Monday, November 12, 2012


During the time spent by the castaways on 'Gilligan's Island' (1964-1978), a lot of people crossed paths with the passengers of S. S. Minnow and its crew.  (For a deserted island, it had a lot of traffic!)  And from April 1967 to October of 1978, we never saw those seven stranded castaways on our TV screens, so who knows how many more visitors arrived on 'Gilligan's Island'?

And perhaps among those unseen arrivals were doppelgangers for Mary Ann, Mrs. Howell, the Professor, and the Skipper.  That's over a decade, so it's pozz'ble, just pozz'ble, it could have happened.  Normally the odds are against it, but in the three years in which we did see them on the island, evil twins for Gilligan, Ginger, and Thurston Howell III showed up:

  • An "ugly duckling" named Eva Grubb was transformed into a dead ringer for Ginger Grant.  She escaped the island with the intent of taking over Ginger's movie career.
  • A crook who looked like Thurston Howell III passed himself off as the only survivor of the shipwreck.  But when he fell overboard from a party yacht, he washed up on the island.
  • Gilligan's doppelganger was the most dangerous, as he was a KGB spy and it was the height of the Cold War.
If a doppelganger of the Skipper ever showed up, almost any modern-day TV character played by Alan Hale, Jr. could be used.  (All of his Western roles would have long been dead, and his character from 'Land Of The Giants' was from Brobdingnag in another dimension.)

Some of them - with "Big" as part of their names - would have caused trouble for the castaways, and others would have been good-natured lunks willing to help the others get off the island - only to see the plan collapse due to Gilligan's bleep-up.

But there was one Alan Hale Jr. character whom I think could have fit right in on 'Gilligan's Island', even though he originated on a drama series - because I believe he was more than just a look-alike, he was the Skipper's actual twin brother! 

Unfortunately, he died before the Skipper set ground on that uncharted desert isle.

A land swindler named Nelson Barclift willingly participated in an insurance scheme, without realizing he was being set up to be the patsy.  A very dead patsy.  (Della Street, the secretary of 'Perry Mason', filed this report as "The Case Of The Bouncing Boomerang".)

In the course of the investigation, Paul Drake discovered that "Nelson Barclift" was not even his real name.  But we were never told what his real name actually was.

The Skipper's real name wasn't used very often on 'Gilligan's Island', but he is listed as "Jonas Grumby".

So why couldn't "Nelson Barclift" actually be a Grumby?  Perhaps even Nelson Grumby (for some reason taking the name Barclift from the real world choreographer Nelson Barclift.)

He had been dead nearly a year before Captain Jonas Grumby and the others on board the S. S. Minnow were caught in a bad storm during a three hour tour.  A three hour tour.  So I don't see why the topic of the Skipper having lost his twin brother should have come up during any of those episodes - except maybe those three previously mentioned which dealt with evil twins.

In those fourteen years on that island, so much of it off-screen, maybe the Skipper finally opened up and told the others about his ne'er-do-well twin brother.  Maybe during one of those group therapy sessions on the beach which we always saw in the closing credits.....


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