Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Fantasy Island

Fantasy Island title screen.jpg

This was a show I really enjoyed as a kid.  Even though it was very much a love anthology, it had such fantastic elements to keep a young boy entertained.  I'm glad that the Island fits into the TVCU.  Let's see how...  (Updates based on info I received from Gordon and Kim Long in blue.)

Billions of year ago?--FANTASY ISLAND--"The Angel's Triangle"--Mr. Roarke meets and befriends Uriel, the Angel of Death.  There are actually multiple angels of death serving God.  Uriel is but one of them.  Mr. Rourke also meets Lucifer.

c. 1500 B.C.--FANTASY ISLAND--"Aphrodite"--Mr. Roarke becomes friends with the goddess Aphrodite.  The gods and goddesses were real.  They were some sort of supernatural race of beings.  But there were also pretenders.  However, this is the real Aphrodite.

c. 1000 B.C.--FANTASY ISLAND--"The Mermaid/The Mermaid Returns/The Mermaid and the Matchmaker"--Mr. Roarke makes friends with a mermaid named Nyah.

10th century B.C.--FANTASY ISLAND--"A Genie Named Joe"--Mr. Roarke first becomes friends with a genie...named Joe.  As I've stated in other blogs, genie's are offshoots of the Q race.  They are not demons as depected in the Bible and Qur'an.

1st century B.C.--FANTASY ISLAND--"My Fair Pharoah"--Mr. Roarke is intimate with Cleopatra.

17th century--FANTASY ISLAND--"Elizabeth"--Mr. Roarke is friends with a woman who will later appear in the Island as a ghost in 1980.

1771--Birth of Don Diego de la Vega, future Zorro.  His father is Don Alejandro de la Vega, who had a cousin named Ebardo de la Vega.  Ebardo will be the grandfather of future villain Dr. Miguelito Loveless (from WILD WILD WEST.)  This theory was created by Jess Nevins, and has been added to by Toby O'Brien here. James and Gordon take note, it involves a renegade Time Lord and Fantasy Island.  More on the theory here.

19th century--FANTASY ISLAND--"The Ghost's Story"--Mr. Roarke becomes familiar with a ghost that will later help him to help a guest in 1982.



1978--FANTASY ISLAND--"Innocent"--Cal is a young man of age 10.  He will from this point lead a life of crime, but later repent and go to work on Fantasy Island.  In 1998, as a reward for his service, Cal will be returned to this point of time, taking over his 10 year old self, but retaining his memories, gaining the opportunity to do it over again right this time.

1978--RETURN TO FANTASY ISLAND--From Gordon Long:  So while working on the review for the second pilot telefilm of Fantasy Island titled "Return to Fantasy Island", I came across an interesting quasi-crossover. A girl mentions reading about a black market baby adoption ring where the girls get paid thousands to give up their babies. This actually was the plot of a Charlie's Angels episode called Angel Baby. I think the events of this episode would have made headlines, and the court case would have been huge and lasted for a while. No wonder the girl remembered it in early 1978, even if she mis-remembered a few details. (Another girl mis-remembered the title of a Jack London book in the episode, too.)  Toby O'Brien adds:  Both instances were probably inspired by a true-life case - that of Georgia Tann back in the 1940s, which itself became fodder for Toobworld with "Stolen Babies" starring Mary Tyler Moore...

1978 to 1984--FANTASY ISLAND--Fantasy Island is a resort where you're wishes truly are guaranteed to come true, thanks to the island's host and owner, Mr. Roarke, who has amazing supernatural powers.  The island is located in the Pacific.  Guest who visit the Island are bound by contract not to reveal what happened outside the Island.  What happens on the Island stays on the Island.  Some guests will choose to stay on the island to live out the rest of their lives there.  The standard cost for a fantasy vacation is $50,000.  However, the cost actually varies.  The cost is usually dependent on the person's wealth.  For example, in one situation, a little girl was able to pay for her father's fantasy by emptying out her piggy bank.  And in special cases, clients win the vacation as a prize for a contest they never seem to remember entering.  Gordon Long adds:   Kim and I have determined that most Fantasy Island episodes (though not all) take place when they air. 

December 9, 1978: FANTASY ISLAND episode Charlie’s Cherubs -- Amber Ainsley and her two best friends are huge fans of the “Charlie’s Angels” television series. They visit Fantasy Island in order to fulfill their fantasy of being detectives. Tattoo tells Mr. Roarke he is a fan of the show as well and wishes the Angels were real. Roarke hints strongly that he knows the show’s detectives are real. Most likely, if some of the operatives visited Fantasy Island in an unseen FI episode, Tattoo would certainly know about it. So, it is highly probable that Roarke and Charlie know each other; and considering the types of people that we see they know on both series, it is almost completely certain that their paths have crossed in the past. This only implies that there is a television series of “Charlie’s Angels” in the TVCU, although we do know there are numerous books, films, comics, and radio and tv shows about the people of the TVCU.

November 1979--FANTASY ISLAND--"The Wedding"--Mr. Roarke's true love comes to Fantasy Island to marry him, but it turns out she is terminally ill, and even Mr. Roarke is unable to save her.

January 1980--FANTASY ISLAND--"Unholy Wedlock/Elizabeth"--From Gordon Long:  Lisa Corday (played by Tina Louise) comes to the island because of disturbing dreams. As it turns out, she is being subjected to a possession attempt by Elizabeth Bathory! Lisa's body is supposed to be an exact genetic duplicate of Elizabeth Bathory's...   Elizabeth and Roarke were once involved, romantically (though she was married to a nobleman), a few hundred years ago (one of the few episodes where you get a real sense of how old the man is!) He still carries a torch for her, but he helps Lisa fight her off. She apparently sold her soul to the devil for power, maybe immortality. She's sort of in a limbo state. Her castle has been re-built on Fantasy Island. Roarke probably wanted to keep an eye on her, prevent her from messing around with anyone in the present day. Elizabeth is not specifically described as a vampire, however. But it is implied that this was the real Elizabeth Bathory (or Erzebet Bathori, closer to the original Hungarian name). And there are references to murder. However, the story specifically says that Elizabeth died at 25, the same age Lisa is going to turn the day after she arrived on the island. The real Elizabeth lived until she was 54. As such, even though this Elizabeth was apparently born the same day and married a guy of the same name and killed young women for their blood, it's not the same Elizabeth Bathory. So I think, because of the dying at 25, that this Elizabeth is a cousin of the more famous one, who married a cousin of the guy who married the more infamous Elizabeth, and actually chose to be turned into a vampire and made a pact with the devil for powers of darkness, the same kind the Karnstein witch-vampires have where they can possess others. I think she is a Karnstein who lived from 1560-1585 before she got staked. (Sorry, the IMDB doesn't have full details and we don't have a detailed review yet of this story on our FI website.)

February 1980--FANTASY ISLAND--"Aphrodite"--Mr. Rourke sets a guest up with Aphrodite.

March 1980--FANTASY ISLAND--"Jungle Man"--Ron Ely comes to Fantasy Island and decides to stay there for the rest of his life.  Ron Ely played Tarzan on TV in the 1960s.

October 1980--FANTASY ISLAND--"The Devil and Mandy Breem"--The Devil comes to Fantasy Island after a guest's soul, and also Mr. Rourke's soul.

November 1980--LOVE BOAT--"Secretary to the Stars"--Kim Holland is one of the most famous actresses in the world.  However, she's tired of being loved for being a star and not for who she is, so she books a vacation that starts with a cruise on the Pacific Princess enroute to her final destination, which is Fantasy Island.  While on the boat, the crew try to convince Kim to find love, which she attempts, but her fame gets in the way, and she leaves the ship more upset than when she got on.

November 1980--FANTASY ISLAND--"The Love Doctor"--Kim Holland arrives on Fantasy Island.  Her fantasy is to be loved for who she is.  Mr. Roarke sends her down a jungle river to where a doctor is working in the rain forest.  Kim and the doctor fall in love, and Kim is happy someone cut off from civilization, thus not being able to watch TV or movies, can love her.  Turns out, though, that he did know who she was.  They aren't that cut off from the world, but Kim is satisfied that the doctor still truly loves her.
October 1981--FANTASY ISLAND--"The Devil and Mr. Rourke"--The Devil returns again to Fantasy Island, claiming to be on vacation, but then uses staff member (and Mr. Roarke's niece) Julie as a pawn in another attempt at gaining Mr. Roarke's soul.  I should mention that sometimes the devil that appears in various shows and movies is really just a soul collecting demon and not really Lucifer/Satan.  However, I feel it's more likely due to the familial relationship and long standing adversarial rivalry, that this is Lucifer/Satan.

January 1982--FANTASY ISLAND--"King Arthur in Mr. Roarke's Court"--King Arthur is transported from his time to the present.

1982--INSPECTOR GADGET--Mr. Roarke's midget assistant Tattoo is attending a Minions Anonymous meeting.  Inspector Clouseau's Cato and former Bond villain Jaws are also attending.

August 1982--Massarati and the Brain--From Gordon Long:  Very good! Wish I had been a fan of these shows during their heyday (other than The A-Team and The Dukes of Hazzard). The Streethawk connection is a good catch, and that Katherine Reece/Melanie Ryan/Adrienne Margeaux/Bianca Morgan/___ St. Clair are all the same person is inspired. There's another role that could have been her, played by the same actress. In Massarati and the Brain, a failed pilot, she plays one person who is masquerading as someone else. The idea of the series was that 'Mas' Massarati is a rich adventurer-for-hire who uses lots of electronic gadgets to do his work. The gadgets are built by his 12-year-old nephew, Christopher 'The Brain' Massarati (played by Peter Billingsley, Ralphie from A Christmas Story). They have a butler named Anatole played by Christopher Hewitt (Lawrence on Fantasy Island, and of course Mr. Belvedere) and are friends with a sexy spy leader played by Markie Post (Night Court). In this story, Mas and The Brain are trying to steal back an art collection from a neo-Nazi played by Christopher Lee. The actress plays Wilma Hines, who masquerades as Diana Meredith. You'll notice there's another character with a last name starting with M. (IMDB says it as a treasure of rare coins and the kid is 10, http://www.ovguide.com/movies_tv/massarati_and_the_brain.htm# gives the info I gave above).  I have to admit I haven't seen Massarati and the Brain, just going from IMDB. But I do think it is interesting that Anatole and Lawrence didn't have other names, so one wonders if those two could be the same character. And prior to this, Hewett had a role as an unnamed butler in a 1979 ABC Afterschool Special. Robbie Rist is a spoiled rich kid whose tv suddenly shows 'Aunt Thelma' (played by the legendary Butterfly McQueen), a fairy godmothe/genier type who is going to teach him a lesson by giving him 7 wishes in order to impress a girl (played by Cynthia Nixon, most famous for her role on Sex and the City). The Seven Wishes Sweepstakes... I checked with my wife Kim, the world's foremost Fantasy Island fan, and Lawrence was never given another name (either first or last). So it is possible that Lawrence, Anatole, and the unnamed butler character are all conflatable as the same person, but I would really need to see both Massarati and the Brain as well as Seven Wishes of a Rich Kid to know for certain. Neither have been released to DVD yet.Seven Wishes of a Rich Kid was a sequel to an ABC Weekend Special, The Seven Wishes of Joanna Peabody, which aired the previous year. It also had Butterfly McQueen as Aunt Thelma and another adult played by Garrett Morris from Saturday Night Live. One IMDB reviewer thought it would have made an excellent Twilight Zone episode, high praise indeed! Apparently it was based on a book by Genevieve Gray. That episode HAS been released on dvd and is available at the Phoenix Learning Group, Inc., whose page states that it was part of the National Educational Film Festival. I have not, however, found any info about the book online.

ROCK & RULE--Mok mentions the island as a possible getaway spot.

Sometime between 1984 and 1998--Mr. Roarke rescues Harry from a burning hotel which Harry was the concierge of.  Harry goes on to become the concierge of Fantasy Island.

1998 to 1999--FANTASY ISLAND--The island is still operational in this series revival, and I do consider it a revival, not a reboot.  Now Mr. Roarke has gotten darker, and his appearance has changed.  He is a being with supernatural powers, and this might explain things.  Though Toby O'Brien has a different idea, which you can check out here, but that's too much speculation for me with not enough evidence to support it.  It seems to me more likely that Mr. Roarke may have made some deal with some supernatural being for immortality, but the fine print said he'd be confined to Fantasy Island for life.  In this new series, we learn a a little more about how the Island operates.  People in need accidentally stumble upon a travel agency, which books trips to Fantasy Island.  Then the files are sent directly from the city to the Island via a pneumatic tube, which isn't really physically possible, so it must be magic.  How are people finding this travel agency?  I believe it's God, or at least the folks that work for God, whether you call them angels or white lighters or the powers that be.  Whatever.  In fact, perhaps Mr. Roarke is actually dead, and is serving his own penance by running the Island.  Perhaps, as Thom Holbrook conjectures here, all the staff from both the 70s/80s show and this one are all dead and serving their penance on the Island.  Wow, pretty deep stuff.   And is it possible that the travel agency is not always in the same place?  That would explain how people from all over America...and the world book trips.  Hey, what if Mr. Roarke was one of the angels that didn't take sides during Lucifer's rebellion, and thus this is his punishment?  OK, now who's wildly speculating?  But we do know that in the new series, it's been hinted that the island itself is the source of Mr. Roarke's powers, and that the longer one stays there, the more they also gain power.  The staff, and Mr. Roarke's adopted daughter (raised on the island) also exhibit powers.  There seems to be some hints this place is indeed some sort of Limbo dimension, with the staff all trapped there.  There are parallels between the new series and Shakespeare's THE TEMPEST.  One of the staff member's is named Ariel.  She is a shape shifter who is much older than she appears, and apparently may have been romantically involved with Mr. Roarke some time in the past.  Note that Harry and Cal are both staff members whose lives were saved by Mr. Roarke...or perhaps their souls were.  It seems that Mr. Roarke rescued them both from death, but it's implied that they actually died, and living on the Island is a way of escaping Hell.  Mr. Roarke seems to have the power to send them there should they disobey him.  Gordon Long also offers this take on Mr. Rourke:  Recently, Kim and I watched a film with Malcolm McDowell playing Merlin. It is called Kids of the Round Table. It is set in the then present-day; released in 1997. It was filmed in Canada but seemed to be set near Albany, New York. Excalibur appears in the film.  Because this predates the second Fantasy Island series, I wondered if this Merlin (and there are so, so many) became the second Roarke. Both Kim and I are convinced there are two Roarkes. Now, I don't have a problem with this second Roarke having been Merlin in the past. And it won't mess up Toby's Gallifreyan origins of Roarke, because in at least one alternate timeline---seen in the Doctor Who episode Battlefield with the Seventh Doctor, also starring Jean Marsh as Morgan Le Fay/Morgaine (who also appeared as Mombi in the Disney Return to Oz, which has a magic mirror that this Ozma was enchanted into, and evil witch Queen Bavmorda in Willow)---the Doctor himself became Merlin. So I think that the second Roarke is one of the Merlins and one of the alternate Doctors. However, you can easily interpret this Doctor/Merlin/Roarke as being all one entity. Allowing the original Roarke to be a Doctor and a Merlin explains his longevity and a possible reason why his love Elizabeth Bathory wanted to be immortal---to be with Roarke/Merlin/The Doctor forever.

January 1999--FANTASY ISLAND--"Innocent"--Staff member Cal, who previously had led a life of crime before his time on the Island, is rewarded for his service by being sent back in time to when he was ten, placed in his 10 year old body, but with retaining his memories, so that he could have the chance to do it right this time.  But since there seems to be no alteration of the timeline, I would have to say the series as televised was in the TVCU, and the new divergent timeline would probably be an alternate reality, so that he actually was zapped into an alternate reality version of his 10 year old self.

2002--FANTASY ISLAND--This is actually a continuation of the second series, after SyFy got a hold of the rights and showed the remaining unaired episodes.

August 2006--TRAPPED IN TV GUIDE--"Pilot"--A person is transported from Earth-Prime to the Fantasy Island of the TVCU.

2010--WIKIPEDIA--The current standard fee for a fantasy vacation would be $185,000.

2020--THE JETSONS--Fantasy Island has been moved to another planet, and will remain there at least until the 31st century.  Note that the Jetsons don't live on Earth.  They are part of an Earth colony that had at some point in the 1960s been created by humans that were displaced.

December 3000--FUTURAMA--"The Cryonic Woman"--In this time period, Fantasy Island has moved, and is now Fantasy Planet.



LOONIVERSE--Daffy Duck finds a wishing well that grants real wishes (by actually repeating old cartoons...it's a clip show...movie.)  He goes into business with DAFFY DUCK'S FANTASTIC ISLAND.

REALITY TV--This universe is hard to classify.  Reality TV is not Earth-Prime, since Earth-Prime is a world of fictional stories that are supposed to exist in the real world.  Meanwhile, the real world is just that...the real world.  Reality TV is scripted reality.  Thus nothing we see on TV is ever really real, as it's scripted and edited.  So Reality TV gets its own classification.  So anyways, Fantasy Island.  Mark Burnett, reality show ratings genius, has proposed a reality show where the contestants all  try to be Mr. or Ms. Roarke, on a Fantasy Island, and they have to make people's fantasies come true, and if they suck at it, they get voted off.  Remember when they made GILLIGAN'S ISLAND into a reality show?  Yeah, how'd that go?

ROBOT CHICKEN UNIVERSE--Are you really surprised?  In this version, the fantasies are usually of a sexual or violent nature.

SKITLANDIA--The comedy team of WAYNE AND SHUSTER have parodies the classic show with Fantasy Motel.  THE MICALLEF PROGRAM features Fantasy Traffic Island.  On SCTV, there was another version of Fantasy Island.  In El Lavedero, there is Su Isla de la Fantasia.  (Should have studied Spanish in school, huh?)  On MAD TV, it's revealed that Fantasy Island is actually the island in LOST, which actually is cool since the theory exists that both of those islands are in some kind of Limbo dimension.  In BIZARRE, Tattoo, the midget assistant of the original series explains that he can give you your fantasy, but not miracles.

Note that when I first chose to tackle this project, I was unaware that Gordon and Kim Long happen to be experts on Fantasy Island, and this was before the creation of the TVCU Crew, or else likely I would have left this for them to write.  I would like to point out that Gordon and Kim have a Fantasy Island blog, that you can read here.


  1. Given the "Tempest" allusions, there's no chance that this "Cal"'s full name could be Caliban, is there? I'm not sure what this would mean, exactly, but it may be important.

    Also, what's up with the "Inspector Gadget" film taking place in the early eighties? I would have thought it a bit closer to it's release - mid-to-late nineties.

  2. I don't believe it is, but I'm sure it's meant to be an implication.

    I placed the Inspector Gadget film before the animated series since the film is an origin. Films that are origins and don't contradict a series (except for pop culture and tech references) I place before the original series in order to include both. The film clearly occurs as the untold origin.

  3. Fair enough.

    On a related note, I see from Wikipedia that a certain Bond henchman, one Jaws, was also at that MA meeting. Curiously enough, if I'm not mistaken 1982 would be shortly after his last film appearance . . .