VOYAGE TO THE BOTTOM OF THE SEA-Journey With Fear, Sealed Orders, Man of Many Faces
JOURNEY WITH FEAR
It is 1981: Sharkey calls to a space capsule that is aboard Seaview--in what looks like the missile room! He calls Mr. Morton from the launch area on Seaview and then clears the room. In the launch room (which has annoying teletype type clicking sounds), Nelson talks to the General who tells him to make it a good orbital test flight. Three orbits around the Earth and then it will return safe and sound. It is go and the umbilical is ejected. There is a very young crewman in the launch room with Nelson and the other crewmen in what appears to be Seaview's control room but isn't--it is a widespread room and some of the Seaview controls from the control room and some of the TIME TUNNEL devices from Tic Toc are in this room. At the Space Exploration Agency (SEA--a really bad abbreviation for a space program), the antennas are ready (and they sound like the door sound effect to the Jupiter II circa season two and three). The rocket blasts off, tilting Seaview so Crane orders the crew to trim port side ballast. At 508 miles, the spacecraft separates and the capsule is in dark space---no stars! There is radio static. Orange red signals are for malfunctions. Crane calls the capsule but gets no answer. The astronauts--Chip Morton and Major Bob Wilson of the SEA cannot turn off the static (which sounds like static from LOST IN SPACE-THE HUNGRY SEA). Suddenly there is a high pitched sound and blurb, then lights blast and a really cool looking alien appears behind them, using its medallion or orb to knock them out.
The signal vanishes but Nelson picks up a thin beam of light. The General's voice that talks to Nelson is disguised but it sounds like Chip (Bob Dowdell). Nelson prepares a backup mission without Washington clearance--in the hopes that they will okay it. Test Vehicle Two is prepared, fuel is up, and backup astronauts are on shore. Sharkey tells Ski that either the Skipper or the Admiral will ride shot gun like...well, like Mr. Morton did. On another planet (obviously a LOST IN SPACE backdrop not different from THE GHOST PLANET--and very effective here as well as there), the capsule appears after lights and whining. The astronauts awaken and see a strange landscape, find out that there is gravity (.48). The planet set is very good even if the capsule scanner screen--window isn't. The inside of the capsule is fine though. Major Bob Wilson and Chip go outside but when an alien approaches, Bob panics, even though he was warned by Chip not to. He shoots his gun at the alien but the alien uses his orb and blows Bob up! Then the alien, Centaur II, uses the orb to blind Chip, who pulled his gun but now yells, "You blinded me!" Bob Dowdell is a fairly good actor in most instances but this scene and a few that follow are not good examples as he overacts terribly here. Nelson wants to install a new laser beam tracker in the systems to track the second vehicle. Crane tests the UHF (?) unit 4 (maybe trying to get Irwin Allen shows--they were hard to receive in the late 70s and early 80s and could only be seen on UHF in parts of the States). He is in the capsule when more blasts knock him down. The alien takes the capsule; Sharkey reports this to Nelson. Ski gets on the tracker, alerting Nelson to the beams. Nelson is annoyed as the General calls and asks several questions. The capsule is moving at 186 thousand miles per second--the speed of light to the planet Venus. A flash and Crane awakens.
Crane goes outside and there is an earthquake--Venus quake?--called an earth quake by Chip and Bob earlier. Crane's capsule set is very bad since seen out the window or scanner, Crane can see the port thrusters at the rear of his ship or the front? It is difficult to tell what is what now. Crane goes outside to some eerie harpsichord like music and moves under a rock ridge opening. He finds Chip's bag and we hear some JOURNEY TO THE CENTER OF THE EARTH movie music. Crane finds the alien complex: seeing Chip in a scientific chair being questioned about Earth by Centaur II. Lights and electrodes are on the device and Chip is wearing some kind of silver skull cap. The alien asks about Earth's voyages to the Moon and Chip tells him we have landed a man on the moon. He also relays that we have explored Venus and Mars but only by remotely controlled space vehicles. This is also correct extrapolation. The alien believes the Earth people are going to invade his planet--called Centaur (which could be one of several--about three--so named stars in space). Crane attacks but another creature--this one laced with a gold color--attacks him, grabbing him around the neck and knocking him down.
Crane is made to wake up and is pushed to Chip. Crane sees that Chip is blind. Chip says, "They blinded me!" This time he sounds even madder. The aliens tell Lee that they come from the double planet Centaur. This might be the double star that is in the constellation called Centaurus but, hey, who knows, right? They claim it is in a distant part of the galaxy so they sent out a scouting party to find out how advanced Earth is in its space travel methods (this sounds a lot like SHADOWMAN's scenario). Crane bluffs his way out of the device interrogation, telling them he will talk. He goes to the equipment, telling them about our electrons and their photons. Lee pulls wires on the devices and runs out. A quake impedes his progress; also the progress of the two aliens who give chase. We hear DEADLY INVASION music used to good extent. Nelson needs the approval from DC. If DC won't move, Nelson will begin the mission himself. The General must know Nelson well since he calls him, "Harry." He is doing everything he can to make the approval come through. Ski operates the TV camera, calling Test Module 2. Crane is running for his life and then firing his gun at the aliens who yell, "Earthman, resistance is useless." Great cliche. Sharkey gives Ski a hand. Seaview launch room gives manual control of the components of the capsule to Crane. The aliens call out to Lee, saying they don't want to kill him. In six hours, they tell Lee, the side of Venus they are on will be exposed to the gravitational pull of the sun, causing a solar storm to decimate the area they are in. Crane yells to have him and Chip sent to Earth. In one month, the aliens counter, the ground they are on will be torn apart by convulsions. Crane runs to the capsule where he uses the port thrusters to hold the aliens off. One leaves to learn from Chip how to deal with this fire (duh? Can't they go around it?). Nelson calls, "Seaview to Crane, Seaview to Crane, Lee, do you hear me?" This is unusual as Harrimin Nelson almost always calls Captain Crane, "Lee," when talking to him directly. Lee answers with the also unusual, "This is Crane." When addressing himself to the Admiral he calls himself, "Lee." He relays that he is going through a nightmare and that Wilson is dead. Nelson tells him somehow he and Chip will just have to survive up there and ride out the solar storm in the capsule. First, Lee must get Chip out. He leaves the fire on and exits. Then the thrust goes off. Quakes hit but Crane's gun holds the alien back but not for long. The other alien questions Chip about the capsule using chemical combustion under pressure and Admiral Nelson being the leader. This alien puts Chip in a forcefield (which is the image projector from LOST IN SPACE-PRISONERS OF SPACE) between two points of a device that seem to drive a beam into Chip's neck to keep him still. If he moves, the beam will burn through him. Washington DC approves Nelson's rescue flight and he can go along as well in 72 hours time. Ski looks on the TV as more bursts of light come down on the beam ray. Nelson and SKi go down the nose ladder to the real Seaview control room as they shake from blasts caused by the beam. They hear a voice that tells them they are isolated from the rest of the Earth. Centaur wants to come aboard and tells them so. Nelson says, "Coming aboard, that's the last thing you'll ever do. Dive! All dive!" Seaview does so, wild, and its nose hits a rock and it slides into the sand on the bottom--and this looks like new footage from a different angle. No matter--Centaur appears in the nose in front of the observation windows. Ski sees it and alerts Nelson. The alien walks closer and raises a strange pointy-fingered hand, pointing it directly at Nelson, "YOU."
Nelson stops Ski from firing a gun. Centaur wants Nelson's knowledge and the knowledge of the Earth people's potential for space travel. Nelson tries to convince him Earth is not setting up an invasion. The alien tells him eventually you will reach THE OUTER LIMITS of this galaxy. His race wants to be ready for them when they do. Nelson orders the men to take him but the orb is pressed and draws them back. Nelson assigns Ski to show the alien around, bluffing that he himself needs to stay in the Control Room to run Seaview. Centaur will soon transport Seaview to his home planet as they can change the mass of any size to light energy and transport it at will. Ski and the alien go. Nelson plots, telling the men they are not to use the intercom but word of mouth and transceivers only to plan against the alien and to have all go to battle stations. Crane hides from the alien on Venus. He gets to the complex and moves to touch Chip to free him but is blown back. Lee shoots one electrode point and frees Chip. Three months--Nelson will be here he tells Morton. Chip says, "We either die here or on their planet." Crane wonders if the aliens' instruments will help them. He goes out first. Nelson alerts Sharkey on the walkie talkie. In Missile Room, the crewmen shoot at the alien who is near the missile-torpedo controls. The alien blows their guns away and demands to be taken to the Reactor Room, then he will deal with the Admiral, his ship, and his crew. Whoa. Sharkey goes to Nelson who called him or Patterson. Sharkey tells Nelson the orb creates some kind of lightning power. Nelson figures it to be a power source--like the beam the alien came in on. His new plan: attack the beam with the Flying Sub laser. On Venus, an alien holds Crane and Chip at bay with his orb. Lee shoots the alien down and hears a flash. Suddenly Chip can see--the effects must be wearing off. Chip covers the alien with the gun--which merely moves it back when shot at him. Nelson, in Flying Sub, breaks the surface and zooms into the sky. He sees the beam (the Jupiter II exterior sound effect from Seasons Two and Three but originally from FANTASTIC VOYAGE). Nelson fires the laser at the beam in the sky but a high pitched whine and the alien appears in the Flying Sub. He claims to have immobilized the crew and knocks Nelson out when Nelson tries to attack him. He tries to transfer Seaview to either Venus or Centaur and the sub glows in negative electric effect. He needs more power--until he gets it, he cannot bring Seaview to either place. Centaur I calls Venus outpost. Crane tells Chip, "If I turn up the power, he'll have Seaview here." Chip adds, "If we don't get back to Earth, we're dead." Crane ignores him and feels they will be safe by taking cover in the capsule. Centaur talks to himself, then takes the beam up, making the Flying Sub and Nelson go off with him.
Sharkey paces in launch control, pats Ski on the back. Patterson asks him about the others who are lost on Venus. Sharkey isn't sure--"The Navy I was brought up in sailed on the water, not through the sky." He tells Patterson they will do nothing..."With both the Admiral and the Skipper up there....and Mr. Morton..the only guys in trouble are those aliens that snatched them in the first place." Patterson guesses he is right, "They've gotten out of rougher waters than these." But this time they are not in waters! Sharkey tries to convince himself that their three leaders,"are not in any trouble at all." A quake makes Lee, Chip, and Centaur II fall. The alien moves at the orb which Crane dropped but Crane alerts Chip who shoots him back from it. Nelson and Centaur I appear in the complex (hey, why didn't the Flying Sub appear on the planet?) where the good Admiral attacks the alien who feels it is necessary to relieve him of his sight. Nelson winces but another quake drops rocks and shakes them both. Nelson yells, "Get us back to Earth." Lee and Chip are in the capsule with the other alien. Crane tells him to get them all out of here but won't risk bringing Seaview and her crew up here. Centaur II will show them how to prevent that. The capsule shakes as he tells Crane to use the three impulses as he turns the diode rim. The three vanish to the complex where in the surprise of seeing the Admiral, Lee is caught off guard. Both aliens attack, the orb falls. They fight and knocks the aliens down but the quakes and the falling rocks help. Crane finds the orb but it won't work. The cave seems to fall in on them all and they shake and fall all over the cave!
The cave continues to fall apart, the lightning increases, and now steam blasts out of the ground and the walls. The alien changed the settings or the fall did. Nelson sees a part one of the aliens had grabbed off their device and he grabs it back and installs it. "Try it now!" Crane does and the three Earth men vanish. Rocks bury the aliens in a sea of flashing lightning. Ski sees more beams heading their way and tells Chief Sharkey. Sharkey is ready to prepare the men for battle stations when a blast of smoke occurs and Nelson, Chip, and Lee appear. Sharkey is happy, "Hey, what a feast for the eyeballs this. You all look so good, I could just kiss you!" Nelson waves him off, "Ahhhahhh." Patterson brings Crane a message. He is to lecture on the safety of future space flights. Nelson laughs, "While you're thinking of an appropriate reply, head us back to port."
REVIEW: Well, BUFFY THE VAMPIRE SLAYER is on, so back in a flash.
Back I am but a whole two hours has gone by. JOURNEY OF FEAR should be engaging but it's not. With all the action of running around, it really should be much better. With all the novelty of having the men of the Seaview in space, it should be interesting. It's not. It is, when all is said and done, just another aliens vs. Seaview men, split this time between the alien on Seaview and the Seaview men on Venus (not a great choice for above reasons). Chip, not having any real background a spaceman, seems unlikely to go but it was nice to see him have an expanded role this season (FIRES OF DEATH, SEALED ORDERS). The set of the alien planet is odd enough and also adequate for any science fiction series--it literally looks three dimensional. But again, when all is said and done, it is just another run away from and fight the monsters with standard fight sequences, gunplay, and chases...and well, that's about it. It was much better on first airing since it was such a gutsy move to have the sea men in space but now, it is rather standard and doesn't hold up as well as other episodes. Launching a rocket from a submarine may not be the brightest of ideas but at least it could have been better. Well, it could have. The alien designs from head to toe, as in DEADLY CLOUD and DOOMSDAY ISLAND, were just brilliant. This means all three have something in common--they were not very good but to be fair, this one was the best of that trio. The Earthmen may not have been invading and the aliens perhaps a bit too paranoid but consider this: the Earth man Bob pulled his gun first before the alien killed him. The aliens claimed they wouldn't kill Crane but Crane and Chip continually shoot at the aliens with their guns. Were the Earth men any different from the aliens in their attacks?
SPACE LESSON ONE: 30 years ago Venus was too mired in cloud cover to be seen. It is now known to be the harshest, most nightmarish surface of any planet in the solar system. It has quickly destroyed every spacecraft ever sent there. The pressure is 90 times higher than Earth's. The air has nitrogen, argon, and some water vapor but is mostly carbon dioxide, laced with sulfuric acid. Due to the intense greenhouse effect, the surface temperature can be 477 C or 890 F (hot enough to make rocks glow red and to melt lead). A human being would have his chest crushed, his body fluids boiled, explosively having his layers of skin shaved off one at a time within moments. Surface gravity is 90 percent of Earth's so .48 may have been based on Mars's gravity being .38 of Earth's gravity. Venus's gravity in reality is closer to .88. Venus is similar in size, mass, and density to Earth but there the similarity ends. It took five months for any successful planetary probes to reach Venus and Venera 4 took about four months. Three months for an Earth ship to get there is about right--for an unmanned space satellite. A manned flight however, might take up to a year. Also the speed of light as mentioned in the show is also right but speed of light is usually used when traveling outside the solar system. If used within the solar system, I imagine it could take less than a few minutes or seconds. Not bad considering the information about Venus was found out around the same time this episode was being written. Consider it fantasy then.
MUSIC-Harry Geller--a super standout score!
A sunny day at sea: Nelson removes top secret Presidential orders (date 1981) from his cabin safe and asks Crane to come up to his cabin. Sharkey tells Mr. Morton about a red light on the Environmental Control Board--a radiation leak is in the Missile Room. Ski and Sharkey go to check it out. Nelson tells Crane in Missile Silo Number Four is a live neutron bomb-a missile with a neutron warhead. Lee didn't realize those have been perfected yet (although the proton bombs have-see THE PEACEMAKER). The Missile Room is glowing red. Ski detects the leak and tries to pry open the cover. There is a strange hum and sparks flying from it. Sharkey calls Mr. Morton. Nelson tells Lee they must get the bomb to Cook Atoll 3000 miles away. Chip calls the pair (and oddly enough Ski and Sharkey are standing next to him--in the start of Act One, they are both back in the Missile Room) and reports the silo is going wild--sparks fly from it and there is a blast.
Seaview is shaking (agrrhh-what else would it be doing?) after a freeze frame of it. The music is very good and throughout this entire episode, the score, new, is excellent and innovative. Ski and Sharkey, in the Missile Room again, are shaking. This may be an editing flub--after checking the cylo in the teaser, Chip Morton called Nelson and Lee from the Control Room--with Ski and Sharkey behind him. Now, they are back in the Missile Room, shaking from the blasts. Are we to believe they left the Missile Room, joined Morton, then ran back to the Missile Room just in time for the shaking? The two men shoot fires out with an extinguisher. Seaview shakes, the water looking very blue and watery, almost enticing. Nelson scolds Ski for tampering with the seal on the cylo then aggravated, asks him to bring the geiger counter over to him to check it. Nelson asks where that Pentagon specialist from the Dept. of Defense is. No one has seen him since he arrived. Ski goes to the guest quarters on A Deck--and finds the man's luggage unpacked. Nelson tells crewman Jackson, a very young man (and Basehart's son) is to report to the Control Room to help search for the missing technician. This mistake on the cylo could cost every them the ship and every man aboard. They are to be at Cook Atoll at 0700 hours on Thursday morning. Crane calls Kowalski Ski when he asks him something. Seaview shakes again. Crane calls Circuitry Room but the crew there doesn't answer. Oddly enough, there are other episodes that the room has been totally empty. We hear a sound of turbulence. The Circuitry Room sparks but Nelson stops it. The connector shorted out and the lighting control circuits are blown. Nelson wants the name of every man on the watch. Seaview is on its way again. Sharkey and Crane meet in the hall. Nelson wants a meeting of the ship's officers in the Wardroom to tell them about the cylo. Ski and two men search (this seems like stock footage from THE PHANTOM STRIKES). Chip gives an order to the helmsmen but when he moves to scold them for not replying to him, he finds they are not in their seats. In fact, the entire Control Room is empty, the wheels on the helm are moving. Chip opens Spark's curtain to the Radio Shack (the curtain has never been closed before) and Sparks is gone. Crane comes in and stops short, stunned. Ski had the two men right behind him in the hallway and rounds a bend in the corridor, then tells them to pick up the slack, turns, and finds them gone. He calls Crane. Ski: "I lost the search party." Chip comments to Crane, "Tell him what we've lost." Suddenly, Ski stops talking. Crane calls him as the mike bangs loosely against the wall. Ski is gone.
We see Seaview as Crane calls the Reactor Room, Sickbay, and all hands--no answer. We see three to four room, including one room that looks suspiciously like the FIRST SEASON observation nose room. Chip wonders if the crew is having a mass protest meeting somewhere but Sharkey gets mad at that and yells, "No way! Not this crew!" Chip counters, "Then where are they hiding!" Don and Dr. Smith all of a sudden? Crane stops their arguing. Sharkey tells him he wants to look for anyone that is goofing off. Crane wants to turn back but Nelson belays that. Crane insists they turn back--with no crew and a bomb that may go off at any moment. Nelson tells him about the President orders. Chip asks if Washington DC knew maybe they would allow them to turn back. Nelson tells them once he took the mission and broke the seal on the orders Seaview and her crew became expendable. Sharkey hears tapping and finds the banging microphone. Nelson wonders about breaking the seal on the cylo. He has no information about this weapon and anyone that knows is not about to pass it on to him. Crane suggests they fire it into the sea or up into the stratosphere. They can't--failsafe is involved and that would mean the President must fire it. They are on complete radio silence--ordered to be. Crane feels trapped, "Those orders again. Their like a death sentence." Sharkey calls Nelson and explains that in the Circuitry Room, someone has already soldered the connections with a drill--that wasn't there before. Sharkey can't reach the Admiral all of a sudden. He checks the crew quarters--empty. He opens a room that we don't see into. There is on sound and little music, making this a very eerie sequence and rarity in Irwin Allen series. And all the more effective. Suddenly the sound of the record player goes on. Sharkey runs back to the Crew's Quarters, thinking he's found the men. The player is on but the room is empty. Sharkey searches, finds the coffee pot and the cups on the table with coffee in them, hot. He calls to the guys, telling them they better come out. He flips out and flips over the coffee over, yelling, knocking the whole table over, hitting the beds and the bed rolls in the bunks. In the Control Room, Crane tells Chip, "If anything happens to our automatic equipment, we're dead." Chip calls his attention to the alarm that rang and a giant jellyfish monster outside the window! The jellyfish is stock footage, obviously, but it is not referred to as a jellyfish in the televised version.
The screens close over the windows. Chip and Crane hold on but the alarm goes off and nothing happens to Seaview (and we are spared a shaking scene). The sonar board is clear. Chip says, "Whatever I saw through that window was no short circuit." Crane admits they are in the midst of a pure nightmare (and thereby hangs a title). Chip asks, "Who's next?" Merry old Nelson tries to open the cylo in the Missile Room and calls Sharkey but Crane answers, "Admiral this is Crane." He will come down to help him since Sharkey is apparently gone, too. Crane asks if Chip will be all right. Chip quips, "Well, there's nothing to do here but keep from disappearing." Crane tells him he will back as soon as possible. He checks the Crew Quarters during the very tense music and atmosphere. He goes to the Missile Room and tells Nelson the Chief has disappeared too. He also tells Nelson there looks as if there was a fight in the Crew's Quarters. He tells Nelson he has stopped believing in what he sees. He explains about the nightmarish thing he and Chip saw through the viewport (not calling it a jellyfish or Man of War). He urges Nelson to bypass failsafe since Nelson knows as much as anyone about it. Nelson tells him the device of failsafe was designed not to be bypassed...a bypass would make the whole concept worthless. Chip gets alarms again and sees the creature is back outside the viewports. Chip calls Crane, "Skipper, it's starting to happen again." That statement reminds me of LOST IN SPACE-SPACE CREATURE. Lee calls him back but he doesn't answer. Nelson says, "Chip Morton, too." The Control Room is empty. Crane heads up to the Control Room and on the way, sees a spiked man creature charging down the hallway toward him (from NIGHT OF TERROR). A very scary and quick sequence, scary because we only get a short glimpse of the monster. Nelson gets the cylo open and calls for Lee to help him. He runs out and there is some nerve wracking quiet, then some nerve wracking musical notes like a drum. Nelson goes to the Crew Quarters and it is very quiet until the record player is put on and a disk falls onto the turntable. Nelson turns and stops it, then runs out. He checks an office (Crane's room? If so, it is radically changed; this room looks like the old observation nose room). What room is this? The Computer in the Control Room goes on and the periscope goes up. A new alarm sound goes off--the Flying Sub alarm. It is being turned on. The Control Room divider doors close. Nelson gets a gun and goes down to the Flying Sub and shoots at...nothing but scuba gear that is hanging on a rack. He sees the pilot chair turn around with Crane in it. NOTE: We see behind Crane to the viewports and outside the viewports is the wall of Seaview's Flying Sub berth dock--not seen since THE TERRIBLE TOYS and only in THE TERRIBLE TOYS. Crane's face is distorted, evil, as though looking through a twisted lens. Lee holds up a gun but then vanishes. Things get worse: more and more like some kind of drug induced trip. Nelson leans on the Flying Sub ladder and shakes his head. He goes into the Missile Room and closes the door. Yet the door wheel knob turns. He opens it to find...no one. Suddenly strange blipping lights and odd music accompanying them, churn and spin all around Nelson. He falls unconscious.
The lights surround Nelson. Ski calls Nelson, standing over him. Ski wakes Nelson up and the Admiral finds it strange he is in the corridor. Ski tells him he was looking for somebody, anybody. He thought he was the only one aboard. They hear a moan and find Sharkey in bed in the Crew's Quarters. He can't recall anything that happened since he started the search. He calls it a nightmare. Nelson explains it is some kind of fix they are all in (a drug fix?). Nelson answers a calling Chip--who was desperate to hear from anyone. Chip tells him they are getting a danger signal. Nelson tells him he can't look at it now--but Chip gets him to--telling him it may have to do with the cylo number four. Suddenly, green lights over what seems to be a black and white old movie, hit Nelson, Sharkey, and Kowalski. They move slow. We hear the VOYAGE TO THE BOTTOM OF THE SEA main theme song but played slow and drunk-like. Suddenly it stops and they discuss it. Ski says it felt like he was walking in a dream. Nelson tells them, "Just another nightmare to add to our collection. We've got to help Morton." They start up the hall ladder but Crane is at the top, kicks and fights them all down it. The green effect hits as this happens and they fight in slow motion green effect. Crane punches Nelson and Ski; Sharkey hits him but then Lee chokes the Chief and tossed Nelson away from them both; Ski helps Sharkey but Crane fights him also; Nelson helps Ski who is thrown again; Nelson pushes Crane into Sharkey and the green light pops off as they get Crane down. Crane looks, "Admiral, it's you." He didn't know who or what they were--they were something terrible like out of a nightmare. Nelson pleads, "Well, who did you think we were?!" Crane feels he is out of his mind. They go to Chip who tells them now the alarms are ringing warnings and everything is okay. He thinks he is going off the deep end but Lee tells him all of them feel that way. Nelson tells them the crew is here but for whatever reason, they are seeing things that aren't here and not seeing things that are. It is the gas leakage from the cylo--it is having a psychedelic effect on the mind. The warhead is definitely going to blow. They see failsafe activated (must be from the President). They have 31 seconds. Nelson and Crane rush toward the Missile Room through the corridors. The slow motion and green effect hits them both and they run slowly. The countdown is at the regular speed!
They race down to the Missile Room where Nelson puts a wire in. The countdown in the Control Room doesn't seem to make much sense--Five minutes and 56 seconds, etc. Nelson turns the key and fires. they shake in slow motion which is quite interesting and a new twist on the old shaking scenes. Crane looks up, "We've run out of time! It can't reach a safe altitude before it explodes." It blows and Seaview shakes. Washington sends a well done. The missile explodes safely and the mission is accomplished. Washington was monitoring their movement by telemetry. The President fired the failsafe since they knew about the leak but didn't know about the mass hallucinations on board.
REVIEW: Well, if anything other than THE MOD SQUAD could remind one of the psychedelic late 60s drug type trips, it is SECRET ORDERS. Things that aren't there but are; things that are there but aren't; blinking lights, dizzying whirling multi colored lights; music; slow motion movements, etc. All this adds up to one mind bending perception of reality which isn't! Of course, if one thinks too hard about it, it doesn't make much sense. If the crew were there, how come none of them bumped into the others. Even if the crew couldn't see Chip, Sharkey, Ski, Nelson, and Crane from their point of view and to them, those six vanished, surely they would have seen or felt something to indicate otherwise. Would Chip have felt someone if he went and touched the periscope when it went up or the helm when the wheels turned? The stock footage, kept to a minimum was effective just due to that fact---and scarier for it. This included the thing seen in NIGHT OF TERROR and THING FROM INNER SPACE and the jelly fish thing from GRAVEYARD OF FEAR. This episode is quite enjoyable and several scenes seem to have been lifted almost in full for LAND OF THE GIANTS-NIGHTMARE which is somewhat more enjoyable since the rivalry between Mark and Steve is reflected in Steve's nightmare. The Ski finding Nelson in the corridor scene is almost the same as when Fitzhugh finds Steve on the street after his NIGHTMARE. Illusions and hallucinations are part and parcel of science fiction on TV and plagued STAR TREK: THE NEXT GENERATION in more than one episode, especially the dismal first season. FANTASTIC JOURNEY had at least two (FUNHOUSE and RIDDLES) of their ten episodes dealing with such adventures. Allen's shows were much better at it than other series. LOST IN SPACE had FLIGHT INTO THE FUTURE and SPACE CREATURE (where the crew vanish one by one from the ship--but this time, it is real!); LAND OF THE GIANTS had NIGHTMARE (where people also vanished one by one) and THE GRAVEYARD OF FOOLS (which mirrored VOYAGE's THE DEATH CLOCK more than SEALED ORDERS); and VOYAGE had NIGHT OF TERROR and THE DAY THE WORLD ENDED. TIME TUNNEL never really had a chance to do an illusion episode but I am sure it would have gotten around to it if it had a second season. All in all I am glad SEALED ORDERS were opened. Geller's music is superb; the quirky plot line difficult to follow which made it more fun, not less; the acting good. The observation nose set from season one reappears but it is difficult to tell as what--Crane's room? Certainly it doesn't match the Crane room we've seen before (THE WAX MEN). Or some other ob deck? Also--Sparks' radio curtains were never closed before--why were they now? Maybe that was part of the illusion. The music heard in the Crew's Quarters sound a bit like the music heard in the VOYAGE movie. By the way, by the end of the episode, we still don't know where the special technician is. Also note the way Sharkey and Ski are in the Missile Room one moment, in the control room with Chip the next, and then back in the control room for the all important shaking!
MAN OF MANY FACES
Nelson forces his way into a press conference in a TV studio, knocking the man at the door down. Dr. Randolph Mason is there, discussing his new power source for the world--the energy of the tides but that Admiral Harrimin Nelson is resisting his work. Nelson comes in and calls him a liar and shoots Mason dead.
Nelson Institute of Marine Research: Lee Crane listens to a newscast. Nelson was with Crane in the office when Mason was killed. The radio of the NIMR is jammed. Nelson tells Lee there is an impersonator of him lose. He also tells Lee what he hasn't told anyone else: Mason's project is an electromagnet hidden on the ocean floor. Nelson admits Mason was a genius but probably, he or the people that killed him or both, wanted a monopoly on the power--the one that would provide power for the whole world. Nelson shows Lee the moon on the video scanner. The device has put a magnetic field around the moon and can alter the orbit of the moon. Mason didn't realize it but the moon is getting closer and closer and will eventually crash into the Earth--as Nelson shows Lee on his image TV, zooming it in. It may be Mason's associates who killed him--they didn't want him to find out about the moon. The police arrive as does Chief Sharkey, prompting Nelson to hide behind a sliding wall in his office. When he finds it is Sharkey, Nelson comes out. Sharkey, who was all excited about Nelson killing a man on TV, now says, "I knew it couldn't be you, sir." Crane looks out the window and down--the police are coming. Lee can get Seaview underway in 3 hours. In the meantime, Lee will go to the authorities with a sworn statement to take the heat off. He will drive the back way through the mountains. Sharkey lets the police in. Nelson hides again. Crane rushes out and into a red roadster. A car follows Crane through the hills. A truck blocks Crane and he is forced out by the two men in it as well as the man from the chasing car--and they have machine guns. Mr. Morton arrives onto Seaview in full outfit. Sharkey called him--they must leave right away. Sparks comes and alerts them to the newscast. Nelson, at his office, watches it on his screen (we also see a bust of Poseidon's head in the office). Lee tells them he was in Admiral Nelson's office in the Nelson Institute of Marine Research in Santa Barbara, "I was alone. I was watching him on television when he shot and killed Dr. Mason right here in this very studio."
Crane is tied up in a truck rear. He manages to get a pipe and cut his hands free of the ropes. The music, probably stock, is very good here. Lee jumps off the truck into sand. The truck stops and the two men come out and fire machine guns at him as he runs. Crates are being loaded into the Missile Room of Seaview. Ski goes over to Sharkey, telling him the dock is filled with police. A crate is lowered in and we see an "up above them" shot--very rare for VOYAGE. When the last crate is in, they hear a knock and open it. Nelson comes out, "A rather undignified way to come aboard." They help him up. Nelson calls Chip to let him know. Crane is topside with the officer of the deck (or dock?). Sharkey would like to get his hands on him. Chip wonders what to tell Crane. Nelson says, "Welcome aboard." Crane comes down the ladder into the control room, all hands staring at him with malice, he seemingly not knowing why. Chip is obviously controlling his anger at Lee but acts cordial instead of the mean we see in his eyes and mouth. Nelson comes down the ladder and he and Lee go to the Admiral's cabin. Seaview sets sail in what looks like a new shot--very authentic. We see the bathroom in the cabin and a full length mirror as Crane washes his face. He thinks they should tell the crew the truth. The killers don't believe they will die when the moon hits. Sparks tells Lee the coast guard withdrew their permission to sail and a cutter is overhead. Lee tells him to tell the captain to go to the devil. Seaview crash dives (ENEMY BELOW music). We see the dive from above--possibly a new shot, not stock. It could be first season shots tinted dark but it looks very good and rather new. 24 to 25 hours to find the installation but Nelson insists it be sooner. Crane will try to shave it by 20 minutes and gives Chip the speed and course. Seaview is seen in the water and a rare moment of no music. Nelson has a video tape and recorder in his cabin--he watches the death of Mason and studies it, hoping to find some clue to the identity of the killer. Crane goes to hit the sack but in the Control Room, he gets angry with Chip since the course they are on is the exact opposite of the one he told Chip to set 30 minutes ago. Chip says, "You never gave me any such order." He calls Sharkey over--45 minutes ago they were both inspecting the stores in the Missile Room! Crane gives him the new course and goes to Nelson, leaving Chip and Sharkey confused. Crane tells Nelson they have an impersonator on board--one who can impersonate either one of them. Lee tells him then they can't sleep! Nelson tells him he has to--to look at himself now--he's suffering from nervous exhaustion. Lee goes to Sickbay to get something. Doc tells him he can give him something to work fast...very fast. He needs to stay awake but not feel so exhausted. The real Doc is behind the curtain divider, tied up and gagged. Readying a hypo of poison, the fake Doc says to Crane, "In a few seconds you'll never know you were tired."
Nelson arrives and wants Doc to take care of him after Lee gets his shot. Nelson asks about a special medical report he wanted Doc to prepare but Doc says he hasn't finished it yet. Nelson punches the fake Doc down but can't run after him as he escapes out the door--Crane doubles over in great pain. The Admiral finds and frees Doc, "You all right?" Doc says, "I think so." Crane doubles over the table-bed. Doc gets an antidote and saves him, "A few more seconds he'd have been dead." Lee wonders, "Why did you hit Doc that way?" Nelson explains it was the imposter and turns to Doc, "I hope you're going to be all right, too." At periscope depth, they see the moon--ten times larger. Nelson will contact Washington DC and gets a coded message from Sparks. Sparks reads it and then sends Nelson's message. Nelson goes over to Crane, "From now on, we have to be suspicious of every man aboard." In a funny scene, Sharkey passes Sparks as the radio operator is going out the back hatch, "Hiya Sparks." Then Sharkey sees Sparks entering from the nose ladder, "Hiya Sparks." The fake Sparks left with Nelson's message. Sparks tells Sharkey he called him away to give him a message to send, then never showed. Sparks claims it doesn't matter as they are on radio silence now anyhow. Sharkey didn't call Sparks. A sub is tracking Seaview. Nelson tells them under no circumstances are they to return fire. Lee rigs Seaview for silent running, anti sonar-anti radar gear. Propellers of the sub are heard. Someone in Seaview is banging against pipes. Seaview moves at flank under Crane's command. Ski is banging on the pipes in the Missile Room, then throws a wrench at Sharkey when the Chief tries to stop him. Sharkey tells Nelson about this. Nelson tells him to come to his cabin and he and Captain Crane will explain it to him. Sharkey says, "Admiral, if you could explain some of the things that have been happening around here, I'd appreciate it." They go to the cabin and explain it since the Chief knows the crew better than anyone else. Sharkey tells them, "I'm me." The two commanders question him. He was born in inner Brooklyn (like me!)--more specifically Coney Island, went to school at Lincoln High. Nelson wants more info and seems to enjoy making Sharkey tell Crane he got an A in one course--home ec! Nelson asks Sharkey to be more specific. Sharkey whispers to Nelson, "Please, sir, I haven't told that to anyone but you." Crane tells him it will go no further. Sharkey got an A in Cooking. They have set a trap at the powder locker room, figuring the killer may want explosives sooner or later--the door is booby trapped. Later, Lee sees the moon rising--even bigger. Chip tells him he just as soon not see it. Four hours it will be too late. On the nose screen, Nelson shows Lee a news report: the east coast tides flooding, the Western Hemisphere hurricanes, and tidal waves affecting the world. Crane asks him, "Are you sure of your figures?" Nelson says, "I'd better be." Chip calls Lee over and asks what is up with Chief Sharkey--he's acting strange, looking at him oddly, asking him all sorts of questions about where he was born, where he went to school, and what subjects he took there. Crane tells Chip that Sharkey is just doing his job.
Why not tell Chip? First of all, Chip should know the crew better than Sharkey since he was on Seaview a whole year or more than Sharkey. Sharkey follows a man in a hallway. The powder locker door blows; Crane comes running, then Sharkey. Crane calls for a corpsman. Sharkey finds the Captain standing over Chief Sharkey! Crane pulls a rubber mask of Sharkey off someone else---Sharkey and Crane look down at who it is. Crane gasps, "Kowalski!"
In sickbay, Ski tells them (still in a match for Sharkey's uniform) that someone hit him from behind. Nelson figures someone hypnotized Ski and used him as a decoy. On Nelson's cabin screen, Nelson and Lee watch a video Nelson made of the broadcast. Nelson thinks, "Here is our answer somewhere." It was never Ski--the imposter is a master of makeup, he can make up anyone to look like anyone else, not just himself. Two hours to go. As long as the killer is on board, they are safe. Chip reports the gunner's mate reported missing explosives were taken. Crane and Nelson wear their dark pants for this whole episode (big deal, you might say; just a bit of trivia and an aside--it sets this one apart from the other episodes). Crane goes to investigate the missing explosives (alone--duh). Nelson, studying the video some more, sees the killer's ring and zooms the picture in on it. Crane is in the Missile Room with explosives which he sets into the diving escape hatch tube. It is a bomb. A crewman finds it and this fake Crane attacks him. They fight until the crewman is knocked out. Crane drags him away. Crane goes to Chip in the control room and orders the Flying Sub launched for some idea he wants to check out. The Flying Sub launches. Crane comes down the nose ladder again and walks over to Chip who thinks he is out of his own mind, "I must be out of my mind." Lee calls Nelson but there is no answer. Crane orders the crew to find the time bomb and has Chip continue at flank. Chip thinks this is dangerous but Lee says, "I don't care. Find the bomb." General quarters is sounded and we see lots of men (for once in seasons three and four and even two) moving about, readying for danger. The music used is ENEMY BELOW and it emphasizes the "duty" of men pushing themselves too hard and being loyal. Thus, Ski pushes Doc aside and still in his tee shirt, runs out to help Sharkey search for the bomb. The fake Crane in the Flying Sub says, "Anytime now, gentlemen, anytime." Ski and Sharkey find the bomb which is ticking. Crane arrives. If it stops ticking, Sharkey says, they have maybe ten seconds before it goes off, maybe less. It stops ticking. Crane grabs it; Sharkey runs to the torpedo missile firing switches; we hear a good use of ENEMY BELOW music. Crane puts it in a tube and Sharkey fires. The blast shakes them all. After the shake, they hear banging and find the crewman the fake Crane knocked out--inside one of the torpedo tubes. They pull him out and Sharkey orders another crewman to help another get this injured man to sickbay (he calls him either Sam or sailor--it's hard to hear what). The fake Crane in the Flying Sub says, "They're all gone now, all of them, no more Nelson, no more Crane." Nelson comes out of the curtain below the bunk with a gun in his hand. The fake Crane hits his hand and they fight as the Flying Sub heads down out of control. We hear THE X FACTOR music and the fight is rather good especially as the Flying Sub is rocking and heading down at the same time! Nelson fights the spy off and levels the Flying Sub off. We see the window as the ocean moves away from them and they from it. Back on Seaview, we see a perfect split screen special effect as the fake Crane is in the same shot as the real Crane! He was brought up by Crane and Nelson. Nelson reaches for the man's mask, "Let's see who you really are."
Nelson pulls the mask off--it is Randolph Mason!!! Seaview finds the electromagnet installation at 1050 yards and zero relative (whatever that means). Seaview fires 8 salvo. There is a blast. Mason forgot to take off his ring. It was he, dressed and made up to look like Nelson, who killed an assistant who was well trained and made to look like Mason! Mason says, "What does it matter now, gentlemen, nothing matters now." As they take him away, Nelson wonders how the authorities and whole world who want to get their hands on him, can find the punishment to fit the crime. Lee wonders if they should even try. Seaview sails off.
REVIEW: A very entertaining story with enough twists to keep one in the dark. I really didn't think Mason would turn out to be the killer. Even on not having seen it for so long, I didn't realize it could be Mason. Hedison does a great job of acting like he is in pain in many episodes, this one included and may be one of his best "I'm sick" scenes. For more of this see DAY OF EVIL. It is difficult to believe Mason would forget to take off his ring. I also cannot understand why they didn't tell at least Chip Morton about the imposter aboard. The scenes with Sharkey are hilarious. Sharkey has always added to the fun and this one is highlighted by him very much. I also like Chip's reactions to some of the events, usually somewhat straight faced, he seems astounded as to what is going on and suspicious of Sharkey's questioning. Well done. The outdoor scene of the car chase with Crane and his escape is well done also--some of the first outside scenes in a very long time (I cannot recall any in season three!). Another red herring and excellent sequence is when the mask is pulled off Sharkey and we see it is Kowalski. Of course, the rubber mask gag is from MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE which had been doing it for at least three years by now but at least here, Mason matches Crane's height and body type, as well as Sparks, Ski, and Chip. The moon touch is a nice...well, touch. This episode reminded me a great deal of Season One: Nelson doesn't want the crew told about some things; Lee does; the end of the world scenario with tidal waves and hurricanes; the sub tracking Seaview--many of which were in ELEVEN DAYS TO ZERO. This fourth season, with more like MAN OF MANY FACES, would hold up remarkably well to the third season (which, much maligned, had some worthy stories). From season two, Stu Riley was missed.