Voyage to the Bottom of the sea is one of those Irwin Allen Shows. You know the shows of this volume are filled with Monsters and Ghosts of World War 2 U-boat commanders.
It is still great storytelling, With all the crap out on TV that is running now,this simple throwback to the monster of week was nice change from CSIs, Law and Orders, Reality shows, News magazines and game shows. The cast of the Seaview battling the bug eyed monsters and weird creatures may seem farfetched escapest entertainment by today’s standards, but the quality is there.
And maybe that what we need today. At least I think so
Bennet Pomerantz AUDIOWORLD
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I just watched the first episode, Terror on Dinosaur Island. The image impressed me to no end. The quality is pristine! It looks like a crystal clear high-definition transfer. There were lush green plants, sharply defined fog, saturated colors, and the contrast was spot on. In fact, the image is so superior that you can tell that David Hedison has hazel eyes! That is how much detail you can see in this image. The sound quality is equally impressive. It is distortion free, and free of hiss. And of course the episode is uncut. Even the end credits looked brand new. The image quality of this episode is far superior to the faded and and cut version we saw on the Sci-Fi Channel in the 1990s.
I checked around the rest of the DVD for quality control and found the other episodes to be of similar quality to Terror on Dinosaur Island. The job Fox did on the DVDs is amazing! (Thank you Fox!!)
As a reviewer my job is to tell you about the quality of the image and sound; however I am compelled to tell you that the episodes on this volume are some of the finest of the series. In particular you’ll enjoy:
Terror on Dinosaur Island
Deadly Creature Below (this is the View-Master episode by the way)
The Phantom Strikes
The Sky’s On Fire
The Return of the Phantom
Keep up the good work Fox. This is your best work yet! Bring on Season Three!
The first season and this one has re-introduced me to a side to the show I had forgotten was there, mainly the top-quality cast and guest stars. Though I love original Trek, I think that Voyage’s cast was actually more talented. They just weren’t given the material they deserved. Richard Basehart has always been a favorite of mine, and his Admiral Nelson is the kind of dedicated, dynamic warrior-scientist we wish actually patrolled the seas keeping us safe from everything from enemy super-weapons to natural disasters and even alien invasions through his yankee ingenuity. David Hedison in contrast plays well off of Basehart with a tasteful restraint and Bob Dowdell is absolutely convincing (and excellently cast) as the ever-reliable XO, Chip Morton. ‘Ski, Sharkey, Reilly and the low-key Patterson all interact smoothly and I think the outlandish scripts of this season actually served to bring out their best. In the episode “the Shape of Doom”, the heartfelt plea of the whale hunter to Nelson in his quarters may be the single most stand-out moment of this collection (a scene which is sadly wasted on an episode that merely rehashes “Jonah and the Whale” from season one). The FX, as usual, is a mixture of awesome even by today’s standards (the “master” shots of the Seaview, etc.) and the cheesy FX which were limited by the budgets of the individual episodes for which they were shot. And I’m sorry to all those who hang their hats on the “serious” episodes, but ’60s sci-fi is very dated today, and Irwin Allen’s spastic thought processes accidentally led to this show still being watcheable now as a kind of grade B adventure with great production values. The monsters are a hoot and are some of the best in the series. But yes, towards the end of this set, the drastic drop in quality is impossible to ignore when one compares the rather thoughtful “Graveyard of Fear” to the 2-dimensional, ludicrous “the Men-Fish”. In later seasons, Basehart would appear to be constantly frustrated while Hedison would seem just plain bored. Notice, too, how in the monster episodes the monsters themselves are relegated to being the sub-plot (no pun intended)! But the majority of the episodes hold up and this set is perhaps the highpoint of the show. Although there would be some good episodes in the last 2 seasons, the show would never again be as consistently good (the aforementioned “Shape of Doom” hints at the graveyard of stock-footage to come). Awful scripts that wouldn’t even make a pretense of good writing would be so numerous as to drown the few good ones in their midst.