VOYAGE TO THE BOTTOM OF THE SEA

VOYAGE TO THE BOTTOM OF THE SEA
    1. Film (1961). Windsor Productions/20th Century-Fox. Dir Irwin ALLEN, starring Walter Pidgeon, Robert Sterling, Joan Fontaine, Barbara Eden, Peter Lorre. Screenplay Allen, Charles Bennett. 105 mins. Colour.
   The crew of a glass-nosed nuclear submarine has a mission to fire an atomic missile into the Van Allen belts, which have been set on fire by meteors (!) and are melting the icecaps. Despite enemy submarines, a giant octopus and other hazards, the mission succeeds. As with most of Allen's productions, the plot does not survive an instant's rational scrutiny; it is full of astonishing SCIENTIFIC ERRORS. The novelization was Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea * (1961) by Theodore STURGEON.
    2. US tv series (1964-8). An Irwin Allen Production for 20th Century-Fox TV/ABC. Created Irwin Allen,who was also executive prod. Story consultant Sidney Marshall. Writers included William Welch (34 episodes), Richard Landau, Harlan ELLISON (1 episode as by Cordwainer Bird), Robert Hamner, Rik Vollaerts. Dirs included Leonard Horn, Sobey Martin, Felix Feist, Harry Harris, Sutton Roley, Jus Addiss. Special effects L.B. Abbott. 110 50min episodes. Season1 b/w, the remaining 3 seasons Colour.
   Based on 1, this series concerned the exploits of the experimental submarine Seaview; it starred Richard Basehart and David Hedison. Early episodes had fairly conventional storiesinvolving secret agents and threats from unfriendly foreign powers, but later the plots became increasingly fantastic: not only were the crew faced with such dangers as giant whales, giant jellyfish, giant octopuses and giant "things", but their submarine was regularly invaded by a variety of esoteric menaces ranging from sentient seaweed to the ghost of a U-boat captain, other uninvited guests including a lobster man, a mummy, a leprechaun, a blob and a mad robot. Throughout, Basehart and Hedison kept straight faces. Abbott's special effects won several Emmy awards. Book spin-offs were VOYAGE TO THE BOTTOM OF THE SEA* (1965)by Raymond F. JONES and City Under the Sea* (1965) by Paul W. FAIRMAN.
   JB
   See also: UNDER THE SEA.

Science Fiction and Fantasy Encyclopedia. . 2011.

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