Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea

Season 2 Episode 8

Leviathan

1
Aired Monday 7:30 PM Nov 14, 1965 on ABC
8.8
out of 10
User Rating
12 votes
2

EPISODE REVIEWS
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Episode Summary

EDIT
A marine scientist discovers a deep sea fissure that extends all the way to the earth's core and affects any living thing that comes near it.

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SUBMIT REVIEW
  • This made a refreshing change to the plethora of spy-oriented episodes this season. Lots of nice underwater shots, too. It does, however, raise a number of questions.

    9.0
    This episode literally starts out with a bang, as gases erupt from an opening in the sea bed. It quickly proceeds to a rather ghastly scene, as a hapless diver is devoured (all right, we don't actually see it, but it comes close) by a gigantic sawfish.



    Following the opening credits, we are treated to a pleasant view of Nelson's office at the Institute. Cara Sloan is there, trying to persuade Nelson to accompany her back to the undersea habitat. This is where we find out that the Nelson Institute is swamped with requests from scientists (all over the world, presumably) for the use of Seaview's facilities.



    This is where the questions begin. Why doesn't Cara simply tell Nelson what is going on? We don't hear just what her original arguments were, but Nelson obviously didn't think that they were worth following up. When Sterling calls from the habitat and drops the little tidbit about a natural fissure extending down to the earth's core, Nelson chokes on his cigarette and promptly agrees to come. And why not tell him about the frightening side effects, and the resulting tragedy? That would have made it more imperative for Seaview to check out the situation.



    Captain Crane's romantic endeavors were limited to that cute beach scene in "...and Five of Us are Left." However, this episode makes it clear that he still has an eye for the ladies. Stu Riley and Chip Morton both comment on it in two different scenes. Riley's scene includes a statement from Chief Sharkey as to why women should not be allowed on ships. It's a rather bizarre monologue, as he uses the same "surferspeech" as Riley does. Riley must be having an influence on him.



    After assuring that she will be given a salt-free diet (to Sharkey's annoyance) Cara slips into the galley and contaminates the salt supply. This might not have worked nowadays, with everyone concerned about their sodium levels, but back then it was a very clever idea. On the other hand, all Cara contaminated was the big cannister of salt. I don't know how things go on a working submarine, but it doesn't seem logical that all the salt shakers would be emptied out and refilled on a daily basis. The bigger question, of course, is why she did it in the first place. We can be charitable and assume that Cara and Sterling were already being affected by the strange gases (it's possible that not all of them dealt with growth) because the whole idea of using hallucinogens on the crew was, quite frankly, stupid. There was a very good chance that the Seaview would be badly damaged as the crew reacted to things they were not actually seeing. There was another good chance that, having determined that they WERE seeing hallucinations, the crew would NOT react on being confronted with the real thing, and the Seaview again would risk being damaged. Which, of course, is exactly what happened.



    More questions rise. Why were all the hallucinations seen outside the sub? You'd think they would be seeing things on the inside, as well. Everyone presumably had different levels of the hallucinogen in them, depending on their taste for salt, but everyone reacted as though they were all seeing the same things, at the same times. Nelson's explanation for why the Seaview's equipment (not affected by hallucinogens) responded to the hallucinations was a little glib. And why did Cara wait so long to put forth her "theory" that the open fissure was emitting hallucinogenic gases or radiation? Interestingly, it was Crane, not Nelson, who realized that, as a self-contained environment, the Seaview should not be affected by outside gases (and their equipment should pick up radiation levels). He seemed certain that the source had come from inside the Seaview--he just didn't take it far enough. (Swayed by a pretty face, I suppose.)



    Cara was remarkably casual about taking flight in a high-powered craft piloted by a man under the influence. They made it to the habitat, where they found Dr. Sterling definitely under the influence. Oddly, it didn't occur to Nelson that he might still be seeing things. Presumably the gases were partly responsible, but Sterling turns out to be yet another paranoid scientist, convinced that Nelson can't "understand" the value of his work. It also doesn't occur to him that, even if they close up the fissure, they can always open it up again for more investigations at a later date.



    Having knocked Nelson out and grown still more, Sterling manages to squeeze out of the habitat. Inexplicably, his teeth have grown out of proportion to the rest of him, giving him a gruesome appearance. Confronted by this apparition (and again, not considering that they might still be seeing things) Crane promptly orders missiles fired--which somehow miss, even though Sterling at the time was standing directly in front of the sub. Sterling gives a good underwater impression of a small boy having a tantrum and trying to smash one of his toys. Crane finally sends a charge through the hull (which seems to be S.O.P. when dealing with oversized creatures) finishing off Sterling--and also Cara, who loved not wisely but too well.



    Questions aside, it was a fun episode, and beautifully shot.



    It would be interesting to know just what, if anything, was done about all those oversized sea creatures in the vicinity.moreless
  • The scientist was not the only thing growing in this episode!

    8.5
    Is it my imagination, or in this "Leviathan" episode, closer to the end, just when Lee Crane turns from watching the sonar board to see the giant hand reaching up outside of the windows of the sub, the "unknown officer" to screen right with one hand on the periscope stand rail, seems to, if you pardon the expression, have an erection? You'll have to slow down the panning of Crane's reaction to the giant hand to notice it. While all officers pants are "flat" in front, this one's obviously hiding something, because the bulge and shadow goes up to his belt, and I think is very obvious.

    Could this have been a prank to see if Irwin Allen would catch it? Also, this is the only episode where this officer appears!moreless
Karen Steele (I)

Karen Steele (I)

Cara

Guest Star

Liam Sullivan

Liam Sullivan

Dr. Anthony Sterling

Guest Star

Terry Becker

Terry Becker

Chief Sharkey

Recurring Role

Allan Hunt

Allan Hunt

Riley

Recurring Role

Robert Dowdell

Robert Dowdell

Chip Morton

Recurring Role

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions

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  • TRIVIA (3)

    • Uncredited role:

      Mike Donovon (Diver)

    • Preparing to leave on the Flying Sub, Nelson has Cara Sloan put on a flight jacket, explaining that it doubles as a life preserver if necessary. This is the only time that this innovation is mentioned. In "Killers of the Deep", seven episodes further on, they use standard life jackets.

    • As so often happens in cases like these, Dr. Sterling's clothing inexplicably grows right along with him. There is also no explanation for how the already sizeable Sterling got out of the habitat--or managed to avoid drowning!

  • QUOTES (1)

    • Cara: You detest what you can't explain, don't you, Admiral?
      Nelson: No, "detest" is the wrong word. I, I worry about things I can't explain, because those are the things that can hurt you.

  • NOTES (1)

    • In the book Science Fiction Television Series, Liam Sullivan recalled filming his giant underwater scenes in a 12-foot tank of water. After the third take, he was supposed to jump up, catch a wire stretched over the tank, and pull himself up. He missed the wire and fell back, completely out of breath. Two divers leaped in and pulled him up before he drowned. Three weeks later, Irwin Allen decided Sullivan's make-up wasn't scary enough, and they did it again. According to the Irwin Allen book, Sullivan insisted on having the tank half drained, so that he could get air more easily.

  • ALLUSIONS (0)

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