This episode makes my voyage world go round!
Nelson breaks the seal on his orders in his cabin and after a superficial read he looks disgusted.
It transpires that a top notch crew have installed a live neutron bomb in silo 4 and Seaview has to deliver it to a test site some considerable distance away.
Nelson at this point only let's crane in on this and tells him to proceed to the test site at full speed.
Things don't stay under control for long (do they ever?)
The silo with the neutron bomb is leaking radiation. Kowalski and the chief check it out and a blameless Kowalski causes havoc when he tries to pry open the inspection panel on said silo.
After the leak is detected things take on an eerie air.
There is a Pentagon missile specialist on-board but he's cabin is searched and the only trace of him is his luggage. (Check out his tatty suitcase, I guess Pentagon specialists don't earn much)
A minor fault in the circuitry room almost turns into a disaster because the crewmen who should have been on watch there have either left their posts or vanished...
Chip Morton has a hair raising experience in the control room. After ordering a slight course correction while studying the plotting table he gets no reply so turns round to discover the whole control room abandoned...
Worse follows and poor luckless Kowalski is the recipient again.
Crane orders him to search for the Pentagon specialist. (Thanks to reused footage he does this fully armed!)
While searching the corridors he turns a corner only to discover that the two men with him have vanished!
Trying to stay calm he uses the mike to inform crane and chip but he's cut off mid sentence and the mike is left swinging against the bulkhead making a tapping noise.
Lots of tense and darn right cereal moments play out in this episode. At one point Nelson thinks he sees Crane sat in the pilot's seat in the flying sub. The image is like looking in the back of a spoon. Very effective.
Terry Becker puts Chief Sharkey through his paces in a well acted scene. After not being able raise anyone in the entire submarine he starts to lose his cool. This culminates in Sharkey ripping the guts out of the crew's quarters! The final straw came when discovered hot cups of coffee on the table indicating someone was either there, had just vanished or was hiding from him.
Towards the end of the episodes the odd happenings evolve into strange swirling lights all around and the frustrating feeling of walking in a dream is experienced by Nelson, Sharkey, Crane and Kowalski.
Eventually Nelson (with the president's permission) fires the neutron bomb into the sky and it explodes. The bomb had been threatening to go off the entire episode and as a result Nelson had spent most of his time working on it in the missile room. (This involved fannying about with a screwdriver)
By this time Nelson had already aired his suspicion that the leak from the silo was having an effect on their minds and as a direct result they were seeing things that were not there.
The episode is finished off with a brief explanation of the events and the crew head for home. (Hope the leaking fumes have no long term effects.. Radiation does tend
Definitely in my top 10 episodes.
Refreshing to have no rubber monsters and the crew don't end up getting knocked out every 10 minutes.
Real triumph was the lighting which was always perfect on voyage anyway. A large portion of this episode was filmed with the red emergency lighting on. If you couple that with disappearing crew then it's a winner.
Richard Basehart's son has a brief line in this episode. I do hope he didn't mind his son disappearing along with the crew.