The Unexpected Prop Star Trek Borrowed From Gilligan's Island

It's not unusual to hear of old movies or TV shows using recycled footage, props, or costumes. Whether it be Disney copying its own animated scenes in the 1970s, or "Blade Runner" salvaging helicopter shots and set elements from "The Shining" and Francis Ford Coppola's "One from the Heart" in the 1980s, productions have had to sometimes adopt a makeshift approach: utilizing whatever random resources they had available. This was the case with two classic TV shows from the 1960s, "Star Trek" and "Gilligan's Island."

Given that "Star Trek" is set in space and "Gilligan's Island" is set on a desert island, you wouldn't necessarily expect these two shows to share a connection. However, they were both broadcast around the same time — "Gilligan's Island" ran from 1964 to 1967, while "Star Trek" (retroactively known as "Star Trek: The Original Series") ran from 1966 to 1969.

It's easy to forget that they were only on the air for three years each, given how much life both shows found in reruns in the decades after that. If you were ever watching one of those old reruns and thought, "Hey, that costume looks familiar," there's a very good chance your eyes weren't playing tricks on you, because "Star Trek" did reuse at least one notable costume from "Gilligan's Island."

Gilligan's Fairy Godfather Became Korob in "Catspaw"

Though they were marooned, the shipwrecked characters of "Gilligan's Island" often found themselves in fantastical scenarios, thanks in part to the show's goofy dream sequences. One such sequence, in the season 3 episode, "Lovey's Secret Admirer," involved the titular Lovey, aka Mrs. Howell (Natalie Schafer) having a Cinderella-like dream. Instead of a fairy godmother, Gilligan himself (Bob Denver) appeared as her fairy godfather.

His costume had a distinct design with a yellow-and-green robe, decorated on the chest with what looked like an eye in the middle of a sun. As Silver Age Television notes, this same costume popped up later in an episode of the second season of "Star Trek."

The costume was worn by actor Theodore Marcus, who portrayed the alien Korob in the episode "Catspaw." When Korob makes his entrance, he does so in an appropriately magical fashion. Captain Kirk (William Shatner), Mr. Spock (Leonard Nimoy), and Dr. McCoy (DeForest Kelley) affect a daring escape from a dungeon on an alien planet, only to find themselves transported into Korob's throne room in the blink of an eye. And there we meet one of the villains of the episode ... wearing the same costume as Gilligan's fairy godfather.

Sadly, Marcus died in a car accident the month after his "Star Trek" episode aired. However, he and his recycled Gilligan costume remain a piece of TV history.