At last we finally get the DVD release in the UK of this iconic series created and produced by Irwin Allen. This was the first of the Irwin Allen produced science fiction action series and it dates from 1964. After the success of the 1961 film of the same name, (also created and produced by Irwin Allen) this series made in black and white, brought a big budget film feel to a TV series.
This series is great fun. It`s full of escapist novelty. You cannot take it too seriously, its just meant to be fun.
Some film footage from the movie and even the model of the submarine were used in this TV version that had a slightly different cast. This first series gets off to a good start with some interesting plots, good scripts and good acting.
The production style gave an originality to the small screen and it was well received both in America and the UK. Here in the UK the first series was screened in its original year of release on TV unlike later series.
However every episode from the first series to the last series of Voyage to the bottom of the sea was screened on ITV during a slot around 4.40pm on Thursday afternoons during the early 1970s. Voyage to the bottom of the sea was later repeated on channel four on Sunday mornings during the 1990s.
The seaview is the worlds most advanced nuclear submarine, created by its commander, retired Admiral Haarriman Nelson, and housed in a pen at his Nelson Institute of Marine Research, Santa Barbara, California. It is six hundred feet long. It can dive to and travel faster than any of its rivals and is equipped with all the latest devices including atomic torpedoes. It carries a separate mini sub, a diving bell, a snowcat, and an innovative flying fish, a vessel capable of water and air travel.
The series is set 13 years into the future. Nelson and his crew are meant to be doing research but usually end up maintaining peace below the waves by fighting fiendish humans, fish and aliens. This first series tends to be more serious and generally more sensible. Later series see the story lines becoming more far fetched.
Assisting Nelson is Captain Crane, Chip Morton, Francis Sharkey and Curley Jones.
Irwin Allen went on to produce other great shows, Lost in Space, Time Tunnel and Land of the Giants. All were produced in the 1960s before he went onto produce many feature films such as Towering Inferno.
This DVD set has the complete series one which is very exciting and interesting. The Picture quality is very good. This first series is in Black and white. It comes in a compact plastic DVD container that has rounded spines rather than the more familiar straight edged square type. Inside there are nine discs with eight having the complete 32 episodes and the ninth being the special features. The special features are not too bad. There is an interview with David Hedison, some blooper out takes, some still photos, some silent home movie footage from Irwin Allen and a never before aired version of the pilot episode. (which is only slightly different to the aired version) There is no booklet inside. The outside of the cover sleeve is reasonably well presented and the inside just has some black and white pictures on it. All of this is housed inside a cardboard sleeve. Generally it is a good presentation.
It is an interesting series of action and adventure and I look forward to the release of series two. This is highly recommended.