Patterson ready for underwater adventure.

to the Bottom of the Sea

Paul Trinka
Pat Patterson

    Paul Trinka brought to the televised version of Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea a sense of calm and comfort--his character on the opposite end of the karmic scale than, for example, seaman Clark.  As with the rest of the show's regulars, this had little to do with any substantive depth, detail or background inherent in the scripts.  But the calm, easy-going side of Patterson wasn't always apparent in the show's comparatively gritty first season, during which "Pat", on more than one occasion, speaks almost bitterly.

    For example, in Doomsday, on the brink of nuclear war, Patterson and Clark are caught out of uniform covered with grease and feathers, part of a King Neptune equator-crossing ceremony:

Patterson: "It's like when I was a kid," Patterson asserts, "my mom always used to say don't go out when you're dirty.  Always look right. You might get into an accident and what will the ambulance guy think if you're dirty?"
Clark (Thoughtfully): "Yeah, that's it."

It's the end of the world, baby!
"Nobody's gonna see us again.  Not ever."

Patterson: "Yeah, well don't worry how you look, Clark.  Nobody's gonna see us again. Not ever."

Patterson consults easily with Captain Crane.   Not what you'd call a particularly positive thing to say.   On the other hand, in later seasons (the color years), Patterson seldom had anything negative to say.  But more important than his words, was his simple, down to earth demeanor that gave the viewer a sense of comfort.  With rare exception, Patterson did not get excited or nervous.  You had the sense he accepted whatever happened to him, regardless of the situation. 

    Whether in the context of kidding around with Kowalski about something/anything or waxing philosophical about being shot or beaten up again, Pat remained cool.

    There was a special quality that Paul Trinka brought to the role that gave the character subtext and depth, analogous to, although on a different level from that of Richard Basehart.  It felt as if rather than plumbing the depths of great acting skills, he was just kind-of being himself.  If true, this was certainly sufficient to make the character of Patterson likable and more importantly, believable.

    Paul Trinka, was, according to accounts, a mellow fellow and motorcycle enthusiast who also loved to hop on a plane and travel the world.  As is noted on the IANN website, Trinka travelled to Tahiti and other exotic places, before it was in vogue to do so. He usually came back broke, but he came back happy. And he encouraged his friends to try the experience.  
    I've always been suspicious that Paul Trinka would have made a really good friend.  Sadly, Paul Trinka died unexpectedly in 1973.

-----Mike Bailey
   Patterson--he's the man!

     Pat absent-mindedly rubbed his ear.  What was the Admiral so all-fired anxious to talk about?  Could it relate to the bizarre events that he, Jacob Compton and Lee Crane had just experienced on their flight to Seaview?  Likely so, since the Captain had ushered him directly from the Flying Sub to the Admiral's quarters in great haste, hustling him rapidly past his crew mates in spite of the fact that he hadn't seen most of them in months.  It felt as if Crane were trying to keep him temporarily quarantined. 
     Pat sat waiting and fidgeting for several minutes, when finally the Admiral entered, closed the door, walked to his desk, and sat down.  He fiddled with his shirt pocket as if hunting for a package of cigarettes, then, with a sigh of frustration, gave it up.

     The Admiral is antsy,
Patterson thought.
     Nelson smiled.  "Pat, it's nice to have you back.  Leg better?"
     "Almost healed, sir." 

     The Admiral cocked an eyebrow as he sized up how best to launch in.  "Pat, Seaview is currently engaged on a rather unusual mission.  I've heard Lee Crane's preliminary report of the events of your flight from Portland, and I'm asking you to keep quiet about what happened. I want to limit distractions to the crew. I'm sorry, I can't tell you more than that."
     "You don't have to, Admiral. Your judgment is good enough for me." 
     Reassured, Nelson continued.  "We've worked together long enough for you to know I would only ask this of you under extraordinary circumstances.  Frankly, we've got some extraordinary circumstances.    
     Patterson smiled his boyish, knowing look.  "As you know, Admiral, I try to
remain sensitive to all things."
     Nelson nodded.  Patterson was just that kind of guy.  "I can tell you this much, Pat, we've had a pretty strange encounter with a meteor, and ship's computer is acting peculiar.  I'm sure you'll pick up the details through the ordinary scuttlebutt channels.  Check in with Sparks.  He's always at the center of things."
     "Believe me, Admiral, I know where to go for the latest poop."

   Patterson at the ready on sensors.
----Excepted from The Nemesis Syndrome

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