The Dark side of
Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea

Classic episode--"The Fear-Makers"

 The eyes have it . . .
continued . . .

Probing for signs of Polidor and the ghost of her crew.      Upon arriving where Polidor went down, Nelson orders Seaview's sensors activated to probe for wreckage.  By now, the fear gas has been regularly pulsing into the submarine's air supply for some time and a keen edge of tension hangs in the air.    Nerves are beginning to fray.

You know for sure the chief's a tough-guy who's been through it all, and he's sweating.
An object is detected at 4,500 feet, barely above Seaview's crush depth.  Chief Jones: They think they found something.  It might be the Polidor.
Patterson (referring to crew mates killed on the Polidor): Anders . . . Henley . . . all of them.  So close . . . you almost--(several loud bangs on the hull as they nudge closer)  It's like . . . like . . . somebody's out there.
It's like . . .like . . . somebody's out there.

Dr. Kenner's nerves begin to unravel; he repeatedly demands Nelson surface so Nelson in turn orders the psychologist to his cabin.  Close-ups and sharp editing drive home the fact the crew is on edge.  Seaview  drips with tension.
Duplicitous words.
Davis questions Nelson's judgment at every opportunity and continues to plant little psychological seeds-of-doubt in everyone's mind . . .including Captain Crane, who is by no means immune to the effects of Kenner's fear gas.

Davis: It's difficult to accept Captain, but fear takes many forms and it's always destructive . . . even in a man like Nelson . . .  You have to take over, Captain . . . for the sake of the crew and the Seaview itself.  He'll push us down to destruction if you don't.

     Goaded by Davis and affected by the gas, Crane heads to Nelson's cabin to give the Admiral a damage report and to vent his own growing concerns.  Nelson is adamant that they dive again to examine Polidor and refers for the second time to the possibility of sabotage, but at this point, Crane wants to hear none of it . . .

. . . I'm not gonna die with you . .

Crane:  There's no evidence that Polidor was deliberately sunk.
There's got to be . . . there's no other answer.
Crane: Why?  Because any other answer would lay the deaths of 85 men at your feet?  You may be willing to die rather than admit you made a mistake, but I'm not gonna die with you.  And neither are the men on this ship!

Crane Lunges for the door.

Nelson shouts: Captain Crane--as soon as repairs are complete, the Seaview will continue this search.  So help me, if you make one move to prevent it, I'll relieve you of your command and put you under arrest! 
(Nelson's expression and demeanor soften.)   There's nothing I want more in the world than to get out of here right now . . . to take the Seaview up to the surface and put all this behind us.  But I can't do it, Lee.  I won't do it.  Not at any price.
Harriman Nelson, not easily deflected.

     Crane returns to the bridge bucked-up by the Admiral's persistence, and gives the order to prepare to again dive down to Polidor.  Davis, who has been busy working the crew, hears Crane's order over the intercom.  Looking increasingly worried himself, Davis rushes to Dr. Kenner's quarters and demands that the psychologist again order Nelson to stop the mission.  Kenner remarks that everyone seems to be on edge, even himself, as if they were under the influence of his fear gas. 

Dr. Kenner--scared to death!

Kenner: Look at me . . . scared.  Scared to death.  I'm acting like a victim of my own fear gas. 
Davis: Well that's hardly possible.
Kenner: And a good thing too, or we'd all be dead.
Davis: Dead?
Kenner: Yes.  Dangerous stuff that fear gas.  It''s too unstable.
Davis: What do you mean it's too unstable?
Kenner: It changes properties after 8 hours.  The fear gas becomes a nerve gas.
Davis: Nerve gas?
Kenner: Yes--works directly on the brain.  Deadlier than any--
Davis: NO!



     Seen left, Lloyd Bochner as Martin Davis realizes it may be curtains for everyone.  Click through below for the denouement of the episode, a fabulous emotionally charged scene, as Richard Basehart's Nelson realizes that Davis is the man responsible for the destruction of Polidor and the deaths of her crew.

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