September 26 in Sci-Fi History: A Three-Hour Tour

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First, travel with us to an island of mystery. Where clothing, food, and shelter are in strange abundance. An island so decadent that its residents are always trying to find a way to leave it behind.

It was on this day in 1964 that Gilligan's Island premiered.

 

The brainchild of Sherwood Shwartz, the show ran for 98 episodes from 1964 to 1967 and featured some pretty rocking guest stars who always (always) seemed to find a way off the island, leaving the main characters behind.

 

These were seven people who spent a lot of time trying to figure out how to leave an island. And they had a Professor with them. Alas, there they were. Always stuck.

 

The girls started a band at one point, and Mrs. Howell was TERRIBLE at it. And let's remember that everything you see in any of the clips? Those people packed that stuff up to take with them on a three-hour boat trip.

 

Here's an awful TV reality: Even though the cast and crew were told they'd be coming back for a fourth season and many felt safe enough in that knowledge to buy houses, CBS canceled the show before contracts were signed. However, in 1978, the cast were reunited and finally got off the island in a TV movie!

From there, there were spin-offs and attempts at other TV movies, and a lot of the cast ended up arrested for weed over time, but if you're looking to check out something super weird, look no further than 1982's Gilligan’s Planet cartoon, where the gang goes to space.

 

So. It got insane. But 1982 had a lot of weird things, as Knight Rider premiered on this day in that year. The following clip is worth it for the opening credit theme song.

 

Starring David Hasselhoff and a self-aware artificially intelligent car named KITT, the show ran from 1982 to 1986. There were countless spin-offs and TV movies. Also? There are rumors and some verified reports that the show is about to be re-booted (it already was once in 2008, in which KITT was reimagined as a Ford Mustang with the voice of Will Arnett). Stay tuned, we'll see how that goes.

Wrapping up, let's wish a happy birthdays to Olivia Newton-John, who was born in 1948. Born in England, raised in Australia, Newton-John was the lead in the feature-length music video Xanadu (1980).

 

Also born on this day in 1956, the only Sarah Connor any of us are ever going to really believe: Linda Hamilton turns 61.

 

Tomorrow: Gwyneth Paltrow, living doll.