Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea

Series Basics and Episode Landmarks, Season Three.
Courtesy I.A. Fan, Ray Westafer

From Season Three on, no more diving Flying Sub over end credits.
One of Season Three's changes,
new end credit art.

Third Season landmarks
     The third season of Voyage To the Bottom Of The Sea premiered September 18, 1966, and continued on Sunday nights with 26 color episodes.  The opening credits remained identical to those introduced with Season Two’s The Peacemaker.  The closing credits shot of the Flying Sub was replaced by a painting of the Seaview.   This closing image remained to the end of the series.

    The budget was reduced for this season, but a great cast, crew, and music, plus two years and one movie's worth of special effects footage absorbed some of the shock. Puffs of smoke and flashes of light became more common and Irwin Allen’s “dry set” policy continued.  The writing did suffer in year three, again, a result of reduced budget, although there were high points of intense, well-written drama with such episodes as The Day The World Ended, Deadly Waters, and The Death Watch. New features included the porthole and Styrofoam ball water cylinder on the diving lock.  
Great cigar, Admiral.
Puff's of smoke in latter seasons.

No more cigarettes third season on.       For the most part, Seaview became a smoke-free ship.  The bubbles were no longer audible in the Observation Nose.  The Flying Sub and Diving Bell were essentially unchanged.  The Seaview acquired three new sets.  First was the impressive Reactor Room, complete with the famous damping rods.  Second was the unimpressive Circuitry Room. (A more appropriate name would have been "Circuit Breakerless Room"!)  Third was the Pressure Chamber.  This set was a useful plot device to get characters on and off the ship faster than the diving lock.
  No more ciggies for the Admiral in the 3rd and 4th seasons.
Changes in the Third Year included three major departures:

    1.) Stu Riley. Alan Hunt entered the military. Irwin Allen promised to hold the part for him, but VTTBOTS was off the air by the time Hunt's tour ended.
    2.)Female guest stars.  Allen felt actresses took too long in makeup.  As a consequence, there is one female voice-over, and one onscreen, non-speaking female in the third year. (The only female in the fourth year was the Seaview!)   A dividend of this decision was the third and fourth seasons have a timeless look.  The men's haircuts and uniforms are not out of style today.
    3.)The Mini-Sub.  Although upstaged by the Flying Sub, the Mini had been with VTTBOTS since the 1961 movie, and it was sad to see it go.  This must have been an administrative, rather than technical decision, as there was plenty of stock footage of the vehicle; and the full-size prop survived the series--it was on display at Movie World in the 1980s.

Episode Specific Landmarks:
    Episode 1, "Monster From The Inferno": Season Premiere! Sharkey returns.  The "monster" of the title is voiced by Dick Tufeld, who also voices the Robot from Lost In Space.  First appearance of the Reactor and Circuitry Rooms. Animated special effects.  Not as epic as "11 Days To Zero" or "Jonah And The Whale" but a great story nevertheless!

Lookie there!
The Day The World Ended.
  Episode 3, "The Day The World Ended": Rare latter-season on-location footage. One of Del Monroe's best performances.  Written by William Welch and directed by Jerry Hopper, this classic episode would not be out of place on The Twilight Zone.
Chilling!  Seaview, the last dot on the map, dissapears.

Episode 4, "Night Of Terror": The Diving Bell adventure of the third season.  New dinosaur footage.  The "first Spaceship Jupiter" is mentioned.  Is this an early part of the program that culminated in the 1997 Jupiter 2?  

    Episode 5, "The Terrible Toys":  The only time the Seaview's Flying Sub bay bulkhead is seen receding, from the perspective of the pilots, as the Flying Sub drops away.

    Episode 6, "Day Of Evil": Patterson's and Crane's terminal conditions are some of the saddest moments of the series.

    Episode 7, "Deadly Waters": Kowalski's brother, Stan, figures prominently in this adventure. Nelson uses the Flying Sub to divert a runaway sub from colliding with the Seaview.  One of the funniest lines of the series: (Sharkey) "What does he mean we're going to use something that's working perfectly?  We don't have anything that's even working!"   The crew lying on the deck is a poignant moment in the series.

    Episode 8, "Thing From Inner Space": Patterson's greatest adventure.  His father, Derrick, is in the teaser.  One of Patterson's skills is photography.   The only post-second season reference to the mini-sub. (Nelson: "Chief, order the mini-sub raised well-clear of its launch hatch.")

The Death Watch sported great photography.
Terry Becker in The Death Watch.
     Episode 9, "The Death Watch": A combination empty Seaview/Nelson versus Crane episode.  Nelson is particularly tragic in this thriller.  Richard Basehart and Terry Becker at their best.
    Episode 11, "The Haunted Submarine": Candidate for the funniest scene of the series! (Sharkey and the extinguisher foam.)  Richard Basehart is wonderful in a dual role.

Episode 13, "The Lost Bomb": The enemy sub, Vulcan, couples with the Flying Sub.

    Episode 14, "Brand Of The Beast": Sequel to Werewolf.   Monster From The Inferno, Werewolf, and Brand Of The Beast could loosely be considered Voyage's only trilogy.  Both Monster From The Inferno and Werewolf have subplots concerning a communications blackout; and are episodes 1 and 2 of this season.  And of course, Brand Of The Beast is the sequel to Werewolf.  Dialogue reveals the Flying Sub can carry 15 people, in addition to the pilot, when performing rescue operations.

    Episode 17, "The Heat Monster": One of the rare appearances of the Seaview's Sno-Cat.

    Episodes 19,20, and 23: ("The Mermaid", "The Mummy", and "Doomsday Island) Crewman Ron (Thompson) is killed by the merman; Crewman Phil (Simpson) is killed by the mummy; and Crewman Ray is killed by the hatched amphibian. (Fortunately, the producers used poetic license, and the guys returned to the Seaview in subsequent adventures!)

    Episode 21, "The Shadowman": The first story where the Seaview crew prepares to launch a spacecraft. (Journey With Fear in the fourth year will do it with a bigger budget.) General Blake is played by Tyler McVee.  McVee plays the "general" in The Edge Of Doom in Year Four.  Is this the same character?  

    Episode 22, "No Escape From Death": Essentially Voyage's flashback episode, though scripted as a "new" adventure.  Perhaps a more accurate title would be "No Escape From Stock Footage"!

    Episode 24, "The Wax Men": This thriller pushes the envelope with unique music by Robert Drasnin, as well as several music-less scenes.

    Episode 26, "Destroy Seaview!": Season finale.  Only episode with "Seaview" as part of its title.
Underrated episode sports brilliant music score by Robert Drasnin
Captain Crane & Clown,
The Wax Men

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