Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea

Season 4 Episode 26

No Way Back

Aired Monday 7:30 PM Mar 31, 1968 on ABC
out of 10
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Episode Summary

No Way Back
While Nelson is at his institute, a sudden power overload destroys the Seaview with all hands. Mr. Pem (time traveller from the episode "A Time to Die") approaches Nelson with an offer to go back in time and prevent the incident. Nelson agrees, only to find his ship and crew transported to the eighteenth century, where Mr. Pem plans to alter the outcome of the Revolutionary War.moreless

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  • A nice, memorable finale to America's longest running science fiction series of the 1960's. Harldy deep, but rarely silly, the series closes in style.

    After four seasons of spies, saboteurs, monsters, aliense, mad scientists, and crazed Admirals, Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea closes its run with a fairly quiet time travel yarn which is short on logic, but long on good performances and fun. After The Time Tunnel was calceled the previous season, time travel became a previously untapped subject in Voyage's fourth year. Henry Jones returns as Mr. Pem ("A Time To Die"), givng us an adversary who is dangerous, yet still oddly likable. He has a genuine plan in mind this time around, which begins with the destruction of Seaview. While the lack of budget is apparent and robs the episode of needed scope, the subject is a refreshing change of pace for a series which had long worn out the welcome of monster and aliens. Even though Voyage was the one Irwin Allen series whose format did not require a wrap up, "No Way Back" feels very much like a finale. The episode begins with the deaths of everyone except Nelson and Patterson (ironically the first two regular actors to pass away after the conclusion of the series), and a quiet resolution. While nothing is actually ended aside from the episode itself, just the feel of the final moments, including the soft, light music, made for a bittersweet farewell to a fun series. Richard Basehart is a delight. In the last two seasons, he rarely seemed interested in the outrageous goings on, however he was apparently pleased with the script - or the fact that there were no more comiung. Both he and David Hedison carry the episode nicely, however everyone has something to do one last time. The story is slight, the time travel inane, yet there is a charm to the story which outweighs most criticism. The mere fact that there isn't a monster or alien to be found adds immeasurably to the hour. Everything goes by in brisk fashion, glossing over plot holes, and having characters reach conclusions without any real work (i.e., Nelson says he was "studying" the explosion, yet he never had a free moment to do this). The music is well spotted, and Henry Jones ad libs some amazing lines as he and Nelson leave to go back in time to Seaview.

    Perhaps I overpraise this one, but it is the best finale of any of the Irwin Allen series, and a very dignified climax to a series which deserved better than it had received in its last two years. It is, frankly, an episode which makes one wish there had been a fifth season. Well done, and worth a watch.moreless
William Beckley

William Beckley

Major John Andre

Guest Star

Barry Atwater

Barry Atwater

Benedict Arnold

Guest Star

Henry Jones

Henry Jones

Mr. Pem

Guest Star

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (1)

    • Somehow, Nelson can use Pem's device extremely well. At the end of the episode, Nelson presses a button and travels through time, arriving at the Institute. Realizing he needs to be elsewhere, Nelson presses another button and arrives on Seaview, presumably at the same time (the thing must be great in traffic jams). By the time Nelson ejects the bomb, there are now two Admiral Nelsons. Did the Nelson at the institute vanish? If so, then Pem never met up with him and started the whole thing. If the Seaview Nelson vanished, then the sub returned home, gathered Nelson and went back out (or he took the flying sub).

  • QUOTES (1)

    • Crane: It won't work. If we try to find the explosion, future history will be changed. It just isn't possible.
      Mr. Pem: Of course it's possible. I don't know why everbody doggedly insists it's not possible. My dear young man, the future can be changed simply by changing the past.

  • NOTES (1)


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