Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea

Production information and notes by Mark Phillips
Story synopses, Mike Bailey
The Creature, technically a man in a suit, but the effect is something much cooler.

The Creature  Original Airdate: November December 19, 1966

Crane caught up by the monstrous thing.
Crane is caught up by The Creature

           Some time back, Dr. Horace King created a new life form, then released it into the sea.  Seaview's been tracking the thing, and finds it, now grown to gigantic proportions.  Crane and Kowalski dive out to reconnoiter the thing when Crane is attacked and absorbed by it.  The creature then attacks Seaview with a powerful electrical charge and sends her to the bottom. 

Nice animated electrical charge attack. Duck everyone, here come them sparks again... Seaview nosedives for the bottom.
The Creature nails Seaview dead-center. . .
                  . . .the sparks fly. . .
. . . and Seaview goes down.

     Nelson and Dr. King arrive on scene in the Flying Sub, just as the creature spits up Crane; they rescue him and Kowalski and dock with Seaview.  As Doc works to save the comatose Crane, repairs are effected and Seaview gets underway.

 More great effects footage of the Flying Sub.  How'd they get the bubbles to look so just right?
Nelson, having rescued Crane & Kowalski, returns to Seaview.

     As it turns out, Dr. King is under the control of the Creature, as is Crane since his earlier absorption by it; after Crane's "miraculous" recovery, Doctor and Captain work in concert to take over more crew.  The unaffected Nelson wants to destroy the creature but Crane and King convince the Admiral to set about tranquilizing it so they can recover a sample first.   Tranquilizer-loaded torpedoes are fired into the thing and it seems to go down.  Sharkey and King dive out from the Flying Sub and obtain samples, but as they re-board FS-1, the creature attacks.  Nelson barely manages an escape. 

Horace King--more than he seems.

Hint of the real Dr. King.

Horace of a different color!

     Back on Seaview, when Nelson and Sharkey emerge from the the Flying Sub, they are greeted by Crane, Doc, and other "converted" crew members.  Morton intervenes with firepower and the tables are turned.  Crane, King and the affected crew are locked in the brig under the watchful guard of Kowalski, who, under their combined influence, is also eventually taken over.  Nelson orders a security lock down of all critical areas and retires, along with Sharkey, to the lab to figure out how to destroy the creature.  It's not long before he determines that an electrical charge will turn the trick nicely.       Hope you guys washed after you went.
A hands-on approach to mind control.

There's a hot time on the old sub tonight.
Mouse-over for Dr. King's swans song.

     Meanwhile, King and the creature-controlled crew are cutting through the dogged hatch leading to the lab.  Nelson batters his way out of the lab leaving Sharkey armed with electrodes, to destroy Dr. King, which he does in fine form.  This leaves the remaining creature-controlled crew to attempt to thwart Nelson's plan to use the Flying Sub to attack and shock the creature to death. 

In diving gear, Patterson rendezvous with Nelson in the Flying Sub, but Crane shows up just in time to put up a fight.  He's subdued, and the creature is attacked and destroyed.  Everyone returns to their normal selves and Seaview sales into the sunset.

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Written: John & Ward Hawkins
Directed: Justus Addiss
Guest Cast
Dr. Horace King...........Lyle Bettger

Mark Says: As a kid, I was always aware that the adults around me considered many of Voyage’s guest stars to be of less than stellar marquee value, so I was astonished when my Aunt raced out of the room in 1969 (during a rerun) and announced in a surprised voice to the other adults that Lyle Bettger was doing a Voyage! I had no idea who Bettger was, but I was pleased to see such looks of astonishment on everyone’s faces that a "name" star was doing Voyage. On the other positive note, almost every Voyage episode had a great teaser and the one here is no exception, as Crane is engulfed by a giant monster. Seaview’s tangles with the creature are also impressive, as is that peculiar and creaky "whine" the monster makes. And yet, this has to be the most repulsive episode the series ever produced, and it ranks in the bottom five. Possessed crewmen are mercilessly killed, Crane and officers are transformed into disgusting seaweed-slime people and Bettger is supposed to play a really repelling villain and he succeeds, perhaps too well.

Mike Says:  As was the case with many later season shows, there is really no point to this episode.  By this time in Voyage's devolution, all moral discussion had flown, leaving this outing with only the bones of a monster story with no flesh (explication) on it.  Given that -- at least it features new effects and a creature which is something other than an anthropomorphic-looking man in a rubber suit (OK, technically, the creature was portrayed by a man in a rubber suit, but the nifty underwater miniature photography of creature and Flying Sub makes it appear as something other.)  Although the issue of the creature's right to life and Dr. King's responsibility for its creation were virtually ignored by the script, Basehart snuck moral judgment into Nelson's reaction to Dr. King.  And at least there was no "We will destroy you!" type dialogue.  Mark is absolutely correct that the disregard for human life displayed by everyone, including Crane and Nelson, is unconscionable.

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