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 Fantasy Island - The Complete First Season

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FANTASY ISLAND

Show Type: Romantic Drama

First Telecast: January 28, 1978

Last Telecast: August 18, 1984

Broadcast History:

January 1978 - August 1979, Saturday 10:00-11:00 on ABC

August 1979 - October 1979, Friday 8:00-9:00 on ABC

October 1979 - August 1984, Saturday 10:00-11:00 on ABC

Cast

Mr. Roarke..... Ricardo Montalban

Tattoo (1978-1983)..... Herve Villechaize

Julie (1981-1982)..... Wendy Schaal

Lawrence (1983-1984)..... Christopher Hewett

SYNOPSIS

When ABC realized it had a major hit with Love Boat, it immediately began developing a second program using a similar theme. That program was Fantasy Island, and, scheduled right after Love Boat on Saturday night, it soon became an equally big hit.

Both programs were episodic, consisting of several different stories each week played out against a common background. The backdrop of Fantasy Island was romantic indeed: a remote island resort, where each visitor could have one lifelong dream come true. A homely young man wanted to become, during his stay, a sex symbol to beautiful girls (bikini-clad beauties abounded on Fantasy Island); a frustrated salesman whose career was going nowhere wanted to score the business coup of his life; a henpecked family man wanted a weekend of respect from his clan. Many of the stories involved glamour and excitement for ordinary people whose lives normally had none, and ABC obviously felt that viewers would relate this to their own lives. There was some element of danger, or a twist of fate, but everything always worked out for the best.

Overseeing the two or three little dramas each week was the island's owner, the suave and slightly mysterious Mr. Roarke, and his midget helper Tattoo (replaced in 1983 by Lawrence). In later seasons, Roarke became increasingly mysterious, in fact, dispensing magic spells and potions, calling up events from the past and future, and even doing battle with the devil. The plots got even more fanciful. Visitors on the island were played by a wide range of guest stars, among them Henry Gibson, Georgia Engel, Christopher George, Marcia Strassman, Dennis James, and Roddy McDowall (as Mephistopheles). Mr. Roarke's God-daughter Julie was a regular for a single season.

Fantasy Island was originally filmed at a real tropical paradise, a public park called the Arboretum, 25 miles from Los Angeles.

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