VOYAGE TO THE BOTTOM OF THE SEA-Hail to the Chief, The Last Battle, Mutiny,

Chase - Posted on 17 August 2009





DIR-GERD OSWALD (who also directed many OUTER LIMITS)



June 24, 1973 on a Sunday--Tobin (no, not the cantankerous war monger from THE SKY IS FALLING) who is really Scotty from STAR TREK tells Destroyers to stand by. Half a million people are outside. Tobin gets rid of a newsman and goes into the sick man's room who everyone is worried about. This is the one man who can keep peace at the Geneva Conference in 1971 and who was being counted on to keep peace this time too. The plan must work. A helicopter will take the man to a destroyer--he must spend no more than 30 minutes in the helicopter and he has only 36 hours to live unless they operate. Tobin says the man's name, "This man is Henry Talbot McNeil--the president of the United States."



Seaview is at a dock in Norfolk, Virginia--what Nelson feels is a hospitable town. Nelson and Crane are in full dress with hats and all. General George Beeker (John Hoyt) needs a double A security crewman. Ski is called (he wears a white sailor's hat). Beeker tells them the rest of the crew are restricted to the sub. Crane asks on who's authority--the Seaview is a civilian ship. Beeker insists--on his authority. They all leave. Ski waits in the office and eyes the girl who leaves as well as the secretary. Ski tells her after some small talk, that he is not in the Navy--he works for a research outfit. The girl (Susan Flannery) is not the regular secretary--she's out so this receptionist is in--from the steno pool. Her glasses pick up the conversation in the office. Ski reads a magazine. The President was in South America on vacation for just before the NATO talks in Geneva--which will be in one week. They now have a political and medical problem, therefore both sections of the government are involved. Dr. Kranz (David Lewis-ex-Edward Quartermaine on GENERAL HOSPITAL soap opera) suggest a Dr. Taylor for the destruction of the hemotomin in the President's brain. The President took a fall (Gerald Ford maybe?) and took on serious head injuries. A subdeural homtoma--a blood clot under the lining of the brain. It can be removed using brain surgery but Dr. Taylor's MGQ machine is developed to dissolve the hemotoma. If it cannot, then surgery will have to be performed. The government men say, "The Seaview can solve several of our problems."  It has security (hahaha--see THE BUCCANEER and THE HUMAN COMPUTER). It has the best and most advanced medical facilities afloat. It will rendezvous with a Destroyer in the Caribbean at a prearranged time. CNO will outline the course. Ski will be the courier and deliver this in SEALED ORDERS which can be opened only with a key that Nelson will have--there are only two like it. Nelson has one, the sender of the message the other. A fat chubby, cigar smoking leader of the enemies is told this by the girl secretary receptionist. Beeker puts an arm bracelet band on Ski's arm and locks it--the orders are inside on microfilm. He is to follow the route prescribed. Ski, on his way out, asks the girl for dinner when he has shore leave--shore leave which he expects just after this mission. She says maybe, then, after he leaves, opens an antenna on his glasses--LRO to 7X35--confirm courier via motorcycle. Ski is on his cycle. The guy from LAND OF THE GIANTS-GHOST TOWN-the tramp sets up a wire trap which causes the cycle to crash and Ski to fall.



Ski gets up and a woman named Monique (Nancy Kovak-a frequent BEWITCHED and I DREAM OF JEANNIE guest star) stops in her sportscar. She has long dark hair (a wig it seems) and dark sunglasses. She calls over two men as Ski passes out. They put him in an ambulance and search him, finding the arm band on his left arm. They put it under a scope and read it: TOP SECRET-72+A+4. They read the orders (THE PRICE OF DOOM music). This sequence reminds me of the much later MISSION: IMPOSSIBLEs where the IMF would take a crook and do all sorts of things to him in a fake ambulance set up. They take a copy of the orders for decoding. They put Ski back out near the girl. He eaves to her and goes off on his cycle, not realizing how long he was knocked out. Ski goes to Seaview and to Nelson, telling him about the minor accident. Nelson uses his key to open the arm band and take it off. He takes the microfilm out. Elsewhere: old man Dr. Taylor is telling his colleague (aide?) Dr. Laura Rettig about his trip to Norfolk, telling her he feels comfortable with her in charge of their radiology unit in the hospital. He cannot divulge more and she seems to understand. Laura will be left in full charge of the clinic. Dr. Taylor and she part and he is run down, on purpose, by a station wagon which pulls away. Laura yells out his name. Later: Laura seems recovered--she and the fat chubby man are in a dark room together. Laura demonstrates the device Taylor was going to use to save the President. She has gloves and protective goggles on. The egg she fires at smokes. The outer surface looks the same but inside--the molecular structure has been changed. It is now powder and can be crushed by the pair. The ray was a cure but with the magnetic element in the ray turned to a higher intensity it becomes a death ray, destructive power from what could have been a cure at lower intensity. Her instructions are clear--the President should have a death by natural causes. The phone rings. Laura answers it and seems to smirk a bit. She hangs up and says, "Dr. Taylor died--he was a very fine man."  She and her boss don't seem to really believe this and both do not seem too broken up about this. That bitch. Seaview orders: South-south east off the Virgin Islands in 13 hours at 40 knots, one officer, one crewman, the President will be sent to Seaview in a diving bell to Seaview; there must be no surfacing. All of this has been done to keep it all a secret. Curley reports the surgical team is on the dock. Dr. Adams is the anthethsiologist and a nurse is on board as well. Laura arrives with a flamboyant dress, hat, and smoking a long cigarette. She claims to be the radiologist. She gives her bags over to the man Morgan, the security person. Lt. Baker will show her to her quarters. She crosses the catwalk. Seaview moves off from the city harbor and then dives to 200 feet (Seaview theme). An officer comes down to the nose. En route Dr. Jamieson (Malcolm Atterbury) located the hemotoma via an encelphelogram. Dr. Krantz tells Laura this. He and Dr. David Adams inspect scrubbing. Laura (who seems to be called by a slightly different last name at times--like Redding for example) is left alone in her curtained off section of sickbay. Laura readies the death ray device, flipping a switch (good music used throughout this scene and the whole episode).



Seaview is at 200 feet at 35 knots. Chip gets a reading from the engine room--40 knots. Crane asks Curley to run a check. The gyro repeater states the course is 235 but it is really 170. Lee says, "This is a better ship than we thought---it's going in two directions at once!"  He suggests that they entered some magnetic zone. Nelson dismisses this but says, "Or maybe the magnetic zone has entered us."  Watches, instruments, compasses, and three different chronometers have all gone haywire. Nelson runs to Sickbay and questions Rettig about it. Morgan (Ed Platt of GET SMART and perhaps the Chief here too!) She lies, then tests her machine---no change in the interference. Of course, Laura has a special shut off switch for the death ray and can make it look like the problem is not coming from the machine. Crane tells Chip to put detection devices to the computer. They are getting magnetic feedback and work on finding out their location. LOST IN SEA. Seaview tilts. Nelson in the hallway shakes. A Navy man carrying a tray, falls (film VOYAGE), Sickbay shakes too. Curley, Clark, and Crane run to the pressure room. An explosion aft 7 or 9 is causing this. Nelson grumbles, "It would be--that's the most inaccessible part of the ship."  Clark wants to free it by hand. Nelson warns him if the arrow is three points past the red zone he has to flood the compartment. Crane says with a cracked valve wither they fix it from the inner hull, sink, or race back to port. Clark insists he fix it and goes in. He passes sparking wires, water, divider frames but finally finds the stuck valve. There is other minor damage all over the ship. Nelson tells Curley to stand by to crack the hatch over the entrance. Curley asks, "With Clark still in there?"  Nelson yells, "Stand by!"  Seaview shakes. A hose falls and steam comes out. Clark has found the valve but the point is one half away from the red line. Clark drops a wrench and gets his arm stuck in the turning turn wheel. The arrow is on the red line. Nelson calls in. Lee goes in. Nelson will wait three points past the red line. Crane knows this but goes in to find Clark anyway. He hears the man calling. Crane accidentally puts his hand on a pipe and it sparks at him. He calls. Crane, after much crawling around, finds and frees Clark. The arrow is two and a half points over the red line. Curley argues not to put the plate back over the entrance but does it when it hits three. Nelson orders him to break the glass for emergency valve to be used--then they have to go back to port! Nelson will wait ten more seconds. Curley starts turning but Nelson yells for him to wait. The pressure starts dropping as Lee frees Clark's arm and moves the valve. Nelson orders the plate off and Curley obliges, "Yes sir."  We hear happy music. Slap happy good darn music. Seaview is on course. A surface craft at two o'clock arrives with the President on board. We hear Seaview theme. Crane lifts up the periscope and sees the destroyer out there.



The bell is lifted off the destroyer and moves past the periscope as Lee watches. Nelson, Crane, and radio man in the nose see the bell pass the nose window. They also see the Destroyer bottom. These scenes are marvelous with great effects. Crane orders Seaview ahead. Nelson smokes (Eaggahhh!). Seaview goes to 150 feet to meet the bell. The bell is near the hull as the sub moves under it and finally the bell lands safely on Seaview. The Missile Room transfers passengers from the escape hatch. Commander Jamieson goes to Rettig and Adams and is introduced by Krantz. The President was not conscious at all since the afternoon. They do not need to scrub down, Krantz insists, since they will not operate if the MGQ works. Ski looks at the President being taken past, "That's the first time I saw the President up close."  Curley responds, "The next time you see him--I hope he looks better--a lot better."  Sickbay: Jamieson looks and says the hemotomin is in a good place for surgery. Krantz continues to sing the praises of the MGQ (is he a spy too?). They begin to use it--or rather allow Laura to. Blood pressure is lower as the device warms up. Laura makes her switch. The machine becomes intense and she puts protective glasses on. Krantz now seems worried that it is too intense. Chip looks at controls flip, "There they go again, capt'n."  Laura uses her secret switch but this time, the computer is cut in and gives Nelson the area of the interference-range 60-Sickbay. "Sickbay!!"  Nelson runs down to Sickbay and pushes past the guards just in time to run into the room and stop Laura, "Stop that machine!"  Laura fights him on the other side of the device, aiming at the President's head, "I'm not going to let you stop me, now!"  Nelson turns the device away from the President. Laura tries to aim it at him but lab beakers and other devices and equipment are blasted. Nelson pulls the wires out and it stops. A guard of Morgan's arrests Laura, who snaps, "Don't touch me!"   Nelson will be happy to remove the machine and have it dismantled. Seaview is at dead stop as the surgery begins. Official music is heard at Norfolk dock. Nelson and Crane watch in full uniform dress with hats as an ambulance leaves. Nelson says, "Another write up for your memory book, Lee, a personal thank you from the President himself."  Crane spots Beeker coming up to the Seaview via a catwalk. Crane says, "Uh oh."  Beeker is saluted by both. He thanks them and tells them they, and the Seaview's men are restricted to the ship until a press conference can be held to tell the world about the President's condition. They can't take the chance the story will leak out first until the White House notifies the press themselves. Beeker says, "Nice job, well done."  He leaves. Nelson says to Crane, "Let's go, Lee. We don't know anyone in Norfolk, Virginia anyway."


REVIEW: Hail to HAIL TO THE CHIEF. There are no monsters, no gunplay, no fights, not too many shake up the sub (although in season one almost every shaking sub scene was used effectively to fit the story and not overdone--by season four the focus was the being shaken about), not much by way of violence, and no brainwashing. For all of that, even though, at first, it may seem slow and unmoving due to not having any of those usual VOYAGE trappings, this episode rises above almost all the others. We really do care what happens to the President, despite the fact he is not characterized in this episode. Everyone else is so concerned--it rubs off. I also like the way the enemy got away with intercepting Kowalski--totally. The sterling cast makes this one worthy. Viveca Lindfors, now big in theatre, was an excellent enemy agent, akin to the Russian (Lotte Lenya) lead female spy in FROM RUSSIA WITH LOVE, however, here, the spy is much more mature, sly, and womanly, not to mention much more devious. Her fight with Nelson in the Sickbay as she tries to shoot the deadly beam at the President is short but exciting. I also remember the murder of the good and kindly Dr. Taylor--via a car--and the enemy woman's reaction...very cold and calculating. The idea of the President having to be operated on evokes FANTASTIC VOYAGE, even though in that movie it was a badly wounded scientist, not the President. The other plot--that of a cure ray being used as a death ray--has been done before and with more emphasis on the device (THE INVISIBLE RAY with Karloff and Lugosi is one standard example and a very good movie to boot). However, here, the story intermixed with the spy stuff and the political intrigue is quite good. The scenes with Clark in the vent were tense and knowing Clark was not a regular crewman but a sometimes crewman made it more so--he could have died in there. This scene as well as Crane's rescue of him is used in NO ESCAPE FROM DEATH. Kowalski being knocked down and the female secretary spy in the office---and they waylay Ski on his motorcycle as he delivers sealed orders about the operation is memorable. The ending with the Seaview crew confined to quarters is ironically funny and Nelson's line, "Let's go Lee, we don't know anyone in Norfolk anyway,"  is also fun. A large supporting cast of pros makes this one watchable and entertaining. I must also give accolades to both Basehart and Hedison again. Basehart makes the last few scenes of the show--when he fights Laura in the Sickbay believable and exciting in an episode that has been building to this for the whole hour! Hedison injects wry wit and humor into Crane in season one, humor which can be appreciated. It is too bad that he seemed to frustrate on this by seasons three and four--he is absolutely brilliant in this season--even more than usual---his encounters with all kinds of people in this season--stuffy, by the book officers, snoopy scientists, obsessed men and women, frightened crewmen who have families, THE HUMAN COMPUTER, and here, the idea that Seaview is telling him it can go in two directions, gives Hedison a chance to show off his acting ability, making Crane human and humorous in a role that could have been dull but isn't thanks to Hedison. Amid others also see LONG LIVE THE KING, THE SKY IS FALLING, THE CREATURE I, CRADLE OF THE DEEP, and MUTINY (in his dealings with Admiral Stark) for more of this Crane wit injected by Hedison. He could also, project fear as in MUTINY, grimness as in SUBMARINE SUNK HERE, and deadly seriousness in almost all the shows. Hedison should be much appreciated by all Allen fans and VOYAGE fans. A look to Nelson or to Chip in reaction to something another character says, a frown or glance, does it all from Hedison and this must be said of Basehart as well. They knew how not to let the submarine upstage them.









Karl Deiner is Admiral Nelson's passenger mate on board a jet he is taking to Washington DC. He makes small talk to Nelson who feels like a regular commuter. Nelson, at first, is aggravated by the small talk. A stewardess tells Nelson he must eat--it's one of the rules. The plane descends as Karl switches Nelson's sugar in his coffee for a drug which makes him go to sleep. Later, the stewardess takes his tray. Karl gets up, signals another man, and both take out guns. The other stops the stewardess from calling for help (who was she going to call anyway?). The two men put a parachute on Nelson and two on themselves. They open the door to the sky and push Nelson out and jump out after him. Who pulls Nelson's cord? It may have been set on automatic or something.



We hear the VOYAGE theme as Seaview is on the surface. Lee tells Chip about Nelson missing. Seaview is going to Norfolk. Exterior camp set, which is quite good, is where Nelson is-some kind of concentration camp.  A German man watches a film of Hitler addressing the German populace in the 1940s, including the Hitler Youth. Nelson, on a couch, awakens to the sounds Hitler's speech. Nelson recognizes the German man--Colonel Alfred Schroder--a war criminal. He came to find his hiding place on this forgotten edge of nowhere. Nelson fully realizes what Schroder has done and attacks him but is easily knocked aside. He tells Nelson not to show his moral indignation in this way---Nelson's been drugged and dragged half way across the world--it is two days after the plane trip. Schroder allows the fellow passenger, Colonel Karl Deiner to enter. There is stock music as the screen closes and they take Nelson around the camp outside this building. Schroder explains that give the Germans a little timber, barbwire and, "We do what we know how to do best."  He survived a 30 year manhunt for him...he lived like an animal but survived the wartime. He hid in sewers. Nelson comments, "You people always seem to survive."  When Schroder asks if Nelson wants to hear his plans, Nelson says, "I've got a hunch I couldn't stop you from telling me."  The film was the first anniversary of the German Reich. Nelson admits he didn't understand the speech--it was in German and he doesn't know it. Schroder says it is the language of poets to which Nelson says, "Not always."  The Reich was supposed to last 1000 years, World War II is considered to be just a minor engagement in a larger battle. Schroder was entrusted to rebuilt the Reich, a 4th Reich from the ashes of the 3rd. Schroder claims the future of the world lies in its oceans--he will make Nelson head of all maritime projects. They take Nelson to other prisoners. The first is Dr. Gustav Reinhardt. Nelson says,  "You're supposed to be dead."   Gustav answers,  "I am. We all are."  Schroder crashed an airliner to get this psychologist here--"fortunes of war, Admiral."  The next man is Anton Miklos, a nuclear scientist who vanished without a trace. Nelson once attended Miklos's Oxford lecture on new ways of exploding the neutron.  Benjamin Brewster is next--an electronics expert--supposed to have been buried in a skiing accident. Schroder tells them someday he will Nelson who is really buried there--when he is convinced a little knowledge is not a dangerous thing.  Last is Alejandro Tomas, a three time Olympic decathlon star. Nelson knows him, too--he says, "I read the Sports pages."  Tomas will be the father of new supermen. Gustav says to Nelson, "We are the new master race. Welcome aboard." 



Seaview surfaces. Chip gives Lee a top priority message in the nose. There is no news and even Washington's top agents cannot find anything. Anton points out the tower to Nelson. Benjamin comments that even David had a sling. Nelson thinks the best weapon they have are their brains. Schroder appears and tells them that they should plan their escape when Corporal Vent is on the tower--he's a terrible shot but makes a good meal. He taunts Nelson about the escape plans, then leaves. Nelson tells the others Schroder's conceit is as if his side won the war, not lost. Gustav gives a commentary on the opposite sides of Schroder's mind--brilliant and yet nervous, too. He wants to control their minds and will break them one by one. Tomas wants to get his hands around Schroder's neck but that wouldn't stop him, one of the others would simply replace him, Benjamin says. Nelson agrees--he has an idea. They are on an island miles from shipping lanes. Nelson figures they have to bring the outside world to them. Night, Tomas cuts wires near the tower while the others plan  to tap into the electric fence. Nelson uses his heel to band in the sending key device and they have their own radio station. The stock music is tense and well done. Sparks tells Lee he has monitoring all short wave bands, then all bands. He tries international bands. Almost dawn as Nelson continues to try. He tells the others they will try every night. Sparks calls Captain Crane--he is picking up something: a CW signal-the Seaview code. Sparks will use the radio direction finder. Crane tells him to send a reply, "The Calvary is on its way."  Nazi Headquarters--their antenna makes them aware Seaview is on its way and is one day away. Nelson is brought to Schroder in the morning and told he expected him to set up a radio in three days time but they did it in one day. Schroder tells Nelson he is a small pawn on the chessboard--bait to get Seaview here. He shows Nelson the reply Lee gave. Nelson goes to hit him but stops when Schroder tells him there is not much reason to keep him alive--Seaview will serve the 4th Reich--sailing to sea at a point between Moscow and Washington DC--within nuclear range. Two missiles will fire at each city. The retaliation will cause a nuclear holocaust and he will gain the whole world. Nelson couldn't understand why anyone would want that? Schroder is willing to let the major powers destroy each other after he triggers the war. From the ashes, he will build the 4th Reich. Nelson, taken off guard by this, pleads to him, "That'll cost millions of lives. You must have some feelings, some emotions."  This fails and Nelson is made to leave by the guards. Schroder sieg hails the map of the world and Hitler's bust.



Nelson tells the others. Karl comes in and takes out the light bulb and the makeshift radio. Benjamin blames Nelson and the two get into a heated fight which almost becomes physical. Gustav stops them by telling them Schroder wants to divide and conquer. Nelson admits he shouldn't have taken offense so easily but the walls may have ears. Seaview is on the way and Schroder crows all he can about this. Outside in the morning near the shower stalls, Nelson, Benjamin, Gustav, and the others plot. Nelson asks Gustav to give a rundown on what Schroder might be thinking. Gustav reasons the Colonel is waiting for a countermove so instead they have to give him a counter-counter move. Gustav expects Schroder expects something brave like storming the main gate. Nelson says they have to give him it--and use it as a diversion. First, they must find out how to stop the trap that is going to be sprung on Seaview. The south side of the island, the Nazis cleared the channel; supplies are brought in on the side they are at so the channel must be for Seaview's capture. Tomas returns with no shirt on, finishing his wash. Anton tells Nelson the last time a man tried to escape he was tortured for four days and then killed. Tomas will find out what is going on despite that. He sneaks past the guard, hits him and throws him against the fence, starting an alarm. He shoots at the tower and gets under the fence but then meets Schroder and Karl outside the fence. Schroder doesn't care about the guard--Tomas tells them all about the two step plan of the Admiral's!



Schroder's radio room must be where the controls to the antenna and the trap on Seaview are. Nelson asks the men if anything strange had been brought to the island. Anton figures that when he was in the workroom, he heard about a cargo of huge steel nets--the trap for Seaview. Nelson wants to blow up the controls but Benjamin says it is impossible. He turns to Anton to make the explosive, telling him it would be the same as a large scale detonation only smaller--exploding energy. They will need a shell to contain the release and clay or mud might do. They also need a detonator. Benjamin tells them he will get them the spark. They need a base nitrate for the explosive itself. NOTE: There is a cross in the room on the far corner. Seaview stops one half mile from the island near a built channel. Schroder and Karl track it. Chip, in scuba gear, returns to the Control Room and tells Lee the lagoon is too shallow and guns cover it. Lee is following Schroder's every figuring of what he will do. Reefs block the East and West. Chip suggests blasting the lagoon but Crane vetoes that, "No, the Admiral wouldn't stand a chance."  Nelson plants explosives and runs back. The three older men divert so Nelson and Tomas can get past to the HQ. Whoever gets in will blow it apart. Schroder stops Nelson and Tomas. Tomas reveals himself to be the traitor--Schroder tells Nelson that the younger man couldn't resist their persuasions--his mind is not like the others. Sabotage, traitors--all the weapons of war, Schroder tells Nelson, who punches Tomas, telling him he is the worst of all of them. Tomas falls but when Nelson is brought back, he seems to have a slight smile on his face. Seaview enters the channel. Chip and Lee see it on the TV, Chip smiling (yes, that's right, Chip smiles). Tomas, Karl, and Schroder watch Seaview on their radar screen and TV. Schroder wants to be the one who personally turns the switch to trap Seaview. Tomas is still holding the home made bomb, one of many the prisoners made. Rounded up, the prisoners watch the HQ. Nelson says, "Now, now."  The radio room blows up. Seaview is on the surface and all is over now. In the nose, Nelson and Lee talk. Nelson had checked the barbwire fence himself. Tomas couldn't have gotten outside or over it. Nelson sabotaged Tomas's bomb using a timer made from his wristwatch. Chip arrives with news of the other prisoners. Reinhardt's blood pressure is a bit high but the other prisoners are all right. Lee says, "Once those steel nets would've been over the Seaview, we'd have been effectively trapped---he could have played cat and mouse with us."   Nelson says, "He would've played cat and mouse with the whole world."   Lee says, "You mean whatever would've been left of it."   Nelson says, "Yeah, whatever would've been left of it."


REVIEW: Normally Nazis restarting World War II or rising up from the ashes of World War II and starting WWIII and the New Reich are pretty predictable. This one was not. Schroder and Karl were two of the most vilest villains ever and Schroder seems to actually outsmart Nelson most of the time. The dialogue is tense and even if a bit talky, not too much. It is never a boring episode, almost like a game of chess. This episode seems to have been shot in the set of another FOX movie, maybe STALAG 17 or VON RYAN'S EXPRESS.     



































Navy News: Nelson Inspects Subs: Admiral Evaluating Neptune Now. Neptune looks like Seaview, only changed and less modified. When we see it up close, one of the side windows looks like it has a pin crack in it. Nelson tells the Captain--Jim the gyros are sluggish, the oil temperature is 20 degrees high, the port propeller shaft bearings have water in them. Nelson tells the captain there is no reason to decrease speed now--the best time something can go wrong is on a shakedown cruise. Guidance checks out okay but the bow is ten degrees down. Nelson tells the captain, "Easy, Jim, you're not being evaluated, only the ship."  Jim says, "Thanks, Admiral."   NOTE: Promo material relays that Jim and Harry are supposed to have been good friends. Electronic circuits receive interference, sonar feels they are right in the center of the interference, and gyros deviate. Neptune shakes and hits rocks. Nelson wonders if it is a forcefield of some kind. Nelson tells Jim to radio Com Sub Pack. Above is a mountain reach--with peaks up to 300 feet. They are at 3600 feet, in uncharted water deeper than the Marinas Trench--mountains bigger than Mount Everest. In the periscope they see the biggest school of coelentera which soon vanishes. They get electro magnetic radiation from the mountains. Nelson smiles, "I'd give a lot to have core samples."  Nelson and Fowler (whom Jim calls to be the "Admiral's buddy" in diving) go out into the waters. Suddenly, a giant Man O' War, a jellyfish, descends on the Neptune, making it look very tiny indeed!



Nelson and Fowler swim by large growths, their geiger counter reading. On the Neptune, the guidance controls malfunction and they cannot blow ballast--compressors don't respond. Nelson and Fowler pick up some rocks and haven't yet seen the jellyfish. Suddenly, they see the giant tentacles descend on the Neptune from above. This scene, makes one realize how the color episodes with the jellyfish somewhat pale by comparison--the hugeness of it in MUTINY and the black and white photography as well as the sound effects mixed with the way the thing strikes with those tentacles, make this a very creepy scene and episode. The tentacles drape on the Conning Tower of the sub which has no maneuvering speed now. The thing completely engulfs the sub, which is visible through its hide. Nelson and Fowler go upward as the jellyfish causes an explosion which rips the Neptune in half. The two men fight their way through the smaller coelentera to the surface. Nelson tells him they have to keep their heads, slip out of the wet suits and use the airtanks to inflate them. Nelson gets water in his mouth. He is more worried about sharks which he points out to Fowler and which scare the tiny coelentera away. They use their shark repellant spray to ward off the sharks. They hook their scuba gear together and tie the tanks to the legs of the wetsuits. Nelson pulls Fowler up to their makeshift raft and then gets himself up, "Good work, Fowler."  It is 300 miles to the next shipping lane. Admiral Jim Stark of Com Sub Pac calls Lt. Commander Jackson in. The 7th fleet cannot locate the Neptune even though it has been 12 hours and there are no reports of survivors yet. Jim went through Annapolis with Harrimin Nelson. Lee comes in to Joe Jackson and insists on seeing Stark, even though the older Admiral is in a foul mood, Jackson telling Lee, "Even on his best days, he eats junior officers for breakfast and right now he's sore as a boil."  Joe brings Crane in. Stark tells Lee that the Admiral is a sailor--if there's a way he'll find it. The South Pacific area weather: hot sun. Crane reads it and Stark yells, "I can read."   Crane apologizes. Nelson sails NORTH BY NORTHWEST in a good current. They row with their fin flippers but Fowler drops one by mistake. He curses himself, "Clumsy...I'm sorry, Admiral."  Nelson just makes a face (nice guy, today). Fowler ties the other flipper to his hand. Planes and destroyers search. We see an extreme long shot of the raft. A pound of excess fat is two meals to them. Nelson is stung by one of the coelentera as he tries to fish. Fowler was stung when the things were in his wet suit and even stung him on the back of his head. Nelson tells him to keep the stings cool with sea water. Fowler does but also starts to drink some which Nelson stops. Nelson pulls up a fish for them to eat. Fowler knives it. Stark is on the phone demanding results--it is night where he is now and soon it will be night in the Pacific. 200 planes search 500 square miles of sea. Stark wants every inch searched and hopes they survive the night. It is rough seas and heavy waves; Fowler's shirt is used as a sail. Fowler asks about whether or not they will make it. Nelson wonders about the creature--perhaps the forcefield stimulated its ability to grow, he will know when he goes back. Fowler won't go back and he tells Nelson. The creature is really a whole system of creatures together, organized. Nelson holds onto  Fowler. Crane tells Stark, "This not knowing--there must be something."  It went down 6000 miles away. Stark berates Lee--again, "Men have gone down with subs for hundreds of years--good men, brave men like Nelson and the crew of the Neptune."   Heavy seas prevent further searching. Nelson pulls Fowler up again but the rough storm makes Fowler go back down. Nelson calls for him and looks under the water for him. Nelson yells for Fowler but the man is gone.



Seaview dock: a man carries a crate with a rolling aide cart. Others carry boxes. Nose: The secretary of defense tells Lee Seaview is in commission to investigate the loss of the Neptune. Chip comes in, "Good morning."   Crane turns, "Oh, good morning."  On the phone, Stark talks loudly and yells at Lee, "I run a tight ship--old Navy, spit, polish and brig."  Crane tells him, "Yes sir,"  and when he gets off the phone with him, raises his hands in frustration, "That's all I need--Captain Bligh!!!"  On ship, Stark yells at Curley about a sloppy drill and threatens him with being back in the Navy as a seaman if he doesn't move faster than that. Curley looks up in the Missile Room, "Yes sir,"  he says angrily. Crane tells Stark to let up on the men, "This is not a Navy ship. You've been on them for days. I'm New Navy, so are my men,"  and then he winces as he says, "So was Admiral Nelson."  Stark ignores this info and tells him the Seaview is on active status, calling Crane Captain. Sparks calls the captain several times--he has a call. Crane puts it on the intercom--Nelson is in bed in the Honolulu Naval Hospital, safe. Jiggs Stark is talked to by Nelson. Nelson tells him, "Well, uhmm, let's keep relaxed."  Stark says, "Sure, Harrimin."  Crane hugs some of the men and puts his arms around two at the same time. Hospital: Crane meets Nelson as Nelson dresses in full uniform. He sailed-drifted half and half for two more days until he hit the shipping lanes. Fowler's mind was completely gone--Nelson says--"he was haunted by the coelentera and the loss of his buddies aboard the Neptune."  Nelson laughs but looks at Lee and tells him he looks like he just lost his best friend. Nelson is talking fast, nervous-like, not like himself. The captain of the Neptune didn't blow ballast--he couldn't. Nelson takes pills--the doctors wanted him to stay for further testing but he told them he can't. He takes cortisone pills. On Seaview, Stark turns command over to Nelson who tells him point blank, "Captain Crane is in command of the Seaview."  He takes more pills. Nelson says, "The sooner this mission is accomplished, the sooner we're civilians again."  Nelson asks Lee to join them in the nose as soon as they've cleared harbor. Seaview leaves the city area. Nelson tells Stark and Lee that neither the captain or the crew of the Neptune were at fault or error. There were two emergencies--a forced dive and the coelentera. Lee says it sounds like a Portuguese Man of War. Nelson tells him it was 1000 feet across and the forcefield stimulated its growth--it could grow to two, three, or four times that in size. Stark tells Harry he was adrift for too long. Lee tells Stark, "Admiral Nelson doesn't exaggerate. You see it's like Seaview, Admiral, all of us, you, me, the crew...inside, we're individuals, outside we're like one big creature."   Nelson explains it has only a central nervous system and can only respond. "We can function as a team and that's our strength."  Later, in a hallway, alone, Crane tells Chip to check out a line. Stark calls Crane over and goes on about Naval doctrine--customs, traditions, and how Crane should have been trained in these as an Academy Man. He tells Crane he has been watching him and Stark wonders feels as if Crane "seems to disapprove."   Crane tells him on the contrary--HE seems to disapprove. Stark cites easy informality, which leads to trouble. He cites Crane calling his Exec by his first name. Lee tells Stark that he calls Chip Mr. Morton when addressing him in front of the crew but when they are alone, he calls him Chip (this isn't always true but...). "Chip and I are good friends. Alone I call him Chip. Unless I've had bad training, I was taught the Captain sets the tone of the ship."  Stark considers his answer insubordinate and his attitude toward superiors is not correct. When Crane is called away, he says, "By your leave, Admiral."   They are at 3600 feet and getting electrical interference. Nelson hesitates. Crane tells Chip, "Mr. Morton, take er down."  Nelson pops another pill. Seaview shakes, nose down, guidance affected. They shake and sink--compressors out. Crane looks at a very quiet Nelson who is doodling on some paper---drawing two or more men of war jellyfish!



Seaview is going down, gyro gone, guidance inoperative. They are near the Neptune's last area. Chip turns on the TV. They steer by their engines port to starboard, 100 feet down per minute. At 225 Crane spots a plateau and calls the crew, "Rig for collision!"  On the TV they see one but is too sheer. Stark wants ahead full but Crane orders port back. They find a plateau. Stark watches an unconcerned Nelson and then says, they are coming in too fast. Crane tells him they don't have enough speed to maneuver. He orders all stop and hold fast. "Admiral Stark, brace yourself."   Seaview lands on the plateau and Stark, not obeying, falls down. Crane picks up an angry Stark, "Obviously, you didn't hear my order to stand fast."  Nelson talks about a vein of conatite ore and divers go out. Nelson says, "Have them hurry--we're all vulnerable down here."   Nelson defends Crane when he and Stark are alone, "Crane's the best there is."  The jellyfish is descending (THE PRICE OF DOOM music). The divers are outside. Chip goes to the nose. They have ten minutes to figure out what to do. They are making repairs on the compressors but it will take one to two hours. Crane says, "What if that thing down there decides to eat again--that's all we need."  Lee suggests their computer which can solve all kinds of improbable and insolvable problems. Stark tells Nelson that Crane is insolent and has no respect for superiors. Nelson tells him he doesn't like Crane because, "you can't scare the pants off him."   The computer says: flood ballast, full dive on all planes. Doc (Richard Bull) checks divers for radioactivity--electroactive. The smaller creatures can destroy brain cells. Nelson takes more pills. He theorizes that Theta Emissions are causing the sub problems. The coelentera is what killed Fowler when his brain cells were destroyed by the smaller ones. Stark points out one problem--they can't get out before the coelentera gets hungry  again. Crane tells Chip to dive to 4400 feet, just 50 feet below crush depth at 32.9 knots. Chip asks Crane what the Admiral thinks of this. We see an Oriental--dark skinned and possibly Hawaiian crewman come in to get Crane's signature.


Crane asks Chip if the Admiral seems different to him. Chip asks what he means. Nelson and Stark come in. Nelson  is excited and active. He doesn't agree with Lee's plan when Crane tells them it. Lee insists the computer told him to do this but Nelson says, "Hang the computer! I designed this sub, I know how she works! Up angle on the planes, all ahead full!!!"  Stark backs up Nelson's tantrum, "Captain, that's not a request, it's an order."  Crane says, "I'm Captain of this vessel."   Nelson relieves him of that responsibility! Crane tries to reason with him, "In the hospital you said the Neptune lost maneuvering speed."  Nelson yells, "I never said any such thing!"  He yells at him that he is relieved of his command. Crane tells them this is a private vessel--I can't be relieved."  Stark interferes, telling him this is a vessel commissioned by the US Navy and relieves him of his command again--under Navy Rules and Regulations. Stark orders, "Mr. Morton escort MISTER Crane to his cabin."  Chip nods to Crane (traitor Chip is, innihe?).


Crane follows Chip but elbows him in from behind into his ribs. "No! This ship is my responsibility!"  He gets a gun from a small locker near the door and orders Chip to do as he says. Chip says, "Aye, aye."  Nelson gulps, "Lee, don't. It's down there."  Stark doesn't care about it and tells Crane, "MUTINY is a hanging offense, captain."  Crane shouts that before they hang him he will get this ship home. He orders full down angle--ahead flank. Chip looks at him, "Captain! Lee!"  Right bastard, innihe? Nelson repeats that the creature is down there. Lee orders them to dive and Seaview dives.



Seaview tilts to 4300 feet. Crane orders to stand by to reverse angle and full up angle on the planes. They shake. NOTE: I believe the brief clip later used in Season four's THE DEADLY DOLLS is taken from here as Seaview passes a large rock formation in the foreground. Seaview levels off just as the computer predicted. It moves up and Crane puts the gun down. Nelson says, "I...I...I treated you like a brother! You drew a gun on me! Get out of here! Get out of my sight! Mister Morton, you're in command of Seaview--set a course for home!"  Lee leaves the room. Nelson cries and bites his hand. Nelson tells Stark he is right--Navy ship law--Captain Crane mutinied, Nelson yells. "I demand a general court martial!  Stark raises one side of his lip, confused for once, "He..Lee was right..he saved the ship and all hands."  Nelson yells, "He drew a gun! Mutiny!"  Stark says, "Harrimin, I think we should go to your cabin."  Nelson yells, "You were right, Jiggs, right, you were right, Seaview is a loose ship, a mutinous ship, mutinous, all of you!"  Nelson has a break down and sits on the periscope island. In his cabin, Crane is leaning against his bunk when Doc comes to him, one diver is dead, out of his mind and he sank into a coma. His head was covered with the coelentera--and electrical radiation destroyed his brain cells. The other diver isn't showing radiation but there may be symptoms days or weeks later: personality changes, talkativeness, depression, irritability, and a violent episode--all of which sometimes shows up in people who are allergic to certain drugs. Crane worries about Nelson. The irradiated cells are not reversible and is always fatal. Crane says, "Oh no."  They hear an alarm. Chip tells him the coelentera is closing in. Stark calls Crane, "Get up here on the double."  Crane and Doc run up to the Control Room, "Doc, take care of the Admiral."  Doc takes Nelson out. Crane tells the crew, "Alright, pull yourselves together."  On the TV they see the thing. Crane orders up scope. Seaview ahead full. Crane calls the Reactor Room and tells them to bring the reactor up to full and hit it with an electrical charge. Crane tells Stark to look at what happens. The lights blast out and Seaview shakes once. Lights blink and there are sparks. Attitude generators are okay. Crane orders them to hold until they are inside the monster. He wants to get a shot at its central nervous system. More shaking and sparks. NOTE: Unlike later seasons (three and four mostly) the shaking sequences are not prolonged or overdone. Chip orders firing of 1,2, screen, 3, and 4. Seaview electrifies its hull and the creature from within it. It vanishes from around them.


SICKBAY: Nelson is in his bunk. Physically he will be fine--his brain cells are not damaged. He had an allergic reaction to the pills--throw the pills away, Doc recommends, and he will be as good as new. NOTE: We do not find out what happens to the other diver but I would guess the other diver is okay--after all, Nelson survived the earlier encounter in the water but Fowler didn't. Stark looks at Nelson, "He's Navy alright,"  in other words tough and he will beat it. Stark turns to Lee who leans over Nelson's bunk with Stark, "...and so are you, captain. He should be proud."   Nelson, awakening, with his back to them and under covers, says, "He is...mighty proud."  Seaview sails off.


REVIEW: Stark was being most obnoxious in this episode but not due to the poison by the jellyfish giant--Nelson's tirade only comes later in a terrifically acted sequence--Basehart is magnificent.  The stranded at sea scenes are not poorly conceived but the damage is done when the man Nelson is with dies also, leaving Nelson the sole survivor of the tragedy. Harold J Stone as Admiral Jiggs Starke adds spice to the whole interplay, making things heat up even faster. Nelson seemed very vulnerable and human for once and this episode is one of the first where he is taken over as well as being the first to feature a giant man of war. A tension filled one. It is odd that they choose to show this one before DOOMSDAY where Nelson is more pro-military and pro-Navy as well as pro nuclear deterrent. At one point, a voice answering Crane from another part of the ship (Reactor Room or Engineering or Damage Control) sounds exactly like Bob Dowdell even though his character Chip Morton was in the control room at the time. At first, one thinks this episode is going to detail Nelson's struggle to return from the sea and for a while it does but wisely, it shifts to the changes in Nelson and the interpersonal differences between Stark and Crane. Stark was not evil though and this is a good thing... he just had his own ways and belief systems--very true to life as anyone who works for a similar type boss will understand.  





















New Doctor Who Podshock schwag

Podcast Feeds

Subscribe to
the Doctor Who podcast
Doctor Who: Podshock

iTunes users click here
Gallifreyan Embassy - Doctor Who: Podshock - Doctor Who: Podshock

Direct podcast feeds:

Doctor Who: Podshock

MP3 Format Podcast:
Doctor Who: Podshock MP3

  More feeds and info

  Supporting Subscribers

Syndicate (RSS Feed)

Syndicate content


How do you rate Doctor Who: Thin Ice? (5=Fantastic)
5 TARDIS Groans
4 TARDIS Groans
3 TARDIS Groans
2 TARDIS Groans
1 TARDIS Groan
0 TARDIS Groans
Total votes: 1

Amazon US Store

Amazon UK Store

Latest image

DW Podshock 341 Cover