is centered on the Japanese sailor. A buck toothed, coke-bottle glasses wearing, pidgin-English speaking stereotype of the first order as played by the very Italian Vito Scotti. While perhaps not quite as offensive as Mickey Rooney's portrayal of a Japanese stereotype in "Breakfast at Tiffanys", it's certainly in the same ballpark.

While it may be tempting to cut this episode some slack because it was made at an earlier time when it was more acceptable to create such stereotypical characters of another race, it certainly doesn't hold up today. I'm more forgiving of Vito Scotti himself since he was a really good character actor who was skilled at playing different types of roles. Here, he basically disappears into this character...but it is an offensive character nonetheless.

So, I'm giving this episode a mere three stars out of ten, the lowest of the first season. His second appearance in "Diogenes, Won't You Please Go Home" is somewhat less offensive simply because he's not in the episode as much and the damage was already done.

  • This episode was certainly inspired by the discoveries of Japanese


soldiers who were cut off on islands in the Pacific and didn't know the war had been over with for many years. The last verified holdouts surrendered in December, 1974 on Morotai Island in Indonesia.

  • The new incidental music heard during the episode has a decidedly


"Japanese" air about it.

  • Midget subs of WW2 ran on batteries mostly which made them very short


range craft. But even if you throw in a diesel engine...where does he get his fuel from? Still, if I'm going to ask that question...then there are a lot more questions to ask about Gilligan's Island itself :)
  • The conning tower we see the Japanese sailor emerge from at the


beginning of the episode is markedly different from the one on the midget sub we see Gilligan driving.

  • It's pretty easy to see when Gilligan is driving the sub underwater


in the lagoon, it's just a periscope pushed by a guy in a scuba suit. You can actually see his scuba tank emerge from the water a couple of times.

  • Mrs. Howell calling the Japanese sailor a "camera bug" is really the


only racially-insensitive insult hurled at the Japanese sailor himself.

  • If the Japanese sailor has indeed been out of touch since 1942, then


how does he know about Lloyd Bridges who didn't even start getting noticed until the early 1950's?

  • The epilogue scene does end with one final bit of stereotypical


"charm" as Gilligan does his bit with the glasses.


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