26 of 32 people found the following review helpful
The Downhill Slide,
This review is from: Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea - Season Three, Volume Two (DVD)
This was a rather spectacular (by 60s standards) sci-fi underwater adventure with some of the FX still good even today, an academy award winner leading the cast, and an emphasis on action that made more modern sci-fi shows such as "Seaquest" look and feel weak and derivative. Unfortunately, this show ultimately became overly formulaic to the point of exasperating redundancy and it shows through in this collection.
In these 13 episodes we have Captain Crane and others brainwashed by aliens into destroying Seaview, Admiral Nelson brainwashed by Russians into destroying Seaview, Crane brainwashed by a re-animated mummy into sabotaging the Seaview, Crane and others brainwashed by a giant, anemone-like seamonster into taking over Seaview, Crane and others brainwashed by more aliens into....hell, I've lost track.
Also, it seems the scriptwriters have discovered a new toy, and they wield it like a newly pubescent boy. That is (drumroll)....the CIRCUITRY ROOM! Ta-DA!! Yes, folks, you get to watch at least a half-dozen times back to back as various villains and monsters make their way to this curiously unlocked vital area and wreak havok by pulling plugs and wires while the sub rocks and rolls and sparks shoot out of the consoles for some reason. Running concurrently will be the liberal use of plastic explosives to blow open hatches in several episodes as well (again, back to back).
Further, many of the episodes here are rehashes of the first half of this season. Nelson has a recurrence of his lycanthropy from an earlier 3rd season episode, another heat monster menaces seaview, more aliens need the sub's reactor, etc. Then, there are episodes with plenty of stock footage from previous episodes recanned as new stories. One episode, "No Escape from Death" is composed almost entirely of this footage and almost made me not buy this set, it offended me so badly. This is just plain lazy writing, and the worst part is that some of these episodes might have seemed a lot better if they had been separated from the others thematically, rather than foisted on an unsuspecting public like some kind of collection. Richard Basehart seems so frustrated that he rudely snaps out his lines, while Rob Dowdell tries hard not to roll his eyes once or twice if you look close. David Hedison just looks like he wants the day to be over with.
I must make mention of one other aspect of this series. Since its premiere, we have seen that they keep small arms in various places. Here is a list of what I've seen so far:
1. Arms locker in the bow of the sub.
2. Arms room somewhere among the corridors of the sub.
3. A pistol in a small compartment next to the control room
4. Nelson keeps a pistol in a safe in his quarters.
5. Crane keeps a pistol in the desk in his quarters.
6. A crewman surprised by villains while at work pulls one
out of his toolbox!
7. A crewman attacked among storage shelves pulls a pistol
out of what appears to be a cigar box(?!!).
Why do they bother to arm themselves when they use their weapons on each other far more than on any enemy? I mean, I hate political correctness as much as the next guy, but this is a bit much.
Don't get me wrong, I have some personal favorites here, such as "the Fossil Men" and "the Creature". "The Wax Men" is an unusual gem here as it really does create a creepy and disturbing atmosphere. As a fan, you can enjoy these as long as you aren't expecting much. Just bear in mind that these are the episodes that gave weight to the harsh criticisms leveled against this show. I had been enjoying these sets immensely, and halfway through the 3rd season, figured my memories of many bad episodes were over-reactions on my part, but this set brings home to me why the show had been an embarassment to some. It practically made me feel cheated by the producers.
I've read that there are several good episodes in the first half of the final season, so I look forward to it, but must recommend this one (and probably the last half of the final season) to fans and compleatists; if new to Voyage, this is probably not the place to start.
Look in remarks and you'll see I was corrected on an error. Thanks are in order to Mr. Reginald Garrard. I thot Basehart had won the AA for his role in "Moby Dick" with Gregory Peck, but I guess, though nominated, he didn't go home with the trophy.
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Showing 1-10 of 11 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Nov 8, 2007 4:09:18 PM PST
Reginald D. Garrard says:
Good review, but with one error: as good as he was in a bevy of films, Basehart never won an Oscar. :>)
In reply to an earlier post on Nov 11, 2007 5:56:52 AM PST
Sorry for the mistake, but if he didn't win it, wasn't he nominated for it for his portrayal of Ishmael?
Posted on Nov 11, 2007 11:39:50 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Nov 11, 2007 11:44:59 PM PST
I agree with this review. The second half of Season 3 of Voyage is just a showcase for irwin Allen's re-used 'monster' suits that he already made use of in previous seasons. If he didn't make use of these costumes in Voyage then his make up people "borrowed" the basic suits from Lost in Space and Time Tunnel for Season 3 of Voyage. Worse, the scripts are not 'intellectual' by any means compared to Season one and for the most part Season 2. Also the first review does not note the other negatives from the Fox DVD library. These 'prints" are NOT from the MASTER FILMS, they are digital camera transfers from the syndication broadcast masters. There is a big difference. The quality is fine, but not superb as in the remastering of the originasl negatives for TIME TUNNEL.
More of a negative (and for my part a BIG negative) is these episodes are NOT uncut. Well, the basic 49 minute episode is intact but ALL third season Voyage episodes had a 60 second preview to NEXT WEEKS SHOW (many of those being extremely entertaining). None of those are included here. Heck, I have 7 of them on a poor quality VHS tape so I KNOW they used to exist. I am sure these previews are on the original master films but FOX/KEVIN BURNS did not want to spend the money to give us 100% uncut episodes. At least they don't have visual GHOSTING issues as the hideous LOST IN SPACE SEASON THREE PART ONE dvd's which have to be among the worst DVD quality releases in history. (AND that is extremely unfortunate as LIS Season 3 part one had many the Best episodes of the series!). I assume this has very few if ANY great 'extras" such as casty interviews, outtakes, previews etc...David
In reply to an earlier post on Nov 12, 2007 5:19:35 AM PST
Last edited by the author on Nov 15, 2007 6:13:34 AM PST
David, no extras I'm afraid.
In reply to an earlier post on Nov 28, 2007 5:10:06 PM PST
Reginald D. Garrard says:
You are so right in your criticism of LIS's season three. I find it to be the most disappointing of the Irwin Allen releases. 'Can't comment about the second season 'cause I didn't purchase it, finding it to be the campiest of the three-year-old show.
Posted on Jan 11, 2008 5:14:36 PM PST
I agree with the comments about inconsistencies in the series; just how did that ladder reach the flying sub? How could the Seaview be so spacious? Where are the rest of the missile tubes? But the show was and is fun to watch, well acted and the underwater model work superb. Few movies have the pyro budget this must have. That circuitry room is like Macy's 4th of July! Voyage usually delivers a diverting hour and that's not to take for granted.
In reply to an earlier post on Feb 8, 2008 4:47:00 AM PST
Last edited by the author on Sep 28, 2009 7:29:17 AM PDT
Addition to the "arms locker" list: There is an arms locker in the crew's bunkroom (Death Watch), and in "Terror on Dinosaur Island", Patterson, Ski and the constantly hapless Paul Carr withdraw pistols from their personal lockers. Also, Nelson apparently keeps TWO pistols in his room.
In reply to an earlier post on Feb 18, 2008 11:52:20 AM PST
P. Pattison says:
I just got done watching Shadowmen and Chief Sharkey pulled a 9mm pistol out of his tool chest to threaten Patterson with it!...LOLOL...and what about the Mummy ep?? How on Earth did they A) get the mummy case into the Flying Sub and then B) how did they move it to that storage room? I can't see it going up that ladder!...LOL...I remember this show fondly from my youth and it is fun now but only as pure camp. I think David Hedison said their budget was very low so that explains some of the continual re-issue of various and cheap monsters (like Shadowman). Anyways, your review was spot on and very enlightning/entertaining!
In reply to an earlier post on May 5, 2008 2:20:04 AM PDT
Thanks, and in the same vein, on Lost in Space, where in hell did they stow the space chariot on the Jupiter 2 while in flight? I also love the fact that whenever they needed some bit of equipment, they could never just go get it, but they always had to "break out" whatever...LOL, but I loved that show also.
Posted on May 27, 2008 10:56:27 PM PDT
Mountain Mike says:
I basically agree with everyone here. I recall seeing these when they were originally broadcast. I believe I was in 8th grade when the show abruptly left the air. Even at the time, unfortunately, I could tell something was not going right with the show and I was becoming weary of the weekly monster or psychotic creature from another dimension or nearby spiritual realm. So I wasn't sorry to see it go. But as many people do, I look back with a certain nostalgia at a much more innocent, less stressful, and perhaps "happier" (ignorance is bliss) period of my life which is associated with these programs being originally broadcast. I can still recall the night I first saw some of the original epiosodes (and the same for Lost In Space and The Time Tunnel.) I also have enjoyed the DVD's of LIS and Time Tunnel (I got the complete sets.) I hope they put out the entire Voyage series; I mean, to have this many, and not finish it, seems a disappointment.