VOYAGE TO THE BOTTOM OF THE SEA-Hotline, Submarine Sunk Here, The Magnus Beam
Russia--a rocket is ready. At the base, it appears Irwin Allen is at the controls. The rocket lifts off; it is May 27th, 1973. The Russian Chairman (John Banner, aka Sgt. Shultz on HOGAN'S HEROES) is given the message that the satellite will fall to Earth: the control systems and the abort systems will not respond. He is told where it will land and detonate--and he goes wide eyed. He goes to a phone and asks to speak to the President of the United States.
The White House---military music; hotline rings and a skinny presidential assistant answers--a skinny Scotty from STAR TREK! President (Ford Rainey) is given the news and he calls his top secret security council; he also answers the phone. We see an underbelly shot of Seaview. In the nose, Nelson is told Seaview has to rendezvous submerged to a Russian trawler (which is a Russian tracking station) in the Mid Pacific. There Mr. Gregory Malinoff will come aboard. Kowalski says, "A Russian aboard Seaview? What gives?" NOTE: This is ironic or odd since in year two's THE CYBORG, Kowalski knows how to translate Russian and may be a Polish-Russian or Russian himself! Mr. Montgomery Scott, the presidential aide, goes to the President, informing him that the satellite going off course is sabotage among the ranks of the Russians. The reactor of the satellite will destroy San Francisco. They can't bomb it since the fallout would kill many people. There is no time to evacuate. One Russian will enter Seaview via sea; the other flown to LA by jet. Seaview will go to the sunken satellite and render it harmless. Airport: two men steal a cart and meet Gronsky, telling him they are taking him to a helicopter. They jab him sharply with some needle, knocking him out; then take him to a truck. He is put into a crate (dead?). The men drive out with a fake Gronsky. They take him to a helicopter and it flies off with him. Seaview dock: the fake Gronsky arrives and talks to Greg in Russian. Crane wonders which one is the boss. Seaview heads out and we hear the theme. Nelson gives Chip papers. The satellite is near the coast. Greg is a space expert, not a swimmer. He and Gronsky speak in Russian (in front of Nelson and Crane, which is rude to say the least). Gronsky wants to abandon the project but Nelson tells him no. He assigns a man to teach Greg to dive. Sparks calls--Nelson has a call from the President who has further data. Chip is on the computer, receiving it. The satellite will land only 50 miles from San Francisco--and two hours earlier than expected. We see the rocket on its way.
Seaview is on the surface (Seaview theme). Crewman Clark wants to send his wife and kid a message. Crane tells him, "Sorry, no messages." They figure the perigee and apogee of the rocket--62 degrees in final orbit. The two Russian on board were told the satellite mishap was an accident, not that it was tampered with. Nelson tells him the truth. It will reach critical mass in five hours; they need two and a half hours to disarm it. Greg feels it would take less time. Nelson orders full emergency power beyond the safety margin and they go flank speed. Crane tells the crew the truth about the mission. They have to reach the satellite and disarm it before the nuclear pile can destroy San Francisco. They observe radio silence. Ski tells Clark to shut up and the two fight. Chip comes in but no one will tell him what happened...no one will rat on fellow crew members. Chip warns them, "This isn't a pleasure cruise. If this happens again, heads will roll." Night: a full moon: Conning Tower: Nelson and the Russians see the satellite dropping. Seaview, with them aboard, dives. At the nose is water bubbles. Gronsky tells Nelson this is their ordained purpose--their destiny. When Nelson asks if he means their religious destiny, Gronsky tells him he is not religious. Nelson says perhaps religion and destiny are one and the same. They are not to Gronsky. Crane calls from Control (one of the annoying things about the first season is that when the voices are calling from above or wherever, the voices sound tinny, echoed, and distorted--as on a real life sub--which is not what a futuristic sub intercom system should sound like). They are in the target area. Gronsky tells them they will have less time once they open the capsule. Seaview goes one third slow; the capsule is 8000 yards away. Clark closes the radio shack curtain--entering from the hallway behind it (rarely seen in any season or episode and slightly modified in seasons two, three, and four). Clark bugs Sparks to call his wife and kid. Sparks tells Clark to "beat it" not acting very nicely toward the nervous wreck of a man. Clark attacks Sparks but Curley stops him; Crane stops Curley from putting Clark in the brig but will do so if he repeats this type of behavior. Crane tells Clark that a panic, if the news spread out, would kill thousands and Clark's family could be killed in that panic. Crane tells him, "We're all in the target area." He lets Clark go with a warning. When Curley reminds him a lot of the men have families in the bay area, Crane orders him to put an armed guard on the radio shack.
Seaview lands on the bottom at 400 feet. The two Russians are in scuba gear. Greg tells Crane and Nelson he's had expert diving instruction. Two hours and 35 minutes to go. Sparks gets a message to DC on code 13. Nelson and Crane go to the nose as the Russians swim out passing bottom plant growth. They swim to the rocket where they find the access hatch has been settled on when the rocket landed. They have to cut it open which is dangerous since the torch might trigger it. We hear some excellent music (much of which is used in THE INVADERS episode later) and the diving sequences are well done. Sparks calls Sea Lion to President. The Russians cut through and talk in Russian some more. A fish swims by them. Curley told Crane that Gregory was a good swimmer and a quick learner in diving. Crane tells Nelson that Gregory, despite that, had some trouble clearing his mask. Nelson asks, "Why didn't you tell me?" Crane tells him it is too late to do anything about it now. They and the crewmen in the control room and all over Seaview, worry. Clark sweats and sees his own face reflected in the glass of the timer clock. 41 minutes to go. Greg calls--they are finished and Nelson calls them in. They swim toward Seaview but as they do Gregory has trouble. Curley wonders if it is the bends but Gregory recovers and returns. Lee is happy they are 35 minutes ahead of schedule. The US President calls. Moscow called him--the Kremlin captured and broke one of the ring leaders of the sabotage plot--one Russian on Seaview is an imposter! The ring leader they had, died before they could learn which one. Crane realizes the truth: "The satellite isn't disarmed...it's still going to blow." Nelson adds, "That would be their only reason for sending an imposter." He looks down at the time--a half hour left.
There is a half hour before the satellite blows up. Nelson tells Crane to get the Russians down to the nose, not to let on that anything is wrong. Then the Admiral calls Sparks and tells him to call down lie that Nelson has a call on Code 13 from the President. Nelson also tells Sparks to disregard everything he says after that and to have the Master At Arms standing by. Gronsky returns and wants to get back as quickly as possible. Nelson stalls--he wants to plant a buoy to mark the capsule site. Sparks calls; Nelson fakes that the President is on the other end. He tells the Russians that DC has relayed a message from the Kremlin for the Russians to salvage the brain from the capsule which will take one hour but Nelson will let them do it in the morning. Gronsky gets nervous, telling them the brain is worthless but Gregory disagrees. Nelson will send Gronsky with Gregory to recover it. Nelson smiles, "Mr. Gronsky, you seem, a little upset, are you not feeling well. Perhaps you'd like to lie down?" Crane asks to call him a doctor. Gronsky tells them, "We've got to get away." He tells the truth: he recapped the fuse and connected the wires. Nelson tells him they cannot get away in time and they must disarm it. The wires are crossed at the magnetic cap. Master At Arms takes Gronsky. Gregory wants to help--to go out again but Crane and Nelson feel he wouldn't survive this time. Nelson goes out. Code 13 to Sea Lion--President--Crane reports. As Nelson works there is a short in the capsule which activated the circuit and this could trigger the whole mechanism. One minute left: Nelson finds the short and corrects it. Nelson returns (happy uplifting music--with bell like sounds). Crane calls direct line to White House from nose---he is choked up as is the President---the satellite is disarmed. Crane gulped. Everyone hears this news. The Russians in the Kremlin shake hands (one looks suspiciously like Irwin Allen). All are happy (all are welcome--go into the light--no just kidding--a passing reference to POLTERGEIST). Crane remains grim. Seaview is on the surface. Chip, Nelson, Crane, and Gregory open a bottle of champagne which Gregory feels is better than even vodka. Gregory once thought they afforded themselves too many luxuries on Seaview and America in general--but now he tells them he appreciates this. The officers tells him to be careful. Gregory says, "Why should I be careful, who can hear me? To our homes gentlemen, where ever they are."
REVIEW: Almost prolific in nature as SKYLAB would fall from the sky in the year 1982. The orbit deteriorated and it burnt up on reentry into the atmosphere; however some debris fell into Australia--and quite large bits of debris. While it is not the same exact thing as in this episode, it does remind one of it. SKYLABs I, II, and III began in 1973, oddly enough, about the time this episode takes place. While knowing Gronsky is the saboteur spy from act one reduces the mystery quite a bit, it is nice seeing how he manipulates everyone; also seeing Nelson manipulate him, with Gregory almost as an unknowing accomplice (his each and every remark makes Gronsky more nervous in act four as Nelson pulls his con on Gronsky) is quite nice. This would have been lost if we had not known which was the true spy. Also, since there were and would be other whose-the-spy stories on VOYAGE, this one could afford to reveal who was the spy right away, giving us a twist. The diving scenes are quite nice and this season's undersea sequences are almost unequaled on the show and on any other (including both BAYWATCH and SEAQUEST). Although, I still feel the first season as well as the first season of LOST IN SPACE would have benefitted from being in full color, there is a quality the first season of VOYAGE has, that seasons two, three, and four do not. This is mostly due to the black and white: the sea sequence are darker, more murky, grim, and somewhat scary...as if the other world below is too dark to venture into without some surface light shining brightly or some heavy equipment. There are also, in long shots, canyons, mountains, lots of plants, rocks, etc--which do show up in the later seasons but the effect is different---in black and white it is more mysterious, in color, it is more fantastic. Both feelings work for the show but the black and white give this season a very different feel from anything in the later seasons and also on any other underwater show (SEA HUNT) or above water show (FLIPPER) ever done. HOTLINE's third and fourth act evoke a lot of this. Ski may have been Russian or may have learned how to speak it--as he does seem to understand it in THE CYBORG in year two. He may be Polish Russian. This was never made clear. Mike Ansara does a very good job making us like Gregory. I also liked the other Russian scientist Gronsky, who acted so nice, you almost forget he is the one wanting the bomb to go off. Everett Sloane does a great job as the old spy, which is another turn-around from another VOYAGE--that of THE FEAR MAKERS, where it is the young scientist, not the older, that is the spy (and again, we know from the beginning he is the creepo). HOTLINE is not the best episode but it is NOT by far the worst and is difficult to forget some of its very realistic images, especially of Clark trying to warn his family and of the rocket streaking through the sky toward dooming others. I also like the way the Russians felt such horror at the announcement of where the rocket would land---on a series that usually shows enemies as in a Russian mold, this is rare--although it would happen again, several times on VOYAGE if not the other spy shows that happened in the 60s and 70s. To see the horror on the faces of the Russians--sincere care came off well here. Also, Gregory's cooperation and likability is a nice touch. He was not a cliche Russian character, nor was Gronsky. Gronsky even fooled us into thinking he was "nice" by revealing he was not a religious man but could understand and accept Nelson was.
SUBMARINE SUNK HERE
Seaview is underwater and we hear the wonderful Seaview-VOYAGE theme variation. Lt. Commander Morton calls from a Navy Yard. Nelson and Crane take it in the nose from the radio man there. He and Curley are overseeing repairs to the diving bell. Seaview is finishing up mapping the ocean bottom and will head to New London with shore leave (which Nelson calls liberty leave) set for the night. In the control room, crewman Evans whispers to sonar operator Blake about asking Bishop for emergency leave. Evans' wife is having a baby but something's gone wrong. He keeps asking the cold Bishop (this time played by Paul Comi!) for an answer and if he doesn't get one, he threatens to go to the Admiral. Bishop doesn't take kindly to that and a fight breaks out. Blake gets up from sonar to help stop the fight. Evans hits Bishop and Bishop falls and hits his head, badly hurt. Mr. O'Brien puts Evans under arrest. Blake tries to tell O'Brien it wasn't Evans' fault...and misses readings on the sonar scope. Nose: Nelson and Crane see an entire derelict mine field. Seaview heads right at it. Crane calls O'Brien but gets a belated answer about the fight; Crane orders slow back. Doctor Baines takes Bishop away with help. Crane runs up to the Control Room and tells Blake to keep his eye on the sonar screen. Nelson sees one mine chain caught in the Seaview's front search light housing and the mine rises up and slumps against the window. Nelson grabs the mike, "All stop! All stop!" He runs for the control room.
This episode shows that the Control Room and the Observation Window Nose area should be all one--although this episode probably wouldn't have taken place if both were on one level in this season. A freeze frame of the mine field and the mine line caught on the nose. Nelson runs to the Control Room and tells what happened to the nose. When he asks what occurred, Crane tells him about Evans and Blake. Nelson calls his getting up a dereliction of duty, even if it was just for a few seconds. Lee and Nelson go to the nose as they launch the mini sub. The two men in the mini sub laser the mine chain off the nose but the mine itself rises up and hits another mine. Both explode, throwing the mini sub into another mine. The mini sub blows to bits. Two more mines hit each other. Seaview goes down past more mines and extensive bubbles. More mines go off. Men must close doors on other men, trapping them in flooded compartments. Evans, confined to a room alone, bangs on the locked door as the room floods, "Hey! Hey!" A crewman in a sailor hat lets him out and both fall from water spraying at them. They just barely get out and seal the compartment. NOTE: This sequence among many others from this episode is used in NO ESCAPE FROM DEATH. Nelson goes to a main hall and watches and then helps men help other men up from a floor hatch. Another man comes up, Collins, hurt. Patrick O'Mare is down below in the flooding room. Another man, Harker, tries to reach him and does. But he can't hold onto his arm as the water fills the entire room, even with Seaview tilted somewhat. O'Mare falls into it. Harker goes up for help but Nelson orders Harker to dog the hatch. "He's still alive down there." Nelson orders Harker to dog it anyway. Harker obeys and O'Mare falls down into the water. Dr. Baines arrives and wants to take a man to Sickbay. Nelson says, "Hold it, Doc, put him on the deck till we hit--we're going to hit with quite a jolt." Seaview goes down. Nelson warns, "Brace yourselves everybody--we're gonna hit bottom!" They do and shake. Nelson then says, "Alright, Doc, you can open up your sickbay--that is if we still have one." Nelson wants Harker to go aft to reach the auxiliary ballast tanks. Harker keeps repeating to himself that he couldn't hold his buddy O'Mare--over and over and out loud. Patterson tells that the transmitter is not working but he has the intercom on line. Nelson calls Ski in Crew's Quarters--tight; Dr. Baines has two casualties--critical, engine room is flooded and the passages to it are flooded, the emergency lights are on. Harker says there's nobody down in the engine room. Nelson continues to call--nothing. Harker says, "They're all dead. Just floating out there. Even my buddy's out there..Pat O'Mara. I did it. I closed the hatch." Nelson tells Crane to tell O'Brien to release the emergency marker buoy from the Control Room. Harker gives out emergency plugs which Ski tells him are no good at this depth. Ski has to break up a fight between Harker and Blake. O'Brien is breathing heavily; Crane wonders if the air purifier quit when the lights did. A crewman asks Crane to tell it to them straight. One asks supposing the coast guard doesn't find them. Nelson asks, "Suppose you're crossing a street in LA a month from now and car hits you?" Crane returns--the air is out--the purifier is damaged beyond repair. Nelson calls all men---they are short of air but Mr. Morton and Chief Jones are in New London. Once they fix the bell, the two can reach Seaview with air. Nelson tells them to just sit tight and "we'll all make it." Residual air and what oxygen tanks they will bleed off in ten hours. They all watch the Control Room marker buoy phone, hoping it will ring soon.
Star Dispatch, a newspaper, reports SEAVIEW SUNK! ADMIRAL NELSON ABOARD. ALL HANDS MAY BE LOST. COMMUTER FARES INCREASE TO BE DENIED, NEW PROHIBITION, LATE NEWS FLASH, GOVERNOR RETURNS, NEW PROBLEM FACED BY HEALTH BOARD. New London gets a message to Chip--they have found the Seaview. Curley still has a short in the Bell guidance control system. It will take two days to fix. He and another man work while Chip goes to the craft reaching Seaview. Another ship picks up the buoy marker which reads SUBMARINE SEAVIEW SUNK HERE--TELEPHONE INSIDE. Chip calls. Nelson is glad to hear his voice. The Seaview angle of list is more than 30 degrees which means the bell cannot be coupled to the hull. Chip breaks the news that the bell is still in New London. If they cannot find the short soon, Chip will take the bell down by controlled descent. Nelson tells the others to conserve air; Sickbay calls the Admiral down. When Nelson leaves, a crewman says, "Conserve air. Stop breathing." All the men stare at Blake who runs out of the Control Room. Sickbay: Baines tells Nelson that Bishop has a skull fracture and concussion; the other man has a fractured leg and will be okay but Bishop is in trouble. Doc needs bottled oxygen--using a fraction of everyone's air. Nelson tells him he is asking him to risk the lives of every man aboard to save Bishop's. Doc says, "Either he gets oxygen or we let him die." Nelson tells Doc, "Give him his share and give him mine," but he has to take a vote of the other men individually. Nelson starts with Dr. Baines who says, "Yes, of course." Crew Quarters: Blake stares into nothingness. Evans talks to him. Blake says, "It's my fault all those guys are dead." Harker cuts in, "That's the way I see it." Ski gets in between them again, "If you ask me--it was Bishop's fault." Harker and Evans now have a verbal fight which escalates until Ski and then an entering Nelson put a quick end to it. Nelson tells them to vote for a fraction of their air to be given to Bishop. Blake, Ski, and Pat say yes. Another, bigger crewman says, "Yeah." Harker tells him it may be selfish but he wants to look Bishop in the face if they get out of this--so he votes yes, too. Evans votes yes also which makes it unanimous for this room. Nelson says, "Thanks," and leaves. Crane takes a chart of the other men in the Control Room. Collins and O'Brien say yes. Bishop gets his oxygen from all the men. Chip goes back to Curley--but they have no luck yet in finding what is wrong with the bell guidance. Chip tells him this is the only bell on this coast that can go that deep. Control Room gets an alarm; Patterson tells them there is a fire i the auxiliary firing system in the Missile Storage Room. The fire is deep in the wiring. Nelson tells him to rip out the wiring. He goes to the corridor aft to check and sees smoke coming from somewhere. He checks one room for fire--it is clear, he checks another. Inside is smoke. Nelson grabs a fire extinguisher and sees sparks on controls. He puts it out. Seaview suddenly shakes and water comes into the room, hitting boxes which fall on top of Nelson and trap him. Water and boxes hit him.
Nelson picks his head up but can't get free. O'Brien calls a relief fire detail aft. He falls. Crane asks for reserve oxygen for him. Ski yells for room to get through. Crane tells him, "Just enough to bring him around." O'Brien revives and stands up. Crane tells Ski to spread the oxygen around the rest of the room--the air is foul. Crane orders Blake to get one oxygen tank to every unflooded room in the ship. Collins wakes Evans up in the Crew Room and whispers to him that they can get out. When Evans brings up that no one can survive at this depth, Collins wonders how they know--no one has ever tried it at this depth. Collins brings up Evans' desire to see his wife and kid. He agrees to follow Collins but still continues to try to talk him out of it. Harker blocks Blake, seeing him with oxygen tanks and Harker makes serious cracks about it--about Blake looking after number one with the tanks--saving it for himself. They have a major physical fight in the hallway. Seaview moves again and the fight stops. It is settling in the mud on the bottom but Blake thinks she is breaking up. Chip makes a decision in New London, "All right Curley, let's go!" Chip orders Curley to get going even though the bell isn't totally fixed yet. Seaview's angle is 23 degrees now. Crane says, "One more wallop like that and the bell won't do us any good." He goes to tell the Admiral. Crane sees Harker who tells him he saw the Admiral. Crane passes the fire room and the fire detail almost has the fire out. Crane orders it sealed off when the fire is totally out. He then goes to room that Nelson looked in and then the room that Nelson is trapped in. Crane runs in and pulls the boxes off Nelson, drags him to the door, calling Harker to help him. They carry Nelson out. He seems unconscious but starts to rally when they get him towels. Evans tells Collins he cannot go out the escape hatch and tries to pull him away from it. Evans tries to stop Collins but Collins goes out in scuba gear. Nelson is fully awake and the trio hear Collins calling Evans on the intercom. They come to the room and see Evans being talked to by Collins--who seems all right. Nelson says, "He hasn't a chance!" Collins calls, then starts choking, "Help me, help me, helppp," in one of the most unforgettable moments in VOYAGE, Collins gags to his death while Evans puts his head down against the tube. Harker says, "Chalk up another one for Blake. First O'Mara and the rest of em'---now Collins. If it weren't for Blake." Nelson interrupts him and tells him, "That man didn't plant the minefield. He made a mistake of judgement." Harker yells that that mistake cost them. Nelson says, "It cost him, too, he has to live with it. I believe we oughta give him a break. Think about it."
The ship above has the bell ready to go down with loaded oxygen tanks, Chip, and Curley. Curley tells Chip it is all secure and Chip says, "Let's go." The captain of the ship says, "Good luck, commander," to Chip. The bell is lowered into the water. Nelson tells the crew, "Mr. Morton has started his descent. We have to be as quiet as we can, don't move around the ship, stay calm." The angle worries Crane and Nelson--at 23 degrees it is difficult but not impossible to land the bell on the hull. Chip and Curley in the bell watch downward. Harker goes to Blake in the Crew Quarter; Blakes looks away from him. Harker pours coffee for him and tries to talk to him, sincerely. Harker says, "C'mon, have a cup of coffee, I'll get it." Without a word, Blake walks out. The bell passes the mines now but it and the mines shift with the current. Chip says, "We just have to inch our way through and pray we don't touch one of em." There are nice bubble effects in front of the window as Chip or Curley look out. The bell moves against one of the chains holding the mines. Two mines blow up due to this. Seaview shakes on the bottom from this. Steam pours out. Curley tells Chip the bell is not responding to hard left. Another mine goes off. Ski says, "That was the bell..it hit a mine." Nelson calls Chip and then the salvage barge but the phone's dead. The angle is now 31 and the bell cannot couple with the hull. Crane tells Ski they have to believe the bell is still there. Chip does calls but can't get through--the bell can't reach them he says, the angle is too steep. They don't hear him. Nelson says it is only five degrees off--if the hydraulic system were working...but it's busted--they have no ballast and no power. Crane suggests flooding a compartment. Nelson points out compartment 47 on the tech drawing--flooding it will bring Seaview to the right list. Ski asks, "What for? There's nobody out there--no body alive." Crane says, "Kowalski, we have to believe they're there." The open sea cutter will flood the room but it will have to opened by hand and the water will stay in the compartment. Crane says, "Yeah, so would the man who opened the valve." Nelson says, "We can't ask any man to do that." Blake overhears all of this from afar and runs out. Harker sees him in the hallway and calls to him, sincerely trying to get to talk to him. Harker fails and goes to the Control Room and tells the Admiral he tried to talk to Blake but it didn't do any good--he's too far gone (gosh, and who put him in that state, Harker you dope!). They ask where Blake is now. Harker tells them on the way to frame 47. In the room, Blake shuts the door and opens the valve. Nelson and Crane call in. Nelson yells, "Blake! We'll find some other way to rise the ship!" Water shoots out at Blake, downing him with tremendous pressure and he falls over boxes. More water pours in. Seaview turns the right angle--just perfect. The bell lands on the hull. The hatch opens, a bit of water seeps in, and light fills the area under it. Chip asks, "Permission to come aboard, sir." Nelson grants it and all rejoice as air tanks come down with Chip and Curley, carried, of course. Dock 11 MO--Nelson is in full dress waiting (whatsamatter--can't Nelson visit any of his people ?); Crane comes out of the hospital (the end music here is fantastically moving) and tells him they have more people in the hospital than on shore leave but all are fine. Even Bishop is off the critical list and he doesn't want to bring any charges against Evans. Nelson says, "Good, neither do I." Nelson has news of his own-he just spoke to Carver at the Bureau of Ships (or is it Carver Bureau of Ships?)--Seaview will be raised and back in commission in short order. Lee tells him, "I'll pass the word up to young Harrimin Evans." Getting into the car, Nelson asks, "Who?" Hanging through the window, Lee smiles, "Oh, didn't I tell you--Mrs. Evans had her baby--a boy--she named him after you." Nelson smiles as Lee gets into the car and they drive away.
REVIEW: This episode is very scary not due to any monsters, for there weren't any; it was due to the fact that the lives lost were lost due to human error. And the "guest" crewmen (crewmen who only appear once or twice) in this episode, Evans, Baines, Harker, Collins are all very human and fallible. Lt. Bishop is also added to that list. The mine field sequence from the movie and the mini sub being destroyed is used to wonderful extent here, bettering the movie version with a tight story of survival after a mishap and crash. It was a very human drama and sacrifices had to be made. The men in this were all intense characters. Curley and Chip trying to get through the minefield in a damaged diving bell was quite good too as it gave this often overlooked pair something to do. The scenes above seemed to be from a 1950s movie as they wait for the bell to be repaired. This is excusable since their descent in the bell to save the men is quite exciting. I also like the fact that Nelson and Crane discuss the newborn baby of one of the men and that it is named after them. But all things considered shouldn't she have named the baby Blake instead--I mean it was Blake who defended Evans to begin with and Blake who saved them all. Also--why couldn't the room be flooded some other way--maybe with hoses or something? Blake was a good character even though he made a mistake--certainly if one had to pick between Blake and Harker...While the mistake factor is fine...some of the crew seem a bit unlikable...Collins, Harker, Bishop, and even O'Brien are not too well liked in this episode. Of all of them, Blake was the nicest. Evans, while an okay character, also seemed a bit daft--why didn't he keep a watch on Blake, knowing how Blake felt about what he did ? Why did he fall in with Collins? This makes the crew look a bit too stupid, especially with the Collins bit. Despite all that, Collins' death scene is not one that is easy to forget. And this time (perhaps the only time) a Seaview Doctor has a name---Doctor Baines (who looks like the Doc in THE PRICE OF DOOM but isn't). The Doc in THE PRICE OF DOOM may have been a corpsman but he isn't credited, wears a tie, and if you look closely has at least one or two stars on his collar.
THE MAGNUS BEAM
In a bunker several foreign officers watch a radar screen which picks up another U2 plane overhead. General Gamal tells the watchers, "They are not looking for what they are going to get." They activate a beam (FANTASTIC VOYAGE sound effects). The area is around the Red Sea and the Suez Canal approach in the Mid East. Five men with guns try to take over the base--they do not want Gamal to start a world war. The rebels cannot fire their guns due to a magnetized field--no machinery based on steel will move. They are hit down (the leader by a Major Amadi) and two run out into the hall and are shot down (by what looked like regular guns but which, we find out later, are special types of guns that can work despite the beam). The plane altitude is 30 thousand, range zero. The beam hits the plane. The plane crashes into the bottom of a mountain.
Seaview theme. A man named Richmond is to meet Crane. Seaview will be off Roscoe Baken (?) 8000 yards off. First they will to 4000 and surface with no running lights to drop off Crane. Chip scans area--no rockets or missiles but they are still losing U2 jet planes in the Red Sea area. The villains know Seaview is nearby. The magnus beam is located in an underground bunker and the entrance is deep...so deep that no submarine can enter. Gamal says, "This one can." Gamal gives Major Amadi a free hand to act. Ski and another man bring Crane in a raft to shore and leave. Jerry Richmond, Crane's contact is on the cliffs. In one hour they will be in town. Jerry has ID papers for Crane. Richmond will guide him as far as the main road and then they will split off the highway. Crane will go to a night club called the Golden Parrot and contact a singer named...Jerry is shot by a sniper and soon dies. Crane takes his robes. Amadi, hidden, stops the sniper from killing Crane. Crane is soon on the streets of the town, dark, shadowy streets filled with danger. He is followed and runs. A fight develops between Crane and two or three others in robes. He has help against the crooks and they run off. Crane thanks the helper--a man in a hooded robe...Major Amadi who avoids Crane's questions with, "Not all of us dislike Americans." Amadi knows Crane is American; Crane spouts that it was that obvious, putting it in a question but realizing it is. Amadi tells him the secret police are swarming the area. He will take Crane to the Parrot. A car comes as they approach the club. Crane runs up steps. Amadi hides but then reaches the car which contains Inspector Falazir, a thin moustached, skinny man in business suit and security officer for Gamal who was also present when the rebel men were shot down and the rebel leaders were arrested. Amadi says, "The bait is taken and the fish will be ours but only when we're ready." Inside is the singer singing some indecipherable song. Crane is on the steps above, listening near the rafters. He watches her but meets her on the steps when she finishes (was anyone actually in the night club? Was it a practice session? It looked like there was no audience!). Her name sounds like Luana or Luano but seems to be Juana Rossi. He tells her he is Jerry Richmond (the syndicated copy sometimes has a VOYAGE promo here with the Seaview on the surface seen from side back with the title VOYAGE TO THE BOTTOM OF THE SEA over it). Go figure. When the two go into a room, another woman comes out to her number. Crane tells Juana that Jerry is dead, he tells her the whole truth. He asks if she will help him locate the underground. She says she might. Crane says, "I've got to find the weapon or whatever it is that's knocking down our planes." It is by the cliffs near the coast she tells him. Amadi walks in and Luana tells Crane he is the General Commandant's Chief of Security--a difficult role he says as spy for the underground. Crane is not amused. Amadi wants asylum on Seaview. Gamal is about to plunge the country into war. Amadi will lead Seaview to an undersea cavern entrance to the weapon. Crane says, "Forget it." Luana tells him to take him--if he is was lying, he could have the secret police on their heads in a moment when he goes. She will set up the meeting with the underground. Amadi is blindfolded by Patterson. Crane will stay an extra day on shore. Lee tells Nelson and Pat to watch Amadi. Good music cue. Amadi is brought onto Seaview via the Missile Room. Juana goes to Abdul Azziz's place with Crane. Crane will make contact. Juana wants to go but he tells her he will signal for her. Crane move to the door. Juana hides as men are appearing on the streets. Inside, Crane finds the lights on. Men come in from all entrances and surround Crane. They beat him down!
Nose: Due East 3 miles is a fissure to the cavern of the weapon that destroyed three U2 jets. It is a violation of all known treaties. At 400 feet it is narrowest. Chip and two officers are in the nose with Nelson and Amadi, who tells them this story. Before he leaves the nose, Nelson catches Amadi in a lie, asking him how they physically measured the underwater cavern's dimensions. He didn't say by diving bell---he lied and told them by diving down there. There are bubbles at the windows. Seaview goes one third and moves 1000 yards off the channel entrance and stops. At the window, Nelson and Chip see a marvelous cavern--very neat effect. We hear ELEVEN DAYS TO ZERO music but Seaview goes silent running, radio silence observed, and moves dead slow ahead. Nelson, Chip, and Patterson go to the Missile Room. Nelson will send the mini sub out. He tells Amadi he wants to back Seaview out. Ski gives Nelson a report. The underground report tells them Crane is in the hands of Gamal. Nelson realizes it is Amadi's fault and chokes him, "Where is he!" Suddenly all torpedoes, metal tools, doors, and all metal become stuck to the walls and go flying (pop sound effects curtesy of FANTASTIC VOYAGE). The lights go dead. The doors won't open. Nelson tells Patterson to cover Amadi. Nelson tells him to talk or Patterson will shoot him in five seconds. Amadi tells Patterson to pull the trigger, using Pat's name and sounding smug. It won't fire. All motors, pumps and metal have been immobilized by the magnus beam. Pat wanted to pull the trigger badly. Amadi says, "Why bother Patterson, I'm already a dead man--just as you are." Police watch Abdul Azziz. Juana meets him at a house of one of his cousin's. Police tapped his phone and captured Crane. The caverns are under the Naval Base--he knows this, "General Gamal, Allah be praised, wants to use the machine to make war and get us all killed." Juana tells him they must rescue Crane. Abdul tells her it won't be easy.
Seaview is going up due to the Magnus Beam. Amadi tells them the hull will be crushed but he doesn't want to die but will die for the cause, knowing his intelligence destroyed the Seaview. Crane is beaten up in jail by two men and Falazir. Gamal hopes Crane will talk about the underground to save Seaview but soon realizes, "This man will tell you nothing, have him shot." Two guards are choked down by the heavy, broad Abdul--he and Juana are in the caves. Crane seeing that Falazir is alone, punches him down and they have a brief fight which Crane wins. He stumbles into Juana and Abdul. The girl calls him to consciousness, "Lee, Lee, it's Juana." The passage is the only way out, through a deep well which is a difficult climb. Crane tells them, "Seaview's helpless out there--we've got to help them. No, no, we've got to go this way." They go back to view the weapon from the caves. It is over water, several catwalks lead to the huge device (which looks metallic itself). Pat tells Amadi to shut up as Amadi keeps spouting off. Chip has to hold Pat back. Curley figures scuba gear but Nelson tells him they can't get the escape hatch open. Chip says, "It's hopeless." Crane, Abdul, and Juana hide at an exit into the device, still in the cave around it. They get a guard who passes by the hole and get his weapon--a special type of rifle. Abdul leaves to go get his cousins. Nelson asks Curley to get a copper coil and battery jumpers. They move the mini sub out into the open and open the canopy. Nelson tells Ski he needs batteries from out of it. Seaview is at 250 and rising. Amadi watches Nelson work, worried now. Abdul returns with one cousin (played by Paul Zastupnevich) with more en route. They have dynamite Abdul says was liberated from a digger of oil wells. Juana asks how much they need. Abdul frets over, "The female mind is bogged down with practicalities." Crane notes little cover from the sentries above the rock opening to the device. Cousin Paul leaves to find the other cousins, saying something in Arabic. Seaview at 195. Nelson tells Amadi that he can get the hatch open for a few seconds. Amadi tells him to let him go in diving gear and he will arrange an honorable surrender for Seaview. Nelson laughs and says, "No." In one minute the door will open. (HEY WAIT, WHAT ABOUT THE UPPER OUTSIDE HATCH DOOR?). Falazir has recovered and told Gamal that Crane escaped. Gamal is expecting distinguished visitors so order Crane shot on sight and more guards posted. He wants them to cover every inch and tells Falazir, "Find him or the consequences will be most unpleasant for you." He orders full power on the magnus beam to crush Seaview...they've waited far too long already. Abdul looks as General Gamal walks near the device, "Hoooo, how I'd like to give him a 21 gun salute." He waves the dynamite. Nelson orders plastic explosives and aluminum spear guns for the team going out. Two guards come into the cave area where Crane and the other two are; they walk near a dynamite stick Abdul dropped. He manages to recover it when the two leave. Crane feels they are pinned down. Juana asks, "Where are those cousins of yours?" Abdul looks up and rolls his eyes, "What a burden it is when a man has to be dependant on relatives." Despite this misgiving, the cousins do arrive and Crane wants a diversion for them to attack the machine. Abdul feels a diversion now would be a gift from Allah. Crane begins to move out, "We can't wait here--we'll be slaughtered." Juana grabs his arm, "Lee ---- don't."
90 seconds is all the battery can neutralize the magnetic beam field. They open the tube door using the attachment to the mini sub battery. Amadi attacks their set up and the door closes with Nelson on the outside holding it. Patterson punches Amadi down and out, "If you only know, sir," he tells Admiral Nelson, "...how long I've been waiting to do that." Nelson orders them to try again and the divers--including Chip, Curley, and Ski---get out of the Missile Room escape hatch. WHAT ABOUT THE UPPER HATCH? Falazir has his men use gas projectiles. Seaview is 50 feet before being crushed to powder. Gamal smokes (figures). One of the Seaview men fire a spear gun into a guard and pulls him into the water. The Seaview men go to the base of the device and plant explosives. Another guard is pulled into the water by a Seaview man, Kowalski, who also brains another guard with a large wrench. He gets his spear gun out and hits another guard who, already in the water, fights him. Gamal and Falazir see this (good action music) and shooting starts. The cousins attack. Crane orders Juana to stay behind barrels. Men shoot each other and fight hand to hand with spear guns. Many of the Gamal men fall off the catwalk, being shot and blown up. Abdul shoots Falazir dead. Gamal shoots Kowalski from above--his shoulder is hit. Crane rushes to Ski to help him. Gamal points his gun at Crane but Abdul shoots him. Gamal crawls to the device to stop the explosives. Crane gets to the detonator, "Hit the deck!" He plunges the plunger down and the device, with Gamal on it, blows apart. Seaview nose: day: at sea: Patterson brings Amadi to Nelson, Crane, and Juana. Amadi still claims political asylum; Nelson tells him as you did before. He will be turned over to Rocan Barren as their prisoner--the prisoner of the people. Jauna explains, "With General Gamal dead, the new government will give you a most interesting trial..." and then with distaste she adds, "Major." Amadi's face shows he realizes the predicament he is in. Seaview sails the surface.
REVIEW: This one hits home as planes have been destroyed over Russia. Abdul Azziz is a funny character who helped Lee Crane as he was stuck within the mazes of caves of the Arab villains. Jacques Aubuchon as Azziz made the role especially fun, a very different role than the one he would later play in LAND OF THE GIANTS-GENIUS AT WORK (that of a child beater). It is interesting to note, that while the Seaview men kill many guards, the writers made Abdul the one who killed the leaders Gamal and Falazir. Seaview was ensnared by the beam while the men lead a two pronged attack on the device in a shoot out that cannot be soon forgotten, especially as Ski is shot--but in the shoulder. Note: when bad guys get shot, they usually die. Good guys get wounded, although some episodes do have exceptions such as THE TRAITOR where a crewman (not a crewman we knew) was killed saving Nelson from the bad guy. Perhaps if the Americans were seen to be killing the bad leaders, it would look bad for the country and to the foreign country. This episode, and many other first seasoners and a few early second seasoners seem to be highly prolific and premonition-like as several events happen that mirror the 70s, 80s, and 90s, in particular the downing of jets, wars with Arab dictators who want to further war, and take hostages.