VOYAGE TO THE BOTTOM OF THE SEA (ABC 1964-68) makes an auspicious primetime network debut in magnificent colour for its landmark second season (1965-66) featuring a completely remodeled Seaview, the introduction of the fantastic Flying Sub in addition to the series casting of new regulars Terry Becker in the role of Chief (CPO) Francis Ethelbert Sharkey and Allan Hunt as Crewman Stuart “Stu” Riley.
The scripts here are invariably on a par with the very best written for the first season (1964-65) similarly encompasing a wide range of storylines innovatively marking early televised references to the term “Cyborg” (in “The Cyborg”) and the advanced scientific concept of genetic engineering (in “The Menfish”).
The stellar line up of the finest Hollywood celebrity acting talents recruited from the theatrical stage, motion picture screen and television making guest appearances (typically) remains impressively outstanding with the distinguished presences of Victor Buono, Gia Scala, Phillip Pine, Ina Balin, Vincent Gardenia, Brooke Bundy, Regis Toomey, Renzo Cesana, Lloyd Bochner, Susan Flannery, Liam Sullivan, James Anderson, Barbara Bouchet, Richard Loo, Robert F. Simon, Whit Bissell, George Takei, Karen Steele, John McGiver, Charles Dierkop, Irene Tsu, Roger C. Carmel, Jan Merlin, Pilar Seurat, Robert Cornthwaite, John Zaremba, Audrey Dalton, Kent Taylor, Cyril Delavanti, Bert Freed, Robert Doyle and John Cassavettes.
Richard Basehart and David Hedison dependably give their (by now) customary solid performances especially with the strong story material that these two series stars have to work with throughout this banner second year making it a worthy follow up to the gloriously triumphant first season.
Among the more noteworthy efforts present in the VOYAGE TO THE BOTTOM OF THE SEA – SECOND SEASON, VOLUME ONE 3-disc box set are “Jonah and the Whale,” “Time Bomb,” “…And Five of Us Are Left,” “The Cyborg,” “The Left-Handed Man,” “The Deadliest Game,” “Leviathan,” “The Peacemaker,” “The Silent Saboteurs” and “The Machines Strike Back.”
This extrarordinary DVD set will be comprised of the first 13 colour hour long segments from VOYAGE’s second season (1965-66) that includes:
01) “Jonah and the Whale” (19/09/1965)
02) “Time Bomb” (26/09/1965)
03) “…And Five of Us Are Left” (03/10/1965)
04) “The Cyborg” (10/10/1965)
05) “Escape from Venice” (17/10/1965)
06) “The Left-Handed Man” (24/10/1965)
07) “The Deadliest Game” (31/10/1965)
08) “Leviathan” (07/11/1965)
09) “The Peacemaker” (14/11/1965)
10) “The Silent Saboteurs” (21/11/1965)
11) “The X Factor” (05/12/1965)
12) “The Machines Strike Back” (12/12/1965)
13) “The Monster from Outer Space” (19/12/1965)
The supplemental bonus material contains 20 minutes of revealing behind-the-scenes Special Effects test film footage some of which was likely earlier previewed in the VOYAGE segment of the 1995 THE FANTASY WORLDS OF IRWIN ALLEN tv documentary special.
An additional treat is that the new season’s premiere episode “Jonah and the Whale” is endowed with a completely different opening and closing titles theme music composed by the late Jerry Goldsmith which was used specifically as such for this segment but further effectively employed as evocative background scoring for subsequent episodes of the second year as well.
As with the previous first season volumes one and two DVD sets the video transfers utilized are also similarily taken from the original vault stored pristine 35mm colour film source elements fully restored and digitally remastered in high definition for optimum picture and sound quality.
For those VOYAGE fans who have been anxiously anticipating these splendidly produced colour presentations from the series’ smash hit second season this particular DVD collection should prove to be well worth the wait and a marvellous continuation to the outstanding first season adventures further chronicling the exciting, remarkable underwater exploits (set during the not-too-distant future in the mid to late 1970s) of the Earth’s final great frontier with Admiral Harriman Nelson, Captain Lee Crane and the stalwartly intrepid crew of the SSRN Seaview in one of the most popular and best remembered SF tv shows of the 1960s. Primetime network series television has seldom been done better than it was here.
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These past DVD sets have been fantastic and the tansfers are great!!! As we go forward with the new color seasons, can you include form the vaults the all exciting preview scenes from next week…………….that would truly make this series a superb collection!!!!!!!!! By the way The Time Tunnel sets were outstanding….you guys at 20th really know what you are doing, keep it up!!!!!!!!!!
“Voyage” continued to have a number of fun adventure episodes during the second season opening with the effects heavy “Jonah and the Whale” in which Admiral Nelson and a Russian scientists are swallowed while in the diving bell by a huge whale. While some of the effects are dated they are pretty darn good for the early 60′s. The first half of the second season introduced color, a designed Seaview and the Flying Sub and a new theme song by Jerry Goldsmith (quickly scuttled in favor of the larger than life original theme). A nice mix of fantasy, science fiction and spy melodrama the second season had some top notch writing from Shimon Wincelberg (“Star Trek” and a well respected playwrite)and some terrific guest stars (including Victor Buno).
We get 13 episodes from the first season in this first half set. Why studios continue to do this (vs. just releasing it all at once since most fans will shell out the bucks for the sets) is beyond me. I do like the slimline DVD holders but am not a fan of the dual sided discs (simply because they don’t take wear and tear as much)but am willing to put up with it.
As with previous sets Fox has generously included extras as part of the set. We get as bonuses raw visual effects footage, a photo gallery and a Mad magazine parody. “Voyage” is a terrific set.