Nelson, Crane, and the Seaview
A 1964-68 Irwin Allen Sci-Fi
show starring Richard Basehart as Admiral Nelson and David Hedison as Captain Crane, and set on the experimental nuclear-powered research submarine, Seaview
. The ultimate use of the Recycled Script
: almost every episode can be summarized as "Monster of the Week
is defeated by Laser Of The Week
." The first season, filmed and broadcast in black & white, featured more serious and thoughtful stories, along with a greater Cold War
emphasis. When the series switched to colour during its run, it was used as an excuse for a big dramatic storyline during the switch, and the introduction of a new version of the ship.
Based on the 1961 film
of the same name, in which our heroes defeat a global heat wave
(caused by the then recently discovered Van Allen radiation belt catching on fire
) through Deus Ex Nukina
. No, seriously. The movie's storyline was later on recycled as a series episode titled "The Sky's On Fire", complete with copious amounts of Stock Footage
from the motion picture.
An aquatic recycling
of Wagon Train
, it preceded Star Trek: The Original Series
by two years. Compare seaQuest DSV
This TV series provides examples of :
- A Form You Are Comfortable With: The downed alien in "The Sky is Falling" is quite ugly by human standards. So, when talking to Admiral Nelson, it takes on a form it feels Nelson wouldn't find offensive: that of Nelson, himself. And it later does the same for Capt. Crane.
- A.I. Is a Crapshoot: Averted in "The Human Computer". The Seaview's new ship-controlling computer system works fine. It's the enemy saboteur on board that's the problem.
- Air Vent Escape: Played with in "The City Beneath the Sea", where plugging up an air vent, rather than crawling through it, leads to Crane and the Girl of the Week escaping.
- Played straight in many episodes afterwards.
- Aliens in Cardiff: Aliens invariably invade the Seaview, and only the Seaview, instead of Tokyo, New York, or other such places that aren't isolated arenas several leagues under the sea.
- Bald of Evil: Most of the members of the villainous group in the pilot ("Eleven Days to Zero") sport this.
- Brainwashed and Crazy: Both being brainwashed to kill your friends and being almost killed by your brainwashed friends were consistent threats on the Seaview. Practically once-an-episode consistent.
- Body Snatcher: If it wasn't brainwashing, the other ever-present threat was having your body taken over by malevolent aliens/ghosts/etc. Captain Krueger's use of this trope is probably the show's best example, since "The Phantom Strikes" was well-received enough to warrant a rare sequel, "The Return of the Phantom".
- Cold War: Several episodes, especially in the first season, use this as a backdrop.
- Cool Boat: The flying submarine, as well as the Seaview itself.
- Cool Plane: The flying sub, introduced in the second season.
- Dropped a Bridge on Him: In "Eleven Days to Zero", the original pilot, the narrator introduces the original captain of the Seaview, John Phillips. Phillips is shot dead less than five minutes later.
- Fail Safe Failure: In the first season episode "Doomsday".
- Framed Face Opening: Used in the Title Sequence from the second season onwards.
- Gag Dub: Episode "Werewolf", where one of the protagonists is infected with a germ that turns him into a werewolf with the reactor core's radiation, was famously gag-dubbed by Mexican comediant Trino into the protagonist "getting" AIDS in the hand from Captain Patterson, going to the reactor core to take a dump believing it's the restroom, and transforming into a monster from the AIDS.
- Heroes R Us: The Nelson Institute of Marine Research.
- His Name Is...: In "Secret of the Loch", Scotland Yard Inspector Lester radios Nelson and Crane that he's found out the truth of what's going on at Loch Ness. And he's killed by the fake Nessie just before telling them the rest.
- Mildly Military: The Seaview technically belongs to the NIMR, but the crew is comprised of civilian and Navy personnel. They're at the government's beck and call, which is presumably why they're trusted to pack nuclear missiles and single-handedly guard the world from undersea Communists and space Nazis.
- Not the Nessie: The Reveal of "Secret of the Loch".
- The Remnant: One episode dealt with a Japanese holdout from World War II.
- Replaced the Theme Tune: Like Beverly Hills 90210 decades later, the series had a different theme tune on exactly one episode - Jerry Goldsmith scored the season two opener "Jonah And The Whale" and wrote his own rather more serious theme to replace the brighter Paul Sawtell one. You can hear both themes here.
- Screw the Rules, I'm Doing What's Right: Missile officer Corbett does this twice in "Doomsday". First, he can't bring himself to turn his missile key when a war alert is sounded. Then, he refuses to set a missile to explode beneath the ocean's surface, which would keep the episode's Fail Safe Failure secret from the public.
- Spiritual Successor: Seaquest DSV.
- Stock Footage: Lots. "Irwin Allen" is basically synonymous with this trope.
- For example, the Seaview dove out of control into the seabed with monotonous regularity, always hitting the same rock. After the first few times, you'd think they'd move the rock.
- Twenty Minutes into the Future: The series was set during The Seventies, roughly a decade ahead of when it was made.
- "Doomsday", from the first season, sets the year at 1973.
- With Great Power Comes Great Insanity: An early example is Jenkins from the first season episode, "The Amphibians". Experiments give him the ability to survive underwater, along with heightened senses and strength, and makes him power-mad.