Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea
Episode Guide, Year One, show 20 & 21.
Production information and notes by Mark Phillips
Story synopses, Mike Bailey

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The Invaders
The Indestructible Man

The Invaders  (Airdate: January 25, 1965)

A severe undersea earthquake exposes an apparently ancient, yet advanced city, an area of which is littered with metallic canisters.  Nelson and company bring one of the capsules aboard and discover life within.  They manage to cut the thing open and retrieve a strange looking man, a man who claims to be from a civilization twenty million years old, the product of a previous evolutionary cycle.  He is most concerned that Nelson also rescue the other canisters, each of which the alien Zar claims, contains one of his people.  When questioned, the alien says, among other things that his people do not sleep -- sleep is for animals.  Nelson and Crane, suspicious of circumstances and of Zar's odd demeanor, stalls for time to learn more about the creature.    

Looks like some kind of giant lozenge to me.

Robert Duvall brought an affected weirdness to Zar.  The actor, an intense, serious artist.
Robert Duvall as Zar.
  Zar, meanwhile, secretly tinkers with Seaview's equipment,while more publicly, he sits before the sub's microfilm library, absorbing information about us humans at an alarming rate.  It eventually turns out that Zar and his people are carriers of diseases which would destroy humanity if loosed on the world; Nelson and Crane must destroy Zar in a blast of fire--Nelson figures it's the only way to kill the cantankerous creature without unleashing his diseases on the world.  Realizing that Zar's people have had their day, the Admiral covers the remaining canisters with tons of rock spilled down by several well-placed torpedoes.   


David Hedison, Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea.
David Hedison as a skeptical Crane. 



Written: William Read Woodfield
Directed: Sobey Martin
Guest Cast
Zar..........................Robert Duvall
Foster.............Michael McDonald
Sailors....................Richard Geary
                               Ray Didsbury

David Hedison:
"I remember Robert Duvall played some sort of alien and he wore this weird white makeup. He was very good in the role. Itís difficult to focus in on specific episodes. Itís been so long ago and I didnít keep any call sheets, photos or reviews from the show. If I had been married in those days, my wife Bridget would have collected everything.  Sheís a real saver!"

Mark says:  Some great SF ideas here, including an underwater city of the future, an alternate race of human beings, infectious blood that could destroy all of mankind and a being who has been asleep for 20 million years.  However, none of these ideas are very well developed and the result is a disappointingly routine story.  Robert Duvall is pretty good as Zar (with effective makeup) but it would have been better had Zar been more dimensional and complex.  Instead, heís another arrogant villain.

Mike says:   Mark redeems himself in the wake of his stalled reading of the previous episode, "Doomsday" by nailing this one on the head.  Some great ideas, little follow through.  It's all in the writing.  Some of season one's best shows were penned by William Read Woodfield.  Maybe he had too much work piled up and just didn't spend enough time with this script.  Duvall, who always seems to end up with disturbing or disturbed roles, is effectively weird. 

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The Indestructible Man  (Airdate: February 1, 1965)

Michael Constantine guests on Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea.
Michael Constantine guests as Dr. Brand in "The Indestructible Man."

      Seaview is under orders to recover Man In Space Probe 1.  Turns out it's a mechanical man.  Project manager Dr. Ralph Brand opens the capsule to expose the robot.  It's removed from the capsule and hooked up to computers for debriefing, but things don't go as planned, the device passes Brand no usable information. 

     The scientist is stymied and irritated, and then things really begin to go wrong when a crewman is found dead. It becomes apparent that something has gone screwy with the robot's computer brain -- the machine seems to be acting of its own will.  Brand refuses to believe this and sets out to prove otherwise, thereby endangering the crew and resulting in more deaths.  Many bulkheads go before Nelson eventually tricks the machine into entering the escape hatch from which it is ejected.  Dr. Brand is sure his next project will be more successful.  Darned stubborn scientists!

Written: Richard Landau
Directed: Felix Feist
Guest Cast
Dr. Ralph Brand........Michael Constantine
Robot.....................William O. Douglas, Jr.
                               Darryl Scott McFadden
Gyroman...............................Buddy Garrett
Benson................................William Kinney
Corpsman...............................Marco Lopez
Off-duty crewman............William Burnside
Crewmen......................................Ron Stein
                                                   Frank Arno

Robot...clunky or not? 

Care to dance, Admiral?

Hey Marty, you forgot your hat.
Wonderful out-take from Season One's "The Indestructible Man."  Robot wouldn't  have looked so imposing to young Voyage fans with the actor's head sticking out the top of the suit.  Note "helmet" sitting on floor, bottom left.  Camera and technicians in shot brings behind the scenes efforts to life.

Mark says:  This was one of the scariest episodes for me as a kid.  The vestiges of those nightmares still remain - the shadowy corridors, eerie music from The Day the Earth Stood Still, and the tense battle of desperate men to overcome an indestructible menace.  But the fatal flaw is the clunky looking robot, which ultimately sinks the show.

Mike says:   I found the clunkiness of the robot to be the very thing that made this episode scary as all get out.  Although slow, the thing seems unstoppable, and on a submarine, there are only so many places to hide.  I was fifteen when I first viewed this, so maybe I should just profess embarrassment at my own youthful naivety, but I gotta say, I still find the episode spooky.  Bernard Herman's music (lifted from Day the Earth Stood Still and Journey to the Center of the Earth) really puts the icing on the cake.

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