Gilligan's Island: Season 1, Episode 18

X Marks the Spot (30 Jan. 1965)

TV Episode  |  TV-G  |   |  Comedy, Family
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The Pentagon is set to launch a new deadly missile that will destroy everything within 100 miles of its path, and the island is ground zero.



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Episode credited cast:
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Harry Lauter ...
Maj. Adams
Russell Thorson ...
Gen. Bryan


The Pentagon is set to launch a new deadly missile that will destroy everything within 100 miles of its path, and the island is ground zero.

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hot pants | See All (1) »


Comedy | Family





Release Date:

30 January 1965 (USA)  »

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Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


It is revealed that the coordinates for the island are approximately: 140 degrees latitude and 10 degrees longitude. See more »


The radio announcer gives the target coordinates for the Powderkeg missile as 140 degrees latitude, 10 degrees longitude, which the Skipper (an old salt in these waters) and Professor confirm. Lines of latitude only go up to 90 degrees. Transposing the coordinates, though (to 10 degrees N latitude, 140 degrees W longitude) would place the missile several hundred miles southeast of Hawaii - the approximate location of their island. See more »


References Ben Casey (1961) See more »

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User Reviews

Nice "cold war" plot here...
23 December 2007 | by (cincinnati ohio ,u.s.a.) – See all my reviews

During the height of the cold war, and not long after the Cuban missile crisis, the US was seeking to produce smaller, and much higher yield H-bomb warheads to fit on its missiles, to use against the Soviets in the event of a war. There was serious talk of a 35 megaton warhead for the Titan II. Some proposed even larger yield warheads. This episode fits into that mindset well.

On the radio, it is announced that the US is going to test launch a new missile, in an operation called "Operation Powder keg. The missile evidently had some new type of VERY high yield Nuclear warhead, probably 100 megatons or so, because they claim that it will destroy EVERYTHING within a 100 mile radius!!. Needless to say, the missile is going to be launched at an "uninhabited island" so that no injuries or major fallout concerns will arise(although in reality ANY warhead of that capability would produce A LOT of fallout that would reach a LONG way from the detonation...but it is a TV show...) Of course..that island is "Gilligans island". upon realizing first the castaways think they are doomed. THEN..the professor remembers that before any test of a nuke, the military sends out a "search plane" to make sure "all is clear". The castaways then try and put together a mirror, to signal the pane when it passes, but Gilligan manages to break it, and this fails. All hope then appears to be lost..and there is nothing to do but wait. Since they have no way to leave the island in a boat, there is no way to get clear of the they just wait for the inevitable.

Meanwhile, a military officer reports to the commanding officer in charge of the launch that there is a "technical problem" with the nuclear warhead. However--the test WILL proceed.. This will test the accuracy and reliability of the guidance and propulsion systems--but the missile will be unarmed. However--this is NOT announced on the radio!!

The radio reports that the missile has been launched..and it is a "perfect shot". Soon, the castaways start looking to the sky for the missile. They see it coming in...and prepare for the brief flash that will signal their, and the islands, demise. However..the missile impacts near the water, with a small inertial explosion, from its mass, but NO nuclear blast. "It didn't detonate", screams the professor. "And it didn't explode either" replies Gilligan, evidently not knowing what detonate means!!

Still- not realizing that the missile is unarmed, the Professor is worried that the warhead STILL could go off, and that SOMEONE needs to try and disarm it..but only Gilligan can fit inside the access panel...and HE is given the task of "disconnecting the right wires" to the missing warhead. This does NOT go according to plan...and Gilligan causes a short, which fires the missiles engines and sends it screaming around the island wildly!!

In the end..the castaways realize that the missile was unarmed..and breathe a sigh of relief..till the next "adventure".

Funny episode, but SERIOUSLY wrong in many technical ways. A Ballistic missile of the type launched would NOT land "intact", but only send the nose cone , or "reentry vehicle", which carries the warhead, to the target area. All of the other stages would have been dropped, as they ran out of fuel. Also, the fallout issue I discussed earlier, restarting the engines after impact, and other such things. But then..Gilligans island is NOT Mission impossible, and such obvious errors are forgivable, and not usually picked up by its audience.

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