Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea

The Price Of Doom

Season 1, Ep 5, Aired 10/12/64
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  • Episode Description
  • The Seaview travels to Antarctica, where research into using plankton as a major food source has gone horribly wrong.

  • Cast & Crew
  • Harlan Ellison

  • James Goldstone

  • David Opatoshu

    Reisner

  • John Milford

    Wesley

  • Steve Ihnat

    Pennell

  • Fan Reviews (1)
  • This is the series' first "monster" episode--although the monster is more or less a natural phenomenon. Although it has some cliche images (such as a gadget concealed in a cigarette lighter) it's pretty well paced, with some good performances.

    By dkhenderson1, Jun 10, 2008

  • Trivia & Quotes
  • Quotes (1)

    • Enemy Commander: Rule the bellies of the people and you rule the people. Rule the people and you rule the world. Plankton could be the key.

    Notes (2)

    • Harlan Ellison actually wrote this episode using the pseudonym "Cordwainer Bird", or as they listed it in the credits for this episode, "Cord Wainer Bird". (Stephen King pointed out in his book Danse Macabre that this roughly translates to "Man who makes shoes for birds".) Ellison used Cordwainer Bird, a totally nonsensical phrase, when he wanted to distance himself as much as possible from a script, usually because he had been forced to radically alter his original writing -- or someone else did it for him.

    • From the book Science Fiction Televison Series: "I had never been eaten by plankton before." Pat Priest commented on the difficulties of her big scene. She had to react fearfully to a man crouched under the mass of plankton and bringing it closer to her. They had a lot of rehearsals, because the timing had to be precise.

    Trivia (4)

    • Admiral Nelson picks up that the scientist is trying to say Anaerobic bacteria. He misstates that that means 'lives on air'. No. Aerobic bacteria need air to live. Anaerobic means 'without air'. Anaerobic bacteria require an air-free environment. Not sure how he gets to the 'heat' conclusion.

    • Uncredited roles: Pat Priest (Karen Pennell), Dan Seymour (General), Ivan Triesault (Commander), James Frawley (Smilin' Jack), Jim Goodwin (Helmsman), Fred Stromsoe (Fox), Garth Benton (Doc), Paul Kremin (Man)

    • We learn that warmth is what set off the plankton's unchecked growth, and the batch onboard Seaview is killed by flooding it with icy water. The original batch, however, should have died almost as soon as it left the ruined ice station, but no one saw it.

    • During the scene in the ruined ice station, as they come under attack, Julie seemingly panics and refuses to go back to the sub. Wesley knocks her out with a brisk punch to the jaw. As he and Nelson pick her up, her arms are dangling limply--but as they approach the ripped-up opening in the station wall, she tucks her arms in so that they won't hit the sides!

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