Psychologists claim that dreams tell us a lot about our subconscious desires. That must be why there are so many dream sequences in Gilligan's Island, because otherwise they would just be gratuitous filler for a sitcom, wouldn't they?
Interestingly, out of a total of 16 dream sequences presented on the series, Gilligan's dreams figure in 11 of them. This might have something to do with his being a repressed shlub who takes orders from the only man in the universe more suppressed than he is...but we're just guessing. Anyway, see what you can deduce from these subconscious fantasies.
* The first of two Western dreams appears in Episode 7 (the series' first gratuitous dream sequence), when Gilligan dreams about protecting his pet duck against all of the other castaways. The only castaway who gives him support is Mary Ann.
* Episode 20 features no less than three sequences, when the men, having been temporarily deserted by the women, have dreams which variously reflect the women fawning over the dreamers.
* In Episode 35, having been adopted by the Howells, Gilligan imagines himself a prince who must deal with his subjects (the non-Howell castaways), driven to distraction until he orders them all to be beheaded. He immediately expresses regret at having ordered it, but still...does it say something about his relationships with the other castaways, who often chastize him?
* In Episode 39, after considering a dictator's offer to be his puppet leader, Gilligan dreams of being a dictator. The Skipper and Mr. Howell assume roles appropriate for their stations in real life (Skipper is secretary of the navy, Mr. Howell is the minister of finance), but Ginger is a spy, Secret Agent 0036. (How did she get that name? Ginger drops her coat to reveal a skin-hugging bathing suit, and the dictator emotes, "Oh, oh, thirty-six!") Evidently, Ginger's many seductions of Gilligan had a cumulative effect on him.
* In Episode 41, Mr. Howell, having snubbed Gilligan's apparently worthless I.O.U., dreams he is a gold prospector in the Old West who strikes it rich, passes out I.O.U.'s like they're candy, and is then believed to be a fraud and sentenced to be hanged--perhaps expressing Mr. Howell's unspoken fear that his riches will evaporate.
* In Episode 54, Mary Ann, having been wooed by the Skipper, the Professor, and Gilligan (as, respectively, Marshall Matt Dillon, Cary Grant, and Charles Boyer), imagines all three personas as her doctors treating her fatal disease. Unfortunately, all three men ignore her when curvy nurse Ginger enters the room. We'll let that one speak for itself.
* In Episode 66, Gilligan, assigned to keep the island's orange plants from freezing over, falls asleep and imagines himself as Jack in "Jack and the Beanstalk," trying to heist the golden oranges from the evil giant (the Skipper--need we say more?) and dealing with the giant's skimpily-dressed assistant (Mary Ann--need we say even more?).
* In Episode 68, Gilligan, believing that a meteor on the island is aging the castaways 50 years, imagines the group celebrating their 50th anniversary on the island. No great revelations here, except that the Professor seems to have turned into a leering old man--perhaps Gilligan's view of the real Professor behind his facade.
* In Episode 69(!), Gilligan, having been bitten by a bat, dreams of turn-of-the-century Transylvania. A motherlode of Freudian imagery here--the Skipper is the bumbling assistant to Inspector Professor, Mary Ann is an old hag, Mr. Howell is merely a hotel proprietor, Mrs. Howell is the vampire's next victim, and most memorably, Ginger is the vampire's mistress (Gilligan as seducer at last??).
* In Episode 79, Gilligan, with a supposedly valuable attache case handcuffed to his wrist, imagines himself as Secret Agent 014 (because he's twice as tough as Agent 007--Gilligan, a he-man at last!). The Professor is his boss, and all of the other castaways (including the Skipper as his mother!) try to steal the valuable case from him.
* In Episode 81, Gilligan, mistakenly believing himself to have murdered the other castaways, dreams of himself as Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde--again, the powerless Gilligan imagining himself sovereign over the others. Mary Ann is Eliza Doolittle (a poor waif whom Gilligan has taught to be a lady), Ginger is a lady-in-red who knows Gilligan's secret (no surprise there), and Mr. Howell is a judge who tries to make time with the lady in red (Gilligan is apparently more observant than the other castaways give him credit for).
* In Episode 85, Gilligan, believing that he and the Skipper await a court-martial for shipwrecking the castaways, imagines himself as a lord admiral rescuing the female castaways from lecherous pirates (the male castaways). Another power trip for Gilligan.
* In Episode 87, Mrs. Howell, having briefly spurned Mr. Howell for his passive-aggressive ways towards her, hears a radio broadcast of the "Cinderella" story and imagines herself as Cinderella. The Skipper is the wicked stepmother(!), Mary Ann and Ginger are the ugly stepsisters, Gilligan is the fairy godfather (a power figure again), and inevitably, Mr. Howell is the prince.
* In Episode 93, Gilligan dreams of the castaways being in caveman times. Gilligan is a visionary who imagines that the world is not flat and wants to visit the other side of the hill; the Professor, on the other hand, is a bumbling inventor who can't even operate his own invention (the wheel!) correctly. The girls are one-note man-hunters, and Ginger inevitably tries to seduce Mr. Howell before Mrs. Howell gets into the act.
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The Female Castaways