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Episode No. 40:

“Monkees Marooned”

On a desert island, The Monkees go hunting for treasure—
and are hunted by a mad Australian and his man Thursday!

Vital Stats, Credits and Releases On Home Video:

Production No. 4755
Filmed At: Screen Gems Studios, Hollywood, CA, on location in Malibu Beach, CA, and Fred Niles Film Studios, Chicago, IL.
Filming Dates: May 16-18, 1967 (this episode); August 2, 1967 ("Hangin' 'Round" musical number).
Original Air Date: October 30, 1967.
Ratings: 15.7 rating/25.6 share (8,790,000 viewers)
© Raybert Productions; 10-30-67; LP37681
Sponsor This Week:
Yardley Of London™
Rerun Dates: May 13, 1968 (NBC); September 19, 1970, March 6, 1971, March 4, 1972 (CBS); September 16 and 23, 1972, May 5, 1973 (ABC).

Written by Stanley Ralph Ross.
Directed by James Frawley.
Produced by Robert Rafelson & Bert Schneider.
Associate Producer: Gerald S. Shepard.
Production Executive: Ward Sylvester.
Background Music Composed and Conducted by Stu Phillips.
“Daydream Believer” Written by
John Stewart; Produced by Chip Douglas.
"Hangin' 'Round" Written by
Michael Murphy; Produced by Chip Douglas.
Guest cast:

Kimba..........................................................................Burt Mustin
Thursday..................................................................Rupert Crosse
Sheldon....................................................................Don Sherman
Jane.....................................................................Georgia Schmidt
Policeman................................................................Allan Emerson
Monte Landis as Pshaw

Home Video Releases:

  • The Monkees: The Collector's Edition - VHS Tape #11 (Columbia House VHS #13689, May 22, 1995)
  • The Monkees Deluxe Limited Edition Boxed Set - VHS Tape #7 (Rhino R3 2960, October 17, 1995)
  • Rhino VHS R3 2243 (September 17, 1996)
  • The Monkees - Season 2 DVD Boxed Set - Disc 2 (Rhino RetroVision DVD R2 970128, November 18, 2003)
  • The Monkees - Season 2 DVD Boxed Set - Disc 2 (Eagle Rock Entertainment DVD EM351369, September 27, 2011)
  • The Monkees - The Complete Series - Blu-Ray Disc 5 (Rhino BD2-552705, July 8, 2016)

Synopsis:

While Peter is strolling in the city playing his guitar, Leonard Sheldon, a con artist, pops up and shows him a picture of his child from a previous marriage. He then tries to sell Peter the city of San Diego. Peter refuses to buy it but subsequently swaps his $108 guitar for Blackbeard's treasure map. Then Sheldon tries to sell the guitar to a reluctant Michael who's happens to be passing by. On the Columbia Pictures lot, Micky, Michael and David chide Peter for doing such a dumb thing, but Michael decides they should all set out to find the treasure anyway. David, all dressed up as a ship commodore on a rowboat, starts shouting orders in a military fashion as the guys tries to warn him that the boat is overloaded with too much supplies but David won’t hear of it ("Nonsense! Balderdash! We have to be prepared!") and shouts an order to "Launch the ship!" Micky, Michael and Peter do so, and, as expected, the boat sinks, weighed down by its heavy contents—and its occupant, "Commodore" David. After rowing to an Island, the guys begin their search and are soon spooked a sound of a creature’s scream.

Meanwhile in a nearby hut, Major Pshaw, who himself has been searching for the treasure for a decade is napping while his native servant Thursday is amused by watching The Monkees TV show, and wonders, "Who writes that stuff?!" As The Monkees continue their search, Michael, in the underbrush, unknowingly walks into some string which sets off an alarm waking Major Pshaw who begins shouting that intruders are attacking his island and soon grabs his rifle that accidentally goes off. Startled by the gunshot, the guys are still convinced that the island is deserted while a wild looking old man watches in the bushes. Major Pshaw tells his man Thursday (a magnificent man Friday, who was hired on a Tuesday and made every day a Sunday) that a fate worse than death awaits Peter, Micky, Michael and David, while The Monkees start to complain of insect problems, prompting Micky to uses a bug spray which, to their dismay, only attracts insects instead of repelling them. Then they are immediately captured in a net hoisted by a crane driven by Thursday!

Major Pshaw invites them for tea and crumpetts, as he grills them. Then he declares to the boys that they won’t leave the island alive, since his practice is to shoot all tresspassers. David asks for a fair chance and Thursday persuades his master to give The Monkees a head start. So The Major turns around and begins to count as if playing hide and seek as they flee the hut. Then the Major asks Thursday where they went and since the servant doesn’t want to cheat by telling, he simply points. At the beach, The Monkees find their boat missing, hampering any chance they have of escaping! Peter starts wailing blaming himself as Michael consoles him. Then they’re frightened off by another sound of a gunshot as the wild looking old man continues to watch on hidden. While strolling through the jungle, they encounter the German Dr. Schwartzkopf, who offers to treat them for malaria, jungle fever and any other illness but the guys just walk away from him. Major Pshaw and Thursday are hot on their trail thanks to a tip from a dirty snake in the grass. Michael decides the guys should all split up to make it harder for the Major to get them all but they hear a Tarzanesque jungle yell and a leopardskin-clad octogenarian swings into view and falls down. The guys can’t understand him since he doesn’t appear to speak English but only Peter translates from the man's strange lingo ("Kretch!") that he is the original Kimba Of The Jungle, but was abandoned by his movie company in 1916, while his Jane ran off with the casting director who promised her a new career.

As they hear gunshots and the sound of dogs (which is only a loud playback on a tape recorder Thursday’s carrying), promises to help The Monkees but gets stuck in quicksand. After they get him unstuck, he calls his jungle friends, in hopes that they will help, but The Monkees are left holding a cat, a puppy, a chicken, and a rabbit. Then Kimba to swing on a vine only to fall into the ground since his swinging days are over. They all later encounter Thursday who claims that's he’s defected and offers to show them where the Major has hidden their boat, and they can escape as soon as Pshaw goes to sleep. The guys decide to trust him (since he has a weapon). Thursday takes them all back to the Major’s hut too hide since he figures it would be last place the Major would look but lo and behold, The Major shows up capturing them all at gunpoint, figuring that they would think he wouldn’t look for them there so he did. David tells him he can’t kill them in cold blood since it isn’t British as he waves a British flag and although The Major agrees it doesn’t count since he’s Australian.

He decides to torture them all by bathing them in boiling oil, put bamboo under their fingernails, expose them the ants (with Michael literally being exposed to his three aunts), a tongue lashing (Micky literally getting a lashing by a huge foam tongue) or just simply kill them outright and continue his search for the treasure. Upon hearing this, Peter gives him the treasure map which reveals that the buried treasure has been underneath the hut the whole time and at gunpoint he orders everyone to dig. They dig up a chest and the Major rejoices at the thought of all those gold dubloons as he shoots the lock off with his rifle and opens it. However, instead of gold an elderly lady also draped in Tarzan gear pops out instead and knocks him out with a umbrella. Kimba recognizes her as his long lost love Jane and soon the two old lovers start embracing promising to make pictures together again as David and Peter start crying at the happy reunion. During a romp set to “Daydream Believer”, the group is joined by a gorilla, the 3 aunts, and 2 press photographers (both of whom pop out of the chest) as they frantically caper about all over the island. Returned to civilization, Peter is confronted once again by Leonard, who this time tries to sell him the city of Liverpool. Peter accuses him of being a crook who sold him a worthless treasure map tells a police officer as the con artist takes off. But soon the cop offers him the city of Cleveland, sending Peter storming off pouting. The Monkees finish by singing "What Am I Doin' Hangin' 'Round?."

Production Notes:

“Monkees Marooned” is the second of the last 2 episodes of The Monkees to feature the harpsichord rendition of the Monkees theme as the submain title theme; the first was No. 34, "The Picture Frame" (a.k.a. "The Bank Robbery"). The episode is greatly inspired by Daniel Defoe's 1719 fantasy novel Robinson Crusoe (the character Thursday is a satirical jab at the Man Friday character of the book).

“Monkees Marooned” started principal photography just as The Monkees' third album, The Monkees' Headquarters, was shipped to distributors.

The author of “Monkees Marooned,” the late noted TV writer Stanley Ralph Ross, would compose one more Monkees script: the teleplay and story (with Corey Upton) of Episode No. 42, “The Wild Monkees;” sadly, he succumbed to lung cancer on Thursday, March 16, 2000.

The scenes from “Monkees Marooned's” “Daydream Believer” romp of Micky swinging on a vine and Peter crying, can be seen in The Monkees' second season opening. (An unused clip from this romp featuring a loinclothed David riding his bicycle onto the beach into the ocean was edited into The Monkees' second season main title as well.)

The version of “What Am I Doing Hangin’ ‘Round?” used in this episode is alternate to that which was used on the upcoming 4th album, Pisces, Aquarius, Capricorn & Jones, Ltd., as it featured a longer fade. This alternate version previously (albeit partially) appeared in The Monkees' TV show's second season premiere, Episode No. 33, "It's A Nice Place To Visit...", which features brief snippets of the song's acompanying musical number seen in its entirety here. Also note that only Michael Murphy is credited in both episodes as composer of "Hangin' 'Round", though he composed it with Owen Castleman. A third Monkees episode to feature "Hangin' 'Round", No. 53, "The Monkees Race Again" (a.k.a. "Leave The Driving To Us"), will credit them both, but under their aliases, Travis Lewis and Boomer Clarke.

Collector's Note: An alternate stereo mix of “What Am I Doing Hangin’ ‘Round?” with a similarly extended fade is included as a bonus track on Disc 1 of Rhino's July 10, 2007 2-CD Deluxe Edition reissue of Pisces, Aquarius, Capricorn & Jones, Ltd. (R2 77767).

This is the last filmed episode of The Monkees to feature Michael Nesmith speaking with his old voice; he went to have a tonsillectomy right after “Monkees Marooned” wrapped.

“Monkees Marooned”'s original storyline reveals a deleted ending which had Peter running away screaming when the cop offers him Cleveland. Also, the map was originally going to belong to Bluebeard The Pirate. 

The currently syndicated version of “Monkees Marooned” excludes the opening credits.

When “Monkees Marooned” aired on CBS and ABC Saturday Afternoon, its soundtrack was altered to feature the song "Do You Feel It Too?", a track from The Monkees' final LP Changes.

Continuity Goof:

Strange that the boat sank under the weight of its contents and David aboard, yet was buoyant enough to carry its cargo of supplies and all 4 Monkees to the island!

Trivia Notes:

David's disguise as a ship commodore foreshadows events to occur 4 episodes later, in No. 44, "Hitting The High Seas".

Director Frawley cameoes as Dr. Schwartzkopf, Monkee stand-in John London cameoes as a gorilla, and Nyles Brown and David Pearl (another Monkee stand-in) as press photographers. Aside from a string of cameos in several first-season segments, "Monkees Marooned" was the only second-season Monkees episode appearance for John London, as well as his last; his only other on-screen appearance was in the 1981 Cannon film New Year's Evil as a Floor Manager. He worked as a key grip in films such as The Karate Kid (Columbia, 1984) and Fandango (Warner Bros., 1985) prior to his death in 2000, in his native Texas.

Watch for a walk-on cameo by David Price, yet another Monkee stand-in, @ the end of “Monkees Marooned”'s teaser sequence; he strolls on by just as Leonard Sheldon tries to sell Peter's guitar to Michael.

Leonard Sheldon is a parodic amalgam of the late Sheldon Leonard, creator of I Spy (NBC, 1965-68), which resided on the same NBC Monday night schedule as The Monkees during this season.

Kimba Of The Jungle is an obvious spoof of Edgar Rice Burroughs' Tarzan. Other Monkee homages to Tarzan can be spotted in Episode No. 9, “The Chaperone”, No. 13, “One Man Shy” (a.k.a. "Peter And The Debutante"), and No. 57, "The Monkees Blow Their Minds".

The word "Kretch!," uttered by Kimba, previously appeared on this show in the form of a comic blurb in the Batman parody sequence in Episode No. 23, “Captain Crocodile”.

While fanning a slumbering Major Pshaw (Monte Landis), Thursday (the late Rupert Crosse) is seen giggling as he watches The Monkees on television ("Who writes that stuff?!"). Footage from the following first-season Monkees shows can be seen flashing on the TV screen: Episode No. 2, "Monkee See, Monkee Die" (pajama-clad Monkees in Cunningham manor racing downstairs and coming to a full and complete stop; David dressed in a suit of armor), Episode No. 9, "The Chaperone" (Micky as Mrs. Arcadian in a rowboat sloshing water with his hand), and Episode No. 23, "Captain Crocodile" (Michael as weather forecaster Tex Nesmith, in yellow raingear struggling to move against violently windy weather). These scenes were sequentially concocted for the “Look Out (Here Comes Tomorrow)” romp seen in Episode No. 30, “The Monkees In Manhattan.”

The infant picture that Leonard Sheldon shows Peter in the teaser sequence of “Monkees Marooned” is the same one that acquitted Michael, Micky and David for robbery in Episode No. 34, "The Picture Frame" (a.k.a. "The Bank Robbery"). The picture originally appeared in the 234th and final episode of Leave It To Beaver, June 20, 1963's "Family Scrapbook" (#16190).

Peter makes reference to the 1947 20th Century-Fox musical Carnival In Costa Rica, "with Dick Haymes and Vera-Ellen!" (Haymes and Ellen played Jeff Stephens and Luisa Molina in the film, respectively.) On the island, more film references are made: when Micky starts to fret that they've been going around in circles, the others tell him that they've been using the same set and every film does it, like The Lone Ranger (Warner Bros., 1956), and when the group encounters Thursday, David asks him, "Hey, didn't I see you in a Stewart Granger movie?", which is undoubtedly in reference to The Last Safari (Paramount, 1967), wherein Granger portrayed Miles Gilchrist, a depressed professional hunter in Africa.

Just before the boys become surrounded by insects and Micky tries to say the day with insect spray, Michael is heard singing lines to the theme song of Screen Gems' syndicated 1955-56 TV series Jungle Jim, whose main cinematographer was The Monkees' own Irving "Lippy" Lippman. This is the second episode where one of the boys sings a TV theme song aside from "ours, I hope" - Micky happily sang the theme to his own 1950s show Circus Boy in Episode No. 22, “The Monkees At The Circus”.

When Peter hands Maj. Pshaw his treasure map, Pshaw exclaims, "Suffering succotash!!" This is the famous catchphrase of a certain well-known Warner Bros. cartoon feline named Sylvester J. Pussycat, who first appeared in a March 24, 1945 Merrie Melody cartoon, Life With Feathers, which was an Academy Award Nominee for Best Short Subject (Cartoon) in 1946.

This is the second of 2 Monkees episodes in which the sound of gunfire is misidentified as "a car backfiring"; the first was No. 2, “Monkee See, Monkee Die”.

"Au contraire," uttered by Thursday in this episode, will be repeated by Michael in The Monkees' movie HEAD.

Here, Peter swaps his guitar for a map alleging to lead to the treasure of Blackbeard The Pirate. 12 episodes later, in No. 52, "The Devil And Peter Tork", an actual appearance is made by Blackbeard himself (played by Ted De Corsia) in Judge Roy Bean (Billy Beck)'s court.

Guest Cast Notes:

The late Burt Mustin (Kimba)'s next guest role on The Monkees series was that of William The Butler in Episode No. 47, "The Monkees Christmas Show." Mustin portrayed parts in a great many sitcoms of the day, including Gus the auxillary fireman on Leave It To Beaver (CBS/ABC, 1957-63), Jud Crowley on The Andy Griffith Show (CBS, 1960-68), Grandpa Jenson on Petticoat Junction (CBS, 1963-70) and Justin Quigley on All In The Family (CBS, 1971-79); his swansong performance was the brief role of Arthur Lawson on Phyllis (CBS, 1975-77). A salesman for most of his life, Mustin was also a member of the Pittsburg Savoyards, the oldest Gilbert and Sullivan troupe in the U.S., and was also a member of SPEBSQSA, the U.S. Barbershop Music Harmony Society. The master of ceremonies for many shows in the 1960s and 70s, one of his quartets was called the "Cavity Four" as all four members had false teeth, which as comic devices they often removed.

Allen Emerson (Policeman) and and co-“Monkees Marooned” guest Burt Mustin previously appeared in the Oct. 19-20, 1966 episode of Batman (ABC, 1966-68), "An Egg Grows In Gotham/The Yegg Foes In Gotham" (#9717, written by “Monkees Marooned”'s author Stanley Ross and also featuring Monkee guest star Gene Dynarski [“The Son Of A Gypsy”, “Monkee Chow Mein”]), and later appeared in the February 4, 1971 "The Return Of Darrin The Bold" episode of Bewitched (ABC, 1964-72).

Rupert Crosse (Thursday) was nominated for a Best Supporting Actor Oscar for his portrayal of Ned McCaslin in National General Pictures' 1969 big-screen adaptation of William Faulkner's final novel The Reivers and also co-starred with Don Adams in the short-lived police comedy The Partners (NBC, 1971-72), in which he played Det. George Robinson. It would be his final role, as cancer took him at age 45 on March 5, 1973.

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