He's baaacckkkk!

Voyage to
the Bottom
of the Sea

Production information and notes by Mark Phillips
Story synopses, Mike Bailey

Return of the Phantom  Airdate: March 20, 1966
   Nelson thought the ghostly Gerhardt Krueger to be a dead issue, so to speak (see The Phantom Strikes), but not so.  Krueger has re-thought things and is back, wanting Captain Crane's body anew, that he might breathe real air and know flesh.  In a dream, Nelson is tipped off by a ghostly woman named Lani, that Krueger will return.  Nelson awakes shaken and has Doc check him out.  He recounts previous events with Krueger to Crane, and tries to convince the captain that the man is in reality, a ghost.  He turns his gun over to Crane with orders not to return it and the Captain leaves, worried about his friend's mental condition.    
Nelson says, "What's up Doc?"
Nelson consults with Doc.

     Krueger turns up shortly with orders for Nelson to shoot Crane or the entire crew will die.  He proceeds to kill Seaview's power and the sub heads for the bottom.  Nelson is forced to agree to Krueger's mad request to save Seaview's hundred-plus men, and, power restored, falls under Krueger's spell.  He eventually guns down Crane in the control room. 

Under Kruger's spell, Nelson is forced to do the unthinkable.
Seconds before the fatal shot.
What have you done?

Maybe it's a guy thing, and quite possibly sexist, but Vitina Marcus made one hot native girl!
Krueger, in Crane's body, watches Maria.
     Doc concludes Nelson has gone mad even as he works to save Crane's life.  Taken over by Krueger, the captain rises from the near-dead, and commandeers the Flying Sub off to a south sea island to find a female host so he can restore his lost love, Lani.  Arriving at the island, Crane/Krueger kidnaps the native dancer Maria, and takes her to the small nearby burial island of Lulayo, intending to kill her so Lani's ghost can inhabit her body. 

     Lani, however, has her ghostly feet planted more firmly in "reality" than Krueger, and wants no part of his scheme.  She again appears before the confined Nelson and tells him that Krueger and she are tied to the island, and that if it's destroyed, their spirits will be freed from this Earth.

Thoughtful composition, stunning photography, all part of a day's work for director Sutton Roley.
Lani plots with the confined Nelson as Doc works, unaware in background. 
Lani.  One can see why Kruger was attached. Nelson convinces Morton to free him and make for the island where he heads ashore to try to free Crane from Krueger's control, even if it kills him.  Nelson finds Krueger (in Crane's body) about to kill the kidnapped Maria.   Kruger sees Lani through Crane's eyes.

     The Admiral threatens to shoot Crane/Krueger, which will put an end to Krueger's shenanigans. Draped in Crane's body, Krueger will end up quite dead.  Krueger's spirit flees, allowing Nelson, with Maria's help, to get Crane back to the Flying Sub, even as he instructs Morton to launch a missile at the Island.  We last see the ghostly Krueger and Lani reunited as spirits, walking off into the mist, as the Island is blown to bits.  g  g  
A big budget finale to a fine season 2 last opus.

Return of the Phantom    

Written: William Welch
Directed:Sutton Roley

Guest Cast
Captain Gerhardt Krueger......Alfred Ryder
Lani/Maria............................Vitina Marcus
Ron.............................................Ron Stein
Ray.......................................Ray Didsbury
Corpsman.........................William Burnside

Publicity outtake of Vitina Marcus.

Mark Says: In some ways an improvement on the original Phantom, although it’s much less subtle. Seeing a native girl sitting at the controls of the flying sub is an incongruous sight indeed, and the island’s spectacular destruction is exciting. On the human level, Nelson’s attempts to explain to Chip Morton what has happened to Crane is very well done. Sutton Roley was one of Voyage’s most imaginative directors and you can count on him to liven things up.

Series of black and white photos taken during rehearsal of Vitina Marcus' dance sequence.
Outtakes of Vitina Marcus during shoot of Return of the Phantom, courtesy UncleOdie

Mike Says: Director Sutton Roley could take crabgrass and turn it into a stunningly verdant lawn. Since the script for "Return" wasn't that bad to begin with, Voyage's final outing for it's second season, turned out just fine.  David Hedison cites this as one of his favorite Voyage episodes.   It is certainly one of my favorite year-two episodes.   But holy moley!  Why, when Morton orders a missile launched, do we see two torpedoes fired. 

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