Sunday, June 22, 2014

Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea (1961)

Today on Far Future Horizons we have the honor of presenting Irwin Allen’s motion picture Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea released in 1961 and which later spawned the television series starring Richard Basehart and David Hedison.

In the motion picture Admiral Nelson takes the brand new atomic submarine Seaview through its paces when news arrives that the Van Allen radiation belt catches fire...

TV Series Version of the Submarine Seaview with the Flying sub

Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea is an American science fiction film, produced and directed by Irwin Allen, released by 20th Century Fox in 1961. The story was written by Irwin Allen and Charles Bennett. Walter Pidgeon starred as Admiral Harriman Nelson, with Robert Sterling as Captain Lee Crane. The supporting cast included Joan Fontaine, Barbara Eden, Michael Ansara, and Peter Lorre. The theme song was sung by Frankie Avalon, who also appeared in the film.

Science fiction author Theodore Sturgeon later wrote a novel based on this motion picture. 

The film's submarine design is unique in that it features an eight-window bow viewport that provides panoramic undersea views. In the novel of the film by Theodore Sturgeon, the windows are described as "... over sized hull plates which happen to be transparent." 

They are made of "X-tempered herculite", a process developed by Nelson. In the film, Seaview's bow has eight windows in the exterior shots, but only four windows appear to be seen in the interior shots of the Observation Room (the four upper windows were implied to be out of frame, at the top of the observation room). The bow also has a shark-like bottom flare, and the stern has 1961 Cadillac tail-fins, the "Cadillac" of submarines. In the film, the USOS Seaview (United States Oceanographic Survey) is under the authority of Nelson and the Bureau of Marine Exploration rather that the U.S. Navy. The novel mentions the bureau as being part of the U.S. Department of Science.

Both the motion picture and television series versions of Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea are available from

Includes an introduction by David Hedison plus interviews with David Hedison (Captain Crane), Bob Dowdell (Chip Morton), Del Monroe (Kowalski), Alun Hunt (Stu Riley), Richard Bull (Doctor), Terry Becker (Sharkey), assistant producer Paul Zastupnevich, and guest star Pat Culliton. The book includes coverage of the making of both the movie and the TV series from the pilot through all four seasons, a complete episode guide with EXTREMELY comprehensive story notes, information on vehicles and ships in the show, collectibles (includes nearly 150 rare items), unfilmed Voyage stories, a guide to Irwin Allen, guest stars and much more.

This book contains over 500 pages and nearly 740 black and white and colour photos. This book covers the whole Voyage experience, from what influenced it (Jules Verne, movie serials, the news of the day, etc.) to its place in SF TV history and Irwin Allen's conquest of TV, to how the idea was revisited in Allen's Nemo mini-series as well as Spielberg's SeaQuest DSV, plus reviews of the fans, their zines and conventions, right up to the DVD releases. This book is perfect bound, printed on quality paper with 600 DPI photos. You won't be disappointed! 

Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea (1961)
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Copyright Disclaimer Under Section 107 of the Copyright Act 1976, allowance is made for "fair use" for purposes such as criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching, scholarship, and research. Fair use is a use permitted by copyright statute that might otherwise be infringing. Non-profit, educational or personal use tips the balance in favor of fair use.

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