VOYAGE TO THE BOTTOM OF THE SEA-The Human Computer, Saboteur, Cradle of the Deep

Chase - Posted on 23 August 2009






Seaview's nose looks funny--like a new model of it or something. Aircraft fly over Seaview; Chip is mad they have to play sitting duck. Nelson tells him it is up to Mr. Reston. The first of many zoom in shots and other unusual angles are seen as we zoom in on a general or an admiral at the Pentagon. The computer on Seaview is one of the LOST IN SPACE computers which can be seen in many episodes but most prominent in THE RAFT. A bomber zeroes in on Seaview and missiles are fired. Chip tells Nelson they better make themselves scarce. They have 30 seconds to turn tail and run--and take evasive action immediately. The men wonder what Reston is doing. Crane tells them it is too late. Missiles move past Seaview. Crane says they will hit any second. At the Pentagon, a general or Admiral says, "Lt, inform Washington that Seaview's just been sunk."



Pentagon--the malfunction in the computer that was running Seaview is said to be minor by Reston. After the confusing teaser, it is clear now, that Reston has a super brain computer that he wants to run Seaview and the Pentagon and the Seaview men are testing it out. The malfunction was a 137 transistor, the computer test maneuver was only half finished. The slave computer thinks 24 hours a day, once thought to be 20 years away, it was completed in six months. They will install it in Seaview and continue the war games. Ski asks Reston, joking, if the super computer can carry itself on board. Reston jokes, "Give us time, we're working on it."  The LOST IN SPACE robot? After a talk of semantics--he, it, she, we for the sub, Crane tells Reston he must stay on board. Even though the computer will run the ship, Maritime Law states a deserted ship can be claimed by anyone who finds it. A Russian foreign diplomat shows his youngish aide the computer layout which he hopes to have to run a fleet of drone subs. When the war games are over, their tape reel will be put into Seaview and bring it to their port; Crane is no problem; he will have an "accident", Seaview will be investigated, then returned to America but after the foreign power learns the secrets of the Master Computer. Music is good as we overlay to Crane having coffee and we see the dock outside the Seaview nose windows. The Russian (not stated in the aired version that he is Russian) walks down the nose ladder. How did he get aboard? How did he get past security? The gate? Seaview sails out to the surface. Crane eats breakfast, then runs to the Control Room. An alarm startles him. Seaview dives as Crane must push the periscope button himself rather than just say, "Up scope."  He sees destroyers and talks to the computer, "You blow this, Charlie, and its back to the hardware store for you."  He is thrown to the helm and the pilot wheels turn near him. The Seaview--the tiny Seaview model this time--is seen. It lands on the bottom. Crane looks out the window and smiles. The lights go out and he turns them on but they go off again. He calls W437 green to blue leader. The fleet lost him and the war games are over. Crane uses the bypass button for the lights. Later he plays chess with himself and gets a checkmate. He calls Reston again--the computer hasn't lifted them off the bottom yet. He cannot get "blue leader" and he finds out why--someone has cut the cables.



Crane hears the microphone banging; his gun is gone. He creeps around the hall and shuts a door. He runs and runs to a room--while it looks like Sickbay--it is really the Armory. From a hall cabinet he gets a wrench. He hears a fire extinguisher rattling. From the small arms locker, he hears it again and then sees it. He gets a pistol but drops some bullets, then puts them in the gun. He locks the cabinet and returns to the nose--we see the ladder the from above and up the ladder through the curtain to the Control Room, computers are working but he ducks through the room and hides at the periscope island and tightens the tape reel. In the Crew's Quarters, he sees a shadow--a man? He finds it is the clothes hanging, "Kowalski."  He goes to the Missile Room and checks the hatch. The torpedo holders fall over Lee, who falls. The Russian is behind the mini sub controls, watching.



Crane shoots, pulls chains off of him--chains which fell and hurt his leg, wrapping around it. He limps out and calls whoever it is. He shoots at a figure in the halls, someone shuts a door. There are glimpses and sounds. Crane picks up a mike, "Why are you running?"  He turns and shoots at the man, who stops at a dead end and turns around. Crane realizes his gun is no good and runs to the weapon cabinet but the doors are off it. The bullets are gone, the rifles won't come out of the racks in the hall. The man is behind a door. Crane hides and goes to the ballast pump room locker to escape a trap: gas turned over that starts a fire when the man throws a match; Crane locked in the ballast locker room by the man. He calls, "Thank you, Captain Crane, at last, you've done what I wanted."  The Naval vessels will leave, the computer will be reprogrammed, and he will take Seaview to his homeland. Crane calls this an outright act of war. He is shut in on the smallest part of the ship and his air is cut off. "Goodbye, Captain."



Crane, sweating, tries to reason with the man: tamper with the computer you will blow this ship sky high, he tells him. The response: talking will use more of his air. Crane asks, "What do you want from me?"  Man says, "I want you to die."  This sounds a bit too much like some dialogue from the James Bond classic GOLDFINGER. Crane opens a tiny vent (for once, he cannot get through it). Seaview lifts off the bottom. Crane shakes and is out on the floor. He sees the ceiling. Crane takes out a tank and breathes air. Seaview (mini model version) is in a canyon area. He uses an air mask and opens a lower hatch door and goes down. Inside is water and in a few scenes foretelling the future POSEIDON ADVENTURE, Crane must make his way through water filled drains, very claustrophobic. Crane comes out another hatch. Throughout these scenes, there are long stretches with no music or little music, rare for an Irwin Allen series. Why did Crane wait to go out of this hatch and swim out? Perhaps, being on the bottom, he couldn't risk the pressure--the sub may have been too deep when it was on the bottom. Crane gets out the Missile Room and goes to the Control Room. He gets to the wires and pulls them out; Seaview lands on the bottom---hard. He hides up the deck ladder to the conning tower as the man walks in and passes under Crane--twice (in a rare shot from Crane's upper point of view). As he looks up at Crane, the captain jumps down at him and they fight for the gun. Crane punches, the man punches, then chokes Crane. Crane flips him and they fight on the floor of the sub. Crane is kicked. This well done fight scene is played, again a rarity for an Irwin Allen production, entirely without music---again reminiscent of a James Bond movie--this time, FROM RUSSIA WITH LOVE as Bond fought a bad guy (played by Robert Shaw) on a train, entirely without music--a rarity for a Bond movie as well. Crane punches the man who, on the floor of the scope island, tries to scramble and reach for his gun but Crane traps him under the periscope which he pushes down on the man--by pressing it himself. Earlier, Crane made a face that he had to that by himself, now he welcomes it. Later, Crane is in Sickbay having his ankle taken care of. He pulled the tape out of the computer and they are in Santa Barbara. Crane is eager to get back to duty. Chip asks, "Why so soon?"  Nelson jokes, "He's afraid he might be replaced by you know what."  Lee says, "That's right and you go and try to borrow ten bucks from that on a Saturday night."


REVIEW: Promo material and erroneous books state a certain Dr. S as the maker and user of the Super Brain. In the aired episode, it appeared that Reston was the only one. Dr. S may have been in one of the early drafts of the script but the aired episode does not indicate his presence in the final draft. Tense, atmospheric tale. Some of it seems like filler but it is really quite interesting and keeps attention. And no one does fear like David Hedison. Great job, David. He carries this off tremendously. 





















Writer-WILLIAM REED WOODFIELD (who was involved with MISSION:      IMPOSSIBLE later) and GEORGE REED




Crane is being interrogated behind an electric sparking brainwashing device. A voice asks him questions. Crane resists but tells them he is an agent for the People's Republic. He tells the voice lies the voice wants to hear--part of the brainwashing. He says he was visiting his mother for the weekend, she was ill but is better now. His allegiance is no longer to Seaview. His best friend is Admiral Harrimin Nelson. The voice makes Crane pick up a .45 caliber gun and shoot what seems to be Nelson but is only an image-poster of the Admiral.



Intelligence Committee appoints Mr. Forester (no, not Paul Forrestor of STARMAN) to secure the mission over Seaview. Chip brings the man to Nelson who wonders if he can move some of the Marines who are in the way so they can get some work done. Being planted on the sea bottom are self contained nuclear armed intercontinental missiles. In the enemy dark room, Crane is given a shaving kit with many spy devices within. Among these are a curari pistol (which when fired brings instant death to whoever is hit), shaving cream which is an explosive 54 times more powerful than nitroglycerin--the wheel on his razor cap is the detonator, the mercury in the battery sparks it. His soap is a micro reader. His nail file, made with a magma carma (?) seal, can cut through steel bars, and his comb is tritanium which will be explained to him later. An agent on Seaview will watch him; if Crane fails, the agent will destroy Seaview. The agent will give him instructions on a matchbook in microdot. The matchbook has the trigram--the symbol for peace. The builder of the missiles, Dr. Ernst Ullman, meets Forester. They realize the US President must announce these new weapons very soon, before the Paris conference ends. Nelson asks Chip about Lee. Chip explains he and Lee had dinner Friday night, agreed to meet at the country club the next morning at 9AM for first tee off. When Lee didn't show, Chip called his apartment--no answer. They get a call--Crane is aboard. Nelson tells Chip he wants to see Captain Crane as soon as they are clear of the harbor. Forester checks Crane's bags. Chip greets Crane, "Glad to see you, Skipper."   Seaview pulls away from the harbor. Nelson asks Crane about where he has been: Crane lies about his mother being ill. He tried to call Chip but Chip wasn't home yet. He also lies about leaving word at the Nelson Institute of Marine Research. Parker, the radio operator, gives Nelson a message. At the nose window, watching the water, Ullman feels reminded of old sailing ships and his dreams of them. He asks about the window. Nelson tells him it is not made of glass but a high tension plastic. Forester wants 24 hour security on Seaview. Ullman asks about a high voltage power source he can have that is independent of Seaview's power sources. Nelson tells him the Missile Room has one. Crane says, "As Curley would say--Nothing we can't handle."  Crane looks down--he sees the matchbook on the table in the nose area. Both Forester (cigarettes) and Ullman (a pipe) are smoking.



Nelson hopes the missiles will make war impossible. Any country knowing the US had these ICBMs on the bottom of the sea would be crazy to attack. Nelson asks for the precision depth recorder as the missiles would have to be placed at 25 thousand feet or more. 18 hours and they will be ready to plant these. Crane sees Forester checking some seamen for magnetic devices which may affect the fusing devices on the missiles. Crane says, "The crew is not used to being suspect."  Crane asks Spencer their current position and O'Brien to set a course. Crane fakes that Spencer's duty-watch--the inertial guidance system, which is vital to this mission, is overheating a bit. He changes two wires without Spencer seeing this. In the Lab (a radically different lab from the other three seasons to follow), Nelson tests the salinity of the water in the area (34.7); Crane says, "Constant."  Spencer turns a switch on the inertial guidance system and it shorts out, electrifying him. Chip yells his name, then to have the men cut off the current to circuit 12. Doc (Richard Bull's Doc) comes in and checks Spencer and the man is taken to Sickbay. Nelson can't tell if the device was sabotaged but doesn't see Crane smiling and acting glee. Nelson insists, however, that, "There will be no aborting this mission."  They will come to periscope depth using the sextant. Nelson tells Crane he has to make Seaview perform like an elevator; then Nelson wonders what is wrong with Lee when their position is off due to his error. "Prepare to go down,"  Nelson orders and Seaview descends and then drifts towards a mountain range. Nelson says, "Take her up and try it again."  Crane insists, "It can't be done, Admiral,"  and when Nelson appears agitated at Lee again, he snaps over the mike, "Get off my back, Admiral! I'm in control of this ship!"  They shake and Seaview scraps the mountain. Damage includes starboard tear and a leak in frame 41 as well as probable propeller damage (by A TIME TO DIE in season 4, Nelson claims Seaview doesn't use propellers any more). Crane tells them to surface and return home for repairs. Nelson comes in and belays that order. Crane is in the nose. Nelson comes down, "Is something the matter with you, Lee?"  When Crane admits there is nothing very wrong, Nelson says, "How dare you abort this mission."  He tells Crane this mission will go on if he has to hold the sub together with spit and glue. Crane snaps, "And risk the lives of 125 men. And for what?"  Nelson answers, "The future peace of the world."  Crane goes ballistic, "You hypocrite, you don't care about the peace of the world!"  Nelson slaps him.



Crane thanks the Admiral for slapping him. He came apart. Nelson tells him he's exhausted; Crane tells him he is not fit to carry out this mission, nor is Seaview. Nelson tells him to get some sleep. In 24 hours they will begin again while Morton sees to the repairs. Nelson remains stubborn. Ullman works on the inertial navigator. Seaview surfaces for repairs. Forester asks Parker, the radio operator to get Mrs. Crane on the radio to check on Lee who was worried about his mother. Nelson takes Forester into the hall behind the control room to ask him why. Forester must check on Captain Crane who was missing three days. Nelson says, "I would trust Lee Crane with my life."  Parker comes to them and gives them a report--the hospital says Mrs. Crane cannot be disturbed. Chip calls Crane awake. Crane sees another matchbook and uses micro read to see  what it says--deactivate missiles. In Missile Room, Crane uses the razor to do so. Later, Ullman wonders if Forester and Nelson would mind if can be indulged in a bit of superstition and draws the trigram for peace on one of the missiles. Nelson orders Lee who tells O'Brien to go down again. The Missile Room lower doors open and the silo missile is lowered and set. Seaview heads to the next course. Forester tells Nelson security must be maintained until the last of the silos are planted. Nelson patronizes him, "I know, Forester, that's your job."  Crane goes to the Missile Room in the vents and finishes deactivating the missiles. Forester is outside and when he comes in, Crane hides but drops something. There is some very good stock music used. Crane hits Forester from behind and knocks him out. We hear a slow version of the VOYAGE theme song. Forester awakens and hits an alarm to call Nelson and Crane down to the aft torpedo room--where he is (is there more than one torpedo room or is this the missile room? It sure looks like the same one). Nelson admits there is an inspection passage through the hull (if this is the missile room then why can't the men use this hatch other times--as when they were trapped in it by THE INDESTRUCTIBLE MAN and numerous other villains in the show's entire run?). There are about 20 exits and everyone knows about this. Forester asks Lee why this passage wasn't shown on the plans of Seaview that he gave him--he could have it sealed off. Crane thought the passage was on the plans. Everyone must be put on alert now. Ullman checks--the silo is deactivated. Forester asks Nelson if he will continue to vouch for everyone on this sub. Ullman figures a magnetic device could do this and the other missiles must have deactivated as well. Forester begins a search and tells Nelson, "How about if we start with your cabin?"  Crane reads a new message in his cabin--KILL NELSON.



Forester calls the Commander of the Marine Detail to Nelson's cabin. They found a comb behind a mirror in Morton's cabin. Nelson says, "I can't believe it--I've known Chip Morton since he's entered the Academy."  Forester orders three men to bring Morton up to them. Now they can get on with the mission. Nelson admits he is not so sure. Crane in the Missile Room is to double check the silo launching gear. He takes out a gun. Nelson checks other controls and Lee points the gun at his back. Forester sees this and shoots Lee's shoulder; Nelson calls Sickbay. Forester says, "I'm sorry, I hoped it wouldn't get this far."  Now, they are certain it was Lee. In Sickbay, they question Lee. Lee tells and says Nelson would destroy the world. He vacillates between his real self and his programmed self. Forester figures it was the brainwashing but the shock of being shot and the sedation Doc has given him is bringing him out of it. Crane tells them he works for the People's Republic but Lee fights it off. Crane tells them about another contact, then laughs, saying it was Ullman. Doc tells the two men not to question him any more. Nelson and Forester wonder how messages could be given to Lee or the contact. Forester believes no one could have gotten a radio aboard. Nelson figures it has to be the most powerful radio already on board--the radio of Seaview--the new radio operator Parker must the contact. They also realize the information Parker gave them about Crane's mother was false. In the nose, Parker is using the shaving kit to blow the viewport windows. Nelson and Forester find Parker was just relieved of his duty watch--there is another radio man there. O'Brien tells them this and Nelson orders the officer to surface the sub. Parker continues as we hear good stock music (used many times later on THE TIME TUNNEL). Behind Parker, on the ledge off to the right side of the nose, is a very large model of Seaview. Parker shoots as Nelson and Forester try to come in. As Forester shoots back, Nelson says, "Careful, if one bullet hits the window, we'll have the whole Pacific ocean in here."  Now to me this seems unlikely that a window that is built to take the pressure of the ocean depths Seaview can go to, would be unable to take a bullet or two--it must in future episodes. Forester jumps into the nose and shoots Parker in the back (most likely killing him dead). Nelson runs in just as the window is blown out and the water sprays inside! Luckily, as Nelson tells the group in Sickbay, Seaview broached the surface just as the window was blasted out. Lee is in a wheelchair and in a robe, "Sorry, I involved you in all this, Chip."  Forester tells him they never really thought it was Chip anyway. Nelson says Chip was with him when Forester was knocked out. They brainwashed Lee and must have done the same thing with the radio operator. Nelson says, "As long as the enemy has to go to these lengths to meet their ends, I'm not worried about our security."  Forester nods, agreeing and smokes, using Ullman's match book. Nelson takes it, and sarcastically says, "Peace."


REVIEW: A very involving story with Hedison doing top acting throughout. Warren Stevens is also very good as always. His character added some spice to the proceedings and the interplay was very good so much so that in the future he would have made a great reappearing character. On hindsight, it is easy to spot who the contact was, but when first viewing this episode, it is not very easy to realize it was Parker, who was moving in and out of the nose bringing messages. It was truly a surprise. It was also a surprise and a logical one, that the enemy would have brainwashed another member of the crew but suspicion seemed to be cast on  either Ullman or Forester ala HOTLINE and NO WAY OUT where one of the spies on board had to be one of the guest visitors to Seaview---here in THE SABOTEUR, it was neither guest visitor but members of the crew itself. These twists and turns were nice especially since we knew right from the start that Crane was one of the saboteurs. The missile drone concepts begun in DOOMSDAY and followed through here resurface again in later episodes--notably THE MACHINES STRIKE BACK and KILLERS OF THE DEEP. Earlier than MACHINES, and not too long after this episode, enemies would try to coerce Nelson into giving them the locations of the missile silos in THE TRAITOR, another very good episode which sometimes gets confused with this one. It is also mentioned in passing in THE PEACEMAKER. Another episode which shows such missiles on the bottom are DEAD MAN'S DOUBLOONS. In other references, it is noted that Parker, the radio operator who was the other brainwashed crew member, was arrested. In the episode, it looks fairly sure that he was killed when Forester shot him in the back. Many fans, some who have just a passing interest in the show, really enjoy this episode and mention it often. James Brolin apparently appears as Spencer but he is almost unrecognizable and is seen very little. When seen it is from behind a great deal and when shot from the front, it is very quick. Someone named Fred is credited but who this is, is not clear, perhaps the Security Marine Officer.
















































Two scientists, Dr. Andrew Benton and somewhat younger Dr. Wesley Janus, look at cells in a lab. The test tube they are in heats up and is unstable. Janus pulls Benton back but the older man runs to touch the test tube and it blows up and he falls, dead.



Seaview is at dry dock. Janus shows Nelson a film of a one celled protozoa which took evolution two billion years to evolve. Nelson muses, "Simple but complicated."  Janus tells Crane (who enters in a jolly mood) his men did a wonderful job of bringing his things on board--not one broken test tube. Benton (perhaps a relative of Sergeant Benton in 1970's DOCTOR WHO?) and Janus were close to finding the answer--they produced a protozoa under lab conditions but it was kept alive for only a few moments. The research Janus feels will help them stop humans being born deformed--there is no reason babies have to born deformed. Janus tells them, "We're going to the very cradle of existence, we're going to obtain the basic materials of human life."  Crane looks at where--Malvernus Ridge and Vemir Sea Mount. Nelson calls it rough; Crane calls it the most treacherous place in the ocean. Janus only understands it as the place where evolution began. He wants to recreate life as it was four billion years ago. Crane wants to save life now--"That place has been called a graveyard of subs."  He thinks they should call off the mission right now. Nelson says it is risky but worth it. Seaview puts out to sea. There is a power energizer in the lab which will help speed up evolution. Seaview is at the rocky and turbulent Azanian Sea, both the surface and the undersea is turbulent. Crane tells Chip to go to 200 feet. Seaview dives and we hear the theme. They shake. Crane puffs, "We're in for 400 miles of bad road."  New Junior Officer Mr. Clark comes to Crane and asks about the Beamus Sea Mount--it is off limits to everyone else and is unsafe, he tells Crane. Washington DC says it is unsafe--Navy Subs need special permission to maneuver there. Crane tells him, "But we're not in the Navy. That's one of the reasons we're able to go places that are off limits to official vessels."   Clark says, "That doesn't give us the right to commit suicide."   Crane is getting annoyed and talks to him some more. Clark's older brother was on the Sea Lion--a sub that was lost near the Beamus Sea Mt. He and all the men on board died--there is nothing but wreckage there--if that. Later, Clark storms into the Admiral's quarters and demands he abort this mission--120 men are still there on the sea mount. Nelson demands he return to his post and he will listen to his objections in the manner prescribed according to the vessel's articles. Clark says, "By that time you'd have killed us all."  Nelson relieves him of his duties, being so formal now since he wants this expedition to succeed. Clark tells him it doesn't matter--he's already changed their course to bypass the dangerous area. Nelson gets up and calls Chief Jones to take Clark to the brig. Crane checks the course with navigation: A for apple 127, D for Dog 708. Chip asks Lee, "What got into him?"  Crane says, "I would have sworn by him as deck officer."  (NOTE: I wouldn't. See HAIL TO THE CHIEF and HOTLINE). Crane figures it is the death of his brother. Chip declares, "I know him well enough to know he's no coward."   Crane says, "We all get scared a little bit sometimes."  Crane worries about an emotional breakdown. Chip hopes Clark gets over it. Crane says, "I hope we all do."  Turbulence hits Seaview--trees torn by the roots (THE SKY IS FALLING stock which is used in TURN BACK THE CLOCK and other episodes of season one). They shake; Chip says, "We're asking for trouble."  Crane differs, "Asking? We're begging for it!"  Seaview lands. Crane goes to the nose-the seismograph tells them a trench above can cave in on them at any moment. Nelson and Janus vote to stay. Janus points out, "Just beyond that window is the beginning, the CRADLE OF THE DEEP."  Crane tells him that to sub commanders it goes by the name of graveyard of the deep. Crane questions the whole mission. Nelson wants to collect elements and the sooner the better.



Seaview: divers go out. Chip goes to Lee in the nose as Nelson and Janus swim. Crane says, "We've got a good chance of being right in the middle of our own private disaster area."  Nelson and Janus appear to be right near the surface of a pool. They see a swordfish shark. Fish swim by. They use a pick to break off some of the rocks and come back inside. Nelson tells Janus, "I wouldn't miss the start of evolution for anything in the world."  Crane and Chip check the seismograph in the Control Room--it's bad. Crane goes to Bill Clark and tells him where they are. Clark doesn't care about his career, "You're gonna kill all of us on this ship."  Crane tells him he will have the doctor give him a sedative but Clark tells him he won't take it. Crane counters, "Now you listen to me, we're here under orders."  Janus tells Nelson that Dr. Benton blazed the trails of this work. Nelson tells him, "It's your work now too."  They look at the cells--the energizer worked on it. Lee comes in and Nelson tells him to look at the cells in the microscope. The gestation will take 24 hours--Seaview must remain still for that time. Crane asks, "How with the ocean bottom kicking up all around us?"  Seaview shakes. Crane relates how a sea quake can cause an avalanche on them, telling them to forget the experiment, in a few hours they will be dead. "There's a whole undersea mountain ready to fall on top of us. Now, we enough problems with that than having to worry about Dr. Janus and some unstable element."  When the question Janus about the element stability, he doesn't give a straight answer--he can't. Crane tells Nelson, "You can see how sure he is."  Nelson figures the element can muffle vibrations thus he orders Lee to proceed to a safe area slow and easy. Nelson tells Janus who wants to stay at night longer, that he should get some sleep. They leave and lock the lab. The specimen glows (brief music from JOURNEY TO THE CENTER OF THE EARTH and even briefer from DAY THE EARTH STOOD STILL). The liquid goes down but soon, a blob brain with veins grows and cracks the glass. Crane goes to Chip and tells him to set a course for home. Seaview lifts up but they shake. The mountain blows bubbles. Crane orders them ahead one third. Chip asks, "One third?"  Crane repeats, "One third."  More quakes shake them. Seaview hits the side of a rock hard mountain. Clark in his cell, shakes. A lot of water is taken in to the Missile Room but men use plates on it. Seaview drifts. Damage control calls about the outer hull damage. Chip says, "That trench area is blowing up behind us and the bottom is ten thousand feet below us."  There is a plateau 51 thousand yards, 250 feet. Crane orders them to make for that, "Miss it and we've had it."  Seaview lands on the plateau, its side fin tilts. Crane orders Chip to get a repair party crew working on the outside. Curley, Ski, and another man are in the Missile Room containing a leak. Crane calls Nelson and seems to be yelling for no reason (perhaps Hedison was told there would be loud sound effects or steam style hissing going on but the effect is that Hedison is yelling during a quiet time). "RIGHT!"  he snaps to Nelson but not in a mean way. Janus goes to the lab and finds the cell glow filling the room and it is large on the table. Crane and Nelson come in--it is beeping like a heart. Crane asks, "How big will it get before it stops growing?"  It is pure organic matter, which Janus says, they made from nothing but Nelson reminds him, "Not exactly nothing."   Nelson thinks Crane's question was a good one. Crane tells them his concern is here and now and he wants exact figures which Janus can't give him. He will put the measurements of the thing into the computer. Every three hours, it doubles, its weight is multiplying dozens of times faster than its bulk. Crane wants to destroy it but Nelson wants to get it to the foundation labs. They disagree. Nelson asks if he is magnifying things. Crane says, "Sure, all those scientific visions of tomorrow running around in your head, I just hope they don't minimize the damage."  Nelson calls Chip (we hear a radar blip for some reason). Chip tells them they can make it to a port in 40 to 41 hours, 37 to 38 if the reactor runs full speed. They will run it and go top speed to get there in 24 hours as per Nelson's figures. Chip questions this but Lee tells him, "We've cut it thinner before."  Nelson says, "Thanks, Lee."  Chip tells Lee the Reactor Room is doing vacation overtime. We hear the Seaview theme as it speeds through the sea. In his cell, Clark is nervous. The cell creature bends the table it is on. Chip tells Lee, "The Admiral might be right, maybe we can make it."   Then he tells Lee, "I've got ten hours to go, you don't--you get some sleep."  When Crane objects and tells him he is going to go without sleep, Chip says, "Not on my watch you don't. I'm the watch officer, you go fetch some sleep."  Crane nods to him, "Aye, aye, sir."        


Seaview theme. Morning: Lee walks back into the Control Room and begins a hello, "Good morning, Chiiii..."  Crane finds him playing with a pencil in a fun, frolic mood. "Good mornin' Skipper old buddy."  Chip plays on the table and then moves to the periscope island. Crane checks their location, "We're in the same spot as last night! You've been taking us around in circles! We'll never make it back to port in time now!"  The cell creature is so heavy, the table beneath it snaps into two. The thing is much larger now.



Chip sings a circle song, helmsmen do also---about going round and round in circles. Crane threatens Chip with brig time till he's 80. Crane says in words of one syllable--they are 1000 miles off course. He puts Chip under arrest but wants answers. Crane calls Mr. O'Brien to get the day watch to the Control Room; Nelson calls Doc to the Control Room. An older man moves to the helm with another man who removes the stocky short stunt man from the helm. Janus finds the cell larger---as large as a man now. Sickbay: Nelson looks in the scope. The "Doc"  is a stunt man or extra who usually plays a crewman (sometimes one who dies-see THE BUCCANEER). There are lab coats on a rack behind them. Nelson shows Lee the blood from Chip--it has a high nitrogen content--where did the oxygen in his blood go? Ski brings Mr. Clark a tray of food. Clark asks Ski what is going on--everything seems so still. The cell is breathing oxygen. Crane figures that is why the night crew went on a pay day binge. Nelson tells him he, Crane, and Janus as well as the day crew were asleep--their body processes were slower at night--otherwise they'd be feeling that way too. Crane insists on killing the cell and dumping it. Seaview shakes, losing trim. The reactor is giving out and Seaview men are told by Crane to rig for bottom collision. Clark punches Ski and leaves as the ship hits and shakes. He runs to the lab and tells Janus he will kill it before it murders us.



Janus and Clark have a long fight (good fight music used). Ski awakens and hears the fight and hits Clark over the head when he arrives to the lab. He grabs Clark back. Chip returns to the Control Room and apologizes, "Admiral, I'm sorry, I don't know what to say,"  but Nelson says, "Don't worry--there's nothing to say."   Crane jokes--"For awhile I didn't know if I should throw you in the brig or overboard."  Systems have compensated for the oxygen being taken out by the thing. Nose: Crane and Nelson now both tell Janus they must destroy it. When Janus won't permit it, Crane says, "I have one officer on the brink of insanity--who's next?"  NOTE: I wouldn't really blame the monster for Clark's insanity--I don't think he had a grip before this episode or the death of his brother. Nelson tells Janus the weight of the thing will go right through the bulkhead soon. Janus won't cooperate with killing it. Nelson tells him man does not create life--he now thinks this experiment was a horrible accident, saying he thought it was a mistake right from the beginning (WHAT??? HOLD ON HERE--NELSON DID NOT THINK THIS--IN FACT--HE PROMOTED IT TOTALLY!!!). The thing converts oxygen to organic matter but its composition is the same as the human body. Janus figures evolution took so long due to adaptability--the thing matter in the lab didn't have the time to evolve--it has no adaptability---no thinking process. Janus now says he will cooperate. If they cut off the oxygen it will starve but Seaview would still break in half with its present rate of growth. Janus tells Nelson the thing has sodium, hydrogen, nitrogen, carbon---an overdose of carbon might kill it and infuse it to stop the accelerated growth. Nelson orders Curley to take carbon to corridor B outside the lab. What I don't understand is that the spray they have also has oxygen in it, too. They hope the carbon will do its job before the thing uses the oxygen (?). This doesn't make sense--why not just hit it with carbon? Nelson sprays the viewers as he shoots at the camera. Two parts oxygen, one part carbon--hope the carbon will be absorbed. The outer layer membrane cannot absorb the oxygen directly (why not? How does it do it?). Nelson and Janus go in. Crane stays out on Nelson's order---as a backup. The cell is larger--filling half the side of the room and is now in three or four cell parts, expanding, elongating, dividing. They force the carbon onto it. Janus decides to go around it so he and Nelson can hit it from both sides--and he traps himself in the corner of the room. The cell traps him and Nelson can't reach him. Janus tells him to get out, "Nelson, get out!"  The cell electrifies and there are a number of blasts and bursts. The blast throws Nelson against the door and Nelson and the door fly out into the hallway wall. Seaview goes up horizontally (this shot is in the opening credit titles). They have on leak forward, one in the middle. Crane is wondering why--first--Benton, then Janus--too good men--for what. "There are so many things there are no answers for,"  Nelson turns to the Bible and reads from Genesis, "And the Lord God formed man from the dust of the ground and breathed air into him from his own nostrils and man became a living soul."  


REVIEW: Despite this one being a blob-monster episode, it was neither scary but is interesting on a new viewing and holds up better now than it did then. The beast rarely, if ever, leaves the one room it is in and the main action comes from fights over it. John Anderson is a rather straight forward scientist, perhaps too straight to be mean or possessed by it--which he is not, thankfully. The fact that the thing is life from billions of years ago, is interesting but the story just didn't grab me back then. It didn't have much action just suspense and some mystery. Today this one holds up remarkably better and is understandably weird, even in the context of the second season. Very creepy in thought alone. Some of the science doesn't really make sense--an element in an area where evolution began? And the whole carbon--oxygen thing just doesn't make sense. Why not hit it with pure carbon? Perhaps they didn't have any such thing on board. Despite there being only a few fights, there is a lot of verbal sparring between Nelson and Crane and one could feel them disagreeing without them totally off the wall about it. Nelson certainly did not think the mission was wrong from the beginning and his saying that he did, lessens the character's word and believability. O'Brien is called in this episode but doesn't really appear much and is not credited. But he does appear. The whole O'Brien thing is a nuisance to someone trying to figure out who he is or where he is. 


NOTE: The generator in the lab looks like early parts to the LOST IN SPACE force field generator.






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

DW Podshock App

iPhone, iPad, iPod touch podcast companion app

Doctor Who: Podshock Podcast Companion App

Doctor Who: Podshock Companion App

Syndicate (RSS Feed)

Syndicate content


How do you rate Doctor Who: The Brain of Morbius? (5=Fantastic)
5 TARDIS Groans
4 TARDIS Groans
3 TARDIS Groans
2 TARDIS Groans
1 TARDIS Groan
0 TARDIS Groans
Total votes: 8

Amazon US Store

Amazon UK Store

Latest image

L.I. Who 4