Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea

Season 3 Episode 10

Deadly Invasion

Aired Monday 7:30 PM Nov 20, 1966 on ABC

Episode Fan Reviews (2)

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  • The Admiral meets an old friend, the chief sweats a lot and Crane plays with the reactor....

    The Seaview is tracking a harmless meteor shower which is due to land in the ocean some 2 miles from their current position. All seems to be going well and they count 8. Kawalski announces the meteors have changed course and will impact on Seaview! Crane orders an emergency dive but Seaview is still struck and holed by the objects, luckily the automatic hull repair seals the holes.

    After getting things back under control the chief brings one of the objects up to the control room, it looks like a 70mm shell but is red in colour and has no markings (totally stupid of the chief to bring the object into the nerve centre of the sub and to make it worse he's got it in a plastic bucket!)

    The object soon opens and gas pours out which is made 10 times worse by Crane picking up the bucket and wafting the gas with it. Soon everyone is unconscious and Seaview is out of control.

    Oddly Crane comes round first and together with the Chief they take the controls and regain control.

    Nelson and Crane retire to his lab to carry out tests on the object, as a safety procedure they lock themselves in the lab and keep the mike open. The object is impervious to the diamond drill and strong acid. They decide then to take an x-ray but this does not penetrate the object.

    The object then opens on its own and an electrical discharge of some kind shoots out of the object but Nelson and Crane are unharmed.

    Nelson (with the aid of a magnifying glass) spots tiny equipment inside and concludes it's a miniature space ship. He doesn't want to go any further before reporting his findings to General Haynes. Nelson reports his finds to a disbelieving Haynes and then rather quickly tells him it's an alien invasion of some kind and the target is a mothballed atomic storage base called SATO 6.

    (At this point Nelson and no real evidence it was an invasion)

    Nelson gets the go ahead to proceed to Sato 6 at full speed to investigate and he also orders the flying sub to take off and deliver the object in the lab to General Haynes. (we see the flying sub take off and then Chip comes up from the nose hatch?? Bit of a goof)

    Things take a decidedly sinister turn when Nelson retires to his cabin to presumably tuck into his sandwiches only to discover a very old (and thought dead) friend eating them for him! The man is Sam Garitty and is dressed in world war two uniform. Nelson isn't really taken in by this and soon unmasks Garitty as an alien from the miniature space ships. Gritty knocks Nelson out with an electrical discharge and then disappears in a big cloud of smoke and sparks.

    Back in the control room the computer has gone haywire and seems to be printing out all manner of random figures. Chip finds Nelson in his cabin and brings him round and they head to the control room. Things seem to be hopeless when all controls seem to lock and Seaview scrapes along a nasty looking rock formation (you know the one) and rests at the bottom at crush depth... Nelson orders that all power aboard the ship be cut. This seems to do the trick and they very carefully take the sub back up from crush depth and restore normal depth and speed.

    Nelson decides to form a "combat party" as he calls it and head to Sato 6 in flying sub to save time. Not missing another chance to get himself killed he tells Chip and Crane to fire nuclear missiles at the base if they receive his destruct signal. (Why nuclear missiles?? Normal ones would surely do and the destruct alerter looks like a Christmas decoration)

    It's a pity they couldn't have used a different undersea base for Sato 6 rather than one that's been used a few times already. I take it the base extends deep into the rock face?

    Once Nelson arrives he quickly informs Crane that the aliens are in the base, all the lighting and ventilation systems are on. The revised plan is to fire the nukes at the base if they don't hear from him in 10 minutes..... This gets Crane a little uneasy.

    The base seems to have three main corridors or banks as they are called and Nelson decides to foolishly divide his forces and split up.... he takes one corridor the Chief and a crewman in red take another and a crewman in blue takes one. (you know where this is going)

    The poor chap in blue is called Peters and he hasn't gone very far when he hears a strange electrical noise and two burly crystal headed figures appear round the corner. Despite holding his ground and firing at them repeatedly he is quickly killed.

    Nelson and the others hear this rumpus and come running only to discover his body. Nelson seems to give a little snort and announce he's dead and they will come back for him (i bet he forgot)

    The three reach the main control room and discover the alien still assuming the appearance of Sam Garrity.

    Garitty plays it cool and states they come in peace and explains they are aliens and only intended this as a pit stop to replenish their energy (no mention of the crewman they just murdered) The base needs a correct combination to reactivate it and Nelson is one of only 6 who has this. Garitty can read his mind but the combination is too well hidden in Nelsons mind.

    While Nelson is chatting to Garitty the crewman dressed in red tries to make a grab for the destruct lever but his cover is blown by Nelson giving the game away with his eyes (thanks Harry) Garitty quickly kills him in a puff of smoke. Nelson just has time to activate the destruct signal on Seaview before he is rendered unconscious by Garitty.

    Crane with much hesitation orders the torpedoes loaded but there is a problem with the control panel it seems to be alive with electricity. Kawalski cuts the main power so they can fire manually (note his rubber gloves disappear after he cuts the wire and goes to put his mask back)

    Despite the delay two torpedoes are fired at Sato 6 but Garitty makes sure they explode way before they reach the target.

    Garitty then ups the stakes and has Seaview pulled straight towards Sato 6, despite Crane cutting all power this doesn't work.

    Back in Sato control room Garitty puts a stop to Nelson and the Chiefs meddling but surrounding then in a heat field (shower curtain) and warns then that they will be roasted unless they stay where they are and even gives them a mini demo of the consequences.

    Having arrived in the Sato airlock Crane and four others arm themselves and head off into the complex looking for the Admiral. Crane has site plans so i think we have to assume Sato is a truly huge complex. They run into trouble and as normal guns seem useless but instead of killing them Garitty suspends them and they end up looking like shop dummies.

    While the coast is clear Nelson takes a risk and bursts out of the heat field and is about to pull the lever to destruct the Sato reactor when one of the crystal heads shows up and starts throwing him about. Sharkey breaks out of the heat field but the two seem to be losing the fight when all of a sudden the crystal head disappears in a puff of smoke.

    Garitty shows up and has Crane brought in still frozen. He explains to Nelson that there is a huge amount of aliens craft on their way and unless he starts the complex the aliens will come as destroyers.... Nelson gives in. Crane is unfrozen and Nelson tells him that Sato is going to be reactivated and he needs specialist equipment in locker B Seaview reactor room. Crane stalls so Nelson is sharp with him.

    On Seaview Chip and Crane are in the reactor room. Locker B was a tip off from Nelson and it contains radiation guns (very handy things?) Crane quickly works out that the aliens weakness must be radiation and the capsule they x-rayed in the lab opened due to the rays.

    Wasting no time they charge two cylinders for the guns using the reactor. Crane stands behind a shield and wears gloves while chip has no protection at all. Crane then wipes the cylinders before handing them to chip! (This show never even tried to be a tiny bit realistic when it came to the subject of radiation)

    Chip and Crane don't bother asking for anymore crewman and armed with the radiation guns they storm the base. They soon kill a crystal head and burst into the control room. What happens next is a huge punch up and although Garitty seems to stop them before things really get started they manage to come out fighting.

    During the rumpus Nelson boots Garitty onto his own homing device which promptly kills him! Soon the rest of aliens disappear. All that's left of Garitty is his world war two cap.

    Back in Seaview Nelson and Crane watch the rest of the alien ships hot footing it away into space. Nelson then explains he worked out radiation was the aliens one weakness when his watch broke during his fight with one of them even the radium dial was enough to kill it. (I'm sure he would of thought of something anyway)

    I've always enjoyed this episode. The idea of the space ships being miniature was original and i didn't really have a problem with the alien's true or partly true appearance. The idea that the leader assumed the appearance of a long dead friend of the Admirals was quite chilling. Warren Stevens as usual is totally bankable in his role, nice job.

    The idea of having a mothballed abandoned atomic doomsday base sitting silently on the ocean floor was superb; i just wish they could have tweaked the set a bit more even if it was a matte shot of a seemingly endless corridor or something.

  • This is an fair enough episode--not great, but not bad. The idea of a miniature invasion force was interesting.

    They start out thinking that the situation is merely an unusual meteor shower. This impression changes abruptly when a cluster of "meteors" suddenly changes course and heads directly for the Seaview. They try to duck, of course, but several of them hit, penetrating the titaneum hull. Sharkey fetches one of them to the Control Room in a plastic bucket. (Not very aesthetic, but practical.) The object simply looks like a bright red, 75 mm shell, with a smooth, unmarked surface. (The light blips showing on radar showed the same general shape, but comparatively large. Considering that the objects are only a foot long or so, they should have looked almost invisible on radar.)

    Suddenly the smooth object is showing a line around the rounded point, and it abruptly pops open and releases a cloud of gas, knocking out everyone in the Control Room. Despite taking the brunt of the gas emission, Crane is the first one to recover somewhat. Ignoring the object (which has closed up again) he lunges for the controls, trying to get the Seaview back on trim. There's been a certain amount of damage on board, including a serious steam leak in the Engine Room. Crane and Nelson take the object down to the lab, sensibly locking the doors while keeping the microphone locked open in case anything happens while they're poking around at the thing. Down in the Engine Room, a second object has rolled into the middle of the floor. Patterson and his repair team, struggling with the leak, fail to notice it. It opens up and lets out more gas, knocking out the team. (When another team comes to the rescue, the steam leak appears to have repaired itself, unless Sharkey attended to that first.)

    The object proves impervious to both a drill and to acid, so they try X-rays to see what's inside. This doesn't work, but afterwards the object suddenly pops open, apparently letting out a burst of electricity (the one in the Engine Room does the same). We have to take their word for it on this; the special effect, in this case, wasn't very effective, the light being too diffuse. This time, however, the object remains open, allowing Nelson to have a look-see. The miniature instrumentation inside convinces Nelson that the object is, in fact, a spaceship. Nelson informs General Haines, who is involved with the space program. Haines speculates that the ships might be part of a probe, but Nelson is certain that it's an invasion force--the ships had landed near SATO 6, a recently decommissioned underwater atomic base. SATO 6 has only been turned off, not dismantled; it can be started back up again anytime. Nelson arranges for the Flying Sub to take the tiny ship (there's no mention of what happened to the other ones) to General Haines for further study.

    Nelson goes to his cabin--and he had, presumably, made arrangements for a tray to be sent there for him. He arrives to find a man at his desk, calmly munching on his sandwich. The man looks like an old friend, Sam Garrity, and the man claims to be him, addressing the Admiral familiarly. Nelson, however, easily trips the man up, with a mention of a non-existant wife. He points out that the real Sam Garrity had vanished twenty-seven years before, while this Sam hasn't aged a day, and is dressed in a WWII uniform. Oddly, Garrity makes an attempt to keep up the pretence, but when Nelson refuses to go along, knocks him out and disappears in a sizeable explosion.

    After FS1 had launched, the ship's computer goes haywire. Finding that Nelson is not answering his hails, Crane sends Chip to see what's wrong. After finding him and bringing him around, the Seaview lists considerably. The controls have locked up, and the Seaview is headed for the bottom--and a lot of rocks. (They had a splendid underwater camera team, the underwater shots are always great.) Crane cuts all power. Seaview scrapes against an outcropping of rock and rams into the sand at 3,060 feet--crush depth. Cautiously bringing the power back on, they find that they have control again, and start heading topside.

    More certain than ever that the aliens have plans for SATO 6, Nelson arranges to go there when the Flying Sub returns. If he finds the aliens there, he will attempt to activate the self-destruct mechanism; if this fails, Crane is to launch nuclear missiles at it. Nelson collects a team consisting of Sharkey and two sacrificial lambs (er, crewmen). He's wearing a gadget on his wrist which will signal if they need to launch the nukes. Sharkey, very laboriously, makes it clear to the audience that if the nukes are fired, they will all be killed. SATO 6 looks remarkably like the habitats in "Leviathan" and "The Machines Strike Back", but we will learn that it is much bigger than it looks. They find that the aliens are there; the light and heating systems have been turned on. There are three corridors, each of which leads to the main room. Peters (in blue) and Nelson each take a corridor alone, while Sharkey and Kelly (in red) share one. Peters being alone, it's a pretty safe bet that he's going to be the first to go, and he is--confronting two lava-headed bipeds. (Why these energy beings would choose to take on such a bizarre form is anyone's guess.) Exit Peters, although his attempts to defend himself bring the others on the run. Finding Peters dead, they move on to the main room, where Garrity is waiting for them. Garrity explains why they're there--they are wayfarers, and this is by way of a pit stop for them. Just a little energy snack to tide them over until the next solar system. Garrity has been able to read enough of Nelson's mind to know that he is one of 6 men on Earth (is that where they get the 6 in SATO?) capable of restarting the atomic generator. However, the trick of actually turning it on is buried too deep in Nelson's mind for Garrity to reach. Nelson refuses to do so, although Garrity claims that they are friendly. (For some reason, Nelson never points to the death of his crewman as a decidedly unfriendly action.) Nelson wants them to demonstrate their friendly intentions--which will take more time that Garrity has (or wants to take). Meanwhile, Kelly has been courageously edging closer to the self-destruct lever, but Garrity spots him and kills him with an explosion. (More proof of their hostility--he could have just knocked him out.) Nelson manages to signal for the nuclear launch before Garrity knocks him out.

    Back on Seaview, a rather ostentatious device lights up, indicating Nelson's signal. (Couldn't they have just had something light up on a control panel?) Crane grimly sets about preparing for the launch--knowing what it will lead to. Down in the Missile Room, Kowalski finds that the automatic missile loader has been shorted out. 'Ski dons protective gear and shorts the panel even more, allowing the missiles to be loaded manually. The missiles are launched, but Garrity manages to intercept them. Seaview goes out of control again, only this time they cannot cut the power. (The aliens have apparently learned from experience.)

    Sharkey had apparently tried to fight after Nelson was knocked out--he's unconcious, too. Nelson revives and finds himself incased in cellophane strips--strips that will burn him if touched. Sharkey is similarly encased when he wakes up. If Nelson won't change his mind about the generator, Garrity plans to use Seaview instead (just how, we'll never know, unless he was planning to set off the atomic power by blowing the ship up). Crane finds that his ship has been parked inside of SATO 6's docking bay (as I said, it's a lot bigger than it looks). Crane collects a team--himself, Kowalski, Ron and Marco. (Ron and Marco being familiar faces, you know they're safe.) Getting inside SATO 6, they're confronted by Garrity, who demands that they disarm. (Considering that bullets don't affect them, this seems a pretty pointless demand.) Crane and Co. naturally refuse, so Garrity waves his hand and freezes them. (Poor Crane is left with his mouth hanging open--most undignified.)

    Nelson manages to dive through the heat shield, only scorching himself a little. (Rather like diving through flames.) One of the lava-heads (there's three) shows up just as Nelson is about to pull the self-destruct. Sharkey jumps through his own shield and leaps into the fray. He and Nelson both find that the creature not only looks like lava, he feels like it, too--punching him is like punching a rock. Nelson's wrist gadget gets broken. Coming in contact with it, the lava-head suddenly disappears. Presumably he's been killed, although the explosive effect is exactly the same as when they're transporting somewhere.
    Garrity shows up moments later, with the other two lava-heads carrying the frozen Crane. David Hedison did very well in this scene--he didn't even drop his toes as they carried him! (On the other hand, his open mouth has somehow closed, but I can't say that I blame him.)

    Garrity shows Nelson a large device that is a homing signal for the rest of his "wayfarers". If Nelson cooperates, they'll show up as friends, but they are going to show up regardless in very short order. Nelson gives in, but says he needs gear from the Seaview. Not trusting him, Garrity releases Crane. Nelson tells him to bring a suit and gloves from Locker B. A bit slow on the uptake, Crane starts to protest (well, he's been frozen) and Nelson sharply orders him to get going.

    Locker B, as it turns out, carries radiation guns. (Crane's reaction made it seem as though he didn't know what was kept in there; he just knew it wasn't hazard suits.) Crane recalls how the first little ship opened and stayed open after being exposed to X-Rays. Chip Morton adds that General Haines had reported (off camera) that the ship reacted to radiation. Radiation seems to be the weak spot. Crane pulls reactor rods out of two sockets, replacing them with cartridge cylinders from two of the guns. Chip powers up the reactor until they're full. Crane wipes his gloves all over each of the cylinders before handing them to Chip, which might possibly wipe some of the radiation off, but there's also the little matter of the two of them standing next to the generator with two open sockets--Crane never replaced the rods!

    Crane and Morton pass by Crane's team, still frozen. One of the lava-heads confronts them and they shoot it; it vanishes in an explosion. Unless Garrity had more than three lava-heads with him, the shot did not actually kill it; it only transported, because when they reach the main room, they shoot at another lava-head and it vanishes and reappears next to Crane, while a second one comes up alongside Chip Morton. There's quite a fight. Garrity, who had threatened them with another wave of his hand, gets too busy to carry through. Nelson tosses him against the homing device; Garrity freezes, then disappears in an explosion. The two lava-heads inexplicably vanish also.

    The remainder of the invading force seem to take the loss of the homing device as an indication that they're not welcome (fancy that). Nelson and Crane are left sighing in relief.

    Not bad for an alien story, but the ending got rather confusing. Better effects would have helped a lot, especially if they had made a difference between the types of disappearances.
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