01/11/2011. Contributed by Rod MacDonald
region 2 DVD: pub: Network DVD 5027626356149. 2 DVDs 325 minutes 13 black and white episodes. Price: GBP 15.00 (UK) direct from Network). cast: Gerald Flood and Stewart Guidotti.
check out website: www.networkdvd.co.uk
Shortly after finishing ‘Pathfinders In Space’, the children's Science Fiction TV series, Gerald Flood embarked upon a new mission this time in an atomic submarine under the sea. Much of what was said concerning the early 60s TV written in the ‘Pathfinders’ review, October 2011 edition, is true with this series. ‘City Beneath The Sea’ is basically a continuation with the same explorers making the most of their TV popularity.
The title, ‘City Beneath The Sea’, has been used on many occasions for movies and TV series but this is the television production by ABC in London which took place in the early 1960s. Actually, I think it is a better production than ‘Pathfinders’. By this time, the team were more adept at doing futuristic scenes and the main actors, Gerald Flood and Stewart Guidotti, were getting into their roles with a vengeance. Some of the acting in ‘Pathfinders’ was a bit wooden but it's much more professional here.
As you would expect, it is still in black and white on the old 405 TV transmission but the transfer to DVD is not bad at all. It's actually probably better than the original TV picture almost 50 years ago. Yes, this comes from 1962, half a century ago. It's a look back in time to people of another era. Lots of changes have taken place over that time, not all of them from the best, and looking at this is a sociological voyage into the past.
We are not going into outer space, but into the oceans in an atomic submarine. Sounds familiar if you have been watching ‘Voyage To The Bottom Of The Sea’ re-released on DVD. The latter didn't come out for another couple of years but the pilot movie appeared in 1961 so it probably had some sort of influence. The American production was slicker and more professional but it did have a lot more money put into it. ‘City Beneath The Sea’ was on a smaller scale, not as lavish in production standards, but it was every much as enjoyable.
Gerald Flood plays the scientific journalist Mark Bannerman. Along with his sidekick, Blake, they visit the futuristic city beneath the sea. On the way, they're captured by pirates and taken to the domain of mad scientist Prof Ziebrecken. As you might guess, he is a guy who wants to take over the planet. Many adventures unfold in this battle between good and evil.
In this package, you get all seven episodes of the series. You also get all the six episodes of the subsequent series, ‘Secret Beneath The Sea’. It has similar price tag to ‘Pathfinders In Space’, representing good value for money. Although this is dated, half a century old, ocean exploration is probably not a familiar environment for most people. We've been into space with Apollo and ‘Star Trek’, plus numerous other adventures, but the undersea environment is much less explored in the media. For that reason, the stories in this package could come across as being refreshingly new especially to children. Okay, they might not like the black and white images but they will soon get engrossed in the drama that unfolds. I would certainly recommend this to anyone of any age.
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