Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea Down to eight, but more will die.
The Death Ship  Airdate: February 20, 1966

Voyage's take on Agatha Christie's "Ten Little Indians."  Seaview is on a test run of a new automated computer system with a skeleton crew of Nelson, Crane, and 8 scientists and technicians.  Unknown to the two officers, a nefarious foreign power has planted an agent on board the sub (one of the scientists--but which one?) who intends to sabotage and kill in order to use Seaview to disrupt a peace conference being held at sea on what is referred to as "The Peace Ship."  Seaview's planned exercise will take her no closer than 50 miles to the ship, but not all plans go exactly as . . . er . . . planned.         

 Seaview's layout lent itself well to dramatic still-shots. Lew Gallo (not yet dead) and David Hedison


Early on, Seaview suffers her first act of sabotage (on the reactors) and a technician turns up dead--crushed in some machinery, presumably an accident.  But when another man (Klause) is found dead from gunplay, it becomes apparent that there's definitely some bad business going down.

Volland and Triesault, two talented character actors.   Ouch!
  Herb Volland and Ivan Triesault (soon to be dead.)
Ivan Triesault in the process of getting dead.  (Mouse over.)
 

Hey--do I look cool?
A cautious Captain Crane.

     With Seaview dark for lack of power and eerily quiet, and all remaining scientists ordered to stay in the control room, Nelson and Crane search the sub.  Passing through a small room, the two officers are suddenly locked inside as a hatch slams shut and boiling steam pours in.  The two escape, return to the control room and find it deserted, save Winters.  As with Star Trek's red-shirts, all technicians must die, and indeed, they do, one by one.  Scientists as well, for that matter.  One is found floating in an aquarium, another (the nervous Chandler) freaks out and flees in the mini sub which quickly implodes from the pressure.

When Nelson realizes that the goal must be to use Seaview to destroy the Peace Ship, he and Crane destroy the various missile and torpedo control systems.  Crane is nearly killed in a booby-trap explosion, and is left in a weakened state from concussion.  By now, the original crew of 10 is down to 5 including Winters, Stewart, Stroller, Nelson and Crane.  Nelson discovers some tricky business with Seaview's wiring and is suddenly electrocuted in a haze of high-voltage.  A stunned Crane verifies that the Admiral is dead and stores his body in sick-bay.  Winters soon turns up dead as does Stroller, leaving only Tracy Stewart and a mighty ticked-off Crane.  The anger with which he pursues the terrified  woman is downright creepy!  Just as the two are struggling, a hatch slams shut, trapping them, and they realize they're not alone.  Crane is able to escape and steal his way to the control room and attempts to stop Chandler, who has jerry-rigged a firing system to the torpedoes.     

This is what can happen when you go for a stroll.
Alas poor Stroller, we choked him well.


Nifty behind-the-scenes shot of Hedison sneakin' up on bad-guy chandler.     It turns out Chandler faked his own death--he was not in the mini-sub when it imploded--apparently rather a dummy had taken his place.  He's been orchestrating mayhem aboard ship ever since his own faked death, and must now be stopped, even as he stands at the periscope assembly with the remote firing control in his hand.  In his weakened condition, telegraphed by the bandage on his head (remember his booby-trap concussion), Crane is overpowered.  Nelson rises from the dead to shoot a shocked Chandler before he can launch Seaview's torpedoes.  Nelson, with Crane's cooperation, has also been playing the faked-death game and is thus able to save the day before the last reel spools out. 

       

The Death Ship 

Chandler removes false-front he somehow managed to place over torpedo controls.
David Sheiner (still alive.)

Written: William Read Woodfield, Allan Balter (under George Reed, Michael Lynn)
Directed: Abner Biberman
Guest Cast:
Dr. Tracy Stewart..........Elizabeth Perry
Dr. Ava Winters................June Vincent
Arthur Chandler...............David Sheiner
Judson Stroller......................Lew Gallo
Glenn Carter.....................Herb Voland
Chairman..............................Ross Elliot
Eric Klaus.........................Ivan Triesault
Frank Templeton.................Harry Davis
Roarke...............................Ed Connelly
Assistant..........................Alfred Shelley


Elizabeth Perry: "It has been years since I thought of Voyage but I remember that I loved being swept up in the fantasy of the show.  The story was based on "Ten Little Indians."  I played a computer programmer and designer and I had no idea what that was!  Here I was, this highly skilled technician and I was running around in 3-inch heels. My father-in-law, Abner Biberman, directed this episode but production was cut off because it ran so far overtime. This caused some dissension between Mr. Biberman and Irwin Allen.  Several weeks later, I was called back to finish the show."

Visit Elizabeth Perry's Official Website

  

Not only wonderful, but spiffy!
The wonderful Elizabeth Perry.


Sure looks like Chandler.    

Mark Says: This episode starts off with a bang and goes on to redo the "Ten Little Indians" and does a pretty good job. No big guest stars but a capable group of actors.  Itís never explained how Chandler (who is clearly seen inside the mini-sub as it lowers away) manages to escape before the mini-sub implodes. 


Mike Says:  The episode is dark--literally.  Seaview's reactor is put out of commission early in the game and emergency lighting is the the rule--relatively gritty stuff for year-two.  Bodies turn up with great regularity and there is substance to the mystery and danger and the way the story's characters interact.  Elizabeth Perry is absolutely wonderful in this episode and could co-pilot my submersible any day.  Not only was director Abner Biberman Elizabeth Perry's father-in-law, he also shares Voyage's season-one Outer Limits connection, having directed Limits' "The Human Factor" with Gary Merril, Harry Guardino and Sally Kellerman back in 1963.  Perry appeared with Anthony Eisley in Limits' season-two episode, The Brain of Colonel Barham.

 

Yep--for the last time....wonderful.
The wonderful Elizabeth Perry.



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