| Saturday, June 06 2009 @ 09:30 AM EDT
|CITY BENEATH THE SEA
Seaview is on the surface using a scoop net to find out what sank the Dana, an oceanographic research vessel in the Aegean Waters. A rescue ship also sank. Ski comes back up onto the Seaview deck (the outside is used quite often in this season but not much in later seasons). He tells them it is a junkyard below. The scoop net picks up a dead diver which is craned over to Seaview's deck. Nelson realizes the diver's scuba gear is not from the Dana or the rescue ship, he yells for them to put it back in the water--a crewman has noticed it has been booby trapped. They crane the net back into the sea and it blows up, covering them with water and smoke!
Seaview is on the bottom with the left elevation plane damaged. In the nose, Nelson wants whoever did this to think they destroyed Seaview. Lee wonders why someone is doing this--to drive shipping out of this area? Or does someone need divers and supplies--a big demand has been made on the nearby islands. Crane goes diving to the coast and enters himself in a hotel as Lee Glen while a man named Yogi (?) sweeps. Crane checks his room and opens his bag and radio--he is in the Athena Hotel, room 25. In 12 hours he is to check in again. He checks the bathroom for bugs. He hides the radio. Xanthos, an old man at a pier is asked by Lee to call him if anyone wants an experienced diver. Xanthos seems to call someone after Crane leaves. At Nicholas's outdoor bar and restaurant, Crane talks to Nicholas, telling him the fishermen aren't too friendly. When a mute man named Dimitri Gonzales tries to tell Lee something, Nicholas tells him the story of Dimitri--he was deep sea diver who fixed ships and did salvage jobs. He stayed down too long and got rapture of the deep. He was found washed ashore, both air tanks empty. Crane buys Dimitri a drink and Nicholas translates--Dimitri lets them know he saw buildings beneath the sea--a city of some kind. Lee asks Dimitri to show him. They pay Nicholas and leave for the beach. Lee goes diving and sees a girl underwater--who holds a speargun or harpoon gun on him. He flips her and brings her up, Dimitri is gone. The girl, Melina, tells Lee she thought he was someone else but he doesn't believe her. They find Dimitri face down in the sand--dead. Melina calls him, "Papa!" She is obviously being truthful. Later, Lee calls to Seaview using MCV15RSL422 map coordinates. Curley tells Nelson the mini sub is set for its first date. The mini sub with crewman Adler and another crewman, is sent out. Nelson tells them he wants continuous communication--report all you see, he says, "Even if it's a sardine." They report hard, packed sand, an underwater cave, shelves, heavy vegetation, ridges like a stairway cut into a large mountain, and something coming up ahead. The heat in the water starts rising and bubbles hit the Mini-Sub with lots of turbulence. Seaview's instruments are jammed. Adler reports a blinding light, "You won't believe it--it's absolutely loony." The mini sub doesn't answer after this. A nice zoom shot out away from the shocked Nelson and Control Room finishes the act.
Seashore at near sunset: Melina and Crane are under the dock and pier. Melina believed her papa's story of the city and those that killed him will be found. Others used to laugh at him at the bar. Dimitri was buried at sea. Crane attended the funeral. Melina will find the city. Police say his death was an accident--he fell and drowned--but she knows better. Crane believes Dimitri. Crane returns to his hotel room and finds a Sydney Greenstreet like character there. The man says, "Nice night." Crane is, at first, upset, but when he finds out the thug will take him to his boss, Leopold Zeraff, Crane's demeanor lightens up and he offers the man a drink. The thug refuses and takes Crane to a large, elaborate home of Zeraff--very lush. He tells Crane a diver he had used got careless and now he needs a replacement. Lee wonders if he could end up as one of Zeraff's exhibits. Zeraff is confined to a wheelchair. If Crane can find nothing of worth he will paid 1000 dollars but if he finds riches--he will get 25 percent while Zeraff gets the rest. Zeraff insists Lee stay the night and after Lee leaves, Zeraff has his radio turned on and hears Sparks calling the Captain. Lee dives off a boat, follows the anchor, and encounters two divers with harpoon guns who force him over a ridge to see a city of lit up buildings, domes, and bridges. They move him to a cage like entrance (I am sure I saw a similar set up in an older British made movie) that leads up to one of the buildings. Seaview's mini sub doors are still open. We see a model of Seaview in the nose. Nelson snaps at Chip who lost Lee. At the hotel, Melina finds the hotel man claiming there never was a Lee Glen here, only an old lady, Sarah Thompson. When she goes to check, Nelson answers the door. She says, "You don't look like a sweet little old lady." Nelson responds with, "Neither do you." If they were going for James Bond-like quips here, it doesn't work too well. He tells her his name is Harrimin Jones and he is Lee Glen's friend, enemy, rival, partner, big brother, blood brother, and Lee owes him 100 dollars. He is missing 3 days. Nelson and Melina go to the beach cliffs. Nelson feels all of it begins and ends right here. When he goes down the cliff bank to toward the water, someone grabs Melina's leg and pushes her off the cliff. She screams and I, for one, thought she was dead after this. Nelson comes running back but someone starts firing a machine gun at him. He runs into the water!
Nelson calls Seaview from the beach. Chip sends a raft for him. Zeraff and two men, all on sea scooters, arrive at the city building complex. Zeraff is put into a wheelchair when he comes up the dome. In a high tech room, he welcomes Captain Crane, explaining to him that he likes his character and can use a man like him. Crane is angry at him and his world: sneering at his sea sleds, relics everywhere, explosives, missile pads--"what are you trying to do take over the world." It might be the first time, Lee but not the last time. Zeraff goes on about his world--inner space while the outside world is wasting time in outer space. Here is a new world of oil, gold, minerals, food to feed all---all within the seven seas. He will destroy every sub that even comes close to ruining his plans. He can use his device to lure marine life and to throw off the sonar and radar of subs and planes. He wants Crane to give him the Seaview, telling him about the two man mini sub he had to destroy. Crane tells him Nelson will destroy him and his city. Zeraff claims he is not the weak legless snail he is above--,"Here, I'm a shark." Lee says in his book, "You're a man eating piranha!" Zeraff counters with a thank you for the compliment. Nelson and Chip pinpoint the city. Crane uses a large hanging light to blind and burn his guard, then runs and gets into diving gear near the main entrance. Another diver returns and tells him to start his clock. The diver leaves but Crane hides as two divers bring Melina up. He fights them, one has a knife, the other rings alarms, knocking Melina down. Three more guards come running and all of them beat on Lee.
Crane awakens to see Melina. She says, "We always seem to be meeting underwater." This comment, unlike the Bond-type comments is innocent and cute as is the girl playing Melina--thus it does not detract from her character. Lee, hearing Nelson's phony story, plays along and complains about "Jones" but Melina tells him, "He was worried about you. So was I." Zeraff wheels in and in the middle of their talk, a call comes in. A supply ship is coming in (from where?). They need to unload the supplies. If Crane interferes any more there is a deep trench which Zeraff goes diving into. The fish at the lower level literally are torn loose from gravity, blow up as they try to rise to a higher level, literally die falling upward. Crane will be put in that trench. He also threatens the girl when Crane isn't fearful for his own life. The guards handcuff Crane and Melina. After Zeraff and men leave, Crane instructs her to start stuffing blankets and pillows into the air vent: an air pressure change can flood the place--the air pressure is what keeps the water out. Crane knocks on the door. A guard comes in, Melina playing as if she is out of air and on the floor. Crane uses the wire to pull the table out from under the guard when the man goes up the table to find out what is stuffed in the air vent. Crane gets the keys and uncuffs himself and the girl. Crane wrecks the devices that could stop Seaview. Chip, from sonar, gets the location of the city. Curley on the nose scanner sees it. Seaview goes to silent running at one third speed. Crane and Melina dive out of the dome and past the cage underbelly. Zeraff calls the Starfish (the supply ship) and follows Crane out. A shot of Seaview shows it moving past vast vegetation leaves. A guard warns Zeraff that Crane has escaped and Zeraff suits up and follows Lee and Melina, who have managed a sea scooter. Another shot of Seaview shows it near the surface now. Zeraff follows Crane on a sea scooter and they fight with the scooters, Melina hiding. There is a good variation on the music from ELEVEN DAYS TO ZERO as the scooters fall, Lee's first and they fight--Zeraff having a spear gun. The city fires torpedoes and Nelson must return fire. The torpedo rack in the Missile Room descends into place and missiles are readied. Zeraff chokes Lee under sea in a well staged underwater fight. It is very good that Lee's suit is bright colored and Zeraff's dark--that way we can tell them apart undersea, something which THUNDERBALL (again, James Bond) did not do. If it is difficult to tell who is who in an underwater sea battle, the action doesn't really matter that much. Zeroff and Lee fight over the spear gun and Zeraff is speared. Seaview fires one and two missiles. Crane gets Melina and they swim for it. They hide under rocks as the city is blown to bits. The domes, tall structures, and brides all collapse and are blown to bits in an extended sequence. We see exactly how long it takes for a whole sea base blow up. Later such scenes would be as extensive with the exception of THE MECHANICAL MAN. Crane and the girl go to the Missile Room, diving onto Seaview. "Well the sweet little old lady on a world cruise," Melina tells Crane, "Some day you have to get him to explain that." Lee mocks Nelson's phony story, "Next time you can't come up with a better story than that 100 dollar deadbeat routine, I'm going back to the Navy." Crane gets serious as Nelson seems to snap at him, "Captain Crane!!" Nelson baiting him, then adds, lighter toned, "See to it that our guest is escorted home." As Lee walks Melina past the men, one with a sailor hat, whistles at her quietly. The others gawk at her.
REVIEW: A good story with good production values, special effects, sets, and acting. There are also extensive underwater sequences which are exciting, believeable, and well choreographed. One could not really ask for more. There is an Atlas credited and Malone supposedly appears as well.