There was a major fear on the internet that the Seaview had sunk. The box set containing the end of season three had been released in October, 2007. After the show coming out at a constant rate, there no news of the final season. Fan were fearful that the Irwin Allen classic was abandoned. They panicked. They gasped. They wrote emails in hopes of getting the series to surface at their favorite retailer. When fanatics feared the inevitable, the Seaviews periscope popped up in the DVD ocean. It launched the good news of Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea: Season Four, Volume One. We now have the first 13 episodes of the submarine crews final year.
The forth tour of Voyage saw the production budget slashed one more time. This cutback is reflected in numerous episodes taking place on the submarine. Most of the time the crew is being chased by monsters shared with Lost In Space. The “new” exterior sets appear to have been recycled from Lost and The Time Tunnel. The cinematic quality of the first season is jettisoned for a pure drama look. Luckily no matter how cheap and goofy the show got this final outing, Richard Basehart (Admiral Nelson) and David Hedison (Capt. Lee Crane) maintain a serious demeanor. They look like theyre doing the intense cold war stories of the early seasons. Nothing made them break the concentration.
“Fires of Death” puts the Seaview on a mission to take out an active volcano that threatens to destroy a large chunk of the world. The expert the Admiral is bringing to accomplish this task turns out to be a freak. Hes using stones and semi-zombies. He needs to explode the lava to get access to magical stones. He turns people into golden robots. “The Deadly Dolls” is my favorite since Vincent Prize is an insane puppet master brought into the sub to entertain the crew. This isnt merely Punch and Judy. His magic puppets are used to replace various members. Normally a strange plot like this is completely unbelievable. It all makes sense when Vincent Price mixes up the madness. “Cave of the Dead” has Nelson haunted by the curse of the Flying Dutchman. Its submerged spooky.
“Man of Many Faces” has a giant underwater magnet thats pulling the moon towards the earth. Who knew magnets could attract cheese? Their mission is disrupted by an intruder who can shape shift. They double packed the sci-fi weirdness on this episode. “Fatal Cargo” has a guy in an albino gorilla outfit terrorizing the crew. “Time Lock” has an alien beam himself onto the Seaview. He wants add the admiral to his collection of great military leaders. “Deadly Amphibians” has guys dressed as fish people terrorizing the sub. Its always funny to see people scared of the rubber suits.
Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea: Season Four, Volume One brings 13 more of the freakish deep water fun. This is joyful fluff with the crew constantly racing around the super-sized submarine hunting down the last creature to infiltrate their slack security. This is action intended thats perfect for the nostalgic over-grown kid.
“Fires of Death,” “The Deadly Dolls,” “Cave of the Dead,” “Journey with Fear,” “Sealed Orders,” “Man of Many Faces,” “Fatal Cargo,” “Time Lock,” “Resue,” “Terror,” “A Time to Die,” “Blow Up” & “Deadly Amphibians.”
The video is 1.33:1 full frame. The transfers are exceptional. The colorful show really gets to shine. The details are little too good in the resolution. You might spot a stray zipper on one of the monsters. The audio is Dolby Digital Stereo and Mono. You get to hear that ping noise really sharp. Theres a French dub track. The subtitles are in English.
Eleven Days to Zero (50:26) is an unaired recut of the pilot episode. What makes it extra special is that its in full color. The show originally aired in black and white. There appears to be slightly different edits not featured on the original unaired pilot featured on Season One, Part One.
David Hedison Interviews (4:03) has him talk about how Irwin Allen left them alone when the directors were working. He also thinks Season Two was the best. He has grown to appreciate the show after rewatching them years later. The budgets were cut in season three and four which was way they had tacky monsters.
â€¨Still Gallery has about a dozen pics from the set and promo art to advertise the episodes.
Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea: Season Four, Volume One keeps up the briny fun. The Seaview is a submarine filled with fluffy plots and semi-scary monsters. Yet the serious tone of the leads balances the series from becoming pure camp. The only drawback of this box set is these are on flipper discs. They could have put these episodes on single sided discs. If youve become hooked on the series, youll be pleased by the start of the final season.
20th Century Fox Home Entertainment presents Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea: Season Four, Volume One. Starring: Richard Basehart, David Hedison and Vincent Price. Boxset Contents: 13 episodes on 3 flipper DVDs. Released on DVD: March 31, 2009. Available at Amazon.com
Tags: monsters, Vincent Price