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Category:    Home > Reviews > Science Fiction > Action > Horror > Disaster > Voyage To The Bottom Of The Sea – Season One (Two Volumes)

Voyage To The Bottom Of The Sea – Season One (Two Volumes)


Picture: C+     Sound: C+     Extras: C+     Episodes: B



There has been so much complaining about movie versions of often bad-to-begin-with TV shows that we sometimes forget that there have been those moments where a TV series was better than the feature film that preceded it.  Buffy The Vampire Slayer was a more recent example, but my favorite is Voyage To The Bottom Of The Sea.  The hit Irwin Allen feature film does not hold up well, but has good music, a good cast and some campy moments.  When he launched the TV series in 1964, he really dug in and got some great writer, a solid new cast lead by Richard Basehart and David Hedison, some then-groundbreaking visual effects and an enduring TV hit was born.  It was Allen’s biggest hit TV series ever.


The show was very consistent throughout its run, but the first season had to be an ace and holds up very well after all these years.  Even when some of the shows are hampered by dated effects or menaces, it is still played straight and serious as if it is very real.  Since the 1980s, most such TV shows do not even begin to have that kind of respect for the audience or themselves, but older and far more professional productions with this kind of talent knew better and that is why a gem like this shines 40+ years later.


The show centers on the adventures of The Seaview, the most advanced and technologically innovative submarine in the world.  Every foreign power wants to steal or destroy it, other forces of unexpected power will cross it and that is just the starting point for so many good teleplays written by some of the best writers of the time.  It also helped make Allen the king of Fox TV for the 1960s and he kept coming up with great, fun TV that just seems to appreciate in value.  Basehart and Hedison are great on the show, totally convincing and they were terrific.  The two DVD boxes of this first season split the 32 shows in half chronologically and the box art on both is a plus.


The 1.33 X 1 black and white image is pretty good throughout both sets, mixing great shots with some that are soft here and there, but it is very watchable.  This was the only black and white season, with some fans considering it the best of the four.  The Dolby Digital 2.0 sound is available in Stereo and Mono, but I tended to like the Mono better.  The combination is better than I have ever seen these shows before.  Extras on the first volume include the never-before-seen Pilot episode, more home movies from producer Irwin Allen, stills and a Promotional reel for the show.  The second volume includes more stills, a blooper reel and new interview with Hedison.  Now, we wait for the next seasons, but recommend the limited edition soundtrack to the feature film (better than the film itself) while supplies last.  See the review at:






-   Nicholas Sheffo


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