Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea

Season 1 Episode 24

The Saboteur

Aired Monday 7:30 PM Feb 22, 1965 on ABC
out of 10
User Rating
9 votes

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Episode Summary

Captain Crane is brainwashed by an enemy power and ordered to sabotage the Seaview's latest mission.

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  • I love it when the two head honchos go at each other in sci-fi .

    Of course I enjoyed this episode because it showcased the seaworthy Capt'n Crane. However, in the beginning where Crane is being brainwashed, the writers must have been groaning when they saw the final print. The scene was simply not in the least believeable. Hedison didn't even grimace when he was electro-shocked. There was no emotion at all! I would have rather seen him sleep-deprived and shocked awake in pain. But you never get the idea he's being tortured into submission. I also would have liked to see a robotic or zombie-like end result.

    Afterwards I like the subtle glee on Crane's face when telling the Admiral the bad news about the ship and they would have to abort (for like the third time). You could see him smiling in triumph because it appeared this time there was no way they could continue. I also liked it when he told Nelson, "Admiral, get off my back!" So out of character.

    When Nelson asks Crane why didn't he report where he was going to be over the weekend, Crane claims he logged it. But Nelson being the scientific brain he was, wasn't so easily bamboozled, being quite sure he knew what he knew. He quickly dismissed it saying "that is IF you really did" and moved on, rather than argue.

    I thought there were a lot of great touches and it was well done. But the director should have went after Hedison more to make the opening scene more realistic.moreless
  • David Hedison does a fine job portraying the brainwashed captain.

    We're thrown right into the thick of things in the teaser--Crane has already been kidnapped, and is close to the end of his brainwashing. It's a very creepy set; all black, with only the voice of the brainwasher heard (and I'm sure that it's Werner Klemperer) and various bits of equipment only becoming visible when they are needed.

    We get a couple little touches of Crane's background. He keeps an apartment in or near Santa Barbara; he has a mother who's living (but presumably his father is dead, as no one tries to get in touch with him). His mother lives far enough away that Crane would need to take a plane to visit her. And apparently he likes playing golf when he has the opportunity.

    I liked watching David Hedison's reactions. He's been told that he will not know who the second agent on board is, but that doesn't keep him from speculating on it. After the painful electrical stimulation of the brainwash, his reaction to Nelson's simple salinity test was a nice touch. And you can see the stress levels rising, as Crane struggles between his character and his conditioning.

    Nelson's reactions are also interesting. He should have noticed something off kilter when the inertial navigation system blew out--and Crane looked so pleased. However, he let it go. His irritation grew as Crane kept bungling the controlled descent, and came to a head when he found that Crane had aborted the mission without consulting him. But Crane is his friend, and he doesn't want to believe that anything's seriously wrong, so he eagerly seizes on the excuse that Crane is suffering from exhaustion (which actually was probably the truth.)

    Too many things start adding up, however, and after Chip Morton is framed for the deactivation of the missiles, Nelson guesses what the problem is.

    The scene in the missile room was great. Character wins out over conditioning, as Crane could have shot Nelson several times over--and didn't. The scene in Sickbay was very well done, with Crane babbling almost incoherently, and Nelson and Forrester pressing him to get at the truth. One thing didn't make sense--I suppose it must be chalked up to the effects of the sedative. Crane is asked if he had guessed the identity of the second agent. He says, "Ullman" and starts laughing. Nelson understands why it's illogical for Ullman to be the second agent, but just why did Crane find it so funny?

    Forrester is not so kind with the second agent, even though he's been brainwashed just as Crane was. In fact, if you watch the sequence carefully, he could have avoided shooting Parker. Parker had run out of bullets, and getting shot didn't prevent the explosion. Presumably he was shot dead, since we hear nothing more.

    Forrester also tries to make himself look better. At the end, he claims that "we" never thought that Chip Morton was the saboteur, as his whereabouts were known at the time Forrester was knocked out. It sure looked to me as though Forrester thought it was Chip Morton. It was Nelson who saw through the frame.moreless
Warren Stevens

Warren Stevens


Guest Star

Bert Freed

Bert Freed

Dr. Ullman

Guest Star

Russell Horton

Russell Horton


Guest Star

Richard Bull

Richard Bull


Recurring Role

Robert Dowdell

Robert Dowdell

Chip Morton

Recurring Role

Henry Kulky

Henry Kulky

Chief Curley Jones

Recurring Role

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (6)

    • Uncredited roles:

      Derrik Lewis (O'Brien), Werner Klemperer (Brainwasher's voice), Irwin Allen (Crewman's voice), John Ward (Lieutenant), John Durran and Vince Carroll (Guards)

    • James Brolin, who is only seen from the back and side (and one quick facial shot as he collapses) and only speaks a word or two, is listed in the credits. The actor playing O'Brien, who actually has quite a bit of screen time and a number of lines, is not listed.

    • Forester nearly catches Crane in the auxilary missile room. If you watch closely, you'll see Warren Stevens shut his eyes an instant before David Hedison hits him over the head.

    • When Forester shoots Crane, we see Crane clutch at his upper right arm. The next instant, the camera shot changes to a back angle, and Crane's left arm is down at waist level, touching the missile.

    • Nelson cautions Forester about using his gun in the nose, saying that a bullet could smash one of the windows. Nice safe material they're using for this high-tech, heavy-duty submarine.

    • During most of the episode, Crane (and the audience) is wondering who the second agent slipping him instructions is. Early in the episode, most of the men involved in the mission meet in the nose to discuss matters. If you watch carefully (you're supposed to be concentrating on the conversation) you can actually see the agent slip the first matchbook onto the table, where Crane will find it a few minutes later!

  • QUOTES (1)

  • NOTES (0)


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