Late in the first season in April 1978, Fantasy Island: The Over the Hill Caper/Poof! You’re a Movie Star aired. It was probably my favorite of the first season of these series. I enjoyed the stories and the guest stars quite a bit.
The premise of the series is that individuals pay to have fantasies come true for a weekend on Fantasy Island. Most are brief fantasies or experiences, but some carry over into life. That is part of the expectation for the first plot, The Over the Hill Caper. In this story, a senior who has recently married is being blackmailed by someone who knows his true past as a thief. His fantasy is to get his old gang back together again to get the documents that the blackmailer has in his possession.
This is somewhat like the The Over the Hill Gang TV movies, and that is why it is so fun. The old gang is indeed old and they just are not what they once were. There is lots of humor, delightfully done. Ray Bolger is the fantasy requester, with Harriet Nelson (Ozzie’s Harriet) as his wife. The gang includes Foster Brooks, Tom Ewell, and Phil Foster.
The other story is probably intentionally ironic, focusing on a beautiful woman who wants to be a famous movie star. Her fiance is not necessarily thrilled about it, but she really wants the fame. Then comes the topper: she is asked to play her big scene in the buff. What makes this ironic is that the actress playing the role is Playboy’s Barbi Benton. I just think it is a hoot.
I actually like and enjoy watching Benton. After her famous hookup with Hugh Hefner, she went on to do some interesting performers. One of my favorites is an episode of McCloud that I have never forgotten. Regardless, she does part well, even if it does make me chuckle.
Also in this subplot are Michael Anderson Jr., Joanna Barnes, and Herb Edelman.
Fantasy Island stars Ricardo Montalban as Mr. Roarke and Hervé Villechaize as his assistant, Tattoo.
This was one of the best cast outings of season one, and I enjoyed it a lot.