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VOYAGE TO THE BOTTOM OF THE SEA-Lobster Man, Nightmare, Abominable Snowman


Chase - Posted on 24 October 2009

THE LOBSTER MAN

Writer-Al Gail

Dir-J. Addiss

TEASER

Seaview tracks a UFO (yes, again). Sharkey reports to Chip about what the early warning satellite tells them about where it will splash down near the coast. Nelson is on the radio and tells the Department of Defense that the condition is not red. Nelson asks Sparks to activate the sail camera. They see the object--it appears to be a big ball of red flame---a fireball. It may be its reaction to the atmosphere. Suddenly, Sharkey warns it is now on a collision course. Ski yells, "It's on top of us!"  Crane warns all hands, "Brace for impact."  Blasts and shaking hit Seaview. Sparks fly across the room (yes, again, sigh).

 

ACT ONE

Seaview hits bottom (yes, again). The control room shakes. Then we see the titles. Men put out fires. Frame 12 to 14 have minor damage. It will take a few minutes to fix circuits on main power lines. The object is 1000 feet off the bow apparently unmanned. Nelson is suspicious of a free falling object that changes course. Crane orders Chip to go ahead and recover it. It is lifted up and the magnetic grapnel hook brings aboard the pointed rocket--a small one man affair. Nelson checks it with instruments--there is no sound inside. Pat uses a torch to try to cut inside; Ski uses foam; Pat applies explosive charge packs (good relax music from A TIME TO DIE). Blasts can't open it. The metal is not from this Earth. Sparks calls--General Cook wants to speak to Nelson. Pat is left on guard. He picks up a crowbar when he hears a sound while working on the scuba rack. The rocket opens and a lobster claw comes out of it. Then an alien that looks like a lobster--humanoid. The claw snaps the crowbar in two. The alien knocks Pat out and the claws move over Pat's body in one strange scene. Men rush in the hallways as Pat hits an alarm before being knocked out. Crane orders the Missile Room checked out and warns the crew, "Some kind of an alien creature is loose on this ship."  The lobster man is in the hallways (sigh, yes again). Sharkey and Ski are in the hallway and check the officer's cabin (Crane's room? The room from THE BUCCANEER ? The old nose set?). Sharkey tells Ski not to be sure they don't see any alien in this room--they know nothing about what it looks like. They check the bathroom and Ski checks the closet. A suitcase improperly put back by Ski, falls off the shelf in the closet. Sharkey shoots at it. He has shot holes in the officer's uniform. It turns out this is Mr. Morton's room and it was his dress jacket. Ski mumbles something to Sharkey which I couldn't hear. The Lobster Man goes to the Circuitry Room (yes, again, sigh). Well, hey, the music is good. His claw sparks controls. Crane sets his sights on being in Pearl Harbor in one hour. Nelson is using the ultra sonic gun--a way that might open the space capsule. The Lobster Man moves to the Reactor Room and uses his antenna to probe. He goes in and pulls rods. An alarm goes off and Chip tells Lee. Lee gets a gun (yep, first response). He goes up the nose steps. Sharkey and Ski fire at the alien in the Reactor Room. It does no good. They attack him and fight. He throws both of them and we hear some kind of strange shriek or sound almost like a howl. Ski jumps on the Lobster guy; Crane and men arrive. The Lobster Man says he didn't know what was happening and that pulling the rods would destroy them. In the nose, the doors to the control room are shut. Nelson tells the Lobster Man, "If you are here in peace, you're welcome."  NOTE: Basehart as Nelson almost never looks the alien in the face and appears as little as possible with it--he looks almost embarrassed to be in this episode--certainly one can see why but there were more embarrassing episodes--but one can notice that he does never directly looks at the alien in the eyes and hardly ever addresses it directly face to face. Interesting. The Lobster Man tells him he is here in peace but there are others who do not share Nelson's terrestrial hospitality. He looks at Crane. Crane is not convinced the alien is peaceful. The alien tells them he is from an all water planet in deep space. His evolution was at its height with the form of the crustaceans. Nelson seems interested that there are other civilizations out there then. The Lobster Man tells him there are many and he was on his way to visit one of them when he lost power and fell into Earth's gravity. Nelson or rather Basehart is not really into doing this episode. The Lobster Man tells them the sound waves echoed through space forever and he know about them---they picked up these Earth waves by something that he calls like "a giant ear"  that hears all the words spoken on Earth. The alien wants to leave and needs an atomic charge so he can do so. Crane tells him he not authorized to allow that. The defense commission will have to decide that and what to do with him. Crane asks Sparks to get General Cook at Pacific Defense Command. As Sparks does so, the Lobster Man attacks the radio shack, destroying the radio. Seaview shakes.

 

ACT TWO

The alien will explain why he did what he did at his craft. Nelson and Crane go to the Missile Room with him. His presence would trigger a wave of panic and fear; psychologists and scientists and even the military would threaten him--perhaps under the guise of friendship but their examinations would put him in peril and keep him here on earth. Despite Crane's reservations, Nelson takes full responsibility for the creature but one wrong move, Nelson says, "All bets are off."  Crane doesn't agree but allows it as long as the alien stays confined to the Missile Room (what? Why? How about giving all the weapons on the boat?). Nelson admits he is curious. The alien shows him the craft when Crane leaves. We hear CYBORG music as the craft is opened with his head antenna. Nelson looks in and is told the craft is not atomically driven--the power is solar. He needs the nuclear rod to react with his solar power pack. Nelson brushes his watch across the controls and it sparks. He says it was his mistake. The alien wants the rod. Crane calls Mr. Morton to come in to the nose and close the crash doors. Chip and Lee talk. Lee wonders if he is being too suspicious and Chip does also. Crane tells him that by something, call it instinct--he thinks the Lobster Man's story is phony. Nelson is in his office with Patterson. Pat tells him he didn't attack the Lobster Man at all--it attacked him. Sparks will have the radio fixed in one hour. The PA system is already working. Crane calls Sharkey about repairs--the starboard ballast is leaking and must be patched from outside. Nelson goes to the Reactor Room. Crane, Sharkey, and Pat are in the ballast room. At 3400 feet they must fix the leak or the circuits will short out. Sharkey calls Ski for deep diving and when Ski comes to Sharkey, Sharkey tells him he wishes there was some other way. Ski tells him to relax and goes outside along the hull in diving gear. Ski is out too long but he manages to get the leak fixed. Suddenly, he can't get back in--he is floating. Two divers are ready to go out and help him but the tube fills with water. Then it unfills and the Lobster Man brings Ski back inside--the alien saved him (too bad we couldn't see this suit in the water--it may have looked very cool). Crane thanks him. In the lab, Crane tells Nelson about Ski being saved. Crane tells him the alien may be using the tactic of the Trojan Horse. The alien closes his ship's small door. Seaview goes flank speed. ETA is 0700. The Lobster Man goes to the Control Room, "You will never reach Hawaii."  He explains that Crane has forced his hand. He will take the rod and destroy their "precious"  Earth. He attacks as the men are sent to arrest him. Some kind of new device--table is in the nose. Seaview shakes but this time, for once or more, it shakes nose to fin. It hits bottom and stopped with its die tilted in what appears to be new footage.

 

ACT THREE

Major circuits are burned. Crane calls the Master At Arms. We hear some good music from MONSTER FROM THE INFERNO. In Reactor Room, the Lobster Man claws at the Warning System, pulls the rod but a blast falls him down. Nelson calls Lee to meet him in the Reactor Room. Sharkey finds the Lobster Being down and pushes the rod back in. Nelson surprise trap he arranged worked. When Crane wonders why, Nelson tells him, "I'm not completely gullible."  He gave the Lobster Man all the rope he needed to hang himself. Sharkey tells Nelson, "Yes sir and he sure hung himself."  They put the alien in the brig before he wakes up. Nelson saw the alien's power system and knew the being was lying--he brushed his watch against the controls and it sparked--electronics--the old watch test. Nelson wants to force the capsule open with the ultrasonic gun (isn't he pushing his luck now? Why not let it alone?). A guard shoots a stun gun at the Lobster Man to move back from the cage bars. In the lab, Sharkey wonders if Nelson will blow the roof off Seaview. Nelson tells him he has to find the key to the whole sonic range. Sharkey asks, "What if you find the Seaview's key instead?"  Nelson answers, "I think you know the answer to that, Chief."  Sharkey responds with, "Yes sir, I was hoping you'd come up with a better one."  The alien uses his antenna to knock the guard out and blast open the door. Ski and Crane in the Reactor Room. The Lobster Man comes and shoots Ski with the stun gun (how--with only claws how did he manipulate the trigger?). The alien tells Crane, "Prepare yourself for your final moments on Earth."  He takes the rod out and goes to the Missile Room, kicking Sharkey out, leaving only Nelson and the alien himself. Using the antenna, the alien opens the rocket and puts the rod in the capsule, "The BEGINNING OF THE END, Admiral."  He wants the earth oceans--not every planet in the solar system (solar system? Where does he come from? Our solar system? Neptune?) can sustain his form of life. He lacked nuclear power but the capsule is now an explosive--he will send it into orbit to blow up---"and not even the monkeys will be left to start over."  The alien calls the plan Project Trojan Horse. Nelson grabs the sonic device and uses it but the Lobster Man makes him fall using his antenna. He takes the sonic device and all he needs now is 15 minutes to hold the others off. Nelson goes out of the Missile Room..                       

 

ACT FOUR

When Nelson wants to get word to the defense department to destroy anything that leaves the ocean surface--like the capsule, Sharkey jokes about too bad they don't have any telephone pay stations. Being 60 miles northeast of Hawaii along the Pacific Telephone Cable, they can patch into it. Crane will use the old scuba gear in the Pressure Hatch Room (see RESCUE, DEATH WATCH, THE MERMAID, and others). Sharkey questions Nelson about the alien and their plan to patch into the phone lines and asks if the alien can really destroy all life on Earth. The Lobster Man listens to them on the PA or with his antenna or something. Sparks tells them Captain Crane has made the connection--his hands in the water are not covered. Do they have to be?  The alien comes to the nose and fires a laser from his antenna out the window into Lee's head! The Lobster man runs up the nose ladder. Crane recovers and comes inside. Nelson tells the defense dept to lay a radar screen around Seaview and blast any missile like object that breaks the surface. A crewman passes a hidden Lobster Man in the hallway (good use of DEADLY DOLLS search music). Lab: Crane goes to Nelson who has made a booster sonic device. Sharkey, Chip, and Ski fire at the Lobster Man in the Missile Room. It activates the capsule and leaves. Crane and Nelson bump into Sharkey and Ski--they almost shoot each other. In the Missile Room, Chip helps Nelson with the device. Crane, Sharkey, and Ski see the Lobster Man go to the Circuitry Room. They go in and it jumps at Crane and they all fight it. The room sparks and shakes sideways and rattles. Crane drops a wall unit on the alien but he falls also. We see the other side of the room (rare shots). NOTE: There is a glass plate over one of the wall units--a plate not usually there. One at a time, each man gets up after the creature leaves--they do not see if the other men are okay--Sharkey leaves first, then Ski, then Crane, no one asking each other if they are okay--as they usually do. Chip and Nelson open the capsule with the device but can't get the rod out yet. Chip can't get the device to work again so the Lobster Man, who returns, hits him down. He locks Nelson in the capsule and moves it to the rocket launch silo! Sharkey sends crewman Chuck to get plastic explosives to get into the Missile Room. Chip gets to the door but the alien hits him down and out. Sharkey, Ski, and Pat come in, it beats them all down. It throws shelves on them which are stopped by air tanks beneath it as well as boxes and tool kits. They get up and fight it some more. Ski jumps on its back but is hit backward by it into the tubes. Pat throws an air tank at it. It knocks Sharkey down. Crane comes in and Chip tells him about Nelson being trapped in the rocket. Too late, the alien fires the rocket, "The END OF YOUR WORLD, captain!"  Crane uses the sonic device to knock the Lobster Man back and to blow him up. Seaview shakes and sparks (sigh). This shake scene is seen in the photo often used from this episode as Crane holds onto the diving tube's door wheel turner to keep from falling down.

 

TAG

Sparks tells them General Cook is calling. Cook calls in to Crane in the Missile Room,  "What in blazes is going on?"  NOTE: Cook's voice sounds like Paul Z's. Crane gets frustrated, "Look general, I'll file a full report."  The forcefield above the surface stopped the capsule. Crane tells the crew to use the Flying Sub to pick up what is left of the capsule...and the Admiral. They get it--it looks intact. Crane hopes he can open it with the sonic device but the door opens before he tries. Nelson opened it--it's easier to do from inside. Nelson stopped the capsule from blowing up by using the old watch trick again. Crane tells Nelson the mistake the alien made: the Trojan Horse worked once--you can't pull a trick like that twice.

 

REVIEW: The voice of General Cook sure sounded like Paul Z at the Tag. I really think the body of the lobster man--the costume--was brilliant. It is almost totally ruined by the silly opening for the face---we can see it is just a man inside a costume--a good screen presence--Vic Lundin--but still just a man inside a costume. I like the fact that Nelson was trapped in the alien's space rocket and that this alien came from a world where there was sea (like the aliens in that awful DOOMSDAY ISLAND). Like DEADLY CLOUD and DOOMSDAY ISLAND, the alien design is well realized (with the exception of the open face in LOBSTER) but the story fails to hold interest. LOBSTER MAN isn't as bad as DOOMSDAY ISLAND and DEADLY CLOUD but space alien invading is just not new enough a plot. Also--I feel this season, more than any other, used many scenes as filler--lots of Sharkey asking Nelson what is going on and what could happen; lots of men skulking about hallways; Crane getting a gun; Sharkey and Ski searching Chip's never seen quarters, etc. This is fairly evident here but also in a number of other season three and four episodes.

 

NOTE: The windows in the nose showed a view outside in the water that was totally dark, not the usual watery bubbles or waves. This was used for almost all of this episode.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

NIGHTMARE

Writer-Sidney Marshall

Dir-C. Rondeau

TEASER

1982-Crane is in the Flying Sub doing a gyroscopic attitude test when he sees a glowing saucer shaped vessel pass by. He calls it X35-a satellite seen out of orbit north by northeast. Nelson calls--they are in trouble back on Seaview and the sub is in danger. He tells Lee to get aboard and try to stop them before...he is cut off. Crane crash dives into the sea and returns to Seaview (the Flying Sub approaches from the other side of Seaview---the same shot was used in TERROR and a few other fourth season episodes but the Flying Sub was approaching from the left instead of the right). Crane goes up the Flying Sub ladder but the lights go off. He takes his black leather flight jacket off and gets a gun out. Carefully he makes his way to the nose. Nothing is moving in the Control Room which is very dark. He hears a noise above the nose ladder. The crash doors close off the nose from the Control Room. Crane bangs on them (why?). The flying sub hatch slams shut and the turn-wheel reels around--nice zoom in on this. Crane moves to the nose ladder and hits a glowing forcefield. He shakes uncontrollably.

 

ACT ONE

Crane falls (titles as he still moves a bit). The crash doors open and the Control Room is working again, lights and all. He hears Nelson, Chip, the engine room crew, and maneuvering...but only hears them, he does not see them. Seaview is to go ahead one third; up bubble to periscope depth. Crane calls, "Why can't I see you?"  There is a man in the shadows of the nose, "Because they're all dead, captain."  The man shoots at him but he shoots the man down. The periscope goes up. Crane closes the nose doors off from the control room and kicks the man's gun away. Suddenly, the man hits him down. They fight but Crane gets him down on the window sill--forcing info out of him. His name is Jim Bently, a UFO expert the Navy flew in--a UFO was sighted here. Crane says, "Why did you kill me?"  in an obvious flub but due to the character's tense situation, it can be overlooked at his being scared, he then corrects himself, "Why did you TRY to kill me?"  They see a light and hear a booming voice. The frightened Bently runs up the nose ladder; Crane warns him about the force field but its gone. Crane gets the gun and follows. He hear a laugh in the upper hall. A grenade comes rolling as he opens a regular door (not one of the water tight hatches). The grenade blows up behind the door which he uses as a shield.

 

ACT TWO

Crane checks the halls and calls all hands. He challenges them to stop him right now. He sees a wheel turning on one of the metal hatch doors. He opens the engine room and sees the controls: starboard and port engines. Lee pushes on the door as it shuts and the wheel turns. He looks out the view window but sees nothing. He looks at the vent and moves to go out of it--but (HOORAY!) he can't since an electric shock blasts him away from it. He hears Jim's voice, "There's NO WAY OUT, Crane, you're going to die."  Crane hears a door and opens it. He hears Nelson laughing (at least it sounds like Basehart). Crane shoots the speaker in the hallway, "SHUT UP!"  He checks the Missile Room. We see an overhead shot (unusual for this season and season 3) of Crane near the missile tubes. He hears a diving tube hatch and sees the bubbles and floating ball come down, signifying the return of a diver and the emptying of water from the tube. He opens it and Jim's body falls out--dead. A man in scuba gear comes from behind the missiles and fires a spear gun at Crane. He uses the door to block it, hits the man with the door and knocks him down. He rips the mask off--Patterson. Crane covers him with the hand gun. Pat claims he was in the storage locker when the UFO expert came aboard and shortly thereafter, an explosion ripped through the area. When he came out, Patterson found the sub empty. No one was around. Crane's tone and manner indicate he doesn't believe Pat. They hear Chip's voice calling the Missile Room. They hear Sharkey's voice preparing the missiles. Crane says, "I'm not sure I know who I am anymore."  Pat panics and tries to leave but Crane grabs him, "Stay here!"  Crane slaps him. They hear the missile hum in the silo, "Now Pat are you with me?"  Crane sends him to Circuitry Room to sabotage the missile firing system (can't they do that from here?). Pat doesn't get far into the hall when Crane hears a machine gun fire. Pat stumbles to the door, holding his stomach. He falls in. Crane sees no one and checks Pat. "Don't bother, he's dead,"  Nelson comes in with the machine gun. Crane asks, "Why?"  Nelson says, "For the same reason I'm going to kill you."  He fires, hits the silo; Crane runs through the Missile Room, hiding. Nelson shoots at the shelf Crane is behind and it falls on Crane.

 

ACT THREE

Crane awakens from the sound of a failsafe alarm. His shoulder is wounded. He gets up and looks at Pat (lamenting him). Lee hears Nelson's voice calling a state of war and that missiles will soon be on their target: Washington DC. Chip sounds general quarters. Crane sees shadows against the hallway's walls. War alert is maintained. Crane runs and hides in a dark hall. Lights blink. He opens a door. Someone in red fires a machine gun. He sees a shadow of a man hunting him. Crane fires and gets through a hatch and down steps. Chip call Master At Arms: they must get someone who is dressed in a captain's uniform--kill him on sight. Lee sees more shadows of men hunting him down--he looks above at the deck ladder and sees men with rifles or machine guns now--as well as in the hall ahead of him. He runs to and looks around the storage room. Men in red bang on the door...using rifle butts. Crane moves boxes to block the door area. We hear ESCAPE FROM VENICE music. Someone turns a valve, causing steam. Crane opens a flammable cleaning compound and knocks the boxes down. He shoots at the door and runs out after causing a fire. Two men in red jumpsuits immediately knock him down and out. Later, he finds himself awake and tied up in the Control Room nose. Nelson won't talk to him; crash doors open up for Chip, Sharkey, and Ski to come into the nose area. Crane's hearing starts. No one talks to him. Crane asks, "Can't you see me, can't you hear me?"  Nelson explains to his officer they will be changing history. Ski, apparently now the Master At Arms, slaps Crane when Crane makes comments they don't like. Nelson calls Crane a 5th columnist spy and cancels the kill on sight order--he wants to interrogate the prisoner before execution. SSRN Seaview vs. America. Chip reads the charges brought against Capt. Lee Crane. Nelson asks, "How do you plead?"  Crane says, "You're not the Chief"  and blames the others of not being who they look like. Nelson keeps repeating, "How do you plead?"  over and over, with varying degrees of growing anger. Lee yells, "Nothing! I plead nothing!"  They say Crane killed Jim and Patterson. Crane yells, "No! No! No!"  Chip adds, "I was present as a witness."  Sharkey claims he was also present. Crane sneers, "You're all mad."  Nelson tells him the sentence is death and asks Ski to prepare the prisoner for further questioning. Nelson, Chip, and Sharkey, for some unknown reason, leave for the control room and close the doors, allowing Crane an excellent opportunity to escape. First, he says, "You're funny, Kowalski,"  when implores him to tell them what they want to hear. When they go up the steps, Crane kicks Ski down and out. Crane, in a lively scene, not usually concerning the writers, breaks his bonds in an excruciating process--lying on the floor and bringing his hands around to his back and snapping the ropes. Nelson opens the doors and sees Ski down--he has no reaction, he could care less about Ski, nor could Chip and Sharkey. Nelson is not worried--the time is short for Washington DC and soon, "Captain Crane will die." 

 

ACT FOUR

Crane in the hall, hears Chip's instructions--and the blond friend's orders for a victory celebration. Crane goes to the Circuitry Room and finds nothing in the closets there. Nelson pulls a laser gun on him, Crane lowers his gun down but slowly moves to the door as Nelson explains their plans. Crane throws his gun at Nelson and runs. Nelson shoots the laser gun and hits circuits. He tracks Crane through previously unseen sides of the Circuitry Room. Circuits hit make Seaview shake. Crane gets to the laser pistol but Nelson puts his foot on Lee's hand. Nelson kicks him but Crane spots a wire out of the circuits. Lee whips it at Nelson and blows open his chest: inside are wires and machinery and turntables. He was a machine. Lee goes to the Missile Room: failsafe activates--impossible because only the President can activate it. Crane uses the key around his neck to try to deactivate it but can't. He sees Jim Bently who holds a disintegrator device--the only thing that could kill him and his kind. He is an alien from space (are there any other kind?). The countdown starts. His galactic powers bypassed failsafe. This is a test of human response to galactic stimuli. He shoots the device at Crane and it floors Lee. The aliens are going to invade. If Crane could have repelled them, they would leave. The missiles launch. Bently says, "Your world is coming to an end."

TAG

Bently says, "Does it really matter if the end comes from galactic invasion of your own self destruction?"  Crane hits the self destruct buttons but the aliens have already deactivated that. One minute and 12 seconds to the missile blasts on DC. Jim tells him his race is not psychologically nor physically mature to take their place in the universe."  Crane figures he can still activate the self destruct--by using his own body as a conduit. He places his hands on the metallic board. Seaview shakes; both missiles blow up; Crane and Bently land on the floor face down. Crane gets to the alien's weapon before he can, both crawling toward it. Crane fires. Bently turns into his real form---an alien face and hands--and suit--looking like an alien from LOST IN SPACE-SPACE BEAUTY and THE DEADLY AMPHIBIANS (are all three related races?). He then vanishes--dead one would guess. Later, Nelson explains how the aliens used the ship's computer to simulate the voices of the crew and the auto servo mechanism to do other physical phenomena to haunt Lee. Lee wonders if someone else wouldn't have been fooled so easily. Nelson tells Lee he was glad it was him, not someone else they tested. Someone else may not have aborted the missiles. Lee's mind was controlled and the crew were held prisoners down below. Ski picks up a UFO moving at Seaview. Sharkey checks with Sparks (we don't see Sparks) and returns--its a weather balloon combined with thermal layer. Crane tells Nelson, "Admiral, I've never been so happy about the weather."  Nelson requests they check out the weather in Santa Barbara. Crane orders them to head back home. Nelson laughs just a bit too long and too much. Why?

 

REVIEW: This whole story just doesn't really work. It doesn't make any sense at all. If the aliens could do all that--why test Crane at all? Without counting, they could have killed him many times but didn't. They seemed to always have the upper hand. And if Bently was the only alien...as was supposed...he also had the upper hand at almost every turn. The machine Nelson (and supposedly other machines--androids of the others) could have killed Crane. The one sequence which is particularly unnerving is "Crane's hearing"  with Nelson, Ski, Sharkey, and Chip acting particularly annoying and menacing to Crane without really attacking him physically. This is the episode one would have to really dislike the taken over Chip. He was really quite nasty as a bad guy. I remember being baffled by this one on first viewing--but it does get better when you watch it more than once. There was the cliche of being alone on the sub--again and again, it is Crane alone. Later n the hour, we see shadows hunting down Crane and this is particularly tense and much better than just the old fashioned ploy of sounds and noises (done on WAX MEN and THE HUMAN COMPUTER). Next, we are thrown for a loop---we see the rest of the crew but they are acting irrational but following some kind of odd logic (in the best scenes). The attack on Lee in the Circuitry Room is okay--with the Nelson that attacked him revealed as a robot or android. The explanation that the crew was being held below deck was silly. In the end, this falls apart as another illusion, alien test, aliens wanting to fire the missiles that were on Seaview with no real, new twist to it. It is better to skip the Skipper's adventure in this one.

 

 

 

 

THE ABOMINABLE SNOWMAN

Writer-Robert Hamner

Dir-R. Sparr

TEASER

Antarctica: Nelson looks at a map while Chip tells them they have ice on all sides (and mostly stock footage). Sharkey checks the computer. Ice falls and shakes everyone. Chip says, "Any more of that and we'll need a new paint job."  When the series aired in Philadelphia, they used this quote in the promo as well as other scenes from this episode (the ice, the monster, shaking). Weeks have passed and nothing has been heard from the base of the Dr. Lorena Paulsen expedition. Sharkey calls the others--the outside temperature is 100 degrees. Crane cuts away the periscope and tells them the water is heating up the icebergs yet how in this deep freeze? He checks again and sees a tropical island (amid MERMAID music). Nelson suggests a landing party; Seaview surfaces. Soon, two survivors are brought down into the control room and headed to Sickbay. Chip calls Nelson, who wonders what became of the other two dozen men. NOTE: Nelson calls Chip by his first name almost always but Chip calls him Admiral Nelson almost all the time. Nelson is called to Sickbay; Doc tells him the men are in some kind of coma. Nelson takes the log books of the scientific expedition. Doc asks corpsmen Frank to get refills from medical supply room. Frank does so and when he returns and opens the Sickbay door--a white, furry (almost fluffy and squeezable--uh, sorry) snowman like monster is there...and moves at him. Thus ends this very long and surprising, tense, teaser. 

 

ACT ONE

Sharkey arrives at Sickbay after ordering the foul weather gear ready in case they need to go ashore again. Sharkey finds Frank dead in the bunk and Doc on the floor. He calls Crane. Doc gets up--something crushed Frank's larynx; his neck was snapped like a twig by some powerful force Doc doubts could be one man. Paulsen and Rayburn, the assistant, were not touched. Crane orders an armed guard and doesn't even have a bad guess as to what did this. Sharkey hands guns out to the crewmen (rifles, stun guns, lasers) and Ski asks what for. Sharkey jokes, "We're expecting an attack from mermaids and you're gonna repel all boarders."  Crane goes to Nelson's cabin. Nelson has Paulsen's notes but has to decipher his personal shorthand to find the key to the whole mess. The tropical area is 100 miles from the South Pole. Apparently the experiment was to change the ice cap to a temperate zone. Nelson says, "I'm afraid we're gonna have more dead men before we're through."  A guard at Sickbay door hears another door opening, then heavy breathing. The claw of the monster comes out from behind the door in a creepy sequence. The creature comes out and attacks him. The man runs to a dead end. He is near cabin 3 and a hatch that won't open. He sees the shadow of the monster on the wall. The man, Hawkins, finally calls for help from Corridor D, the dead end. Crane answers but the creature's feet can be seen walking away from the dead man. Sharkey and Crane find him, then find Doc with his head on the desk; at first they and we think he may be dead, too! He must have dozed off. Crane checks the two men and wants to know when the two awake. He seals off the area. Crane wants security to close up the area so tight that not even a draft can come down the hall without his knowing. In the Crew Quarter's, Sharkey has Ski and two other men in on the QT. Hawkin's neck was broken. Sharkey wants all hatches covered (with three men?!?!). Sharkey keeps telling Ski not to interrupt with so many questions, then lectures the three, finishing with, "Any questions?"  As Ski begins to ask something, Sharkey says, "Good,"  and sends them out. The creature passes Ski in the hall, heavy breathing heard. We see his feet and a shadow of it on the walls. The creature opens a hatch and goes into a room. Ski closes another door. He almost shoots a crewman who almost shoots him and doesn't talk (otherwise the actor would have to get paid more money). The crewman goes down the hall (in what seems to be an empty ship!). The creature's shadow is on the wall and raises its arms--then comes out into full view. The crewman shoots it but it grabs him and fights him down.

 

ACT TWO

Crane calls a full battle alert with weapons given to all personnel. Crane tells Nelson, "All we know is we've got a killer aboard this ship."  Doc calls--Paulsen is awake and in 24 hours they can talk to him. Crane wants to question him now, "I'm not waiting around to see who gets torn apart next."  When Nelson and Crane arrive, they find the Sickbay door open and the guard gone. They push the door open--the guard's dead body is against it inside Sickbay blocking it. Nelson sees Paulsen on the floor and finds he is dead. Mr. Morton is to take men and start at forward torpedo rooms and work his way to the mid section of the ship. Crane will take the rest of the men and search beginning in the Missile Room. They are to call over the intercom. Good stock music as the search the Missile Room. The creature is on top the torpedo rack, sitting and viewed by us from above. Crane opens the diving tube hatch and looks up: nothing. After hearing a noise, Ski shoots a closet: nothing but leaking bottles--with holes from his bullets. They leave it leak and go. The creature jumps down after they leave and goes out the door. Seaview shakes suddenly. Lee, in the Control Room now (apparently the search is over), calls Damage Control, upset for once about the ship shaking to and fro, "Damage Control, what happened?"  Master Power Circuit had a break in it--Circuitry Room. Crane says,  "Don't send...I repeat, don't send a repair party down until you hear from me."  Geeze, HE IS learning from past experiences with killer monsters and aliens. Chip and Sharkey go to the Circuitry Room and find a mass of torn out wires. We also see the Buoy Surface Marker sticker behind them. Nelson, in his cabin, has the device (the same one Turner seemed to use in FIRES OF DEATH) which is the projector device. He leaves. Crane muses to Sharkey and Chip, "It's not the wiring that worries me--it's who's it gonna kill next."  Nelson walks in the hallway (foreshadowing?). In the reactor room, the creature pulls wiring. Nelson calls Lee to meet him there but Seaview shakes and Nelson is knocked out. The snowman pulls the reactor rods; Seaview hits bottom.

 

ACT THREE

Crane pushes Chip to get a repair party to the Reactor Room; a man puts out a fire. What happened to Crane's foresight--shouldn't he check out the reactor room before sending a repair party there as he did with circuitry? The thing pushes past Chip and a crewman in the Reactor Room; hits a guard that was with them, bashes his head against the wall twice (dead?) and runs off. Chip and the crewman push the rods back in. Morton tells the others, "It was huge, furry."  Nelson asks Lee to come to his cabin. Crane asks, "What about the thing Chip saw?"  Nelson repeats for him to follow him to his cabin--that will answer his question. On the projector they look at what appears to be an octopus or squid-like form. Nelson claims it is tissue bombarded by a formula of atomic mutation which alters humans, creating mutants, strange unheard of creatures. They go down to see Rayburn--they have no weapons on them. Smart. Rayburn is in bed. Nelson thought it may have been him, now he is not so sure--we see a marvelous, unobtrusive zoom in on Nelson's face to accent this. With three fourths power in the Reactor, Seaview rises slowly and then goes dead ahead full, repairs holding, toward Paulsen's tropical paradise. It is 150 degrees in the sea. The radioman is not Sparks; he gives a top priority urgent message from Washington DC. They have to get rid of Paulsen's experiments or the world will go up in flames. Sharkey searches the halls and rooms. He hears a noise in storage room, aft of the Control Room. He kicks the door open and a box falls. He shoots it, calling it to come out. Boxes fall on him from behind. He shoots some more, then runs out to the hall and calls Crane. The door shuts closed again. Crane arrives with men--Sharkey telling him shadows don't knock over boxes and lock doors (see SHADOWMAN). Crane shoots the lock off and they go in. They call to it to give up. Someone jumps Crane and falls, a box falls on top of the man. Crane puts the lights on. Sharkey checks---Rayburn! He has a faint pulse. Crane thinks it is impossible that he is the killer but he must have climbed through the vents (he should know--figures he'd figure that one out!). Rayburn, the actor playing him doing his best acting while sleeping, tells them not to kill him like the others. He is delirious and they ask him questions, he asks them questions. He tells them, "A monster, some sort of a m...monster."  Crane tells him he is on Seaview and that Paulsen is dead. Getting the worse actor on any Irwin Allen show and on VOYAGE, the actor playing Rayburn, gawks, "Oh no."  Then he passes out. Sharkey asks, "What was he trying to tell us?"  Duh. Nelson tells Doc he will stay in Sickbay for the night while Doc gets some sleep. Doc starts to protest this idea but Nelson forces Doc to go. Then Nelson, instead of using this time in continuing to try to decipher Paulsen's notes, picks up one of Doc's medical books and starts reading it!? The air vent is open soon enough and Nelson asleep with his head on the desk. The creature moves at Nelson.

 

ACT FOUR

Rayburn moans and the creature turns to him (JONAH music). It attacks Rayburn who wakes up and focuses his vision on the face of the monster---an effective scene until Rayburn screams and shrieks like Dr. Smith on LOST IN SPACE. Nelson wakes up and attacks it and is thrown. Two guards shoot the lock off. The thing chokes Nelson; the men fire stun guns; one man is thrown over the bunk and to the wall behind it, the other is knocked down. He manages to hit an alarm. The guards get up and run out. Crane and Chip come in and help Nelson up, the vent is open, they note. Chip says, "Rayburn's dead."  Oh, good. Crane is confused, both men are dead, the world temperatures are going haywire and, "...now unless we blow up Paulsen's adapters, most of the cities of the world are going to be Arctic wastes and the Arctic wastes are going to be tropical paradises with nobody left to enjoy them!"  Nelson doesn't want to destroy the island--perhaps the creature can be reasoned with (what?) and tell them how to stop the temperature rising. Crane protests--they can't find the creature yet. Nelson orders Rayburn's body prepared for burial (at sea or on the island?). NOTE: Was Paulsen's body buried on the island or at sea? What happened to it? This episode is falling apart by this act. Nelson goes to the Reactor Room and the creature locks him in. Nelson knew it would return here and he tries to reason with it to leave a legacy of some value to make up for some of the harm it has already done. Nelson uses the stun gun. The creature stuns him itself by talking! It wants to control the world's weather, therefore controlling the world. It knocks Nelson down, pressing on his shoulders and slumping him against the wall! The temps up to 170. Crane orders ten minutes to countdown to destroy the island. Seaview shakes, they are losing their way. Engineering points Crane to the Reactor Room. There, the creature has Nelson's wrists tied to the reactor--and tells him he will now become a mutant, as it did. Crane arrives and shoots the lock on the door (WHAT IS HE, THE OFFICIAL DOOR OPENER?). They rush in but the thing pulls a wire. There's a huge blast.

 

TAG

Seaview shakes (sigh). Crane stuns the monster and it falls down (dead?). Why didn't it die when the crewmen and later, Nelson, fired stunners at it? Was this a different gun? The thing turns into Paulsen--an unknown actor, who, if it can be judged by acting of the man who played Rayburn, is better off not saying any words. Perhaps it is a stuntman (this actor is not credited). Crane and Ski free Nelson. Paulsen has some white hair around his face but it vanishes. NOTE: While the monster had white fur all over it (a good costume and monster face), apparently being naked, Paulsen appears fully dressed (did the mutation include having fur over his uniform?). This time he is dead. Everyone is sweating in the Control Room but Seaview fires at the isle and it blows up. Nelson laments it, "It was quite a discovery--now just ashes."  Crane tells him there wasn't anything else they could do. Nelson says, "We could all do with a lesson from that..someday we can all profit by it."   WHAT THE HECK DOES HE MEAN BY THAT? Did anyone care about the last act and this tag? Did anyone care that a potentially excellent episode turned to garbage by the end? Sad, very sad. They sail home north by northeast and sadly, Nelson goes up the nose ladder.

REVIEW: I am not sure I enjoy Snowmen episodes like this one taking place out of the Tibet region but a variation would have been nice, however, this one falls apart by the last act and the tag sequence. Paulsen's clothes are on after the snowmonster appearance vanishes--was the fur on the monster over the uniform? Nelson's usually welcome philosophy at the ending is nonsense. Crane's stun gun kills the monster (or was it that plus the blasts?) when Nelson, and at least four crewmen have already shot it. The actor playing Rayburn is terrible! Besides all of that, how did Rayburn crawl through the vents in his condition? How did Paulsen's body return once the others thought he was dead? Where was the body? Nelson ordered Rayburn's body buried--where? If he ordered Rayburn buried--what did he order for Paulsen? And how did Paulsen return after such a burial? Too many questions and not enough answers. Some mystery is fine but this one is really disjointed.                        

As a child, this one scared me big time. Something about the heavy breathing and only seeing the feet and hands or the shadow of it on the hall wall; also only seeing a blurry flash of it at the beginning and in the hallways running---left an impression. I didn't watch VOYAGE for quite some time and then it was MAN-BEAST, an equally scary episode! Then I left VOYAGE reruns for a bit and when I returned---it was PRICE OF DOOM--where two people get eaten by plankton and we hear the tape of their death over and over. When Crane mentions, "Who's next,"  and we next see Nelson walking down the hall on his merry way, we know who! This is unintentionally funny--or was it intentional? It may have been a scene edited that way by the rerun cuts. Once revealed, the monster talks a bit and that reduces the fear of it by quite a bit. Still, its voice is very strange---being dubbed. This one is a bit boring and predictable...strange experiments created the mutant man from one of the scientists. While we never really thought it would be the genuine snowman from Tibet...it is really no surprise as to what it really is. The Seaview was investigating a team in the Antarctic--where a tropical island is. Paulsen and Rayburn, the scientists brought aboard, spend most of their time, unconscious and have little personality. When one dies, and the other is believed dead, then turns up as the monster we really don't care as much as we would have if we had known them better. Many men are killed by the monster which is hadn't been fully seen; it stalks Ski and others and seems to center attacks around Sickbay, making this a terror filled hour. This episode, like NIGHTMARE and THE LOBSTER MAN could have been better. The snowman costume could have been roughed up to make it look less like a puffy polar-teddy bear. I also think they blew this concept--it should have been an invasion of many beasts ala DOCTOR WHO'S THE ABOMINABLE SNOWMEN and WEB OF FEAR.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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