Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea
Episode Guide, Year One, show 6
Production information and notes by Mark Phillips
Story synopses, Mike Bailey


Updated computer art,  Luis Ramos Janeiro

The Sky is Falling   (Airdate: October 19, 1964)
STORYLINE:


Alien ships crashes in the Pacific.


With nail-chewing hawk, Rear Admiral Walter Tobin aboard, Seaview is sent to investigate a UFO which was last seen plunging into the water off the California coast.  As they approach the saucer-shaped thing, Seaview is caught by tremendous turbulence and Tobin says shoot.  Nelson is slow on the trigger finger, giving the saucer enough time to incapacitate the sub.  Just as well.  After tense moments in which it appears everyone may suffocate, a small mini-saucer emerges from the UFO and clamps itself over one of Seaview's access hatches.


Mini-saucer approaches Seaview and clamps on over the escape hatch.  An invitation, Nelson observes.

  Nelson takes up the invitation and is shuttled to the saucer where he encounters a creature in his mirror image.  Nelson's jaw drops in amazement.  The visitor smiles sardonically, and asks, "Does my appearance offend you?  The being has altered his form so as not to frighten his "guest."  For he's on a dire mission.   To repair his damaged ship and leave Earth before all military hell breaks loose.

 
Nelson enters the alien ship, looks around in astonishment at the technology and confronts the visitor.

  It's the Admiral's job to help the aliens obtain fuel for their ship so they can be on their way, otherwise, a larger ship, now on its way to Earth, might just lay waste our planet.  Nelson must fight time and military attacks and Tobin to attain a reasonable resolution. 



The alien as he actually appears.

    

Written: Don Brinkley
Directed: Leonard Horn
Guest Cast
Rear Adm. Walter Tobin.......
                                  Charles McGraw
Chief............................Adam Williams
General......................Frank Ferguson
Tracking man............Joseph de Reda
Jet pilot.........................Don Wilbanks
Murdock........................Robert Payne
"Junior" Courtney....Chuck Courtney
Crewman.......................George Spicer
Technician............................Ron Stein
Diving voice....................Jim Goodwin


Mark says:  Another solid script that reflects a sense of integrity and thoughtfulness. This is Voyage at its most rational and at its best.  It makes you wish that the series had maintained this level of writing.  A benevolent alien works with Nelson to get his flying saucer back into space but human fear and aggression unwittingly threaten to bring about Earthís destruction.  The special effects are good, especially when Seaview is gripped in a undersea vortex and debris flies past the submarine.  This elicits a memorable quote from Crane, "I always said mermaids make lousy housekeepers."    Seaview swept up in undersea vortex.
Ultimately, this story is a vote of confidence for humans AND extra-terrestrials. Nelsonís last line of dialog really makes the show.

Seaview held in force field.

Mike says:  This episode is eerie, scary, and ultimately, uplifting.  What key element made Voyage really fly?  Writing, writing, writing--in this case, genuine science-fiction writing.  What a delight.  One criticism--and this is just my opinion, but it's too bad that the effects team didn't consistently give the water a degree of murk, as in the movie.  This episode in particular suffers somewhat from the effects shots being too clear--so clear that they stand
out as being model work (in particular, some of the bubbly shots of the UFO, also some of Seaview would have worked better if murkier).  And hey, let's watch the size of those bubbles!  They tip-off scale.  Mark's right about the Vortex shots though, they are great.  Other than that minor bone to pick, it doesn't get much better than "The Sky is Falling."  Yes, if only more later season shows had been this good.  This episode defines Nelson as the scientist/warrior, with the science part coming first.  On director Leonard Horn--three words: damn good work! 

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