Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea
Production information and notes by Mark Phillips
Story synopses, Mike Bailey
 

Escape From Venice  Airdate: October 24, 1965

In Venice, Italy, just as he is being taught a song, the tune of which will unlock secret missile defense data, Lee Crane's contact, the pretty Alicia, is killed by their knife-wielding gondolier.  (Wow, there's a sentence, and one which should immediately point to the complexity of this episode.)  Crane escapes, the killer frames him for the murder, and the game is afoot.  Soon wounded in an encounter with the authorities, Crane escapes with the police and enemy agents (who want the tune in his head), hot on his trail.  Nelson, Sharkey and Riley join the hunt and eventually make contact with one Count Staglione, an adversary Nelson hopes might be of use.  The complicated plot finds Crane almost killed by another policeman/agent, although it is the bad guy who winds up dead--turnabout being fair play.  After  
OUCH!

A pretty woman gets knifed on the Captain's watch...just when he was getting the tune down.

VERY MUCH see-saw action, Crane, Nelson, Riley and Sharkey all wind up at the Count's gambling joint just in time for pyrotechnics and a big shoot-out.  Staglione goes down for the count, so to speak (he's killed), and Crane is reunited with his Seaview buddies and returned to the sub just in time to sing his tune.  La La La. 

Escape From Venice

Name that tune/
Captain Crane teaches tune to soon-to-be-dead musician.

Written: Charles Bennett
Directed: Alex March

Guest Cast
Ferdie Staglione....Renzo Cesana
Bellini...............Vincent Gardenia
Julietta...............Delphi Lawrence
Lola Hale...........Danica dí Hondt
Betty Harmon...Margot Stevenson
Alicia.....................Rachel Romen
Antonio...................Tommy Nello
Croupier.............Freddie Roberto
Gondalier...............Kenneth Tilles
Policeman..................Paul Stader
Musician...........John Paul Gerardi
Man....................George Sawaya
Newscaster................Fred Crane
Henchmen.................Dusty Cadis
                                      Dick Dial
                                Ray Didsbury


Trivia: A Hollywood talent agent asked Irwin Allen to cast actor Carl Esmond as Ferdie, claiming that their client, Charles Bennett, wrote the part with Mr. Esmond in mind.  But Allen felt Renzo Cesana, a former 1950s TV star, was better suited for the role.

Mark Says: This episode was cut from the Man From UNCLE mold (a schoolteacher helping the submariners, beautiful women everywhere, colorful villains, exciting chases) and it works.  Although itís a back-lot chase through Venice, the music and stock footage give it an added dimension.  Renzo Cesana is so strange that his repellent charm is almost fascinating as nasty Count Staglione.  Danica DíHondt as Lola Hale is terrific and itís too bad she didnít return for future shows.  

Season two feels so much more open and unconfined with it's many locations and sets than later ones.
Count Staglione, henchman, Sharkey and Nelson


Mike Says:  As Mark says, this episode feels more than slightly like The Man From UNCLE show which caused ABC to move Voyage from its Monday time slot.  This episode's a bit on the light side, complicated as all get-out and fun to watch.  The budget, rather than being spent on effects, goes for back-lot location shooting and set dressing to excellent effect. 

    Danica dí Hondt plays Nelson right hand lady, Lola Hale to fine effect in "Escape."



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