Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea

Season 1 Episode 1

Eleven Days To Zero

Aired Monday 7:30 PM Sep 14, 1964 on ABC
out of 10
User Rating
29 votes

By Users

Episode Summary

Pilot Episode. An earthquake set to happen in the Arctic will send a huge wall of water that will destroy the coastal regions of half the world. Admiral Nelson and the Seaview race to the North Pole with a plan to stop it.

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  • This was an excellent start to the series. A phenomenal threat to the world, unknown enemies, a startling introduction to the new captain, and, of course, that classic broaching shot out of the icy waters.moreless

    I was rather surprised at the violence of the opening, with poor Captain Phillips biting the dust with a clearly seen shot to the head. In the future, a great many people would get shot with nary a mark to show for it.

    It seemed as though the writer of the episode was deliberately trying to make it seem as though Dr. Wilson was actually an enemy agent. When Lee Crane's name is put forward as a replacement captain, Wilson disagrees, claiming that Crane is too unimaginative for the job. At dockside, Crane cheerfully greets Wilson, only to have Wilson give a curt answer and hurry past him. It is clear from Crane's expression that he has no idea why Wilson is so hostile, and no explanation is ever given. When the unknown enemy begins dropping depth charges, Wilson reacts oddly, merely glancing upward with a "O.K, here we go" look. When a vital chunk of equipment is ripped off the hull, Wilson is quick to suggest that the mission be scrubbed. When he unexpectedly volunteered to go out with the divers, I really thought that he was trying to further sabotage matters. It was not until he helped save Crane (and recovered the missing equipment) that it became clear that, yes, he's one of the good guys.

    They added more tension to the show with Crane's first, stealthy entrance to the Seaview, and his subsequent "warm" greeting by the crew--that was not warm enough. The crew was not told the details of the mission which didn't help their initial resentment of the new captain, but it didn't take long for both captain and crew to realize the other's true worth.

    Threat piled on threat, building up to an exciting and satisfying climax--in the very nick of time, of course. According to the bonus section on my DVD, when this pilot was shown to the T.V. executives, they gave it a rare round of applause. I'm not surprised.moreless
Eddie Albert

Eddie Albert

Dr. Fred Wilson

Guest Star

John Zaremba

John Zaremba

Dr. Selby

Guest Star

Booth Colman

Booth Colman


Guest Star

Robert Dowdell

Robert Dowdell

Chip Morton

Recurring Role

Del Monroe

Del Monroe


Recurring Role

Henry Kulky

Henry Kulky

Curley Jones

Recurring Role

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (6)

    • During Crane's "warm greeting" by the crew, he throws a punch at Kowalski. Two later scenes show Kowalski rubbing at his jaw, but the blow actually looked as though it landed on his forehead--which probably would have damaged Crane at least as much, if not more, as Kowalski.

    • Uncredited roles:

      William Hudson (John Phillips), Christopher Connelly (Sonar), Hal Torey (General Chairman), Derrik Lewis (Jr. Officer), Paul Kremin (Enemy technician), Jim Goodwin (Helmsman), Dick Tufeld (Narrator), Walter Reed (Scientist), Mike Ferris and Oren Curtis (Asians), Ron Rondell (Driver), Buck Karalian, Fred Zendar, Bill Kinney and Chuck Courtney (Crew), Marco Lopez (Officer) Werner Klemperer (Enemy Voice)

      Werner Klemperer's face can also be clearly seen in some shots.

    • As Nelson and Captain Phillips drive to their meeting, the car halts briefly and a painter quickly sprays an "X" on the roof. He centers the X, but in long shots, you can see that it reaches clear to the corners of the roof.

    • Look carefully as the Snow Cat returns to Seaview. As it approaches, it looks as if a stage door is open in the background.

    • Notice the close-ups of Crane's face as he battles the giant squid. It is not David Hedison under the face-mask but Robert Sterling who played Crane in the 1961 Voyage movie.

    • In many scenes, the cast "falls upward" when the Seaview rocks. Obviously, Irwin Allen had yet to perfect his famous "rock and roll".

  • QUOTES (3)

    • Crane: The orders are quite clear. To complete the mission, I'm to regard Seaview and her entire crew as expendable.
      Nelson: (chuckles) If you have a choice, though, captain, I'd assume you'll bring us all back alive.

    • Kowalski: How do you like that? A routine cruise to no place and he wants to kill us getting there.

    • Nelson: Seaview's job is never finished. As long as there are evil forces in the world, as long as there are secrets of nature to be probed, believe me, there'll be work for us -- on missions just as vital and as dangerous as this one.

  • NOTES (3)

    • From the book Science Fiction Television Series, by Mark Phillips and Frank Garcia: Irwin Allen, having failed to get David Hedison for the theatrical movie (Hedison had worked for him in The Lost World and had no intention of doing so again) was determined to have him for the television series. He called Hedison in New York, he called him at the Cairo Film Festival, he called him in London. Irwin finally managed to get him after mentioning that Richard Basehart had been hired. Hedison leaped at the chance of working with Basehart. Basehart, for his part, had accepted the pilot because the money was so good; he didn't think that it would sell.

    • According to the book Science Fiction Television Series, during the filming of the pilot, Mark Slade (who plays Malone) was walking outside the soundstage when he heard someone say that President Kennedy had been assassinated. He ran back inside and told someone, who didn't believe him. A few moments later, everyone was hearing about it. According to Slade, the reaction on the set was the same as it was all around the country.

    • Several scenes (notably the divers working on the seabed, the attack by an enemy submarine, the emergency blow, and the ice chunks falling on the submerged Seaview) were actually footage from the motion picture that preceded the show.