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.
Puff's of smoke in latter seasons.
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.
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 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!
The Day The World Ended.
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.
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
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.")
Terry Becker in The Death Watch.
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
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
Captain Crane & Clown,
The Wax Men