After watching the initial 16 black-and-white, hour length episodes in addition to the unaired colour pilot of “Eleven Days to Zero” (14/09/1964) in the VOYAGE TO THE BOTTOM OF THE SEA – SEASON ONE, VOLUME ONE 3-disc set I was pleasantly surprised to find that there were absolutely no technical problems encountered with all this considerably hefty amount of viewing pleasure crammed onto a mere 3 DVDs as I initially feared.
I’m pleased to report that the volume one collection turned out to be a truly exceptional tv premium and can be highly recommended to all devout VOYAGE fans.
The impending volume two set (scheduled for release on July 11th, 2006) is no less impressive in content with many outstanding efforts presented taken from a consistently excellent first season (1964-65) most notably being “Mutiny,” “Doomsday,” “The Invaders,” “The Buccaneer,” “The Human Computer,” “The Saboteur,” “The Amphibians,” “The Enemies,” “The Condemned” and “The Traitor.”
The glittering galaxy of star-studded celebrities making brilliant guest appearances in the latter half of the first season formidably includes Robert Duvall, Donald Harron, Michael Constantine, Barry Atwater, Harold J. Stone, Warren Stevens, Edward Asner, John Anderson, Rudy Solari, Skip Homeier, Leslie Nielsen, Torin Thatcher, J.D. Cannon, Henry Silva, Michael Pate, David Sheiner, Bert Freed, John Van Dreelan, Malachi Throne, Arthur Franz, Joe De Santis and George Sanders.
Not to mention boasting the fresh, vibrantly energetic performances by the series’ two dynamic leads Richard Basehart and David Hedison whose interest and enthusiasm in their respective roles delightfully shines throughout in the course of these most extraordinary 32 segments that would be produced.
The final 16 first season episodes contained in the volume two set consists of:
17) “The Last Battle” (04/01/1965)
18) “Mutiny” (11/01/1965)
19) “Doomsday” (18/01/1965)
20) “The Invaders” (25/01/1965)
21) “The Indestructible Man” (01/02/1965)
22) “The Buccaneer” (08/02/1965)
23) “The Human Computer” (15/02/1965)
24) “The Saboteur” (22/02/1965)
25) “Cradle of the Deep” (01/03/1965)
26) “The Amphibians” (08/03/1965)
27) “The Exile” (15/03/1965)
28) “The Creature” (22/03/1965)
29) “The Enemies” (29/03/1965)
30) “The Secret of the Loch” (05/04/1965)
31) “The Condemned” (12/04/1965)
32) “The Traitor” (19/04/1965)
Most significant among the special bonus material to be included is a taped interview conducted with none other than David Hedison himself (expanded from his guest appearance on THE FANTASY WORLDS OF IRWIN ALLEN 1995 tv documentary) who provides an enlightening, firsthand, behind-the-scenes account of this landmark SF tv series’ production in addition to offering his personal viewpoints specifically pertaining to Mr. Hedison’s working relationships with the show’s two prime movers Richard Basehart and Irwin Allen.
As with volume one fully restored and digitally remastered, pristine video transfers taken from the original 35mm source elements will be utilized providing optimum visual and sound clarity for maximum entertainment pleasure.
By the first year’s end not only would VOYAGE TO THE BOTTOM OF THE SEA (ABC 1964-68) commendably prove itself to be a television sensation and renewed for the 1965-66 tv season on the ABC Television Network but it would be further honoured with an Emmy Award for L.B. Abbott in the category of Outstanding Special Photographic Effects. A resounding triumph for Irwin Allen who would ambitiously move ahead setting plans for LOST IN SPACE (CBS 1965-68) and THE TIME TUNNEL (ABC 1966-67) two more impressive television projects that would both become highly acclaimed SF tv classics in their own right.
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After watching Volume 1 Season 1, I heartily recommend. The quality of the DVD was great. I know that some people experienced a problem with the DVD freezing, but I did not. The stories were better than I remembered. OK, yes the special effects may not be as impressive as they are today, but they were good for its time. This series was one part action, one part sci-fi, and one part spy movie. These episodes were more thought out than later years where the show became monster of the week.
The last half of the first season and the first half the second season is the peak of Voyage. This set includes the the Robert Duval episode, “The Invaders,” as well as the best written of the series, “Doomsday.” (It also has the stinker, Indestructable Man.) But all in all, it shows what a tight, taunt hour of TV Voyage could be, and Irwin Allen could pull off.