Nuclear bomb gets chowed down by Fox whale.

Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea

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

The Shape of Doom  Airdate: February 6, 1966

     Leading biochemist Dr. Alex Holden is the sole survivor of the attack by a giant whale he's been tenaciously pursuing.  Seaview, on her way to plant a powerful nuclear device to blast an undersea channel, is diverted to hunt for survivors (FS-1 is out for repair.) Holden is plucked from the sea.  He gives no explanation as to why he's in the restricted area but is bent on commandeering Seaview to further the search for his whale.  He rails that the planned explosion will kill his whale before he can obtain tissue samples necessary for his research.  Holden's whale ends up swallowing the nuclear device and endangering the President who is waiting nearby to dedicate the new canal.    

  Kevin Hagen plays the script straight, not over the top, but his character is still irritating.  Also irritating is the fact that Crane didn't order him thrown into the brig within the first five minutes of stepping aboard.
Wigged out Kevin Hagen rants from
the moment he boards Seaview.

     Holden does all he can to convince Nelson and company to allow him to retrieve the scientific instruments imbedded in the beast.  Seems he injected the whale with an experimental growth serum and he wants tissue samples to evaluate his experiment.  The creature is knocked out with anodyne and grounded on an undersea cliff.  Nelson plans on detonating the device to prevent further danger, but it turns out the president's carrier is too close. 

Unstable scientists and nuclear detonators: a bad mix. Dr. Holden ready to go after his whale. Great miniature footage of the minisub in action.
Madman with a remote.
Riley tends to loading Dr. Holden into mini-sub.
Hot mini-sub action.

Holden, snaps completely, breaks into Nelson's safe, gets the remote detonating device and forces Nelson to put him out in the mini-sub in pursuit of "his" whale.  Nelson thereupon heads for the surface, warns the President's carrier out of the area and turns tail himself.  It's not long before the anodyne wears off, the whale slips from it's cliff-top perch, and heads for the bottom, exploding the bomb and killing the obsessed Holden.

Publicity photo, Kevin Hagen.
Publicity photo circa 1960s,
Kevin Hagen

The Shape of Doom

William Welch
Directed: Nathan Juran
Guest Cast
Dr. Alex Holden....... Kevin Hagen
First Mate.................Dave Dunlap
Second Mate.......Chuck O Brien
Guard............................Dick Dial
Sonarman............Nigel McKeand
Fathometer man.......Ray Didsbury

Mark Says: Whenever the giant whale swims off screen, it turns into boresville. Lots of dialog and slowly-edited scenes that stretch this into a weary hour. The evil scientist is strictly one-note. This is a stock footage episode, with clips from previous whale shows, so its astonishing that they actually took time to film an expensive new miniature, where the whale swallows a nuclear bomb (as seen at top of page.)

Mike Says: Not only was tons of stock footage used, but it was used in almost the same editing configuration as it appears in Season Two's nifty opener, "Jonah and the Whale."  Not only that, but extensive blocks of dialogue are lifted directly out of "Jonah."  Not only that, but the basics of the story are so similar to "Jonah" that one wonders that William Welch had the ?*%$#s to put his name in the credits as writer.  Regards the story, Holden should have been thrown in the brig the second time he went off about "his" whale.  I don't hate this episode, but it's hard to deal with the creative collapse rampant throughout, not on the part of the actors, but on the part of the story editor, writer and the producer (Irwin Allen on a particularly bad day.)

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