Voyage To The Bottom Of The Sea Season Four, Volume Two DVD Review

The Towering Irwin-O (Allen) produced an absolute television classic in Voyage To The Bottom Of The Sea. It is in every way the template for what Gene Roddenberry later achieved with Star Trek.


Voyage ran from 1964 to 1968, and the first two seasons were shot in black and white. The final 13 episodes of the series have just been released as Voyage To The Bottom Of The Sea Season Four Volume Two. It is a three-DVD set, and it is fantastic.

I am a bit of a “Trekkie” as you might notice from my profile picture. Be that as it may, I believe that every single episode contained on this set stands up well (and often tops) anything the original Star Trek series came up with. Obviously, the difference is that the mighty Seaview submarine is underwater. But this is certainly no deterrent to hostile aliens, the ghost of Blackbeard, or Earth-bound enemies (read Russians), intent on world domination. Only the Seaview, and it’s counterpart -- the Flying Sub, can save humanity.

First of all, the look of these episodes is simply magnificent. Irwin Allen will always be linked to “cheesy” effects with programs such as Lost In Space and Land Of The Giants. Okay, fine. I defy anyone to show me a program airing on network television in 1968 that has the richness of tones that Voyage does. Shots of the Seaview underwater or Flying Sub literally flying above the ocean, then submerging, are just beautiful.

Then there are the stories. How can you deny “The Lobster Man?” He is an alien from a crustacian planet whose intent is to turn Earth into a total ocean for his people to colonize. Later we get “Flaming Ice,” featuring the Frostmen. The Arctic Ice-Cap is melting, causing huge tidal waves and mass hysteria. Seaview is sent out to investigate and finds aliens from a sub-zero planet heating up the Cap to get their spaceship out. A lot of these plotlines make no sense at all, which is part of the fun.

Voyage To The Bottom Of The Sea is science fiction at its best. As a bonus, the set offers up the original, unaired black and white pilot, plus the more dramatic version -- complete with the commercials that aired with it. The commercials themselves are a hoot. We get ads for Allerest allergy meds, Breck shampoo, and (my favorite), one for the brand new Teflon product, made by DuPont, complete with the kicker line: “Better living through chemistry.”

By 1968 (the year these episodes originally aired), the Baby Boomers had taken those words to heart. Sometimes one looks at shows like Voyage To The Bottom Of The Sea and thinks, “That guy must have been on acid.” I know that is not the case. But Irwin Allen came up with something mighty special with this series. I know that Star Trek found its second life in syndication, and I firmly believe that was from the sheer power Desilu Studios exerted. You want I Love Lucy? Fine, you take Star Trek too. If Voyage To The Bottom Of The Sea had ever gotten the exposure it truly deserved, this would be a very different article. In the end, it is simply me shouting to the (most likely) already converted. It is worth repeating though. The final 13 episodes of this Irwin Allen production are 100 times better than what you may (or may not) remember. Truly excellent TV.

By Greg Barbrick

About the author

Greg Barbrick has been watching TV so long he remembers watching first run episodes of Star Trek.

More From Greg Barbrick

Agatha Christie’s Poirot has steadily gained in popularity over time.
Read More
An excellent piece of noir.
Read More
I can say without trepidation that this Granada Television / ITV Network production is superb.
Read More
1 Comment
On: Thursday, February 3, 2011
Eric - TV Geek Army "Revered Leader" said:

"Better living through chemistry." 

Can't believe that was used to pitch a product, and without irony! 

Seriously, I would love to check out this show as a big fan of the original Trek, sounds like really cool stuff. Thanks Greg !


Email (Will not be used):


characters left

Featured Articles

Popular Today


Recent Comments

"Mysterion Rises" with The Cute Lord Cthulhu - South Park review
Actually, the birthing of Kenny in "Cartman Joins NAMBLA" doesn't necessarily conflict with the circumstances of Kenny's reincarnation...
Alien Encounters, "The Message": a hard to find little show that's worth the search
Mind Reading Technologies and Tongues Governments from around the world have been using mind reading technologies that can read...
Dog The Bounty Hunter, "And Baby Makes Three": revisiting an old favorite
i do like your show i wish can be your fan club i want all of your show on dvd please
Boardwalk Empire, "Two Boats and a Lifeguard": daddy issues
Are you looking for a partner for the relationship or for fun? Then you came to the right place. We are providing you the best dating...
The Boonies: National Geographic's off the grid reality exploit
I can verify Bear Claw. Good man. I cant vouch for the other participants. It is to bad society does suck so bad that this type...
The Boonies: National Geographic's off the grid reality exploit
Lake Michigan is not an ocean. Has anyone seen my white dog? Lost him while hiking in Arkansas
The Boonies: National Geographic's off the grid reality exploit
I too also as well live on the island, I can attest that Dan lives in the ocean as he has for hundreds of decades. We locals call...
Parks and Recreation: why is everyone so mean to Jerry?
It's funny because its so not funny.
The Boonies: National Geographic's off the grid reality exploit
I too live on the island and ISLANDER does not know what they are talking about. Dan lives out in the middle of the island with...
The Boonies: National Geographic's off the grid reality exploit
this is not real i know that goat and it is not "doc's" its my neighbors goat. and by the way i live on the very top of that mountain...