In the ’70s it was Ricardo (Khaaaaaaaaaaaaan!) Montalban. In the ’90s it was Malcolm McDowell. But soon, it could be you. Yes, American TV bosses are bringing back Fantasy Island, but as a reality show, with contestants competing to become the ultimate Mr Rourke.
The original series starred Montalban as the mystical Mr Roarke, owner of a tropical island paradise where visitors’ wishes came true (especially if they had thing for dwarves in white Tuxedos). There was a short-lived remake in 1998 with McDowell as Rourke.
The new reality version will follow 12 contestants as they compete to become the real-life Mr or Ms Roarke, depending on how well they grant the wishes of fellow contestants.
But why stop there? What other telefantasy shows that’d make great reality game shows?
• The Incredible Hulk – 12 contestants all try to piss each other off, and if you lose your rag, you’re eliminated.
• The Prisoner – Contestants take turns torturing Frankie Boyle to reveal the real reason he quit Mock The Week.
• Land Of The Giants – Six dwarves are forced to live in confinement with six basketball players.
• Survivors – The last person still watching Survivors is the winner.
• Time Tunnel – Contestants in period fancy dress jump up and down in a groovily-decorated tube.
• Blake’s Seven – an ever-changing group of social misfits face a constant battle of elimination unless they learn to act.
• True Blood – Contestants have to constantly shag each other or face being eaten. Bloodsuckers coming over all teenage-romancy can (endlessly) vent their angst in the Vampire Diaries room.
• Lost – A group of contestants stranded on a desert island each have a hidden secret, as does the island. Contestants must discover those secrets, the twist being none of them are allowed to use the words who, what, what, when, where or how…
Any more suggestions?