Photo by Columbia
In January 14 1977, a classic tv show premiered, ‘Fantasy Island’. The show is about a unique resort in the Pacific Ocean, Fantasy Island, where there is very little that the mysterious overseer, Mr. Roarke, cannot provide. Thus, they have visitors having adventures that should be impossible, but this island can accommodate them such as visits to any time period they want or meet absolutely anyone they want see to do something they request. However, what actually happens is often far more than they expect as they face challenges that test their character in ways they never imagined.
Stars: Ricardo Montalban, Hervé Villechaize, Christopher Hewett
Creator: Gene Levitt
To celebrate the 40th anniversary, here are some of the curiosities about this show.
- The plane that was used on Fantasy Island was up for auction in the 90’s. This plane was autographed by all the guest stars. Before Fantasy Island, this plane was also owned by Richard D. Bach, author of “Jonathan Livingston Seagull”.
- The waterfall seen during the opening sequences is the real-life Wailua Falls in Kauai, Hawaii.
- During the early part of the series, a jeep CJ-7 was used to get around. In the later episodes, a customized 1976 Plymouth Volare station wagon was used.
- Whenever guests were arriving on Fantasy Island, Tattoo (Hervé Villechaize) would run up to the bell tower, ring the bell, and announce “de plane!”. After he left the series, Mr. Roarke’s new assistant, Lawrence (Christopher Hewett), would simply push a button next to him, which would ring the bell.
- When 3-D was revived in the early 1980s, some thought was given to shooting an entire episode in 3-D. The problem was that Anaglyphic glasses (tinted glasses) could not be used because this required that television sets be correctly color adjusted – something in 1983 with dozens of television makers and in an era without cable or satellite was unthinkable.
- The customized Volare seen throughout the series was part of a product placement deal with Chrysler Corporation, since Ricardo Montalban had been a spokesperson for their television commercials dating back to 1975.
- Mentioned in the lyrics of the song “TV Party” by Black Flag.
- Robert Firth portrayed a caveman in Love Island/The Sisters, during season 6. The initial outdoor sequences were filmed at Bronson Canyon – a local Hollywood park that was littered with broken glass and debris. During the exterior scenes many of the actors, playing cavemen, vocalized their concerns about the location – the scenes required them to perform barefoot. In an effort to avoid going over schedule, the actor’s worries were dismissed. Faced with this resistance, Firth quickly organized the performers and insisted that unless or until some sort of footwear could be provided, the filming should be postponed. In the end, suede sandals were distributed from the wardrobe department at Warner Brothers Studios.