|The Seaview crew must battle a giant lizard in "Night of Terror"|
Irwin Allen's series Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea had an excellent first season, a good second season -- and then deteriorated badly. The producer clearly thought of it strictly as a Kiddie show, and figured the children wanted more and sillier monsters over good storylines. Reportedly this was extremely embarrassing to star Richard Basehart, who hated the scripts. There were far too many episodes in which Admiral Nelson (Basehart) or Captain Crane (David Hedison) are mesmerized or brainwashed into trying to destroy the Seaview or each other. The nadir of monsters were the idiotic lobster-like creatures (not to be confused with the Lobster Men of the fourth season) of "Doomsday Island." There were very few memorable episodes: "Day of Evil" combines nuclear reactor problems with an alien impersonating Nelson who wants to create a holocaust. "The Thing from Inner Space" features Hugh Marlowe as a TV host urging Nelson to search for a monster that killed his crew. "The Brand of the Beast" has Nelson turning into a werewolf and has some suspense. "The Day the World Ended" is another suspenseful episode in which all life on earth seems to have disappeared. "Deadly Waters" is a serious episode -- and the best of the season -- in which the Seaview is trapped on the ocean's bottom below crush depth. Seaman Riley was replaced by Patterson (Paul Trinka), and the unnamed Ship's Doctor (Richard Bull) made many appearances, along with Kowalksi (Del Monroe) and Sharkey (Terry Becker). The acting was generally quite good, with Basehart, Hedison and the others playing more or less with conviction regardless of how absurd the plots and creatures were, although Admiral Nelson seemed increasingly dyspeptic (along with Sharkey), possibly because of Basehart's feelings about the series. A big lizard from Allen's The Lost World showed up yet again in "Night of Terror."
Verdict: Way too much silliness and stupid scripts. **.