Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea

Season 1 Episode 25

Cradle Of The Deep

Aired Monday 7:30 PM Mar 01, 1965 on ABC
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Episode Summary

An experiment to try and speed up the process of evolution puts the Seaview in grave danger.

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  • Lee Crane is a lonely island of common sense in a sea of scientific obsession.

    Seaview seems to attract far more than her quota of mad scientists. Even when they're not evil mad scientists, they cause a lot of damage.

    This is another case where Nelson falls in with another scientist's dream to the exclusion of all else. Crane spends the entire episode arguing for reason and safety.

    I would like to know just how they knew that the Vima Sea Mount, alone of all places on Earth, was the only place to get the elements Dr. Janus required. If it's such a treacherous place, how did they figure out that life began in that exact spot?

    Another good question is how Clark, who's always been a noticeably jittery character, managed to get himself promoted. Perhaps it was his self-sacrificing actions in the episode "Hail to the Chief". Clark's reactions are a little over the top, even if his brother was killed. After all, he's on the Seaview, not some run-of-the-mill submarine.

    Having gone to the Vima Sea Mount in spite of the danger, having gone out and collected the elements in spite of the strong possibility of the area collapsing around them, Nelson and Janus start right in on the experiment, without waiting to travel to a safer region, even though the experiment is going to require a period of quiet stability. When Crane informs them of an imminent sea quake in the vicinity, Nelson grudgingly allows Crane to start moving out--very slowly.

    For some reason, Clark remains antsy even though they've moved away from the dangerous area.

    This experiment is supposed to be of profound significance. Every moment should be observed and recorded. So of course Nelson and Janus pop off for a night's sleep, leaving no one to monitor things.

    (BTW, although the growing blob would come to resemble a particularly ugly balloon, in it's initial beaker stage it didn't look half bad.)

    Confronted with a blob of organic material derived from inorganic elements, Janus and Nelson ooh and ahh over it. Crane, more pragmatically, wants to know how much it will grow. Nelson becomes irritated when Crane harps on the subject, but it was an important question to ask, after all.

    They discover that the thing will double in size every three hours. They calculate that the Seaview should be able to reach port in 24 hours. It doesn't occur to anyone, least of all the scientists, to wonder just how they are going to extricate that thing from the sub, considering that it was already almost too big for the passageways.

    Crane, very sensibly, wants to get rid of it, but of course Janus and Nelson will hear nothing of it. Somehow they can't get it through their heads that the most exciting scientific discovery will go for naught if you can't survive to pass the information along. It didn't occur to them to either try and slow down it's growth (which Janus would think of trying when it was far too late) or perhaps stuff it into the diving bell and drag it behind them.

    They discover the hard way that the thing's source of nourishment is oxygen. At this point, Crane's common sense leaves him momentarily. We can be charitable and assume that he's suffering a bit of nitrogen narcosis himself, in addition to all the other things he has to worry about. Confronted with a night shift that's acting very peculiar, Crane somehow doesn't realize that something is wrong--he just gets angry at them.

    It's only when the Seaview is in extreme danger--which Crane has been pointing out all along--that Nelson finally concedes that they're going to have to get rid of the blob, and even (gasp!) that maybe the experiment had been a bad idea to begin with.

    Nelson and Janus finally manage to destroy the thing. Janus is killed along with it--which you could see coming a mile away.

    Rather oddly, the episode ends up implying that Janus and his partner (killed in the teaser) had died for nothing. Didn't they gain any information from the situation at all?moreless
Howard Wendell

Howard Wendell

Dr. Andrew Benton

Guest Star

John Anderson (I)

John Anderson (I)

Dr. Janus

Guest Star

Paul Carr

Paul Carr


Guest Star

Del Monroe

Del Monroe


Recurring Role

Robert Dowdell

Robert Dowdell

Chip Morton

Recurring Role

Henry Kulky

Henry Kulky

Chief Curley Jones

Recurring Role

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (5)

    • Uncredited roles:

      Derrik Lewis (O'Brien), Robert Payne (Helmsman)

    • According to both Science Fiction Televison Series and Irwin Allen Productions, John Anderson took Richard Basehart to task during the shooting of this episode. Basehart had been clowning around, making fun of the dialogue. Anderson pointed out that it was difficult enough for him to deal with the script, without Basehart making it worse. Basehart agreed, apologized, and stopped doing it.

    • According to the book Science Fiction Television Series, David Hedison ranks this episode as his least favorite.

    • When Nelson and Janus come into the laboratory to stuff the blob with carbon, Nelson stands at the far end of the room, away from the door. Janus moves to the other side of the blob. When the explosion occurs, Nelson somehow gets thrown straight out the hatchway, when he should have hit the far wall of the lab.

    • When Crane visits Clark in the brig, one of the ship-wide microphones is hanging by the hatchway. When Kowalski brings Clark some food later in the episode, the microphone has vanished.

  • QUOTES (2)

    • Morton: Here we are; X marks the spot.
      Crane: All right, Chip, set her down.
      Morton: Lee, we're just asking for trouble.
      Crane: Asking for it? We're begging for it.

    • (Chip Morton returns from sickbay after suffering nitrogen narcosis)

      Morton: Admiral, I just wanted to say--
      Nelson: Look, there's nothing to explain, Chip.
      Crane: At least right now there isn't. For a while there I didn't know whether to throw you in the brig or throw you overboard.
      Morton: I'm lucky to have a fool-proof medical alibi.

  • NOTES (2)

    • From the book Science Fiction Televison Series: Writer Robert Hammer had difficulty getting this script by the network, because they said that its theme was anti-Christian. He finally argued them around.

    • This was the final Voyage episode for veteran character-actor Henry (Chief Curley Jones) Kulky. He died of a heart attack on Feb. 12, 1965.