Something funny happened to VTTBOTS during the fall of 1966. Season 3 happened! This season was far inferior as compared to seasons 1 and 2 in terms of storylines, production and overall direction, in other words due to budget cuts it fell off drastically. However, as ironic as it may sound this was the season that had to happen. Season 3 in so many ways turned out to be the defining moment for the series. Without a doubt this is perhaps one of the biggest transformations in terms of changing the entire format of a show that had so convincingly started out dealing with serious up to the date issues in the not so distant future such as cold war politics, and underwater science gone awry with the occasional spin on science fiction thrown in for entertainment value. That said, season 3 is always the main topic of conversation among VTTBOTS fans due to its elevated and unrelenting action from its VTTBOTS IN COLOR intro to the action packed art work detailed during the closing credits. The writers on staff during this year walked to the edge, seemingly jumped and delivered such episodes as THE WAX MEN, THE SHADOWMAN, and DOOMSDAY ISLAND, not to mention the werewolf and mummy episodes. The series had turned the corner, grabbed the torch and ran WILD! Seasons 1 and 2 were quality shows with great everything but this season is remembered for it’s over the top monsters, it’s colorful special effects and most notably the non stop action that prevailed during every episode. Richard Basehart and David Hedison did their best acting this season because they continued to play it straight and convincing even though it had to be killing them. Know matter how far fetched some of the episodes were (THE TERRIBLE TOYS, DEADLY CLOUD, etc.) they played it straight and to the point unlike the buffoonery of BATMAN and LOST IN SPACE. In reality, VOYAGE had become a live-action cartoon that figured all that mattered was to produce on the edge of your seat entertainment each and every week. Irwin Allen took the seaview and her crew where no one had gone before and boy did he deliver. Season 4, although produced on a higher production scale and somewhat better, continued the same trend. Sadly to say it is a shame that VOYAGE wasn’t renewed for a 5th season. It would have been fun to see what they would have given us. However, be that as it may, this show, from episode 1 to episode 110 delivered some of the best action-adventure ever produced, that’s why so many years after it’s last original episode in 1968 we still can talk so fondly about a CLASSIC series!!!!!!
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After two seasons of mostly serious and plausible adventure, the show takes a hard right turn into monsters and fantasy. Guest stars become less frequent, sometimes only the four main characters appear. One episodes only has three characters. TOTAL! And the monsters! The aliens! The walking toys and killer clowns! The show went wild and anything really goes in this season.
The actors treat it all seriously and even Richard Basehart seems a little bored at time. But a bored Basehart is a lot more entertaining than an alert George Clooney any day.
Is it art? No chance, but it sure is fun!
Great review from Seven “7″ above.
I’ll only add that if the whole of season three didn’t make the show jump the shark, then the episode “The Shadowman” certainly did. But I kept on watching right to the very end of the series. Bought and paid for. Hooked for life. If anybody cares, my favorite episode of all time was “The Death Clock” from season four. The wildest, crazyist episode of the entire series.