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Fantasy Island HD online

Fantasy Island  HD online
Language: English
Category: TV Series / Drama / Fantasy
Original Title: Fantasy Island
Budget: $2,000,000
Duration: 1h
Video type: TV Series
In this revival of the popular 1970s television series, Mr. Roarke and his three assistants run a tropical paradise where guests come in to have their wildest dreams and fantasies come true.
Series cast summary:
Malcolm McDowell Malcolm McDowell - Mr. Roarke 13 episodes, 1998-1999
Mädchen Amick Mädchen Amick - Ariel 13 episodes, 1998-1999
Edward Hibbert Edward Hibbert - Harry 13 episodes, 1998-1999
Fyvush Finkel Fyvush Finkel - Fisher 13 episodes, 1998-1999
Cherisse Lamoureux Cherisse Lamoureux - 'Hotel employee' Pilot 13 episodes, 1998-1999
Louis Lombardi Louis Lombardi - Cal 11 episodes, 1998-1999
Tracy R. Bautista Tracy R. Bautista - Hotel employee 9 episodes, 1998-1999
Sylvia Sidney Sylvia Sidney - Clia 7 episodes, 1998

In the opening episode, two elements of the original series Fantasy Island (1977) are referenced: the white suits (Roarke in this series makes a point of choosing black) and the infamous "The plane! The plane!" announcement (Roarke orders the underling who does this never to do it again). In a later episode we see a woman living in a trailer with a Ricardo Montalban commemorative plate.

Malcolm McDowell plays Mr. Roarke, who was played by 'Ricardo Montalbán' in the 1977 series. Both men had previously played the main adversaries in Star Trek movies: Montalbán played Khan Noonien Singh in Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan (1982), and McDowell played Dr. Tolian Soran in Star Trek: Generations (1994).

Roddy McDowell appeared in the original series as The Devil.

Lenny Venito turned down the role of Cal.

Reviews: [25]

  • avatar


    This shortlived revamping of the classically silly TV series was, ironically, closer to the original concept than the first show (the 1970s version's pilot was darker and a lot edgier than the subsequent series); the "fantasy" aspect of the title got as much play here as the "island" part, with a greater implication that Mr. Roarke and his crew were not all they seemed - particularly Madchen Amick's shape-shifter Ariel ("I'm not hard to get - I'm impossible to get").

    The travel agency in NYC that booked the passengers for Fantasy Island filled in another gap from the original show (how the hell did they get there in the first place?), and the stories were overall a bit more interesting - in one episode someone even wanted to live out a fantasy where he died a hero, and got his wish. John Ottman's excellent title music (plus his Emmy-nominated score for the pilot) also managed to capture both the exoticism and the mystery of the locale; no disrespect to Laurence Rosenthal, a fine composer in his own right, but his old theme was far too lush and old-fashioned to work here.

    On the other hand, what sane person would want to arrive on an island paradise and find someone as creepy as Malcolm McDowell waiting for you? (And admit it, while his aides are good characters you miss Tattoo.) Nonetheless, this remains a decent effort - and certainly a better TV venture for Barry Sonnenfeld than that hopeless "Secret Agent Man."
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    I used to LOVE the Mantalban Fantasy Island, so when this one came out I was happy to watch it.

    This one, to me, seems to be better written, and far more enjoyable. the characters are more than one-dimensional; who in their right mind would stay on an island in the middle of nowhere catering to a bunch of spoiled whiny people? This series answers that question - someone who HAS TO. I thought that gave a dimension of "humanity" to Roarke et. al. that the original lacked.

    And the humor and twists really do point out the old maxim "be careful what you wish for - you just might get it."
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    Legacy or no legacy, how the producers of Fantasy Island talked the Absolutely Banal Content network into running this is a mystery up there with why Roarke's suits have gone from white to black -- yet another thing we'll never know, but you can bet there's a story behind it. Bless Sci-Fi for picking up this gem; wish they could afford to resurrect it, but I'll happily take (and TAPE) what I can get. (And I won't be watching ABC again. Any network that could can this and Wonderland and keep Regis Philbin on eight days a week is angling for a much *dumber* demographic than mine.)
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    This series was far too good for ABC, home of Boy Meets World. (It survived but half a season and was replaced in late January of 1999.) I liked it very much and think that its god-awful Saturday-evening time slot was a huge disservice. The series had a terrific premise and some really wonderful actors (McDowell, Amick, Lombardi); pity that Sci-Fi Channel or some other outfit with a triple-digit IQ didn't get a crack at giving this show the run it deserved.
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    From the first few episodes, I knew that the Fantasy Island (1998) was going to be another short-lived, "too good for TV" series; I just didn't know ABC would kill it so early.

    Unlike the original, which was little more than "The Love Boat" (1977) on an island, the new Fantasy Island was a "reimagining" of the original, not unlike the way "Battlestar Galactica" (2004) owes its existence to "Battlestar Galactica" (1978) but is in no way the same show.

    The show's writers gave Roarke an incredibly detailed and mysterious back story, doing an excellent job of giving us information in the few episodes that were actually shown. Malcolm McDowells Roarke was both threatening and compassionate in the way only McDowell can be. Mädchen Amick was excellent as Roarke's companion, sidekick and possible love interest, Ariel, and Edward Hibbert and Louis Lombardi were excellent as Roarke's bumbling assistants, Harry and Cal.

    Alas, the new series was just beginning to completely gel when ABC pulled the plug.

    While it may be too much to hope that the thirteen episodes will someday be released on DVD, be sure to catch the episodes when they are occasionally rerun on the SciFi channel in the US; you won't regret it.
  • avatar


    This revival of the 1970's series is a little darker and a little edgier than the one starring Ricardo Monteblan and Tattoo. This version harkens to Shakespeare's "The Tempest", with Malcom McDowell taking on the Prospero role accompanied by an Ariel and Cal(iban). In one episode we even meet Roarke's daughter Miranda. I found the original series bland and unappealng, but this new version (appearing on the Sci-Fi Channel) is certainly much more entertaining. It just goes to show that network programmers get everything bass ackwards.. throwing out the gold and keeping the dross.
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    I'd caught a couple of episodes of this when it was on network TV, but it kept being moved around, and was tough to catch.

    SciFi Channel shows it, and I find I adore this twisted version of the classic I loved as a child. It's darker, edgier, has a bit of a mean streak at times, but there's just something I love about it. Not quite sure what it is, but I could start with Malcolm McDowell's Mr. Roarke. I have to wonder if his first name is Prospero, considering all the other _Tempest_ parallels...Ariel, Cal(iban), even Miranda.

    Nothing ever quite goes as planned in the guests' fantasies, but it's not always bad -- oftentimes they discover that what they wanted would not have satisfied, and the new solution is *far* better, even if it means major disappointment to start. Sounds treacly, doesn't it? Nope. There's a healthy dose of reality in this _Fantasy_ -- Roarke doesn't let guests get away with simply living out a dream. There's always something...extra. [wicked grin] Lessons to be learned.

    It's not that Roarke's *always* mean -- there are guests he seems to genuinely like and takes care of accordingly. But there's also an angle of "Be careful what you wish for" that makes this version a cautionary tale as well as a fantasy. It does seem that he has his guests' best interests at heart, when it comes down to it. Realistically benevolent, as it were.

    The bits about the budget are pretty funny too -- adds a touch of amusing realism to the fantasy angle.

    It's a shame this show didn't make it. Sure, it wasn't the original. I liked the original too, for its own merits. But I really love this one, and wish it had stayed around longer.
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    I may be in the minority, but I actually liked Fantasy Island '98, as i called it, better than the original. It was a lot edgier and darker, and more cautionary (be careful what you wish for! You may get it!)whereas the original was fluffier and sillier and more escapist. I think all the episodes were excellent, but if I had to choose a favorite, I would go with the Thanksgiving one, where a lady was bringing her partner to meet her folks. I think Fantasy Island '98 was one of the freshest, most creative things on TV, and i think it was a stupid move on part of the Awfully Boneheaded Clods at ABC to pull it. I guess because it wasn't a reality eating-bugs thing or a glorified FRIENDS repeat. Who knows?
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    I saw the first few episodes of this new version of Fantasy Island. I immediately loved it. But the time slot it was in (Saturday evening) was weird. Occasionally I forgot to watch. But then the TV station started pre-empting it with movies and what have you. Then it disappeared altogether. I think it should have been played on Sci-Fi. That might have helped. I can't believe it was canned in the first season! It kind of reminded me of The Twilight Zone, in some ways. I liked Malcom McDowell as Mr. Roarke, and I liked Ariel the shapeshifter. I also liked Fyvush Finkel as the travel agent. If this ever comes out on video, I will buy every episode. This show is high on my list of favorite TV shows. If it ever shows up on TV in reruns, it is a MUST-SEE!
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    This is one of those shows I never watched in the first run because of the association with the original. Sure, I sometimes was amused at the original but in the late 90's that kind of show held little appeal for me to actually carve out yet another hour in my schedule for it. So I found myself saying "oh, no, not another remake". (I also recalled how pitiful most remakes were).

    I have seen some of the reruns on SciFi and realize this show was far superior to the original. Somewhere along the way the original was made less edgy and far more silly. Apparently this newer incarnation was closer to the original concept.

    Seeing it I realize why it was cancelled. Most TV is geared towards the lowest common denominator. Ahh, well. At least we have a few reruns to enjoy.
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    I am one of those people who also was a fan of the new Fantasy Island. What I have an issue with, is that these episodes have not been able to be released on DVD. It seems like every other show (sucessful or cancelled) has been given a chance to be re-seen on DVD. Yet, there seems to be no information as to the possibility of making this show accessible to the viewing public. I know, for sure, that I would be the first person to line up and purchase the full season of the New Fantasy Island if it ever becomes available. I'm curious if anyone else feels the same way and if anyone knows that a DVD release is possible. Thanks.
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    The fall of 1998 looked to be retro-Spelling, with the ABC Saturday night shows of late '70s/early '80s being remade, albeit on separate networks. Alas, neither lived up to the original. Love Boat: the Next Wave was a pale imitation of the classic. The new ship was colorless, lacking the character of the Pacific Princess, and something is seriously wrong when your best episode is the reunion of the original cast. Going in the other direction was the new Fantasy Island. Instead of becoming frothier, it became heavier.

    The first sign that this was not your father's Fantasy Island was the utterly forgettable opening theme, which took the place of the familiar, welcoming, swelling strains. Worse was the casting of Malcolm McDowell as the new Mr. Roarke. From its inception as a series of TV movies, Fantasy Island guests never got their fantasies exactly the way they wanted them. There were always unexpected complications, if usually happy endings. Ricardo Montalban's Roarke always seemed like he genuinely cared for his guests and was saddened by the pain and struggles they always had to endure. But the new "management" of Fantasy Island seems to revel in their customers' misery. McDowell's Roarke had been sentenced there as some form of supernatural punishment, a fact not just alluded to but stated outright. McDowell seems to like playing sinister old men, starting in Blue Thunder, which is a shame because he played a nice guy very well in Time After Time. The rest of the staff is just as nasty, once betting on how much abuse a guest can take. Those who consider this show better than the original because it brings "twists" really didn't watch the original. Fantasy Island guests have always had rocky roads to their dreams. Want to play detective? You'll become a suspect in a case. Want to sing in the 1920s? You'll get caught up in gangland gunfights. Want to be a famous actor? You'll lose every last shred of privacy. Want to stage your own funeral? Somebody else will actually die. That's how it's always been.

    The most egregious change came from executive producer Barry Sonnenfeld. He started his career as a cinematographer and he still tries to show as much as he can. The old show used a lot of smoke, mirrors and mystery so we were never really sure what happened (at least until the later years when Roarke faced down the Devil himself, among other things). Sonnenfeld left nothing to the imagination, using then overusing special effects, often for no other reason than he felt like it and almost always without helping the plot along. As Hitchcock showed, especially in "Psycho," a good filmmaker can often use the viewer's imagination more effectively than by actually showing something on screen. Another unwelcome change is the comedic travel agency scene bracketing the stories on the island. While this is probably meant to bring some light and thus contrast to the darkness of the show, it just seemed out of place and unnecessary. Like everything else, it takes away some of the mystery. Besides, nobody really cares exactly how they found out about Fantasy Island. The only thing that matters is that they came.

    As far as I'm concerned, this series is not part of the FI canon and does not exist. Where have you gone, Hervé Villechaize? A nation turns its lonely eyes to you.
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    I'm a little stunned by all the praise for this show. I am ABSOLUTELY a fan of the original, maybe the biggest one around. I grew up on it; it was my escape from my miserable high-school existence in the late 70s and early 80s. And that's the whole point of a show like this: escape! I wanted to forget about real life for a while and just have a great time, and the premise was the perfect way to do that.

    When I first heard about the remake I was interested, even though I was disappointed that Ricardo Montalbán wasn't going to be in it. (For the record, he was never approached, and he made it clear in a TV Guide snippet that he was hurt by this and would have appreciated at least being asked, even if he wasn't able to do it.) When the premiere aired, I tuned in...only to be bitterly disappointed. I shut off the set after McDowell surveyed his closetful of white suits and said, "Burn them." That implied a lack of respect for the original series that I didn't like at all. I tried watching one more episode a few weeks later, but things hadn't gotten any better, and I refused to touch it ever again.

    Why did I hate it? For one thing, the above-mentioned lack of respect for the original series. For another, others have mentioned that Roarke and his cronies were very cold and mean-spirited, and I saw that myself in the parts I watched. This man clearly resented doing what he did, made no secret of it, and usually took great pleasure in seeing his guests suffer. He took even more pleasure in seeing -- and causing -- the suffering of his hapless assistants, Harry and Cal. That's not my idea of an enjoyable vacation. And then there was the travel agency. "Let's see, whom can we trick into having their most cherished secret dreams ridiculed and turned into something totally sinister?" The "guests" were forced to come to this island, and then were forced to live out those cherished dreams in the most humiliating way possible.

    People keep sneering about how "fluffy" and "silly" the original series was. Excuse me, but what's the matter with that? Are happy endings suddenly taboo? I don't want a show that tells me I shouldn't hope for a happy resolution to my problems or that mocks my innermost dreams. We have more than enough real-life doses of shattered hopes and dreams, mean-spiritedness and general schadenfreude. I don't want it on the TV shows I watch. Seeing this "true-to-life" vision of having a fantasy come to fruition undermines the whole idea of escaping real life. Give me the original "Fantasy Island", with Ricardo Montalbán's benevolent, helpful Mr. Roarke and Hervé Villechaize's cheerful, sympathetic Tattoo, any day over this misbegotten concept.
  • avatar


    Though I haven't ever seen the older version, I chanced upon this show once and I got pretty hooked because I really like fantasy-based stories and I also liked some pretty cool special effects as well as some really pretty shots of the faroff paradise and a little goofy humor on the side. was really interesting for awhile before I begin getting TURNED OFF COMPLETELY by Mr. Roarke's very suffocating arrogance and his cruel enjoyment of his cat-and-mouse games with all his hapless guests who happened to be vacationing on his magical island. And what's more, he didn't seem to change his facial expressions much, which only adds to his conceited coldness. Not to mention his very catty lady sidekick, Ariel who also seemed to share his sadistic pleasure in manipulating all his unwitting victims as well as a couple of really repulsive, toad-like bellhops who would bumble along, all too eager to fall into Mr. Roarke's traps usually set for the poor, unhappy guests. To top it all off, I was so disgusted by the very last episode I ever watched on this show that I never saw it ever again: after some young tramp confessed to stealing her geeky boyfriend's fancy car, they began writhing about on the luxurious bed as if to "make a baby", promising each other that the fatso would put his beautiful car away for the future kid, whether he be a real nerd just like his dad or a bodacious bimbo just like Mommy. Yuck. Just wait until the aging parents watch guiltily as their offspring begin acting out the very drama they had just been through in the first place!
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    This was the greatest "Fantasy Island" that ever was, in my view, beating Ricardo's portrayal of Mr. Rourke with a huge pointy stick. Malcolm McDowell's dark sense of humor and sarcastic tones make the series worth it alone. When he looks at the grey sky, snaps his finger, and clears the clouds away, it was so much cooler. McDowell felt more like he belonged in this role than Montalban did. When Montalban guided someone through a fantasy it was a "Blah, blah, blah, blah, blah," feeling. With McDowell, you waited for the next surprise like you waited for your birthday presents when you were 3. His constant air of "I told you so..." made things fun, while his torment added a feeling of almost pity. Of course, you didn't pity him when he was so horrible to other people, but sometimes you just had to feel sorry for him. Anyway, the show was cancelled too soon, which is sad because it would have been and incredible success for ABC and now The Sci-Fi Channel. I only hope that maybe someone will ressurrect this along with the cast from the 1998 series.
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    Malcolm has made a great career playing sinister characters..As Mr. Roarke he was absolutely great.. As for the first 'Fantasy Island' I never cared for it at all... This was a great Series..the characters were portrayed perfectly.
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    This 1998 version of the series "Fantasy Island" is truly a wonder to behold. These episodes are SO much better than the original 70's TV show. The '98 version features fantastic special effects and wonderful acting (with awesome special guest stars and great stories).

    I highly recommend this 1998 version of Fantasy Island to anyone and everyone.
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    Fantasy Island 1998, as I like to call it now being broadcast on the Sci-Fi network. Having grown up with original 1978 version I am not comfortable with this newer version. The newer version is more realistic with a Mr. Roarke (Malcom McDowell) that seems to take pleasure when his guests get into trouble. So my verdict is watch the 1998 version if you enjoy special effects and have not seen the original, otherwise watch the re-runs of the 1978 version.
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    I like the new Fantasy Island. A lot of life's lessons can be learned by watching. Many times the show makes me happy for what I have and to think twice before wishing for anything else. I just hope the show gains more success in the ratings.
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    The new look of the series is welcome, as is Malcolm McDowell as the new Mr. Roarke. More mysterious and dark than the original. And with more liberty, of course, thanks to the digital effects of the 90's. I think I'll look forward for the rest of the episodes...
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    My wife and I both truly enjoyed this series more than the original "Fantasy Island". That isn't to say we didn't like the original, we did. This just seemed more fantasy and less "Love Boat" than the first one with Ricardo Montalban. All the characters were interesting with their own unique quirks. The travel agency lead in was funny, and the support staff were great. This was definitely more fantasy and comedy than the first series, but it had it's scary side as well. I liked McDowell being a little scary. I think it was more appropriate. Afterall anyone that thinks God wouldn't be scary is kidding themselves. I hope this comes out on DVD. Even if it is only 13 episodes I will buy it.
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    This was NOT just a rehash of the original.

    In the late 90s, rather than just repackage old formulas, ABC had the guts to run out a litany of intelligent, creative, entertaining new programs every year. Unfortunately, they then pulled the plug on them before they had a chance to find an audience. (Another glaring example was Jeremy Piven's 'Cupid'.) Fantasy Island-1998 was a darker version, with tongue-in-cheek references to the original. Malcolm McDowell's Roark was outstanding, and the frame intros with Sylvia Sidney and Fyvush Finkel would have made a good show on their own. Repeated, veiled references to a back story explaining the Island's existence and the reasons for the staff being there would have been very intriguing if this show had ever been given a chance.
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    People who want to comment on this show don't listen to the others because some sound like they never seen the first Fantasy Island they are putting down. They like this lame annoying second one I hate this one so much I wish some one blew up the island. I mean the New Mr Roarke is like the Devil and his stupid sidekick is this mean spirted woman name Ariel who needed a pimp slap in her face. These don't grant great Fantasies like the first show no they just like to messed up people's fantasies. So if you like to see Tattoo again and the first Mr. Roarke watch it on Tv Land but please don't this lame one.
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    What were the network bosses thinking trying to revive a iconic television show like Fantasy Island without any of the original cast members or flavor? This was axed and gone with a blink of an eye - it made me laugh the above review said he loved it but forgot it was on, an easy thing to do!! The HEADLINE on IMDb should read the 'NEW Fantasy Island' very misleading, even if you check the Facebook page it says it was the NEW Fantasy Island. This version was filled with 'D'grade actors or others who were desperate to get a gig! Horrible script and terrible casting with corny story lines. The world is a better place for this version getting the bullet! I am sure nobody will even remember it being on. The hopeless acting, that's if you could call them actors....with despairing attempts to make a comeback made this even harder to watch. A very sad show now in a big green dumpster somewhere in Hollywood.
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    I liked this show a great deal. The pilot shows a great deal of promise and should be excellent viewing through out the season. McDowell as the new Roarke is a welcome change. I look forward to the new machiavellian Fantasy Island.