Voyage to the Bottom of the
Sea Written: Don Brinkley
Episode Guide, Year One, show 6
Production information and notes by Mark Phillips
Story synopses, Mike Bailey
Updated computer art, Luis Ramos Janeiro
Sky is Falling (Airdate:
October 19, 1964)
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
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.
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
The alien as he actually appears.
Directed: Leonard Horn
Rear Adm. Walter Tobin.......
Tracking man............Joseph de Reda
Jet pilot.........................Don Wilbanks
"Junior" Courtney....Chuck Courtney
Diving voice....................Jim Goodwin
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
this story is
a vote of confidence for humans AND extra-terrestrials. Nelsonís last
line of dialog really makes the show.
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
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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Voyage to the Bottom of the
Written: Don Brinkley