Joanna and Ben have become very close friends since he came to live with the Robinsons. David is worried about that. One day Elisabeth announces that she is pregnant. From that day forward the beacon is lit every day again in the hopes of attracting a ship before the baby is born. But the time of the birth draws near and still there is no sign of a ship. Ben and Joanna are still spending a lot of time together which leads to a lot of tension.

Emily discovers a rat in her room. Billy catches the rodent for her and blackmails her thus to do his and Christina's mathematical school work for them. Ernst is impressed how well Billy and Christina have solved the math exercises he gave them and gives them more. Billy catches more rats and secretly puts them into Emily's room to ensure her help further.

One evening Joanna sneaks out of the treehouse and meets with Ben for a romantic picnic under the stars down on the beach. He confesses his love for her. Before she can say anything, however, she hears her father calling and hurries home.

Looking for more rats in the forest Billy overhears a conversation between Joanna and Ben. Ben has found a large cave in which he wants to live with Joanna. He wants to marry her. She accepts his proposal. Billy tells Christina about it.

David, although he did not catch his eldest daughter with Ben, suspects that something is going on and makes it clear that he is against it. When Joanna begins to argue David gets uncharacteristically mad and shouts at her. Joanna is crushed. She asks Ben to be patient.

At dinner Billy's secret about their school work is discovered. Furthermore, Christina thoughtlessly tells about Joanna and Ben's plan to get married. Her parents are shocked. Emotions run high as Ben and David begin to argue. At last, David tells Ben to leave the treehouse complex. Ben starts to resist but Elisabeth and Joanna beg him to go. So he does.

When they are alone Elisabeth and David argue about the matter as well. Elisabeth feels that her husband is treating Ben unfairly. But David does not think so.

The following day Christina and Billy play by the river when a large dog appears and threatens them. Ben, who is nearby, hears them and comes to their rescue. He takes them home to the treehouse. But since the matter between himself and David remains unresolved he quickly leaves again.

During the night Ben sneaks into the treehouse and asks Janna to come to live with him in the cave. Joanna is unsure what to do but finally gives in. She leaves a note for her parents, then goes with Ben. Unnoticed, Emily has overheard them but remains silent. At the cave Joanna is feeling guilty for leaving her family when she is needed. She asks Ben to give her some time alone. Ben goes into the forest to find something for breakfast.

The next day David and Elisabeth find Joanna's note. They are upset. Billy reluctantly tells David where to find them. David immediately goes to the cave. Joanna hears him calling for her. Frightened and confused she retreats further into the cave, that opens into a tunnel. Deeper and deeper she goes and gets lost.

Ben also hears David calling for Joanna and hurries back to the cave. He finds it empty. So Ben goes to the treehouse. He and David begin to argue immediately but Elisabeth quickly grasps the meaning of their argument - neither of them has Joanna! She is missing and possibly in danger.

Together, Ben, David and Bruno look for Joanna, while the others stay at the treehouse. Elisabeth starts to go into labour. Ernst goes looking for his father to let him know. Elisabeth asks Emily to act as her midwife.

Eventually Ben and David find Joanna and rescue her from the wild dog that has found her first. Then Bruno leads them out of the caves by another exit. While looking for his father Ernst discovers a ship on the horizon. After telling David about the baby and the approaching ship Ernst runs to the beacon to light it.

The arrival of the ship changes things for Ben. He believes he is not fit to take care of Joanna and sets her free. Emily is also unhappy about the sighting of the ship. After watching the love Ben and Joanna have for each other she no longer wishes to follow tradition and marry the old Chinese merchant, Kwang Sen, her father has betrothed her to. She runs up to the beacon and when Ernst has left it burning she kills the fire.

The baby is born. It is a girl and named Hope. Soon after giving birth Elisabeth is suffering from a high fever. Before she looses consciousness she advises Joanna to make her decision about Ben with her mind and her heart.

When Ernst returns to the treehouse no smoke from the beacon can be seen. David tells him about his mother's illness. Ernst hurries back to the beacon and finds the logs scattered, the fire dead. When he begins to stack the wood anew Emily tries to stop him, she does not wish to be rescued. Ernst is angry about her selfishness. When Emily hears about Elisabeth's fever she helps him to restart the fire. Ernst is still angry with Emily but when they are back at the treehouse he takes the blame for the fire going out. Billy comes in to say that she ship has sailed on. David is upset, his fear for the life of his wife causing him to verbally lash out at his son. Ernst feels hurt and tells Emily, who tries to thank him, to leave him alone.

In her desperation Emily runs down to the beach and throws herself into the water. She swims out into the bay and starts diving. Finally she finds what she has been looking for. A box with Chinese herbs that may help fight the fever. Ben sees her from the island. He also discovers a shark in the bay. Ben runs down, jumps into the water and swims towards Emily. Together they start for the safety of the shore as quickly as they can and just manage to escape the shark.

Back at the treehouse Emily concocts a medicine from the herbs she has recovered from the bay. After she has given it to Elisabeth they must wait for it to work. Eventually, Elisabeth gets better. Elisabeth is told what Emily and Ben have done and she thanks them. Ben announces that he is going to leave the island and departs from the treehouse. Elisabeth has another talk with David who finally relents. He allows Joanna to run after Ben and tell him that they can get married. She catches up with Ben at the beach and tells him the good news. They are both overjoyed.

Ernst's Journal

Christina and Billy seemed to thrive on being shipwrecked. Emily does not and remains aloof. Bruno, I am sure would never wish to be rescued and returned to Boston from our island home. My mother has been strangely thoughtful of late. As if there is something on her mind that she keeps well hidden. My father too seems distracted at times. I wonder if both he and mother are becoming worried about Joanna. She and Ben have become the greatest of friends since he came to live with us. Yet, if they become too fond of each other I have a feeling in my bones that it will cause pain. Me, well, I'm still keeping the journal of our time as castaways. I've written about our adventures with pirates, our encounter with natives and the legendary Raven Jones. The family has survived through difficult times. None more so then when mother made a startling announcement as the dawn rose one morning which was to herald a new chapter in all the family's lives.

For days, weeks, we prayed to the dear Lord for salvation. That a ship would notice our beacon and we would be rescued. For the sake of mother and her unborn child. But there was still no sign of a passing sail. Just the endless empty horizon. Which caused us all growing concern. With mother's great strength of character life continued on as normal. That is, as normal as it could be considering the circumstances. Joanna and Ben's friendship was the subject of constant attention from my father. And I couldn't help but notice that it caused further strain.

Day after day my father searched the horizon in vain. And we all considered what the future held in store as the time for the baby's birth drew near.

Before long the birth of the baby wasn't the only concern for the family. My father's anger at the evolving relationship of Ben and Joanna was becoming evident.

My mother's false alarm gave a welcome reprieve for Joanna from my father's uncharacteristic wrath. But Joanna, and especially Ben, were as determined to keep on seeing each other as was my father set on keeping them apart.

It was ironic how talk of marriage between Joanna and Ben put terrible strain on mother and father's own marriage. But the greatest strain was on Ben who could not bear the thought of loosing his beloved Joanna. A sentiment shared in turn by father.

While Joanna was lost deep within the cave and father and Ben were united - at least in their search for her - back at the treehouse another Robinson decided unexpectedly to make his or her presence felt.

Our joy at the arrival of baby Hope was equally matched by our concern for mother. All we could do was indeed wait and put our faith in the dear Lord that our prayers would be answered. That the fever would break. And that mother would recover.

And so a new chapter in our lives has begun. With the birth of another Robinson child whom we have aptly named Hope. And besides baby Hope there will soon be another addition to our family.

All the family now agree that there is no man better suited to take the hand of Joanna. And join a family who love and support each other through triumph and tribulation. A family who are always there for each other. No matter what adventures we encounter on our island home.

© Cloud 9 Screen Entertainment & CLT-UFA International


Original US Airdate: 3 - 5, October 1998
(each 75 minute episode was divided into 3 parts)

Screenplay by Charles Hodges
Directed by Declan Eames



Swiss Family Robinson
German Site
Kieren Hutchison