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PHOTOGRAPHY

VOYAGE TO THE BOTTOM OF THE SEA Season One Volume One

DVD Review by David Blackwell

DETAILS: 816 minutes (16 episodes on 3 double sided discs), unaired pilot in color, Irwin Allen Home Movies, ABC promo reel, and still galleries

STUDIO: FOX

RELEASE DATE: 2-21-2006

DISC 1, SIDE A: ELEVEN DAYS TO ZERO/ THE CITY BENEATH THE SEA/ THE FEAR-MAKERS/ THE MIST OF SILENCE

DISC 1, SIDE B: THE PRICE OF FREEDOM/ THE SKY IS FALLING

DISC 2, SIDE A: TURN BACK THE CLOCK/ THE VILLAGE OF GUILT/ HOT LINE/ SUBMARINE SUNK HERE

DISC 2, SIDE B: THE MAGNUS BEAM/ NO WAY OUT

DISC 3, SIDE A: THE BLIZZARD MAKERS/ THE GHOST OF MOBY DICK/ LONG LIVE THE KING/ HAIL TO THE CHIEF

DISC 3, SIDE B: ELEVEN DAYS TO ZERO (unaired color version), Irwin Allen home movie footage/ promo reel, still galleries

VOYAGE TO THE BOTTOM OF THE SEA is an enjoyable series that made the way for plot elements that was used on later series to the same or better effect. The Cold War is heavily dramatized during most of the episodes in Volume One. I just can't help and wonder how a civilian research submarine gets involved in so much Cold War intrigue and enemy agents getting on the sub so easy. It is due to the Seaview actually being a military weapon. A CIA sub maybe?! THE SKY IS FALLING is an alien contact episode that is close to the themes seen in other Cold War sci-fi films (shoot first and ask questions later). SUBMARINE SUNK HERE is a tense episode while other episodes also show the Seaview does lose crew members. The high body count wonders how they get people to replace the dead and I think they even deal with the ramifications of new crew on at least one time. No wonder Admiral Nelson (Richard Basehart) is smoking in HAIL TO THE CHIEF. Captain Crane (David Hedison) commands the sub and helps Nelson during all of his missions. A few guest stars in the first volume I recognize from other TV shows like Eddie Albert (who I forever think of Green Acres). The plots are sometimes used to better effect in other TV shows and movies later on. THE CITY BENEATH THE SEA is like DR. NO without the fantastic writing DR. NO had. I know the writing for any Irwin Allen series has it's limitations, but VOYAGE TO THE BOTTOM OF THE SEA was a joy to watch. I have never seen VOYAGE TO THE BOTTOM FO THE SEA and this set is a good introduction.

VIDEO: 1.33:1 (Full Frame)

The image detail and the gray values are great, but print damage and dirt are present. Grain is visible in the episodes, but the transfers are fantastic.

AUDIO: English 2.0 Stereo, English 2.0 Mono, Spanish 2.0 Mono

Subtitles: English, Spanish

Dialogue is easy to hear and understand. Some background hiss is present at times.

SPECIAL FEATURES: The big treat of the extras is the unaired version of the pilot in COLOR. Silent home movies from Irwin Allen (kinda of wish they had someone do commentary for these). The ABC Promo reel and a few still galleries round out the extras which are all located on Side B of Disc 3.

FINAL ANALYSIS: VOYAGE TO THE BOTTOM OF THE SEA is an enjoyable series. Despite the flaws in the scripts, it is a fun series to watch. if you like the series, you will own the DVDs.

this review is (c)4-19-2006 David Blackwell and cannot be reprinted without permission (except for excerpts and a link to the review). Look for additional content at http://enterlinemedia.livejournal.com and send all comments to lord_pragmagtic@hotmail.com