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Science Fiction - Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea - Season 4 Vol.1

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Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea
Season Four Volume 1
Richard Basehart, David Hedison, Robert Dowdell, Expendable Crewman
Created and Produced by Irwin Allen
Originally aired 1964-68
3 double-sided DVD 13 Fullscreen Episodes
Fox Home Entertainment 2009

My childhood memories involve Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea more than Star Trek. This could be because the special effects on this sixties underwater Star Trek involve a lot of scenes where the crew is tossed left and right and left as the Seaview’s every equipment board uses more sparklers than the 4th of July. That, and the always present ping of the sonar. Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea Season Four Volume 1 features the first 13 episodes of the final season on 3 double sided DVD. Cheezy effects aside, the episodes here are very good and look pristine, even on HDTV.

Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea made for some pretty good adventure and science fiction TV. More than thirty years later the Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea stories are still interesting. The special effects are as low budget or as sixties TV as you remember them and some plot solutions are really unbelievable (such as if your foot is stuck under a big stone just shoot the stone so it will explode in a thousand pieces) but this rarely gets in the way of willing suspension of disbelief. Good writing and acting are why this show usually works.

Episode 1 of Season Four Volume One is Fires of Death: The crew of the Seaview must stop a volcano from exploding or the end is nigh but their mission is complicated by a crew member who has found the source of eternal life. The great Vincent Price shows up as a life-size puppet master in episode 2, a must see episode even if you do wonder why the puppets bother fighting with the Admiral and the Captain when before they could make them vanish.

Episode 4 of this Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea DVD set has the Seaview transporting a neutron missile but a disappearing crew. This is a good psychological thriller. Unfortunately, nothing is explained at the end. Episode 5 begins with Admiral Nelson shooting a man on national television before the Seaview has to find a giant underwater magnet that is attracting the moon too close to the earth. This is not a particularly good voyage.

Like any other science fiction series from the sixties, Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea had its share of creatures in rubber suits. One of them, a white gorilla, is the co-star in in the jungle set episode 6 (DVD 2 side 1). The aliens of episode 7 are just guys in silver lame skin while the baddie who collects live historical failures is just a guy in a fancy Buck Rogers get up.

I thought this sixties TV show featured more sea monsters than there are here. I also do not remember there being that many mad geniuses in the show. Oh well. It’s good fun anyways.

Now, if somebody could tell me what that big digital clock was for…. When the ship is in danger it is the ol’ countdown to destruction but otherwise it doesn’t do much although a lot of attention is paid to it.

If you are a fan of Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea, the thirteen episodes of Season Four Volume One are a great deal of fun. If you like action science fiction, this is a pretty good show too.


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