Dianne Webber makes a great mermaid.

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

The Mermaid    Original Airdate: January 22, 1967
Diane Webber's mermaid footage looks great rear-screen projected into Seaview's observation nose.      Seaview is on a routine mission when Captain Crane sees a mermaid out the observation ports.  He calls Chip Morton forward, but the mermaid has vanished.  Morton finds Crane's claim amusing. 
Chip does not know what to make of Crane's claim.

     Crane convinces himself he's seeing things until he sights the mermaid again and reports his sighting to Admiral Nelson, who laughs even harder than Morton.  Crane pressures Sharkey into providing a raft and diving gear and gets Morton to drop him, sans backup, at a nearby island so he can pursue the mermaid. 

      Crane prepares to track down his mermaid.

John Lamb's underwater footage from Mermaids of Tiberon is very well done.
Wonderful underwater footage created by John Lamb.
     All of this is quite against regulations and done without the Admiral's knowledge.  Crane soon locates and pursues his mermaid.  In the meantime, Nelson receives sealed orders from ONI:  Seaview has three hours to find a hidden superbomb planted by an enemy power. 

Nelson gets his marching orders.
Sealed Orders....

     Crane eventually captures the mermaid and takes her back to the island where Seaview pick the two of them up (she's covered in wrap from the waist up) before heading toward the California coast to locate the bomb.  Crane sneaks his "fish" into the lab where he ensconces her in the holding tank.  Nelson is disgruntled that Crane doesn't immediately report and tracks him down.  He's amazed by Crane's find, but stays focused on their mission.  
Crane can't quite absorb the importance of some silly problem with a rogue bomb when he's got this new mermaid.
Crane's more focused on his mermaid than on the bomb.

Gee whiz, haven't I seen you some where before?
Big boy brute rises from the sea.
           Crane, on the other hand, seems mesmerized by the mermaid.  About this time, a sea monster, perhaps there to rescue the mermaid (it's never made clear) gets aboard through the pressure hatch and senselessly bellows and clobbers its way up one corridor and down another.  Crane comes out of his fog sufficiently to persuade the mermaid to help them find the bomb.  She's successful, but about this time, the monster bellows and fights its way into the circuitry room with disastrous results: sparks once again fly and Seaview heads for the bottom. 

Pretty, pretty sparks....
Undersea monster grooving on the crazy sparks
     Now it's up to Crane and Kowalski to head out with a team to disarm the bomb with stock footage.  Somewhere along the line, the monster bellows his way back to the pressure hatch and escapes.  Once the bomb is defused, Seaview is free to sail into the sunset.
Isn't that Seaview's emergency telephone buoy from season one's Submarine Sunk Here?
Stock Footage disposes of bomb.

fanbar.gif - 1141 Bytes

Written: William Welch
Directed: Jerry Hopper
Guest Cast
Mermaid..............Diane Webber
Smitty.......................Paul Stader
Thompson...................Ron Stein
Storage crewman......Roy Jenson
Lab crewman........Tom Anthony
Monster...............Frank Graham


Mark Says: A real disappointment. The first half of the segment really works, creating a fragile, almost mythical adventure as Crane pursues the mermaid but as soon as the amphibious monster makes its appearance at the halfway point, the creative atmosphere is totally destroyed and the beautiful mermaidís participation is reduced to a cameo. Even the monster scenes are clumsily choreographed (you can clearly see a suspension wire on one of the crewmen seconds before heís tossed through the air by the monster). A lost opportunity to have done something special.

Mike Says:  A pity to have thrown Diane Webber's wonderful mermaid into the trash bin.  Delightful for the first half, much of the last half is hard to take.  The damn monster bellows and bludgeons his way senselessly through much of the episode.  Then he bellows some more.  In the end, after the bomb is disarmed, the mermaid is forgotten, having had no real relevance to the story other than to eat up stock footage from Diane Webber's The Mermaids of Tiburon, which by the way, was directed by Voyage's chief underwater photographer, John Lamb.  This was one of Voyage's most frustrating failures for me because it had such potential and was so viciously savaged by writer William Welch.  And did I mention that the monster bellows constantly to irritating effect throughout the episode?

Hedison got one good thing out of this episode...snuggles with Diane Webber
Photo courtesy John & Diane Kachmar

bluebul.gif - 266 BytesReturn to Episode Central

"Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea" ® is a registered trademark of Irwin Allen Properties, LLC.  © Irwin Allen Properties, LLC and Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation. All rights reserved.