The Islanders (TV series)

The Islanders is an American adventure television series which aired on ABC from 1960 to 1961, starring William Reynolds, James Philbrook, and Diane Brewster.[1]

The Islanders
Created byRichard L. Bare
StarringWilliam Reynolds
James Philbrook
Diane Brewster
Country of originUnited States
No. of episodes24
Running timeapprox. 50 minutes
Production company(s)Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Television
Original networkABC
Original releaseOctober 2, 1960 
March 26, 1961


Stated a UPI article on 20 September 1960, “Basis of the show is a one-airplane airline run by the three principals in the lush East Indies. The men are soldiers of fortune and Diane [Brewster] plays a Dutch girl attempting to regain her family’s property.”[2]

At the beginning of the series, Sandy Wade (Reynolds) and Zack Malloy (Philbrook), co-owners of a Grumman Goose amphibious aircraft, start their one-plane airline in the Moluccas or Spice Islands of the southeastern Pacific Ocean. Throughout the series they experience a variety of adventures where seemingly harmless charter flights put them into danger. They are frequently aided in their endeavours by the unusually-named Wilhelmina ”Steamboat Willy” Vanderveer (Brewster) and Shipwreck Callighan (Roy Wright).

"The boys get into lots of messes," said Brewster "and things aren't helped for them by the way I play one of them against the other in whatever romantic notions they have about me."[3]


William Reynolds stated in an interview, "The series went from being sort of like a Terry and the Pirates or a Maverick type of concept to becoming just a bunch of people skulking around. It wasn't very good."[4]

"We have a show that has all the meat and potatoes," said Reynolds during filming. "All it lacks is the gravy... we may be trying to place too much in a small screen."[5]


In February 1960 a plane carrying five crew members from Montego Bay to Miami crashed off the coast of Jamaica into the water. The men were Reynolds, Bare, Glen Kirkpatrick, pilot Howard Smith and camera man George Schdmidt.[6] All but Schmidt were picked out of the water.[7]


The Islanders, primarily sponsored by Liggett & Myers' Chesterfield cigarettes, aired at 9:30 Eastern time on Sunday evenings opposite The Jack Benny Program and Candid Camera on CBS and the second half of The Dinah Shore Show and the last season of The Loretta Young Show on NBC.


The Los Angeles Times said the show was like many other adventure series on ABC at the time (Hong Kong, Surfside 6, Hawaiian Eye) and said "it did achieve a certain flavour with its tropical background" adding "if the series scores at all - and it does show some promise - it will largely be due to Reynolds."[8]


After The Islanders, Philbrook co-starred in the 1962-1963 season as a magazine publisher and the love interest of Loretta Young in her short-lived The New Loretta Young Show, which aired Mondays on CBS. Reynolds went on to star in two other ABC series,The Gallant Men, a World War II series, and The FBI with Efrem Zimbalist, Jr..

Diane Brewster had earlier portrayed gambler "Samantha Crawford" in the first two seasons of Maverick (1957) and appeared in 1957-1958 in the first season of Leave It to Beaver as schoolteacher "Miss Canfield," later replaced by Sue Randall as "Miss Landers." Subsequently, in the 1960s, as a favor to writer/producer Roy Huggins, Brewster occasionally portrayed without screen credit the murdered wife "Helen Kimble" (in flashbacks) in ABC's The Fugitive.

Guest stars


  1. HOLLYWOOD TIE-LINE: Hollywood Tie-Line By RUTH WATERBURY. The Washington Post, Times Herald 11 Sep 1960: H15.
  2. Scott, Vernon, United Press International, “Palm Trees To Replace TV Snow Set,” The San Bernardino Daily Sun, Tuesday 20 September 1960, Volume 67, page 3.
  3. DOUBLE-DEALING DIANE Korman, Seymour. Chicago Daily Tribune 17 Dec 1960: h7.
  5. When the gravy's missing Page, Don. Los Angeles Times 29 Jan 1961: f44.
  6. Crash Hurts TV Crew The Washington Post, Times Herald (1959-1973); Washington, D.C. [Washington, D.C]13 Feb 1960: A3.
  7. Photo Standalone 2 -- No Title: Incomplete Source Los Angeles Times 13 Feb 1960: 7.
  8. TV REVIEW: The Islander Series Debuts With Bong Page, Don. Los Angeles Times 4 Oct 1960: A11.
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