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Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea Season Three DVD boxset

1/09/2011. Contributed by Rod MacDonald

Buy Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea Season Three DVD boxset in the USA - or Buy Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea Season Three DVD boxset in the UK

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pub: Revelation Films Ltd B004FS27OU. 7 DVDs 1260 minutes 26 episodes with extras. Price: GBP28.97 (UK)) stars: Richard Basehart and David Hedison.

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Now we've got the third season of ‘Voyage To The Bottom Of The Sea’ available for UK viewers. The Irwin Allen production from 1966 is now available in the UK and other countries with region 2 on DVD from Revelation Films Ltd with all 26 episodes plus some special features at a price of around £28. The extra material includes an interview with David Hedison, who played Captain Lee Crane next in seniority to the Admiral, and some audio clips and interviews with other cast members.

The first and second seasons of the show have already been reviewed on SFCrowsnest. Much of the information from these reviews is relevant to this. The entire series was already available in the USA but now, along with other Irwin Allen productions, it's been made available in the UK by Revelation. With much of the material already prepared, Revelation has been able to release all packages in fairly rapid succession. I imagine before the year is out, the final season of the show will be on the market for Christmas purchasers.

1966 was a good year for Irwin Allen. Apart from this show, we also had on TV ‘Lost In Space’ and ‘Time Tunnel’ running simultaneously. What was happening in 1966? The space race was well and truly on with the Americans spending a vast fortune in order to beat the Soviet Union to the Moon. There was a cultural revolution going on, with the beginning of flower power and psychedelia. Some of this began to creep in to popular television where a curious combination of straight science and hippymania went out to prove that everything was possible. This was reflected in the third season of ‘Voyage’.

The submarine Seaview was nuclear powered. These were the days when the public were not yet paranoid about the words nuclear and radiation. This was before accidents with nuclear power stations and also the sinking of nuclear powered submarines around the world. Of course, nuclear power is still with us and for practical reasons it will remain with us but following the Japanese tsunami, public mistrust is even greater than it was after Chernobyl. In 1966, however, nuclear power still retained a mysterious aura with hope for the future!

The scripts for the third season were markedly different from the previous two. There was a swing away from espionage. No longer were the submariners fighting spies from the Soviet Union or other authoritarian powers. Instead, they were up against the fantastic and the supernatural. There were lots of stories about exotic alien creatures and alien invasions. We also had werewolves and mummies! Being underwater, lobster men and other weird combinations of sea creature and human all came alive to terrorise the viewers.

Running through to 1967, when they really got going with the hippy scene, Irwin Allen let imagination run riot with mermaids, wax men, fossil men, plant men, shadow men and also a heat monster. We had ghosts and aliens plus lots of terror. You will find all of this in the third season. It's not actually horror TV. This was a family show and it's all fairly innocuous. Escapist fantasy for young and old! While it may not be good television for a miserable old beggar like myself, who watched it first time around, this is good general entertainment for all the family. If you've already purchased seasons one and two, you'll probably want to get this one as well to make up your collection.

They basically don't make TV like this anymore. Public opinion and values have changed and lots of the commonplace actions and attitudes of 1966 are not politically correct today but, as a society are we any better off today? Probably not! If that's the case, why not try some escapist fun and go back to a time, 45 years ago, when anything seemed possible!

Rod MacDonald
August 2011

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