Starring Richard Basehart, David Hedison
Written By: Irwin Allen
Studio: 20th Century Fox
Buy on Amazon.com link
Admiral Nelson, Captain Crane and the Seaview are back for more action-packed 60’s sci-fi and this time, it’s in color! Season Two Volume One is a three disc set containing thirteen episodes.
There are two very distinguishable differences between S2V1 and the first Voyage set that I reviewed, Season One Volume Two. The first difference is a major one. With Season Two, Voyage finally goes full color. Personally, I kind of liked the black and white episodes but it is good to finally see the Seaview in all of its glory. The second difference is the general direction of the show. In season one, there were a variety of episodes feature everything from killer robots to giant jellyfish. In season two, the show really leans hard on the tensions of the Cold War with most of the episodes fitting more into the James Bond category than the Lost In Space style that dominated the first season. There’s espionage, saboteurs, Soviets and soldiers aplenty. I don’t want the say that the show became darker, but the lightheartedness wasn’t as prevalent as it was early on.
Even with the more serious approach to the writing, Voyage still managed to throw in a few quirky monsters now and then. In the last episode of S2V1, the Seaview is taken over by the deadly “monster from outer space” and we even get a taste of a classic science fiction notion…the cyborg. With all of the fretting over the Russians and the impending atomic doom, the Seaview crew received some new gadgets to pit up against the evil Red Army. One of those new gadgets is the self-explanatory Flying Sub. Yes, it was a submarine that could fly and it looked like your basic UFO. This made the surface much more accessible for the writers even though it was often overused at times. Some one was using the damn thing in just about every episode. I got sick of seeing the same surface entry/exit scene over and over again.
As I mentioned before, there seemed to be a big espionage push in the show and with the James Bond movies hitting it big in the 60’s, disguised weapon gadgets began showing up on Voyage. Cigarettes would double as oxygen tubes or a camera with a zoom lens could be used as a sniper rifle. Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea was definitely expanding and branching out as more than just a science fiction show. It also remembered to stick with the things that made it popular. Admiral Nelson is still a man’s man and gets most of the face time. You also get your mix of voluptuous and sexy foreign babes as well as some voluptuous and sexy, albeit mostly fake, technology. Most of the episodes take place ten years in the future, in the mid 70’s and you always get a chuckle over what the technology of the future would look like. One of those examples being a cutting edge computer system that was astonishingly only five foot wide and three feet tall.
With S2V1, the packaging for Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea gets a streamlined makeover. There is only a one-episode difference when compared to Season One Volume Two but the run time is almost two hundred minutes less. It’s most likely due to the lack of features. The set is still a three-disc set, but now there are only two sleeves instead of three. Since I don’t have much more room left on my DVD shelf, I welcomed the smaller packaging. I was disappointed that there weren’t as many special features in this set as there were with S1V2. The package art is still consistent with the earlier releases. I just wish that they would stop making the double-sided discs already. The DVDs look generic with no artwork on the top of the disc, but I guess that’s the price you pay for streamlined packaging.
Overall, season two was a good watch but it I found that it would often repeat itself. Some of the episodes were similar to episodes from season one or generally weren’t that good. With the push into the reality of the military situation that was going on at the time, the show sometimes pushed too hard to bring light to the situation. I’m sure at the time, people wanted to escape into another world without being reminded of the situations around the globe. Towards the end of the first part of season two, Voyage did get away from the war episodes and I’m curious to see how much that carries over into the second half of season two. With a good mix of the serious with the outlandish, season two could be really good. We’ll just have to wait and see about that.
Special Effects Footage
English, Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround Sound, Close Captioned
Full Frame (1.33:1)
English and Spanish
Favorite Scenes: The Machines Strike Back, The Monster From Outer Space, The Cyborg, Time Bomb
Running Time: 665 minutes