Nelson squares off against Kruger.

Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea
Episode Guide
Production information and notes by Mark Phillips
Story synopses, Mike Bailey
Kruger squares off against Nelson

Great aged detail of wrecked World War I sub, the U444
The Phantom Strikes.  (Airdate: January 16, 1966)

Seaview encounters a ghostly World War I submarine from which they hear banging, as if there were some one still alive inside. The sub rises from the sea bed as if piloted and then in a rush a bubbles, disappears. This is just the beginning of a mysterious encounter with ghost captain Gerhardt Krueger, and one of Voyage's best season two episodes.  It's loaded with special effects, great acting and has a storyline which makes you care about the outcome.
Click through to see expanded classic episode coverage of The Phantom Strikes and then come back to read Mike & Marks take.
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       Delightful photography and direction in this episode.
Director Sutton Roley paid unusual attention to visual details in this episode.  Nice Jammies for the Admiral.

Alfred Ryder as Gerhardt Kruger
Alfred Ryder as Krueger.


The Phantom Strikes

Written: William Welch
Directed: Sutton Roley

Guest Cast:
Capt. Gerhardt Krueger......
Alfred Ryder
Helmsman..............Jim Wetherill
Master-at-arms.....Marco Lopez
Crewman..............Allen Wurtzel

Kruger on U444's deck

Mark says:  This one scared the yell out of me as a kid. Today, the peek-a-boo shenanigans of Captain Krueger grow a little tiresome by half-time.  Still, Alfred Ryder is excellently cast as the ghost Captain and there is a residual eeriness afterward, when you think about this dead sea Captain walking around the floor of the ocean for eternity.  The fog-draped ocean scenes are interesting and the fear and uneasiness of the crew is well played.

Mike says:  One of year two's best shows.  Sutton Roley made magic with his direction of this episode, getting the max out of the Seaview set.  The script works.  Dark overtones hint at elements of the human struggle for survival, carried perhaps, too far by Krueger.  Making Nelson chose between one man (Crane) and his entire crew adds greater creepiness to Krueger's character and believability to the outing.  What would you do if confronted by this kind of dilemma?  The torture of indecision shows in Nelson's face; MST 3K's Gypsy spoke the truth.  This is a story which was well matched to the generous effects budget of year two.  The tension and mood hold till the end.

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