VOYAGE TO THE BOTTOM OF THE SEA-Terror, A Time To Die, Blow Up
Nelson, Sharkey, and crewman Dunlap (who has a machine gun) sail via raft to an island where a Dr. Robert Thompson who radioed for help. We hear those same jungle sounds which are effective if not pleasant to the ear--they always sound the same. Thompson dies in the arms of Sharkey and Nelson warning them about a specialized tropical plant---an "evil invader that will destroy mankind in eight hours." Dunlap finds the cultivated area with chairs and a red rose like flower in a glass case. When his back is turned, the case moves and fires a beam at his neck. He gasps in pain (off camera we hear the glass shattering?!). Nelson and Sharkey walk toward him, past a boulder. Dunlap raises the machine gun and fires! Bullets hit the boulder as Nelson and Sharkey duck behind!
After a new credits sequence with the jazzed up theme song (which is followed by a musical and visual fade out of the radar dots which come back on and then blip out again!) we see a freeze frame of Dunlap firing. Nelson sends Sharkey around as the man changes ammo. Nelson fires a warning shot but Dunlap drops the gun, screams, and the light leaves his fallen body. Nelson checks him--he's dead. He tells Sharkey he saw something rise up out of Dunlap's body. Crane calls. Nelson orders an armed detail to comb the island but due to bad static, Crane doesn't hear the order. The static gets worse. Sparks gets Crane through to Nelson but Nelson's walkie talkie smokes and blows up, Nelson tossing it (and making a very humorous face doing it too). NOTE: the radio shack looks cramped up and different as if a wall or consolde is turned the wrong way). Sharkey and Nelson find the posy--the glass tube over it is gone. Nelson never saw anything like the posy and he puts the unbroken glass cover on top it. On Seaview, he tells Ski to take it to the lab, calling it an orchid from the experimental plant area. He wants to take it to the Botany Department at the Nelson Institute and will contact them about it even before getting there. Ski puts the flower in the lab. He turns before leaving. The flower blasts the door open. Reactor Room--one crewman feels sick after a flash. He takes off his mask (good move--taking off your protective mask in a radioactive area). There is an alarm. The crewman pulls the rods and there is a huge fight between the pair. We see some long shots of the fight which is a nice way to show a fight so that the stunt men can't be told apart from the actors but it is possible both crewmen were already being played by stunt men. We also see for the first time the other side of the reactor room, viewing the fight through the other side of the room and the wall designs into the reactor area. The unpossessed crewman pushes the rods back in but the reactor room flashes. There is a short in Circuitry--Seaview shakes. Patterson is sent to the Master Control board by Sharkey in the Circuitry Room. Seaview levels off (sigh). Nelson thinks he knows what is causing all this. Sparks tells Nelson if they surface, he can bounce their signal off the communications satellite even though the interference continues. Nelson pats Sparks, "Very good!" Seaview surfaces; Nelson calls a Dr. Brink or Brinks in Botany at the Institute. A garbled message came to him from Thompson: the flower rejected sunlight but thrived on electronic emissions from the machines of Thompson. Nelson says, seriously, "I'm going to run a computer checkup on that orchard and see what makes it tick." Lab: Nelson and Crane get a radiation count. It blasts them back. Crane runs for a stunning gun and the flower sends a short burst beam into Nelson. When Crane returns, Nelson starts to choke him to death!
Another long shot fight is fairly good at covering up the stunt men for Basehart and Hedison, who also seem to do a great deal of their stunts anyway in the entire series. The Lab is very large again and we see a great deal of it, unlike TIMELOCK, which made it look very small and almost half its original size. Nelson is super strong and when Sharkey and Patterson arrive, he throws them. Then he tosses the two of them and Crane at once and runs out. Nelson hides in a storage room from a crewman. In the room is another crewman, who tells him the box in the room is the radioactive core for the reactor (a replacement perhaps). When Nelson opens it against the man's warnings, the man tries to close it. Nelson hits him down. When the man tries to call for help, Nelson raises his hand and a whine is heard. The man falls down (dead?). Nelson looks smug. Crane tells Patterson to take care of Sharkey, then calls Chip telling him the Admiral's gone berserk. Ski goes to break out the stun guns from the nose closet near the ladder but Nelson comes down the ladder and hits Ski, and begins choking Chip. When Crane fires at the plant with his laser gun, Nelson falls away from Morton. A light leaves his body and goes into a Seaview panel which causes more (yes, more) blasts and shaking of the sub. Nelson gets up after it is over and yells at all of them, "Get a gun, Lee, and shoot me." He tells Lee the thing wants him to kill Lee. Chip, Ski, and Lee tell the Admiral it's gone but Nelson wants to talk to Lee alone and asks them to close the observation doors. Chip wonders if Lee should but Crane tells him it's all right. They do it. Nelson looks out the window, tells Crane the alien is still aboard. It comes from the outer rim of the galaxy and is an incredibly malign entity. It looks to live and multiply, reproducing in four hours time. Nelson has a headache; Lee wonders if it is the pressure or humidity. Nelson thinks it is the radiation on Seaview--the alien plant wants it to start its sea bed of more flowers. Nelson tells him the alien will seek out a body on board that it is familiar with. He wants them to let the alien find him and then his body must be incinerated by Crane, "Kill me." Nelson goes up the ladder and then Crane opens the doors by pressing the button under the table. Lee calls Sharkey over and tells him the situation, "The Admiral's orders to me were to shoot to kill." Sharkey asks, "What are YOUR orders, Skipper." Lee says, "You will shoot to kill." In the lab, Nelson sees some dead parts of the flower. A sound occurs and the flower pops into existence again and turns, hitting Nelson with its power again. Nelson fights it and tells an arriving Sharkey to shoot him. Sharkey hesitates so Nelson hits him and walks off. Sharkey reports he is headed for B Deck. Crane tells Chip to use armed men with orders to shoot to kill on sight. Chip asks, "To Kill?!" Nelson runs into the nose area and shuts the doors and takes the Flying Sub out. Crane can't get the doors open (why? They've done it before from in the Control Area). They will get engineering to do it. Ski can't lock the Flying Sub in its bay--someone has overrode the shut off controls. Crane readies sea to air missiles and the doors are opened in time for them to see the Flying Sub fly up past the nose (that same stock footage shot). Sparks activates the sail camera. They see Nelson turn the Flying Sub around to attack. Good use of music here as Crane orders Seaview to move at flank. Flying Sub laser Seaview in a good effect. Seaview shakes.
ENEMY BELOW music is used to good effect. Sparks fly all around the control room. Crane orders the Seaview to fire lasers. The front laser fires as the Flying Sub turns. Alarms go off, Seaview turns, damage to maneuvering already done. Generator number 2 has been damaged--which means the lasers are gone also. Crane orders the forward torpedo fired. As the Flying Sub closes, Chip asks why he isn't just getting away while he's clear. Crane answers, "They want Seaview as a glorified greenhouse." Despite the absurdity of this entire episode (I mean Nelson tells Crane to kill him if the alien takes him over, then goes right up to the lab where the alien is; Crane knows he may have to kill Nelson, yet lets him out of his sight right away), this line is a very funny and bizarre one. What other series could make the claim to having a line like that!?! Seaview is blasted. Nelson aims the laser but Seaview blows up the Flying Sub and shakes itself. Chip says, "I guess that finishes the alien." Crane adds, "And the Admiral." Chip tells him, "Nobody blames you, Lee." Crane goes to check the damage repairs. In the Missile Room, Ski and Sharkey check gear. Ski wonders, "Do you think the Skipper had to do it?" Sharkey tells him they just follow orders on this ship. Ski continues, wondering if there was something else they could have done to save the Admiral. Sharkey tells him to drop it, then pats Ski on the shoulder when Ski says, "Yeah, sure, Sharkey." It is rare Ski calls the Chief by his last name, usually just calling him Chief. Ski bangs part of the buckle he is checking, upset over Nelson's death. The escape hatch operates--Sharkey thinks it must be a salvage party the Skipper sent out to check the Flying Sub wreck. They open the hatch door--standing there, dripping wet is Admiral Nelson! This is another of those odd moments that makes this episode different, not good mind you, but very odd and very unforgettable. Seeing Basehart there in the tube, dripping wet, knowing that he is under the alien power--and would have been killed in the depths of the sea and the blast--makes this scene quite chilling. Nelson knocks them down quickly, runs into the hall, hides from two Reactor Room relief crewmen. Sharkey calls Crane, "We're in trouble again." Sharkey asks Lee, "How'd you stop a thing like that?" Nelson takes the plant to the Reactor Room, hits the two men down easily, and radiates the plant using the reactor rods. Blasts hit Seaview which shakes (NO, NOT AGAIN!). The power feed from the reactor is cut off but there is high radiation. Crane belays an order to send an armed detail down there, "Let's see what we're up against first." NOTE: Crane seems to have learned from the past three years--it is wise not to send an armed detail to confront something they know may be able to just kill those men. Crane and Sharkey go down and Lee looks in through the port window on the Reactor Room wall. Two Reactor Room men come out and claim they don't know where the Admiral is. Sharkey calls one of them, "Mack." This is a term Sharkey has used before and probably not the man's name. Nelson's voice says, "We're all around you." When Crane asks, "We?" Nelson answers, "The pod people." Suddenly getting stupid again, Crane tells Nelson to stop his empty threats. Does he want the alien to show its force again? Nelson appears at his request. He opens the reactor room door and shows them the spores that are reproducing themselves into more flowers. They will take over, reproduce on shore, and then move into the major cities, populating the planet. Crane uses a sonic gun but it has no effect. The two Reactor Room men take the guns--they and probably others of the crew have already been taken over. Crane tries to appeal to Nelson, "Admiral, you can't do it. Whatever's controlling your body and mind, fight it, break free." Nelson closes his eyes. The Admiral may fight it but he claims it is useless. The two men begin pushing Crane and Sharkey into the Reactor Room. The show has totally lost it by now.
Seaview shakes and the blast makes the two men from the Reactor Room vanish, almost like a teleport. Crane and Sharkey run. Nelson calls on the microphone in the hall, "The ship is ours." In one hour, all of them will be taken over. Chip and Patterson hear this so Chip orders lasers, stun guns, nerve gas, nerve gas grenades, etc. Lee belays this. Chip asks what their next move will be they can't let, "The Admiral carry out his plan to take over." Lee discusses the Reactor Room blast and the two men that just vanished. Sharkey figures the only time he's seen it do that before is when the dampening rods are pulled out and the safety valve rod blew. An overload made the two aliens who took over the two men, vanish. Lee wants to build a weapon--some kind of reverse polarity weapon to cause the aliens to overload. Seaview shakes as Lee orders Sharkey with him (music is used well here also). Soon Lee and Sharkey are almost done making the weapon. They wonder about the odds of it working. Chip's mike blasts away from him. Nelson comes down the ladder, "Uh-uh, I'm reading your mind, Commander." Chip and other crewmen rush him but he raises his hand and the men vanish. Seaview shakes and Sharkey wonders if the shaking damaged the newly made weapon. Crane snaps they can't test it now. The pair find the Control Room crew gone. The reactor runs wild. Crane would settle for Seaview blowing up but that wouldn't stop the aliens. Reactor Room--the crew has been taken over, Nelson tells the two and it will explode as Sharkey has said. This will create a safe breeding ground on the depths of the ocean floor. Crane uses the weapon (which sounds like THE TIME TUNNEL image projector sound--lifted from the movie FANTASTIC VOYAGE) on Nelson. He goes into the Reactor Room and uses it on the flowers there. From his hands, Nelson shoots a ray at Sharkey and then at Crane. Crane uses the device on Nelson again. Nelson falls first, then Sharkey also falls. The force comes out of Nelson and blows up. This knocks Crane flying against the wall.
Nelson tells them the aliens are gone. Sharkey welcomes him back and the three push the rods back in (the stock music is outstanding). Seaview is okay now, all personnel accounted for, including the two men from the Reactor room watch. The alien didn't kill Crane and he wonders why. Nelson tells him he couldn't fight the alien as Crane asked of him--not alone. Lee asks, "Why you did---that is---why the alien didn't kill me?" Nelson says, "Your encouragement and my stubbornness working together stopped him just long enough. It's worked for us for some time. No reason why it shouldn't continue, huh?" Crane looks at him, "None at all, Admiral, none at all."
NOTE: Both nameless crewmen scenes (the storage room and the reactor room) were added scenes, revised to the script. Also in the script, Lee calls Chip using the moniker MISTER at the end (for example, "You heard me, MISTER." This is very stiff and not in the aired episode.
REVIEW: How do you review such a strange episode? It was basically a run around Seaview--up to the Reactor Room, to the lab, and to the Flying Sub. It became really tedious around act three and terribly boring. The alien being so evil was nothing new but its powers seemed beyond even what Seaview has already encountered by way of space aliens in the past. Having Nelson taken over is always fun as Basehart plays it very straight with a few asides here and there that show his fun at doing this, if not his own mocking of the script. The sequences of Nelson ordering his own death, Sharkey and Lee's reaction to that, Ski and Sharkey's discussion after they think Nelson had been blown up, and the island scene make this episode okay but only just. It is, in truth, a really bad alien invasion episode. The orchid was also called a posy which is okay. There was a bit too much nastiness going on against unnamed crewmen...most of which we don't know and don't really care much about...but seeing Nelson cut them down...and apparently they are not dead but perhaps they were taken over that early on in the show. We were never told if they were taken over or just knocked out for the rest of the show. The business of the overload and the men just vanishing like that and then later being found on Seaview is silly. Pat answers and pat wrap ups show badly and act four as well as most of act three's second half are really full of bad stuff. AND WHY WHEN AN ALIEN ATTACKS THE CREW DOES IT HAVE TO MAKE THE CREW (USUALLY WITH CHIP) VANISH INTO THIN AIR, ONLY TO HAVE THEM ALL REAPPEAR AGAIN LATER. Where do they go? Were they sent somewhere? What's the story? The talk at the end between Crane and Nelson and their stubbornness was nice.
A TIME TO DIE
Seaview's bottom is seen on an 043 course. Seaview oddly shakes, the lights come and go, the ship vibrates up and down. If they used propellers, Nelson would claim it the drive shaft bearing. The ship slowly rocks and tilts. The chronometer runs wild. Nelson suggests they check their watches. Crane wonders if they are in some magnetic field as the watches have stopped. Nelson hopes that's all it is. The chronometer stops. Ski picks up something dead ahead. Chip calls their attention, "Look!" to the windows. Outside in the water, is a giant lizard eating a weed (stock from Allen's THE LOST WORLD) and pretending to be a sea dinosaur (Elamosaurus?).
All of the crew look at the dinosaur (we see this face by face as the titles show up). The dino roars. Crane was about to call battle stations but Nelson suggests they not start something they can't finish. The thing backs off as Seaview does. It moves away as Chip closes collision screens. They resume course one third ahead. Crane orders a surfacing. Chip orders the planesmen ten degrees up bubble. Seaview tilts upward nose first. Yet it surfaces horizontally. Wind is 62 south, southeast. Nelson and Crane go up to the Conning Tower where there are two lookouts. The sun is blotted out a bit. It is supposed to be 2:30 PM, not night time. Crane looks up and sees it is total eclipse. Nelson tells him that not even a partial eclipse is due in these latitudes for years. We hear some very good music (NEW?) that sounds relaxing and as if the ship is cruising at a slower, calm speed. Nelson asks Crane to take observations of the sun and more photos. He goes back down and asks Sparks about messages. He wants him to contact the astronomy section at the NIMR. Ski asks him, "What was that thing, Admiral, a sea serpent?" Nelson tells him, with a smirk, "Nothing quite that believeable." Crane comes down--they are a day's flank in the wrong spot. They check the satellite and it takes too long. they get insufficient data (INDEED, BOOBY!). Crane is confused, "Either the satellite is there or it isn't." Chip says, "It isn't." Crane goes to Nelson's cabin. Sparks can't get the Institute and is on a 24 hour radio watch...for anyone. He gets nothing. Crane tells Nelson he should get the duty electrician but Nelson tells him not to. He knows what is happening. Crane asks him, "What do you know that you're not telling me." Nelson tells him he will tell him but Crane will think he's lost his mind. Crane says, "Try me." Sharkey brings in wet prints of the photos of the sun. The creature they saw through the observation nose window is one million years extinct; the constellations of the sky they took photos of are not modern...they haven't looked like this arrangement since one million years ago. Nelson says, "That's where we are right now--one million years in the past." Crane says, "You actually believe we may be LOST IN TIME somewhere about a million BC?" Nelson tells him not to discuss this with any of the crew. Crane tells him not to worry--he doesn't want to end up in Sickbay in a straight jacket. Chip calls Crane: the radar is getting something. The bridge lookout calls--that boogie is a bird. It has to be something larger, Crane insists. Sharkey laughs. Crane goes up--it is a bird--an eagle of some kind--but it as they said--big as a jet. They hear it. Crane asks Ward, one of the lookouts, for his binoculars and sees it. A giant eagle passes overhead, Crane pushes one of the men down and they all duck down. Crane runs back down and orders the lookouts to come back down if it attacks again. It does and he orders them to dive. All green and they dive as Chip presses an alarm for diving to 200 feet. Chip asks Lee what's this all about. Seaview vibrates again. Nelson predicts another jolt. The lights blink in Nelson's cabin only. The Seaview chronometer is normal. Nelson opens the door from his cabin and goes out...walking right into his office at the Nelson Institute of Marine Research! He moves to the curtains and looks out at Santa Barbara at night! He hears laughing. The chair behind his NIMR desk turns around with no one in it. A man suddenly appears out of thin air in it!
Nelson talks to the strange man who tells him to call him simply, Mr. Pem who owns the most potent of all weapons--the control of time. He has complete mastery over it. Nelson laughs, "I have met ego maniacs before but..." Pem doesn't like Nelson laughing at his expense. He begs Nelson to try to call security--they won't arrive. He tells Nelson to open the door to see the hallway. Nelson shuts it, Pem presses a button in his old fashioned time piece, and when Nelson opens it, he sees the Control Room of Seaview! He also sees the men in it, the map table, Crane, Chip. Crane tells Chip that the Admiral's gone. He wants Sharkey and Ski to find the Admiral. Pem is fond of ordering people around, Nelson notes. Pem responds with--why not, he can carry out any threat he makes. They then see Seaview underwater and see a large chunk of experiences from THE THING FROM INNER SPACE. Nelson says, "I remember that." He also sees himself, "A man can't be in two places at the same time." Pem says, "Of course, but who said it was at the same time." Nelson calls him insane and mad. Nelson thinks he must be dreaming or drugged. He shuts the door, "I lived through that once, MORE THAN TWO YEARS AGO, I don't want intend to live through it again." Nelson continues to disbelieve, calling Pem a hypnotist, "All you've shown me is the past." Pem can't let him see the future---no one should have to live through that horrible a fate more than once. Nelson takes out a gun, "I've never shot a man in cold blood before but in your case, I'd make an exception." Pem forces Nelson to shoot and then presses his button. Nelson is moved back in time, the bullet back into the gun, and the gun put back, "Resign yourself to the inevitable."
Ski and Sharkey come up from the floor hatch under the deck ladder. They can't figure out where the Admiral is. Sharkey decides to search the Admiral's cabin again. Ski says, "The Admiral's cabin? We won't find him there." Nelson checks the gun. He asks Pem about his source of energy--it is acceleration greater than the speed of light. Pem is taken by Nelson's intelligence and says, "Tell me more." Nelson wonders what he is using as an unlimited supply of energy. Pem doesn't think he wants to tell him but Nelson says, "I doubt you could resist the temptation to tell me." Nelson figures he would need something larger to produce the energy, the time piece, Pem told him is merely an energy booster. Nelson seems to bluff Pem. Pem tells him since Nelson is too altruistic; Pem is not interested in helping humanity. Nelson smiles, "Who said anything about humanity." He is a planner, Pem is not. Together they could have the whole world at their feet. He wants to be Pem's partner. Pem says, "Junior partner." Pem shakes his hand. Ski and Sharkey, on Seaview, come rushing into Nelson's cabin and see Nelson behind his desk and Pem sitting, his legs up, on Nelson's bunk! Nelson asks them if they believe in knocking. After they leave Nelson's cabin, the two men wonder how Pem got on board. Ski comments, "I would have remembered a face like that." Ski isn't worried since the Admiral seems to know all about it. Sharkey says, "That's what worries me the most." Crane goes to call Chief Sharkey and Kowalski on the mike but the two come down the ladder and tell him and Chip about the civilian in the cabin. Sharkey calls Pem some kind of weirdo with the funniest look in his eye. Ski is told to go relieve a crewman (Stan I think is the name I heard). Nelson puts his hand on Pem's shoulder as he brings him down to the Control Room and introduces him to Lee and Chip. Nelson tells Lee to shut down frame 35. Lee hesitates but says he will. Pem and Nelson leave. Lee realized Nelson called the Reactor Room not by name and Chip tells him to carry out the order, Seaview will be without power, "Do you intend to carry out that order?" Lee says, "To the letter!" He runs out and gives the con to Chip, "Take the con." Nelson's tour for Pem is over but Pem only wants to see what he hasn't--the Reactor Room, "Time's growing short." Nelson jokes, "But you're the only man in the world that shouldn't bother about that." Crane tells Pat not to restart the Reactor without orders from him. He is to stop anyone who tries with his life. Seaview shakes, Pem and Nelson tilt in the hall near the deck ladder. Nelson tells Pem, "I wouldn't be surprised if that were engine trouble." Chip tells Ski and Sharkey there is no need to recut the power--or to tell Crane about it--he's the one who shut down the reactor! Seaview hits bottom, Chip goes flying, Sharkey falls off the scope island. Pem makes Nelson vanish and reappear someplace he doesn't recognize (the future?). Pem questions him. Nelson only hears his voice. Suddenly Nelson is spun around and around over and over in a swirling darkness.
Nelson lands in the Reactor Room. Thus follows a strange episode: he tries to restart the reactor but Pat tries to stop him. They fight. Pat and another crewman fight Nelson (the stuntmen this time are very obviously not Pat and Nelson). We hear some excellent action music which appears to be new. Nelson beats Pat down with a karate chop. Crane comes in and throws Nelson down and they fight. Nelson chokes Crane on the reactor. Sharkey runs in. Crane, on the floor now, shouts, "Shoot him, he's gone berserk! Shoot him!" Sharkey shoots and the bullet comes out but goes back into his gun. All goes backward, including it seems the excellent and fitting musical cue. I would have liked to see the fight scene go backwards some more. Nelson spins around and around and lands back on the ladder to the deck. He tells Pem the truth. Pem goes to switch him but there is no power left. Nelson moves at him slowly--Pem's device is worthless now. Pem runs, Nelson merely calls him. He calls Sharkey and tells him the civilian is loose and to meet him in Corridor A-2. He calls Lee and tells him to stay at frame 35. Nelson tells Sharkey to take the Circuitry Room sign down, then goes to Crane at the Reactor Room, "Have you got a dime?" Crane asks, "A dime?" Nelson is somewhat irritated, "A dime." Crane does and asks Nelson what he is doing. Nelson removes the Reactor Room sign with the dime, "Give me a hand here." After they remove it totally, Nelson moves off but says, "Here, here's your dime." Crane takes it and puts it away and then follows. Pem avoids searching crewmen. Sharkey puts up the Reactor Room sign on the Circuitry Room door and walks off at their command--just as Pem arrives with a gun on Nelson's head, "Don't move, either of you." He will power up his timepiece and then send Nelson so far back in time, "You'll never be heard from again." He tells him this dissolves our partnership. Nelson warns him, "Don't go in that room with a power booster." Pem says, "Bon voyage." He opens the door.
Pem goes in the Circuitry Room and finds a switchbox. He throws it and blows up. Seaview rises up. Nelson and Crane found the time piece in pieces. The electric power voltage was increased a thousand times. Nelson genuinely says, "Poor fella." He was the greatest genius of all time but was also fundamentally remarkably stupid. He tells Crane to throw the time piece away--it's no good to anyone now. Crane discards it in an ash tray on the nose table.
REVIEW: This one was thought by me to be very talky and in a way, it is, but it introduces the brilliant character of Mr. Pem, played with nerve by Henry Jones. It also presents some stock footage in the form of the dino lizard--this time a different one but also taken from Allen's version of THE LOST WORLD--eating some weeds under the water (it is in THE LOST WORLD when the poodle encounters a dino eating weeds and the girl played by Jill St. John comes looking for the dog). There is also a giant bird which is mostly heard and not seen very much. Tension comes from Nelson's having Pem aboard and the crew not being aware of why. Nelson couldn't tell them since Pem threatened him. Pem also sent Nelson someplace else for a short time. It is kind of neat how Pem can also dislocate space as well...putting Nelson's office at the NIMR behind a door on Seaview and allowing he and Nelson, standing in the NIMR, to watch the action on Seaview, also watching something from THE THING FROM INNER SPACE. All in all, Pem is killed (?) when he mistakes the Circuitry Room for the Reactor Room due to a ruse by Nelson and Crane. The explosion that killed him was nicely conceived. He didn't have enough power to switch Nelson--but not far back in time--but may have had enough, just enough, to switch himself slightly into a few seconds forward or backward. For all that was in this episode, it could have been much better--perhaps having Seaview or Nelson and Pem switched to a few other times--there were, I'm sure several THE TIME TUNNEL sets still around. I am not really sure Seaview ever was seen getting back to the present. As fun as A TIME TO DIE is, the sequel with Mr. Pem (OHHH, I gave it away), NO WAY BACK, is much better.
MUSIC: LEITH STEVENS
Seaview is on the surface while the 11th fleet is testing a new detection device. The fleet Admiral will not know Seaview is in the area-the point being that the detection device should pick up Seaview. Chip calls--engineering recommends they return to base. Nelson, in his cabin with Lee, says, "I'll come down with you. Nothing is every easy, is it?" Sharkey tells Mr. Morton it looks hopeless--the lister fuel is leaking--and it is highly volatile. They would have dry dock and drain the entire missile fuel system to fix this leak. Nelson tells them engineering is wrong--"if they don't know how to fix it, I do." He asks for a wrench kit and will go to frame 40. Crane tells him this is not a safe job. Nelson says, "I didn't say it was." Crane looks at Chip, both worried about the Admiral as he takes off. Ski opens the lower hatch; Crane gives Nelson an emergency breathing apparatus. Sharkey says, "Don't take any chances with that stuff, Admiral." Nelson goes down into a dark room but drops the wrench, causing a blast. He shakes and falls.
The titles are done up in thick, bold letters. The hatch is jammed shut and Nelson's oxygen is running low. Crane frustrates, "I tried to tell him not to do it--he just wouldn't listen!" If he were conscious he could use the Emergency Breathing Apparatus. Men come to work the hatch open. Nelson is conscious now and puts the mask on. He a possible future--a alternate one. The evil Crane that killed Nelson was Mallory's warped version of Crane. The whole thing was as weird as SEALED ORDERS, more so. The island in the sky (and thereby hangs a title) was interesting and bizarre. My only complaint with this one was that the menaces on the island could have been better (the standard lizard stock was used). The two Cranes (a laughing insane one and a sneering egotist killer one) and the cliff dilemma (which used stock footage which was also usedcomes down the steps of the deck ladder and bumps into Nelson, saying, "You're okay! Great!" Nelson is stiff and reprimands Sharkey, first asking him how long he's been in the Navy. Sharkey tells him regular Navy--12 years, adding "sir". Nelson tells him he should show him military courtesy. Sharkey says, "Beggin the Admiral's pardon." Nelson tells him in the future to remember what he's learned. Nelson goes to the Control Room and sees Mr Morton at the plotting table with the EBA. He reprimands Chip, "Pursue your hobbies off duty!" Crane goes to Chip after Nelson leaves, "What was that all about?" Chip asks, "What did I say wrong?" Nelson checks out his cabin as if someone were hiding in it. He goes through the closet and the bathroom, then sits at his desk. Ski brings Nelson some coffee as Nelson puts a gun the top drawer of his desk and makes the sailor close the door. Ski thought he'd like some coffee even though Nelson is fuming that he didn't ask for some. Nelson makes Ski drink the coffee even though it is hot--twice he has to drink it to suit Nelson's fears. Nelson kicks him out and tells him to keep his coffee to himself. Crane passes Ski in the hall, Ski is wordless and stunned. Crane sits in Nelson's cabin and when Nelson closes his draw--we hear a ring--a phone maybe? Nelson wonders if Crane is in on it--he couldn't bring himself to think so. He asks Crane to arrest the ship's Doctor. When Crane wonders why, Nelson asks him, "Are you disputing my orders, too? I'll see to it that that sanctimonious man of medicine receive a court martial--not more than ten minutes ago he tried to kill me!"
Seaview is on the surface. Doc awakens as Sharkey comes in to ask him something. Doc calls what happened a brief altercation and has a bruise on his jaw. Sharkey guesses the Admiral. Crane arrives. Doc tells him he missed the main event; Crane dismisses Sharkey. They discuss the feelings of persecution the Admiral is having since he left sickbay. Doc tells him that the way Nelson left is not a remedy he'd prescribe. When Doc suggests paranoia, Crane tells him Nelson is the sanest man he's ever known but the violent behavior and persecution are symptoms. Nelson arrives and demands Doc be put in the brig--he's a dangerous killer. Crane asks Doc to come with him. Nelson tells Doc if he resists and tries to escape, he'll be shot and to Crane, "Don't let him out of your sight." After Nelson leaves, Doc tells Crane to do it--he has to. Lee locks Doc in the brig. Sharkey reports to Chip with the new watch men. Chip says, "Very well." Sharkey quietly tells him, "Suddenly, we're running a very formal ship. It's hard to get used to." Chip tells him, "The Admiral wants a tight ship, he's going to get one." Frames 38 and 42 are weakened around the hull plates--one hour to repair on the surface. Crane tells Chip to remain on the surface until repairs are completed. Nelson comes down the nose ladder and looks at the water on the surface. He wants to go down but Chip tells him to discuss it with the Skipper. Nelson orders Chip to take Seaview down but Crane comes, faking jolliness, "What's the trouble?" Nelson calls them sea loiterers and feels all his orders must be met with detailed explanations. Chip calls engineering to dive and they tell him "...that could be trouble, sir." Nelson puffs, "Now engineering is taking over control." Chip tells them to secure the work detail. Nelson asks if Lee disapproves. Nelson feels they are sitting ducks on the surface but Crane tells him "We're at peace." Nelson's answer, "Let me be the judge of that." Chip prepares to dive, asks the lookouts in, and we see the sea below at the windows. Nelson orders at the 11th fleet at flank speed or, "...are we going to have another lively discussion of the pros and cons of following orders?" Nelson goes to his quarters, "Hmmmm, very good." Engineering calls, telling Chip and Crane the hull won't hold. Crane says, "Admiral or no Admiral, we're surfacing. Blow for ballast." Before they can surface, a blast shakes them. Steam comes in to the control room. Seaview shakes some more. A man in steam falls. Seaview is nose heavy--shipping water fast. Crane warns, "All hands, brace for crash." He bangs the table, "The fool! The murderous fool!" Seaview goes down, nose hitting rocks, breaking one off. It hits bottom and we see the back fin.
Crane asks for a repair estimate from damage control every ten minutes. Compartment three is flooded. One man is dead for sure, the crew is rounding up the survivors. Crane goes below. Ski moves to Sharkey, blaming the Admiral for all this. Sharkey tells him anyone can have a mistake in judgement but Ski tells him he knows it was more than that, "The Admiral's blown his cork--it's not safe to let him run around the ship." Ski tells Sharkey he was thinking the same thing and can't deny it. Sharkey gets angry and tells him one more word will get him on report. Nelson comes down and asks, "Who's responsible for this blunder?" Chip answers that he tried to warn him. Nelson challenges Chip, claiming he fixed all of this up. "Mr. Morton, I've never really trusted you---could never tell what you were thinking!" He promises Chip he will break him. When Nelson's attention wanders, Chip tries to bring him out of it, "Sir, sir." Sharkey asks to have a word with him; Nelson asks him, "Who told you to say that?" When Sharkey tells him no one, Nelson says, "Your in this up to your neck." Crane has three men take another to Sickbay from the hallways. One man was lost, others are injured in sickbay, "Doc'll fix em up." Chip says, "That'll take some doing, Doc's locked in the brig." Crane forgot. Ski walks to Chip, the crewmen don't think Crane can handle it now--he's not aware of the situation. Chip has to keep shutting Kowalski up when Ski keeps interrupting Sharkey. Chip tells the chief to say his piece. Sharkey says, "Nobody knows the Admiral better than I do. He...well, he's my friend." He goes on to say the man is sick and should be locked away where he can't hurt anyone. He tells the crew, "Whatever you decide, I'm with you." Chip warns that this sounds close to open mutiny. Ski says, "It's okay, Mr. Morton, we know you're with us, too." Lee lets Doc out of the brig. Doc asks if this is a parole. Crane mocks him, "Parole? You're free!" Doc runs the other way as Nelson arrives. Crane tells him he let Doc out. Nelson says, "Can't I trust anyone aboard this ship!" Lee says, "No one aboard would let you down." Crane tells him they should make repairs and head home--the detection device maneuvers are just a test--no harm is done if they are not there to help test it now at this time. Nelson says, "You don't know what I know, trust me, Lee." Nelson leaves; Crane slams the door in frustration. Nelson hides in the storage room as a crewman passes. Crane enters the control room and sees the indignation meeting. Chip and Sharkey explain. They think he should confine the Admiral. Crane asks, "And I suppose you'll make me walk the plank?" Chip tells him this is deadly serious. Crane calls it a mutiny but Sharkey questions that word, "Mutiny?" Crane yells, "What'd you call it." He is willing to forget the whole talk to get the ship off the bottom. Chip orders then back to their stations. None of the men move. Sharkey yells, "What's the matter with you guys, when the exec gives an order, you jump!" The men move to stations. A crewman leaves circuitry; Nelson goes in and Seaview starts up from the bottom. Chip says, "We're going upstairs!" Crane orders one third power, no faster and no forward speed. Seaview reaches 150. Nelson sabotages the circuitry. Crane has ordered a gradual rise to keep the pressure from hurting the troubled spots. Suddenly the rise stops; engine room can't control the ship; the planes won't take them up; the hull won't take the strain. Chip says, "We're going down again and this time we won't be coming up!"
Chip feels their efforts to stop Seaview is like trying to stop a runaway. Crane guesses the Circuitry Room. "The Admiral," Chip comes to the same conclusion, "He's mad, he's trying to kill us all." Crane takes two men and asks Ski and Sharkey to follow him. They go down the ladder where Nelson takes Lee aside and whispers to him about their position to the 11th fleet. Crane tells Nelson they are going down again and, "this time there won't be any survivors." Crane relieves Nelson of command duty and places him under formal restraint using regulation 14, paragraph 42 to 51. Nelson takes his hand off Crane's shoulder and laughs. He is being declared mentally incompetent and Doc will prove it. Nelson tells Lee he joined them--mutiny is a hanging offense. He will see to it Lee hangs for this and all his other plotters. Sharkey goes to take Nelson. Nelson snaps, "Don't put your hand on me." He goes up the ladder. Ski tells him they will use force if they have to. Nelson kicks Ski and Sharkey and fights the other crewmen. He kicks Ski off him as Ski attacks again. Nelson runs and the two men and Ski follow after. Crane is in the Circuitry Room and when he touches something, there is a small blast. Sharkey calls him and tells him the Admiral is armed and loose. Crane tells him to get him, "Alive if possible but get him!" Crane calls Engineering. The circuits are locked on automatic. Crane wants their best electronic experts to reroute the circuits to manual. Chip tells Lee he has been listening on the squat box and has an armed party mustered up already on the way. Nelson with a gun, follows Sharkey up the deck ladder, hiding and skulking the hallways. Crane comes to Sharkey in the hall, "Chief, I never pretended I could out think the Admiral but this time, I've got to!" Crane goes to the Control Room. Seaview is at 150 feet, moving at flank. The fleet is on the radar, visually in ten minutes they will be on the screens. Nelson fights a crewman in the vents and then fights Sharkey, Ski, and one man. Nelson pulls Sharkey's leg out from under him (a move used a great deal more on THE TIME TUNNEL and equally unrealistic). The stuntman for Basehart, usually not noticeable, is very noticeable as not being Basehart this time. Nelson fights them all down and gets into the missile room, using a wrench to lock it. Sharkey tells Crane and they get a welder to start burning the wheel off. Crane is impatient, "C'mon!" Sharkey tells him, "Skipper, he's doing the best he can." Nelson loads torpedoes and fires one. It moves out the nose of the ship and heads at the 11th fleet!
The men rush into the Missile Room with a corpsman. Crane destroys the torpedo with a missile and tells Nelson this, "You should know--it was your invention!" Nelson charges Lee, "I'll kill you!" He tries to choke Crane. The Corpsman gives Nelson a needle--a sedative. Later in sickbay, Nelson is in a bathrobe as Doc gives him good air. The gas is out of his lungs. Doc admits he's seen case of paranoia before but "this one was a beaut." Nelson hopes there will be no relapse. Crane tells him one thing is for sure--they will never issue the breathing apparatus to the crew.
REVIEW: Nasty Nelson episodes almost always work well (TERROR was the one exception). Here, Nelson is paranoid, Basehart giving each scene the credibility. This one works better than even the fine DESTROY SEAVIEW! Nelson's paranoia is responsible for the death of at least one lost crewmen when he puts Seaview on the bottom thanks to his hampering of the crew. Best scenes: when Nelson harasses Chip Morton, in one, telling him he's never trusted him--"could never tell what you were thinking." Well, this describes the Chip of seasons two through four quite well. Sharkey watches, horrified. Sharkey also claims no one on board the sub knows the Admiral better than he. I would dispute this as Crane knows Nelson better; Chip possibly does as well although Sharkey seems to spend more time with Nelson. Another great scene: when Nelson forces Ski to drink coffee the kind crewman brought to him without being asked---paranoid it was poisoned. Nelson's harassment of Doc is equal to none with Doc given more involvement in the direct action--as Nelson demands he be locked up. Crane, when they are on the bottom, frees Doc. Seeing Crane outwit Nelson ("Chief, I never pretended I could out think the Admiral, but this time, I've got to") gives one a certain satisfaction. Lots of good interaction and tension. A stuntman for Basehart was noticeable in one of the later fights; a ringing phone seems to be heard when Nelson closes his desk drawer tightly shut--maybe a phone on the desk? The silly fight move--pulling a man's leg out from under him---by pulling from in front of the man---is used here. It was used a great deal more on THE TIME TUNNEL where it looked equally silly.