Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea

Interview with David Hedison, 1977
From the collection of John & Diane Kachmar.

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Note: During the 2nd incarnation of the David Hedison Fan Club they would put a quarterly journal.  The September offering was called the "Nostalgia" issue and was mostly about Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea.  The fans would write stories and send in questions for David.   Here are David's answers (sent to the late Barbara Waggoner) that were published in September 1977.

Q: Do you keep in touch with Richard Basehart or
     any of the other cast members?
A: Richard and I have lunch once every six months in
   order to catch up with each other.   It's always the 
     same restaurant -- the one we used to go to on our
     lunch break from Voyage.  Richard hated the studio
     commissary so we'd hop in a car and dash off a
     restaurant. Try that some time on a one hour lunch.
     It was always more fun when we weren't involved in
     the scene following lunch. Very rare, though.
Q: If you could have changed or improved Voyage what
     would you have altered?
A: I would have brought more humor and humanity to
     the part.
Q: How did you get the role of Captain Crane? Did Irwin
     Allen ask for you personally or did you audition?
A: I had played in the movie THE LOST WORLD for

       Snappy smile.  

     Irwin Allen. Then later he wanted me to play in the movie VOYAGE TO THE
     BOTTOM OF THE SEA as Captain Crane.  I thought it was too much like the previous
     film and nixed it.  Robert Sterling played the part (in the film) and was quite good. Then
     in 1963, the idea for the series came up and Irwin was kind enough to ask for me. 
     I hesitated, I didn't think it would work as a weekly series and besides, it was not the kind
     of series I was looking for at the time. So I thanked him and passed.  He then called me
     in New York and I passed again. Then on my way back from a World Tour, I stopped in
     London to do a SAINT Roger Moore was starring in. Irwin called again. I told him I'd
     call him with an answer in the morning.  I walked around Hyde Park thinking about it,
     wondering if it would really be the right thing for me.  I called Roger and he said, "Take
     it, you fool!" So fool that I was, I took it.  But now that it's over and done with I'm glad I
     played Captain Crane for 4 years.  And I have the utmost respect and admiration for
     Irwin Allen.

David Hedison as the thoughtful Captain Crane     Q: And how do you feel in the cold light of day?
A: O dear God, what I have I done???
Q: There are "rumors" that a 2nd season Voyage episode,
     "The Surfers was filmed but
never televised because
     it was too violent -- the Crane character supposedly gets
A: You're right. The Surfers segment was too violent and
     also too expensive for the budget. 
So it was shelved -- but
     never to be used. The Crane character was not killed --
     messed up a
bit -- but definitely not killed.  Give me a
Q: What was your favorite Voyage episode or episodes?
A: My favorites do not necessarily mean they were the best.
     Three that come to mind are
Man Beast and the two shows
     about the return of the German Submarine commander
guest starred Alfred Ryder.
Q: Do you have any memorabilia or props that you managed to keep from Voyage?
A: A set of teeth that were made for me to fit over my real teeth in Man Beast.   I used it at a
     Halloween Party last year. I didn't get first prize. 
Q: Star Trek had it's blooper reel. Did Voyage have a blooper reel as well?
A: After year one a blooper reel was made to be shown at the annual Christmas Party.
But no one ever saw it. It's a mystery. [Other sources say Irwin Allen had it destroyed.]
Q: Did you do your own stunts? Fight scenes?
A: 50/50. If they were too dangerous, no. In Man Beast I did it all, but a stunt man stood by.
I wanted him to get paid.
Q: Did you do your own underwater sequences and where were they filmed?
A: I did several of the underwater scenes off Catalina Island. During the later years at the
studio's big tank off the back lot. Safer - but not as colorful.
Q: On Voyage when the Flying Sub was dead on the bottom, how were you able to get
the bottom?
A: You're asking me?
Q: Do you make enough money to live on, so you don't have to work awhile? [sic]
A: Residuals - plus good investments when I do make money. As you all know, living
     carefully helps.
Q: Are you and Richard Basehart very close friends now?
A: Yes.
Q: Which was your favorite show to work on and why?
A: Actually any of the shows that took me away from the Captain. It was more fun.  Don't
     get me wrong. I liked the Captain - but not every week.
Q: I noticed Voyage [sic] that the first two seasons had actresses but not the last two.
Do you know why?
A: It was cheaper not to have them. With women you have to call them in earlier because of
     all the fussing with makeup and hairdos. All of the mail to the producers indicated that
they liked all male casts because the stories moved more quickly.  I was very
that a running girl's role was never included but all during second season we
     were promised
one. Her name was to be Tiffany but she never showed up. Hundreds of
     actresses were
interviewed, but the whole incident fizzled out.
Q: Do you have a favorite Studio?
A: 20th Century Fox. I really feel at home there.
Q: After 7 years of Voyage do your paths cross
     rambling around Hollywood? [sic]
A: Voyage was on for four seasons, not 7, and the 
     only person I've seen is Richard.
Q: What do you consider the greatest rewards in your
A: Entertaining. Keeping people happy. I remember
     once I was on a Voyage personal
appearance tour
     during our third year. In the cities, I would go to
     many hospitals, particularly
[to see] children who
     were ailing. They would look forward all day to see
     Captain Crane, and when he did,
in fact, enter the
     room and those little faces warmed and lit up -- the
     experience for me was thrilling
-- I felt that in my
     work I was really doing something worthwhile.
Q: What do you think of the Nostalgia Issues? Do
     they bother you much?
A: They don't bother me, but they are very nostalgic.
    Autographed publicity shot.

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