Retro Television Review: Fantasy Island 1.6 “Treasure Hunt/Beauty Contest”


Welcome to Retro Television Reviews, a feature where we review some of our favorite and least favorite shows of the past!  On Tuesdays, I will be reviewing the original Fantasy Island, which ran on ABC from 1977 to 1996.  The entire show is currently streaming on Tubi!

Smiles, everyone!  Smiles!  My fantasy is to get this week’s review over with because, to be honest, this was one of the less interesting episodes of the original Fantasy Island.  So, let’s get to it!

Episode 1.6 “Treasure Hunt/Beauty Contest”

(Directed by Allen Baron and George McCowan, originally aired on March 11th, 1978)

For this week’s episode of Fantasy Island, we have two so-so fantasies and a lot of scenes of Mr. Roarke and Tattoo arguing with each other.  After having an almost brotherly relationship over the past few weeks, Roarke and Tattoo both seem kind of annoyed with each other during this episode.  If I had to guess, I’d say that the episodes are probably being shown out of production order and this episode was written and filmed before the show’s producers were sure what the overall tone of the show should be.  

Indeed, the first fantasy features Mr. Roarke allowing three people to search for a lost pirate’s treasure on an isolated part of the island.  He does this despite the fact that the terrain is dangerous and that he knows that one of the three treasure hunters is planning on killing the other two.  When Tattoo points out that a murder would be bad for business, Roarke kind of shrugs Tattoo off.  Indeed, in this storyline, Roarke comes across as being rather aloof, as if he has little concern for the troubles of humanity.

As for the three treasure hunters, they are Stu Chambers (Michael Callan), his wife Andrea (Jo Ann Harris), and their friend James (Peter Haskell).  Stu is under the impression that James and Andrea are carrying on an affair and, as Mr. Roarke mentioned, he is planning on killing the two of them.  Fortunately, he changes his mind during the fantasy and, instead of murdering his wife and his best friend, he instead helps them survive when they get trapped in a cave.  In the end, they don’t get the treasure but they do win back their ability to trust each other.  One has to wonder what the consequences would have been if Stu had gone through with his original plans.  Is there a Fantasy Island police force?  Would Tattoo be forced to arrest Stu?  Who knows?

Meanwhile, in the other fantasy, Maureen McCormick plays Sally Quinn.  Sally is the daughter of a legendary beauty pageant winner.  She wants to follow in her mother’s footsteps and win a pageant herself.  However, Roarke — who seems far more invested in Sally’s fantasy than the treasure hunt fantasy — figures out that Sally’s real fantasy is to win the love of her father, Neville (Gene Barry).  In the end, Sally doesn’t win the pageant but she does learn that there’s more to happiness than being beautiful.

To be honest, both of the fantasies in this episode are pretty dull and predictable.  But we do learn a little bit about what Tattoo actually does on the island.  He’s the accountant.  He starts the show complaining that Mr. Roarke doesn’t charge enough for the fantasies.  Tattoo then says he has a fantasy.  Mr. Roarke laughs him off, saying that candy shop employees never develop a taste for candy.  WHAT!?  

We also learn that Roarke and Tattoo enjoy playing Monopoly but Tattoo apparently cheats by using loaded dice.  And, to be honest, the thought of Roarke and Tattoo arguing over Boardwalk is such an appealing one that it saves the entire episode.

As for next week’s episode …. hopefully, it’ll involve even more Monopoly!

 

2 responses to “Retro Television Review: Fantasy Island 1.6 “Treasure Hunt/Beauty Contest”

  1. Pingback: Lisa Marie’s Week In Television: 10/16/22 — 10/22/22 | Through the Shattered Lens

  2. Pingback: Lisa Marie’s Week In Review: 10/17/22 — 10/23/22 | Through the Shattered Lens

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