GILLIGAN’S ISLAND - 1822
The tale begins in the Atlantic Ocean, as an English ship, the HMS Minnow, sails for the Caribbean islands. The ship was commissioned by Governor Thurston Howell III, eager to transport himself and his wife to their newly-appointed home on a Jamaican sugar plantation, where they intend to live a life of luxury. Also on this voyage are a scientist hoping to study the exotic wildlife of the island, an actress visiting the Howells before continuing to New York to star on Broadway, and a young woman hoping to find adventure. The ship's crew is headed by Jonas Grumby, a former Captain of the British Navy, and his first mate is the inept nephew of Admiral Gilligan. When nearing the islands, the weather starts getting rough and the tiny ship is tossed. All the crew and the Howell’s servants are killed. The ship washes up on a tiny, seemingly deserted island, and the survivors must find a way to survive. Hilarity ensues.
Okay, I know the last two words of that paragraph seem a bit at odds with the rest of it, but it’s kind of hard to describe the basic plot of the show without sounding serious. You know, like Hogan’s Heroes. And I’m sorry I had to kill so many people, but at least I explain why the Howells have all their stuff with them. Anyway, the advantages to this time period would be the comedy offered by the rigid class system, the casual racism of Mr. Howell, and the blatantly wrong science of Doctor Hanley (The Professor). The Harlem Globetrotters will also make an appearance, portrayed just the same way they were in the ‘70s. Or possibly as they were portrayed on Futurama. Either way, this will not be explained.
I have hidden an incredibly obscure 1980s TV reference in this article. First one to post it in the comments gets a cookie.