Fantasy Island (1998)

ABC (ended 1999)
Rate Show
118 votes
  • Episode Guide
  • S 1 : Ep 13


    Aired 1/23/99

  • S 1 : Ep 12

    The Real Thing

    Aired 1/16/99

  • S 1 : Ep 11


    Aired 1/9/99

  • S 1 : Ep 10

    Let Go

    Aired 12/26/98

  • S 1 : Ep 9


    Aired 12/19/98

  • Cast & Crew
  • Malcolm McDowell

    Mr. Roarke

  • Sylvia Sidney


  • M├Ądchen Amick


  • Louis Lombardi


  • Edward Hibbert


  • Photos (1)
  • show Description
  • A darker and much more twisted take on the premise, this version of Fantasy Island bore little resemblance to the original 1978 series "Fantasy Island." This time around, the character of Mr. Roarke was taken over by character actor Malcolm McDowell. Sinister yet somehow charming, Mr. Roarke hung up his white tuxes in the pilot to don a more stylish black suit, which was foreshadowing of the change in the character. His powers, which would often defy nature, were taken to the ultimate extreme as he summoned lightening and storms, terrorized his prisoners (and sometimes guests), and even changed the gender of one man. Meeting the guests at the dock with Mr. Roarke were Cal (Louis Lombardi), the chubby brainless bellhop, and Harry (Edward Hibbert), the debonaire Englishman concierge. Cal and Harry were reduced to being Roarke's prisoners, using their time on the island to work off a debt to Roarke. Also working as Roarke's assistant was Ariel (Madchen Amick), a beautiful shapeshifter whose powers nearly equaled Roarke's. The relationship between Ariel and Roarke was never fully explained -- sometimes they'd seem like brother and sister, other times like husband and wife -- many episodes hinted at an incestuous-like relationship. Working on the mainland in the dreary Fantasy Island travel agency office were the eccentric Fischer and his secretary, Clia (Sylvia Sidney). Fischer (Fyvush Finkel), who was extremely jealous of Roarke's powers, spent his time recruiting unsuspecting guests for their fantasy vacations. Clia spent most of her time wisecracking. As in the original, stories involved people confronting their jealousies and obsessions, this time usually with more traumatic consequences. Wedged in the same timeslot that made the original a hit, Saturday nights had become a certain-death wasteland in the years since the original went off the air. Fans of the Ricardo Mantalban version were quickly turned off, though this series did gain enough of a cult audience to keep it on the air for the entire run of episodes. In fact, the show was canceled and ABC began scheduling other programs, but due to fan response for both this series and its' companion, "Cupid (1998)", both shows finished their 13 episode runs. Sadly, Sylvia Sidney (best remembered as the chain-smoking social worker with the slit throat in "Beetlejuice") died shortly after the show went off the air. ABC Broadcast History September 1998 - January 1999 -- Saturdays 9:00 PM Eastern USmoreless

  • Trivia & Quotes
  • Notes (8)

    • Malcolm McDowell and Edward Hibbert reunite after starring in "Brittania Hospital."

    • The pilot began filming on April 2, 1998.

    • On October 10, 1998 the issue of TV Guide had a really big story about "Fantasy Island (1998)," but it didn't help with the ratings.

    • This was the last episode largely mentioned in TV Guide.

    • Gerry Red Wilson, who plays Red in this episode died before this episode aired - on November 21, 1998. The reason of his death is Meningitis.

    • In the closed captioning Fisher refers to his partner as "Manice."

    • Florence Stanley takes over the role of Fisher's "partner" at the travel agency, replacing Sylvia Sidney who was in critical condition at this time and unable to complete filming.

    • Sylvia Sidney, a main star on the show, died six months after this episode aired due to throat cancer.

    Show More Notes

    Trivia (3)

    • This episode was actually taped in Hawaii!

    • In the trailor home, note the commemorative Ricardo Montalban/Fantasy Island plate that makes a brief cameo appearance.

    • In the original version of the series, in the episode "Fool for a Client/Double Your Pleasure," a man who wants to be lawyer is charged with a crime and has to defend himself.

    Allusions (2)

    • I Dream of Jeannie Notes from the theme song to this popular 60s/70s sitcom can be heard when Roarke hands Ariel the bottle.

    • Barney Miller & Fish Fisher refers to Florence Stanley's character as "Bernice". This is most likely a nod to her most famous role, that of Bernice Fish - wife of Detective Phil Fish, on the 70s sitcom Barney Miller and its short lived spin-off Fish.

  • Fan Reviews (4)
  • This is an excellent show. I agree with the other poster,let Disney do a DVD set for the 13 episodes.

    By giggio75, Jan 08, 2008

  • This show was a total gem, with a delicious dark streak. Why oh why can I not buy it on DVD? :-(

    By Roninboxers, Jul 01, 2007

  • Great Show but needed to be addressed a couple years later. I though it was a great show. No one gave it a chance though. Bring it back Disney or at leats put the 13 episodes on a dvd

    By skysoccr, Oct 13, 2006

  • as good as the original

    By CAPNDEL, Jun 14, 2006