"It's about time! Finally, some of the fine work of Aaron Spelling is being released on DVD. Charlie's Angels came out a few years ago to coincide with that dire movie, then we had a long dry spell until August '05, with the release of T.J. Hooker. Hart to Hart is due out in October, then in November...Fantasy Island! My picks for next Spelling shows on DVD: Matt Houston and Family. Oh please, oh please!
Fantasy Island was a mid-season replacement, so its first season ('78-'79) only had 14 episodes and one two-hour TV movie, "Return to Fantasy Island" (the original TV Movie "Fantasy Island" aired in January '77). The episodes in the first season are as follows:
ESCAPE / CINDERELLA GIRLS Diana Canova, Bert Convy BET A MILLION / MR. IRRESISTIBLE Henry Gibson, John Schuck THE PRINCE / THE SHERIFF Ed Begley Jr., Lisa Hartman FAMILY REUNION / VOODOO Juliet Mills, John Gavin, Lauren Tewes, Howard Duff LADY OF THE EVENING / THE RACER Christopher George, Jerry VanDyke TREASURE HUNT / BEAUTY CONTEST Gene Barry, Louis Nye THE FUNNY GIRL / BUTCH AND SUNDANCE James MacArthur, Marcia Strassman, Christopher Connelly SUPERSTAR / SALEM Leslie Nielsen, Gary Burghoff, Vera Miles TROUBLE, MY LOVELY / THE COMMON MAN Don Knotts, Nancy Walker, Bernie Kopell THE OVER THE HILL CAPER / POOF! YOU'RE A MOVIE STAR Ray Bolger, Foster Brooks REUNION / ANNIVERSARY Michele Lee, Jim Backus, Lucie Arnaz KING FOR A DAY / INSTANT FAMILY David Doyle, Theodore Bikel, Adam Rich FOOL FOR A CLIENT / DOUBLE YOUR PLEASURE Ken Barry, Rich Little, Lana Wood CALL ME LUCKY / TORCH SINGER Richard Dawson, Dick Butkus, Edd "Kookie" Byrnes
Now, just look at that list of luminaries! I mean, you won't come across Natalie Wood's sister Lana just anywhere. Marcia "Mrs. Kotter" Strassman? Gary "Radar" Burghoff? Normally you'd have to watch at least a month's worth of Match Game to see all these stars. But not with the advent of Fantasy Island on DVD. Now all you have to do is pop in one of these discs and you'll soon see Herve Villechaize once again ascending the spiral staircase, ringing the bell, and calling out, "De plane! De plane!" then scampering back to Mr. Roarke's side just in time to oversee Ken Barry being handed his fruity rum drink.
I tell ya, they just don't make 'em like this anymore."
"One of my favorite shows of the late 70's was Fantasy Island. Coupled with Love Boat, this was a one-two punch for ABC in its heyday of the 1980's.
From The waterfall seen during the opening sequences which is the real-life Wailua Falls in Kauai, Hawaii to Mr Roarke's sly "Welcome to Fantasy Island" as he lifts his glass to toast this guests, this show was class.
The DVD of the first season which includes the two pilot movies is wonderful. It barely dates itself and is still a lot of fun to watch. This 13 hour collection has sixteen great episodes. The DVD extras include the end caps (Next week on Fantasy Island) and two short features. The only thing that is missing a Ricardo Montalban audio commentary on an episode or two
I can wish Love Boat (with its 3 pilots), Vegas (with Robert Urich) and Matt Houston appear on DVD soon
"When I accepted your check, I accepted your fantasy!"
M. Newton | Dallas, TX USA | 12/02/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This is a great TV DVD collection. The shows are fun to watch, with their fun, but often silly, adventures. With some of the 70's fashion, the show offers a lot to laugh at, err, feel nostalgic about. While the series isn't exactly the most high quality drama in the world, it is based on an extremely creative concept. The never ending line of great guest stars and the breathtaking scenery add great elements for the viewers enjoyment.
At the center of the show is the host, Mr. Rourke, played to perfection by Ricardo Monteblan. He does so well, it's impossible to imagine anyone else in the role. He represents a consistent anchor each episode of the series, which otherwise varies dramatically from week to week, depending on the various guest stars and their fantasies.
The typical episode goes something like this: 1) A few guests arrive with unique fantasies. 2) Mr. Rourke delivers a fantasies of sorts. 3) The fantasies aren't exactly as requested. 4) However, the fantasy Mr. Rourke gives each of them turns out to be exactly what they REALLY needed. 5) Everyone leaves the island as a satisfied customer.
Although the formula is very consistent each week, the variety of the guest stars and the uniqueness of each fantasy make this a very entertaining show. Also, the beginning of each episode starts you wondering as to how Mr. Rourke will fulfill each fantasy with his own special twist. This was one of the better sitcoms of the 70s.
While there are a couple of special features included, this package doesn't have an overwhelming supply of special features that some packages have. Nonetheless, this is a DVD collection that is worth owning."
Is the 2nd season ready?
James A. Van Nus | Hilton Head Island, SC United States | 03/11/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Sony Pictures listed on their brochure (version 10) of available TV shows on DVD, that "Fantasy Island" Seasons 1 and 2 were produced. This week I noticed that their version 11 now listed only Season 1 as available. I and others are disapponted, especially after reading that Season 2 was produced and ready for sale. Sony, please get it straight! We are waiting patiently for additional seasons of this great show.
When I reflect on classic TV shows other than comedies or "good guy/bad guy" dramas, "Fantasy Island" rates among the very best. Great cast, very well written stories with fresh content each episode. How nice it was to enjoy great programming like this without concern for language and scenes that would require shielding our kids/grandkids from inapproriate content. Also as I viewed Season 1, I remembered the quality guest stars that were hosted. "da plane. da plane!"
Again Sony, please give us the entire series.
UPDATE 4-2-2009: Well it is now over two years since I wrote my review, and STILL waiting for Season 2! I sure hate it when Sony and others produce a Season 1, get us excited that one of our favorite TV series will be revisiting our homes, and then just as our appetites whets for more, our hopes for additional seasons diminish more each year we wait. Look at "Quincy, ME"; it has takem 3+ years for Season 3 to be announced. C'mon studios, this is like tempting a dinner guest with a great steak dinner, and then after their 1st fork-full, snatching their plate away."
Lavinia Penna | Miami, FL | 04/07/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I grew up with Fantasy Island. When I was little I kept of dreaming about being there...It was about time they had the dvd collection...can't wait to see the other seasons!!"