Voyage to the Bottom of the
Year One, shows 27-28.
Production information and notes by Mark Phillips
Story synopses, Mike
The Exile (Airdate: March 15, 1965)
is ordered to rendezvous with a ship carrying the fugitive ex-premiere
of an openly hostile country -- one Alexi Brynov. Brynov's on
the run, having just avoided death by firing squad which we come to
find, he would most assuredly deserved. Nelson surreptitiously
approaches Brynov's ship in the minisub in order to assay the credibility
of valuable microfilm the former dictator supposedly has. What Nelson
doesn't know is that even at that moment, Brynov is working on a violent
plot to regain power. Meanwhile, Seaview comes under attack and
must withdraw from her strategic position.
Surly Brynov faces firing squad, but will escape.
|| Simultaneously, an aircraft attacks
Brynov's ship, blowing it to smithereens.
The survivors, including Nelson, pile into a lifeboat and the struggle
to stay alive begins as more and more people are pulled into the
they soon encounter Brynov; waterlogged but alive, he further burdens
the overloaded raft. He immediately starts ranting, wondering
who was the turncoat who called in the attacking airplanes. The
men take turns in the water to keep the raft from flooding, but when
sharks show up, they all try to pile back in. Brynov hauls
out a gun and starts shooting; three of the survivors die. As
supplies run low, the tension mounts, and one by one, Brynov eliminates them
until only he and Nelson are left.
Waterlogged Brynov dragged from the sea.
| Nelson, now aware that
Brynov's real plan is to start a war between his country and the US,
is wounded. A
storm arises, the raft flounders and Nelson finally gets the gun, but
it may be too late. They have no food or water
left and both men are delirious, near death.
| Unfamiliar with the
ocean's ways and out of water, Brynov drinks saltwater and is soon
Nelson is sorely tempted to kill the monster on the spot, but
restrains himself with the consolation that Brynov's people deserved
to be the ones to eliminate him. Nelson
awakes aboard Seaview, having been rescued unconscious, to find that
he is the sole survivor – Brynov
has died. The Admiral finds little compassion or sorrow in his
heart for the ex dictator.
"trapped in a lifeboat" routine and it is stupefying. The emptier
the lifeboat gets, the less interesting the drama becomes. Nelson and Brynov’s
battle for survival is an overblown endurance test for the viewer.
Mike Says: In
spite of the fact that the trapped-in-a-lifeboat formula is stultifying
and the telling of it not particularly energized, it remains that this
episode, typical of season one, takes a moral position and tries to make
a point (by exploring Brynov's ruthlessness.) Not William Read Woodfield's
best writing, which is to put in kindly.
Written: William Read Woodfield
Trivia: Bob May, who was
inside the Robot on Lost in
Space, was one of stand-ins
for this episode.
(Airdate: March 22, 1965)|
| At an island
research center, Captain Wayne Adams makes the decision to continue a
missile launch after a strange resonant sound rolls through launch control
and creates potential problems. The potential becomes real when
the rocket blows up on its pad and kills some of the crew. His superiors
believe the problem was man-caused sabotage; Adams suspects otherwise
and becomes obsessed with clearing his name from any suspicion.
Regardless, when he shows up on Seaview, he acts like a pushy,
arbitrary jerk as the search for the accident's catalyst begins.
In spite of false leads and bickering with the crew, Adams finally gets
his man, er, as it turns out — fish!
Leslie Nielsen played Capt. Wayne Adams.
Incredible Model work of the Giant Manta.
|| It's a mon-strously
huge manta ray that creates intense
ultrasonic waves. Crane and Adams manages to catch a young version
of the creature which they intend to study.
Contact sport with giant manta.
The small ray sends out signals...
with the adult...
in the ultrasonic range.
| At this, the giant
becomes even more persistent about tailing and attacking Seaview.
The submarine's life support system is knocked out, and Nelson confronts
Adams about his irresponsibility, at which point Adams locks himself in
the lab and unknown to Nelson and crew, sends out ultrasonics to attract
|| This brings
on more dangerous attacks even as the crew works on cutting through the
hull to get at him. Nelson retires to the lab and works up an anti-ultrasonic
gun that stops the attacks. In the end, Adams leaves the sub to
try to kill the creature. Crane and Nelson go after him and destroy
the creature with explosive-tipped spear guns. Adams will have to
face trial for his rash actions.
Written: Rik Vollaerts
Directed: Sobey Martin
Capt. Wayne Adams....Leslie Nielsen
giant manta ray pivoting and crashing into Seaview during the battle scenes
is astonishing. There are some story contrivances, such as Adams
continually getting the better of the crew, but Leslie Nielsen adds star
power to his role and the show has great special effects to back up its
In my original comments for this episode, I made the statement that
the effects work on this show was "nice." It had been
many years since I'd viewed the episode and did not remember just how
astonishing it is. It is very hard to create biologicals (the giant
manta) with models. Episodes like The Ghost of Moby Dick and Jonah
and the Whale did a pretty fair job with their whales. But the work
on the giant manta for this episode is astonishing. When originally
broadcast, the definition of available TVs was inferior to what it is
today. The guide wires used for model control simply weren't visible
like they are in some scenes on today's televisions and computer monitors.
Being able to see them now is, in a way, a great lesson on how these sort
of effects were created. (Note...if
this had been a movie with greater budget and shooting flexibility, those
shots in which wires were visible would not have been used. They
would have been re-filmed with adjustments to the lighting, or guide wires
made. As it was, the lower definition of 60s televisions made this
bone to pick: Seaview is supposedly hundreds of feet below the surface,
but many of the observation nose shots of the creature (shots of a real
manta ray rear-projected) clearly show it broaching the surface.
Also, I believe it was writer Rik Vollaerts in this episode, who started
the lazy device of having Nelson retire to the lab to magically concoct
some whiz-bang gizmo to save the day. Those are minor complaints for an
episode that is a delight to view.
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