Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea
Episode Guide, Year One, show 32.
Production information and notes by Mark Phillips
Story synopses, Mike Bailey

The Traitor 
(Airdate: April 19, 1965)
Enlargement of I.D. information.
Enlargement of I. D. reveals Nelson's sister's name: Edith Louise.

     In France, foreign agents kidnap Nelson's sister, Edith, then inform the Admiral of the deed.  There is, of course, a price for her return.  Nelson tells Crane Edith has been injured in an auto accident, then flies off to Marseilles for a confrontation with her kidnappers. 

Great Fox backlot set of European street. Woman in car about to be abducted. "Nelson's sister" fights back. Fenton reports success.
Show opens with the carefully planned night-time kidnapping of Admiral Nelson's sister, orchestrated by General Fenton (above.)

As always, George Sanders looking debonair.

        A man named Fenton, thinking he's found Nelson's one weak spot, demands to know the location of America's top-secret undersea missile launch bases.  Nelson refuses and Fenton threatens to kill Edith.  Nelson begrudgingly accedes and turns over the information but Fenton then demands proof that the maps are for real.  Seaview has standing orders to take two highly placed NATO officials to inspect the bases using a top-secret location detector, so Nelson agrees to take Fenton along.  It turns out that one of the NATO officials is a Major General Fenton, whom Nelson now realizes is a foreign agent.
2  2  2 George Sanders as the debonair yet deadly General Fenton.

      Also aboard is General Hamid, who goes to Crane with the news that the Admiral's sister was never in an accident; he smells something fishy.  Nelson gets belligerent when confronted and Crane decides to investigate further.  When Hamid finally provides proof of Nelson's involvement, the Captain agrees to let Hamid arrest both the Admiral and Fenton.   Hamid confronts Nelson and refuses to listen to the Admiral's side of the story; a fight ensues, and Nelson  overpowers his opponent.  
Hamid confronts Crane with incriminating evidence.
Hamid confronts Crane with his suspicions.

A bloodied Nelson tries to talk his way out of a corner.
Nelson nurses lip and tries to explain his actions.

  The Admiral calls for guards to arrest Hamid, but when Crane arrives, Hamid has a knife in his back. It doesn't look good for Nelson who now reveals the truth to Crane: the kidnapped woman is a US Agent, Nelson's sister is safe and sound and has been all along. In addition, the information given to Fenton is bogus -- intended to lull the enemy by making him think he has the key to US missile sites.  At a subsequent rendezvous, Fenton and several of his henchman are apparently killed in a tremendous explosion.  Crane and Nelson return to Seaview to find an invitation to dinner from Edith upon their return to Santa Barbara.


Production shot reveals camera crew and equipment

 2Interesting production shot at left.  Richard Basehart and George Sanders on set, with the cameras and production crew visible in the foreground.  Talented actors like Basehart and Sanders were/are able to create very real and personal performances within a cluttered and imposing workspace.

  The Traitor

Written: William Welch, Al Gail
Directed: Sobey Martin
Guest Cast
General Fenton....George Sanders
Hamid......................Michael Pate
The Sister.............Susan Flannery
Waiter......................Paul Kremin
Henchman...........George Sawaya
Crewman......................Dick Dial

Trivia: When casting Voyage’s pilot in 1963, Irwin Allen primarily wanted Richard Basehart and David Hedison for the leads but some of the other actors seriously considered for the role of Admiral Nelson included Richard Carlson, Robert Sterling, James Whitmore, MacDonald Carey, Richard Denning and John Forsythe. Actors considered for the Lee Crane role included Dewey Martin, Mark Goddard, Robert Hogan, Grant Williams, Barry Coe and Allen Case.

Mark Says: There is genuine mystery as Crane begins to suspect Nelson of selling out America’s defense secrets to save his kidnapped sister. Unfortunately, much of the show’s momentum is undercut by boring exposition. This is one of many episode that has the Star Trek "Red Shirt" syndrome, where unknown crewmen are killed off. Here, a shore party consisting of Crane, Morton, Kowalski and a nameless sailor (played by Dick Dial) battle General Fenton’s forces. When the sailor is gunned down, no one laments his loss.

Mike Says: Sanders is great as the sophisticated spy and the sets are fine -- excellent ambiance.  This is certainly one of William Welch and Al Gail's best scripts.  They were often guilty of writing in see-saw action that went nowhere or had no real relevance to the story, other than to take up minutes of screen time.  But in this episode, the action works fairly well.  Mark is right about the boring exposition, but compared to what came in some of the later-season shows, this one's a gem.

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