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Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea is a 1960s American science fiction television series based on the 1961 film of the same name. Both were created by Irwin Allen, which enabled the movie's sets, costumes, props, special effects models, and sometimes footage, to be used in the production of the television series. Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea was the first of Irwin Allen's four science fiction television series, and the longest-running. The show's theme was underwater adventure.

Voyage was broadcast on ABC from September 14, 1964, to March 31, 1968, and was the decade's longest-running American science fiction television series with continuing characters. The 110 episodes produced included 32 shot in black-and-white (1964–1965), and 78 filmed in color (1965–1968). The first two seasons took place in the then-future of the 1970s. The final two seasons took place in the 1980s. The show starred Richard Basehart and David Hedison.

The pilot episode "Eleven Days to Zero" was filmed in color but shown in black-and-white. It introduces the audience to the futuristic nuclear submarine S.S.R.N. Seaview and the lead members of her crew, including the designer and builder of the submarine Admiral Harriman Nelson (Richard Basehart), and Commander Lee Crane (David Hedison), who becomes the Seaview's captain after the murder of her original commanding officer. The submarine is based at the Nelson Institute of Marine Research in Santa Barbara, California, and is often moored some 500 feet beneath the facility in a secret underground submarine pen carved out of solid rock. The Seaview is officially for undersea marine research and visits many exotic locations in the Seven Seas, but its secret mission is to defend the planet from all world and extraterrestrial threats in the then-future of the 1970s.

The first season of 32 episodes began with Admiral Nelson and the crew of the Seaview fighting against a foreign government to prevent a world-threatening earthquake, and continuing with a foreign government destroying American submarines with new technologies in "The Fear Makers" and "The Enemies". The season also had several ocean peril stories in which the Seaview crew spent the episode dealing with the normal perils of the sea. Two examples are "Submarine Sunk Here" and "The Ghost of Moby Dick". The season introduced a diving bell and a mini-submarine, and the first episodes featuring extraterrestrials (Don Brinkley's "The Sky is Falling") and sea monsters. The season ended with the Seaview crew fighting a foreign government to save a defense weapon.

The first season included gritty, atmospheric story lines devoted to Cold War themes and excursions into near-future speculative fiction. Many episodes involved espionage and sci-fi elements. Aliens, sea monsters and dinosaurs were featured, but the primary villains were hostile foreign governments. While fantastic, the scripts had a semblance of reality.

During the course of the first season, Nelson was promoted from a three-star to a four-star admiral. It was also established that while essentially a marine research vessel, SSRN Seaview was also part of the U.S. nuclear armed fleet (most notably defined in William Read Woodfield's episode, "Doomsday").

The first season opening credits depicted Seaview rising towards the surface, and the closing credits played over a still of the Seaview surfacing in the Arctic, as featured at the start of the 1961 film.

The second season began with a trip inside a whale, a trip inside a volcano, and a few Cold War intrigue and nuclear war-themed episodes, and saw several brushes with world disaster. The season ended with a ghost story, one of the show's few sequels.

Due to ABC's demands for a somewhat "lighter" tone to the series, the second season saw an increase in monster-of-the-week type plots, yet there were still some episodes that harkened back to the tone of the first season. The second season also saw a change from black-and-white to color. The beginning of the second season saw the permanent replacement of Chief "Curly" Jones with Chief Francis Ethelbert Sharkey, due to the death of Henry Kulky, who portrayed Chief Jones.

The most important change in the series occurred during this season when a notably redesigned Seaview interior was introduced, along with the Flying Sub, a yellow, two-man mini-submarine with passenger capacity, armed with a laser gun. It could leave the ocean and function as an airplane. The Flying Sub was referred to by the initials FS-1. The futuristic craft greatly increased the Seaview crew's travel options. It was launched from a bay with automatic doors added in the lower part of the bow section of Seaview that was apparently built between Seasons One and Two. The Seaview's private observation deck from the first season was never seen again. The ship's eight smaller observation windows became four large windows giving the sub a sleeker, more futuristic look. The control room was made larger and more open-plan showing the bow windows beyond the control room area (previously this was both closed off by a bulkhead and doorway and on another level in the black-and-white first season), while a large rectangular panel screen of flickering lights was moved across the control room, and access to the Flying Sub via a sealed hatch stairway at the bow section was added. The Seaview also now had a powerful laser beam in its bow light. The small mini-sub from the first season was retained and occasionally still used in the color episodes.

The ship's enlisted men were also given more colorful uniforms (red or light blue jumpsuits) and white Keds Champion sneakers, evidently to take advantage of the changeover from black-and-white filming. The traditional sailor uniforms worn in the first season were only seen in stock footage from the first season and on characters who were newly filmed to match up with that footage. All these changes occurred between seasons.

A second-season episode, "The Sky's On Fire", was a remake of the basic storyline of Irwin Allen's 1961 film Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea utilizing considerable film color footage, though several film sequences were removed and had been featured in other first-season episodes such as 'The Village of Guilt' (the giant octopus) and 'Submarine Sunk Here' (the derelict minefield).

A few later season two episodes were filmed without Richard Basehart, who was hospitalized for a bleeding ulcer. He filmed the scenes in the Flying Sub for "The Monster's Web" before hospitalization, requiring a stand in and other characters taking over his lines. He was missing entirely from the next two episodes. These episodes didn't feature his character at all, while in one story "The Menfish" Gary Merrill guested as Admiral Park, a colleague of Nelson's who substituted for him. Basehart returned for "Return of the Phantom," the final episode of the season.

The third season of Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea ran simultaneously with two other Allen-produced television series: the second season of Lost in Space and the premiere (and only) season of The Time Tunnel.

The third season began with Dick Tufeld of Lost in Space playing an evil disembodied brain from outer space. The season continued with a werewolf story that is one of the few episodes to inspire a sequel. In one episode, the Seaview's officers and crew encountered Nazis who believed World War II was still ongoing. [This proves a theory we have here at the Neat Stuff The Hall of Fame that no matter what the show, eventually nazis will show up.] The third season only had two espionage stories and one ocean peril story that were reminiscent of the first season. One of those three stories was about a hostile foreign government trying to steal a strange new mineral with the aid of a brainwashed Admiral Nelson. This espionage story was the end of the third season.

The final two seasons continued the shift towards paranormal storylines that were popular in the late 1960s. Mummies, werewolves, talking puppets, and an evil leprechaun all walked the corridors of the Seaview. There were also fossil men, flame men, frost men, lobster men, and shadow men. The opening credits were largely identical to the revised season two, but the initial season two yellow lettering credits that were first altered to white, (and then back to yellow on the later revised sequence) were now depicted in a golden/yellowish lettering, and closing credits were set over a green-backed painting of Seaview underwater.

Though many female characters appeared in Seasons One and Two, in Season Three only two appeared at all, an unseen woman's voice (Sue England) over the intercom in "The Death Watch" and the title character in "The Mermaid" (Diane Webber), who did not speak.

The fourth and final season of Voyage began with Victor Jory playing a five-centuries old alchemist and the Seaview is threatened by the hydrodynamic effects of a major volcanic eruption. After a few episodes there were revamped opening credits depicting action sequences and the stars' pictures in color set on a sonar board design. The closing credits picture remained unchanged from season three. Near the end of the fourth season, there were three unrelated stories of extraterrestrial invasion. One episode had an unknown master of disguise infiltrating and wreaking havoc aboard the Seaview. Another episode depicted Nelson, Morton and Sharkey gaslighting Crane. There were two time travel stories featuring the enigmatic but dangerous Mister Pem. The second had the Seaview going back in time to the American Revolution. The episode (and series) ended with the Seaview returning to the present. The final scene of the show had Nelson and Crane sitting in the seldom used easy chairs on the port side of the observation nose discussing how fast time goes by.

Not a single actress appeared in any episode during the entire fourth season, even as a voice or non-speaking role. In March 1968 it was announced that Voyage would not be back for a fifth season.

The series' main theme, "The Seaview Theme", was written by Paul Sawtell. A new darker, more serious theme composed by Jerry Goldsmith was introduced at the beginning of the second-season episode "Jonah and the Whale", but this was quickly replaced by the original version. A version of the Goldsmith suite re-orchestrated by Nelson Riddle was heard as incidental music in the episode "Escape From Venice", and the original Goldsmith suite was used as incidental music throughout the rest of the series. The series' main composer, supervisor and conductor was Lionel Newman, who for the second season composed a serious sounding score for when the episode credits (episode title/guests/writer/director) were shown just after the theme song, which would be used by many episodes (starting with "The Left Handed Man") thru the second and into the early third season. Other guest composers included Lennie Hayton, Hugo Friedhofer, Star Trek: The Original Series composer Alexander Courage, Morton Stevens, Leith Stevens (no relation) who wrote the music to nine episodes, and Sawtell, who worked on the show for a while in the first season.

A paperback novel, City Under the Sea, authored by Paul W. Fairman, was published in 1965, to tie into the series. It had a different storyline than the episode of the same name. The book should also not be confused with the later Irwin Allen film of nearly the same name, which was about the attempts of the world's first under-sea city to prevent the earth from being hit by a rogue asteroid. It is not about "A wealthy family attempting to move the Earth's oceans to another planet for resettlement" as has occasionally been stated.

Western Publishing published a comic book based on the series. Western's comic company, Gold Key Comics put out a series that ran 16 issues from 1964 to 1970. Most covers were painted, and most had a photo of either Richard Basehart or David Hedison on them. The first issue of the Gold Key comic was a story called "The Last Survivor". The story brought back Dr. Gamma, the villain from the pilot episode, "Eleven Days to Zero". Gold Key's story was the only sequel to the pilot episode. Hermes Press reprinted the entire run in 2 hardback volumes; the first was released in 2009.

In 1966, World Distributors, a British publishing company in Manchester, published a hardback book called the Annual. The British-made book used the series characters in all new stories. The book also contained a reprint of a story from Gold Key Comics. Both books were mostly prose stories with some illustrations.

Aurora Plastics Corporation released a plastic model kit of Seaview as well as the Flying Sub during the original run of the series. From 1975 - 1977, Aurora reissued both kits; the Seaview (kit #253) was modified with a sea floor base (originally created for the Dick Tracy Space Coupe kit #819) and sub surface details, while The Flying Sub (kit #254) was remodeled in a different base color. The 1975 - 1977 kits - part of Aurora's reissue of 5 of their 11 TV & movie-related science-fiction kits, also included instruction sheets with a detailed history of the TV series or movie plot. Both kits were recently re-released by Polar Lights.

Other collectables from the show include a board game with illustrations based on the pilot episode, as well as a boxed card game with a painting of the divers' battle with the giant octopus, both from Milton Bradley, and a school lunch box with thermos from Aladdin with depictions of Admiral Nelson and Captain Crane trying to save the Flying Sub from an evil looking octopus. There was also a Sawyers View-Master slide reel based on the episode "Deadly Creature Below."

In 1964, a 66-card set of black-and-white trading cards was released by Donruss. Selling for 5 cents a pack, the set consisted of stills from the first season. Today, a set in mint condition can sell for several hundred dollars.

In the UK, TV TORNADO published 14 issues that contained VOYAGE stories, either comics or text with illustrations as per the issue and at least two TV TORNADO annuals had original stories as well.

Theodore Sturgeon wrote a novel, Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea, based on the original script written by Irwin Allen for the movie, and published in 1961.

Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea is a 1961 American science fiction disaster film from 20th Century Fox, produced and directed by Irwin Allen, that stars Walter Pidgeon as Admiral Harriman Nelson (in a return to filmmaking after some years of doing theatre), and Robert Sterling as Captain Lee Crane. The supporting cast includes Peter Lorre, Joan Fontaine, Barbara Eden, Michael Ansara, and Frankie Avalon. The story was written by Irwin Allen and Charles Bennett. The opening title credits theme song was sung by Frankie Avalon.

When the Earth is threatened by a burning Van Allen Radiation Belt, U.S. Navy Admiral Harriman Nelson plans to shoot a nuclear missile at the Belt, using his experimental, state of the art atomic submarine, the Seaview. The Seaview was ahead of it's time in more ways than one because it had Barbara Eden (Lt. Cathy Connors) on board. In real life no woman served on board a US submarine until 20 years later.

The name of the film is an inversion of a phrase popular at the time, concerning the exploration of the Arctic Ocean by nuclear submarines, namely, "a voyage to the top of the world."

From August 1st, 1958, through August 5th, 1958, USS Nautilus (SSN-571) (the first nuclear-powered submarine), under the command of Commander (later Captain) William R. Anderson, steamed under the Arctic ice cap to make the first crossing from the Pacific to the Atlantic via the North Pole. On August 3rd, 1958, she became the first ship to reach the North Pole. For this accomplishment, Nautilus and her crew were awarded the Presidential Unit Citation, the first Presidential Unit Citation awarded in peacetime. The citation began with the words, "For outstanding achievement in completing the first voyage in history across the top of the world, by cruising under the Arctic ice cap from the Bering Strait to the Greenland Sea."

Nautilus 90 North (1959, with Clay Blair) was the first book Anderson wrote about the Arctic missions of USS Nautilus. It was named for the radio message he sent to the Chief of Naval Operations to announce that Nautilus had reached the pole. His second book about these missions, The Ice Diaries: The Untold Story of the Cold War's Most Daring Mission (with Don Keith), was completed shortly before Anderson's death. This second book includes many previously classified details.

On March 17th, 1959, the nuclear submarine USS Skate, under the command of Commander (later Vice Admiral) James F. Calvert, became the first submarine to surface at the North Pole. While at the Pole, her crew scattered the ashes of Arctic explorer Sir Hubert Wilkins. Calvert wrote the book Surface at the Pole about this and the other Arctic missions of USS Skate.

The film Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea begins with Seaview in the Arctic for the final phase of her sea trials, including a dive under the ice cap.

Two milestones in underwater exploration were achieved in 1960, the year before the film Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea was released.

From February 16th, 1960 to May 10th, 1960, the submarine USS Triton made the first submerged circumnavigation of the world. Triton observed and photographed Guam extensively through her periscope during this mission, without being detected by the U.S. Navy on Guam.

In the film, Seaview's voyage to the firing point follows much of the same track that Triton took on her circumnavigation: south through the Atlantic Ocean, around Cape Horn, and then northwest across the Pacific Ocean to the firing point near Guam. Seaview's bow and stern are radically different from Triton's, but Seaview's long, slim hull resembles the hull of Triton.

On January 23rd, 1960, Jacques Piccard and Lieutenant Don Walsh (USN), in the bathyscaphe Trieste, made the first descent to the bottom of the Challenger Deep. The Challenger Deep is the deepest surveyed spot in the world's oceans, and is located in the Mariana Trench, southwest of Guam.

In the film, Seaview is attacked by another submarine as she approaches the firing point. Admiral Nelson advises Captain Crane to dive into the Mariana Trench to escape, claiming Seaview is the only submarine that can survive the pressure of the trench. The attacking sub is crushed by the pressure when it follows Seaview into the trench.

The USS George Washington was commissioned on December 20th 1959 as America's first nuclear-powered ballistic missile submarine (SSBN). On June 20th 1960, she made the first two submerged launches of the Polaris missile and got underway on the first deterrent patrol on November 15th 1960.

In the film, Seaview fires a ballistic missile with a nuclear warhead to extinguish the "skyfire."

At the time that Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea was made, the Van Allen radiation belts had only recently been discovered, and much of what the film says about them is made up for the film. Discoveries since then clearly invalidate what the film says: the Van Allen belts (actually somewhat more radiation-dense portions of the magnetosphere) are made up of sub-atomic particles trapped by the Earth's magnetic field in the vacuum of space and cannot catch fire, as fire requires oxygen, fuel and an ignition source, all of which are insufficient in the Van Allen Belts. Unburned hydrocarbon emissions have never reached concentrations that could support a "skyfire." Even though the plot was scientific nonsense... it had Barbara Eden on board and that makes it OK in our books!

Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea was released to movie theaters in early July 1961 and played to mixed reviews from critics, but audiences made it a success. Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea was made for $2 million USD and brought in $7 million USD in box office revenue. The success of the feature film led to the 1964–1968 television series on ABC, Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea. During the series run, the film's storyline was remade as a one-hour episode. That episode was written by Willam Welch and was titled "The Sky's on Fire". Other scenes in the film were also rewritten and incorporated into the television series.

For the filming of Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea, a number of detailed sets, props and scale models were created to realize the Seaview submarine. After the film was finished the sets were placed in storage. When Irwin Allen decided to make a Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea television series, all he had to do was pull the sets out of storage. This was done at a fraction of the cost that he might have had if he had begun from scratch. The film reduced the cost of setting up the show and was the template for the type of stories that were done. The studios, having made the film, helped make the television series easier to produce. The success of the television series encouraged Irwin Allen to produce other science fiction television shows. The most notable of these shows were Lost in Space, The Time Tunnel, and Land of the Giants.

Congressman Llewellyn Parker was played by Howard McNear (above second from right). McNear is best remembered as Floyd Lawson, the barber in The Andy Griffith Show (1960-1968). Barbara Eden make a memorable guest appearance on The Andy Griffith Show in the episode The Manicurist (1962). When a pretty young manicurist starts working in Floyd's Barbershop, the men are uneasy about it at first but eventually take to the idea in a big way. The wives of Mayberry, not so much.

In June 1961, Pyramid Books published a novelization of the feature film by Theodore Sturgeon. The book was reprinted several times during the 1960s. One of those reprintings has Richard Basehart and David Hedison pictured on the cover, but the book is still based on the Walter Pidgeon film. Collectors who want a novelization of the television series should find City Under the Sea. That book uses the television characters, but should not be confused with either the television episode or the later Irwin Allen film of the same name.

Sturgeon's book is based on an early version of the film's script and has the same basic story as the film. The book also has a few characters that were not shown in the film and some additional technical explanation. Some scenes are different from the film. Some scenes in the book are wholly absent from the film, and likewise some scenes from the film are entirely missing from the book.

The original 1961 cover of Sturgeon's book shows a submarine meeting a fanged sea serpent. This scene appears in neither the novel nor the film. The design of the submarine on the 1961 cover matches neither the Seaview shown in the film nor the Seaview described in the novel. The cover submarine's bow is opaque, and her "Observation Room" is a rearward projection from the base of the conning tower. The basic shape of her hull resembles that of USS Skipjack (SSN-585), the first American nuclear-powered submarine with an "Albacore hull", including the cruciform stern and single propeller.

A submarine design very similar to the craft on the 1961 cover, and its mission to save the world, shows up in a Dell Comics series called Voyage to the Deep in 1962 to capitalize on the movie's popularity. Its mission also took it to the Mariana Trench to stop the Earth from wobbling out of orbit. It stopped publishing by issue #4. That ship was named Proteus, later the name of the 'submarine' in Fantastic Voyage.

In 1961 Dell Comics created a full color adaptation of the Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea movie. The comic was Four Color Comics #1230 and drawn by Sam Glanzman. It has a few publicity stills of the movie plus a section on the history of submarines. In the comic book the Admiral's first name is Farragut instead of Harriman. There was also a Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea coloring book released in the mid-1960s.

MAD Magazine published a parody based on the TV series in one of their monthly issues entitled, "Voyage to See What's on the Bottom". There is also a board game, manufactured by a company called GemColor, that is tied to the movie and not the television show. The box has a photo of a diver with an eight-foot miniature of the Seaview. The film has been released on VHS, DVD and Blu-ray.


Seaview, a fictional privately owned nuclear submarine, was the setting for the 1961 motion picture Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea, starring Walter Pidgeon, and later for the 1964–1968 ABC television series of the same title.

The accomplishments of America's nuclear-powered submarines were major news items in the years before the film Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea was released. Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea was the third American science fiction film to feature such ships. The first two were It Came from Beneath the Sea (1955) and The Atomic Submarine (1960).

Seaview’s hull was designed to withstand a depth of 3600 feet (1 km), and in one episode survived a depth excursion approaching 5000 feet (1.5 km). The transparent-hull "window-section" bow of Seaview was not rounded like a traditional submarine but was faired into a pair of manta winglike, stationary bow planes (in addition to her more conventional sail planes). This was added after the original B 29 -like front with twelve pairs of windows on two levels was modified for "Freudian anatomically analogous issues." In exterior shots, Seaview's bow had eight windows in the film and the first season of the television series (below left), and four windows in seasons two through four of the series (below right). The interior shots always showed only four windows although it did indeed imply two levels in the feature's scene with the giant octopus attack. Also in seasons two through four of the TV version, a pair of sliding metal "crash doors" shut across the face of the bow's observation deck to protect the four-window transparent surface in emergencies. In Theodore Sturgeon's novelization of the film, the windows are described as "... oversized hull plates which happen to be transparent." "They are incredibly strong because they are made of "X-tempered herculite", a top secret process developed by Nelson. To avoid a claustrophobic feeling during viewing of the 1961 feature film, Seaview’s interior was considerably more spacious and comfortable than any real military submarine. This was further enlarged when the Flying Sub was added to the miniatures with an even more open set for the control room interior.

The stern had unconventional, lengthy, V-shape planes above the twin engine area. On the original Seaview design, a single, central skeg rudder was specified, as well as two trailing edge control surfaces similar to an aircraft V-tail; a combination elevator-rudder or "ruddervator" fitted to the Beechcraft Bonanza and other aircraft. But on the filmed miniatures, the 8 1/2 foot (103") miniature had three rudders: one behind each nacelle and on the rear most portion of the skeg. This functional skeg rudder was only fitted to the 103" miniature and non-operationally inferred on the 51 1/2" miniature and not at all on the 206" version which had a fixed skeg.

In both the film and the series, Seaview was armed with torpedoes and ballistic missiles. The series added anti-aircraft missiles to Seaview's armory. They were called "interceptor missiles" in the pilot episode, and "sea to air missiles" in the episode "Terror" (season 4, episode 10).

In seasons two through four of the series, the forward search light also housed a laser beam that could be used against hostile sea life or enemy vessels.

Seaview was also capable of electrifying the outer hull, to repel attacking sea life that were trying to destroy the ship. In the episode "Mutiny" (season 1, episode 18), Crane ordered the "Attack Generators" made ready to use this capability on a giant jellyfish.

Lastly, Seaview was outfitted with an "ultrasonic" weapon capable of causing another submarine to implode, though special authorization was normally required to utilize it. The Seaview's hull was also partially protected by an "electronic defense field".

The 19-foot model of the Seaview on display at Movie World.

Although never stated, it was implied that Seaview used some kind of aquatic jet engine, which might possibly explain her speed (very fast for a submarine) and her penchant for dramatic emergency surfacing.

Whether a submarine is faster submerged or on the surface depends on her hull design, not her power plant. America's early nuclear submarines were slightly faster submerged than on the surface because their hulls were streamlined in accordance with the Greater Underwater Propulsion Power Program (GUPPY). An "Albacore hull", which Seaview did not have, is necessary for submerged speed to be significantly higher than surface speed. USS Triton, the real-life submarine whose hull Seaview most nearly resembles, was slower when submerged than on the surface.

In Theodore Sturgeon's novelization of the film Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea, Seaview is faster on the surface than underwater: "...the Captain ...proceeded on the surface, where it was possible to squeeze another fifteen knots out of the big submarine."

In the series, there are many shots of Seaview running on the surface with the bow higher than the stern, and water splashing at the bottom of the bow. But there are also shots of her running on the surface and properly trimmed fore and aft - that is, the bow and stern are level. In these shots, the water flows up and over the bow, similar to a submarine with an Albacore hull. Therefore, it is possible that Seaview was faster submerged than on the surface. Such shots can be seen in the opening titles of the first season, and in the episodes "The Ghost of Moby Dick" and "Long Live the King".

Between the TV version's first and second seasons, the Seaview miniatures were extensively revised. Dated May 1965 the drawings penned by William Creber (who also designed the Flying Sub itself) stated "modifications to be applied to all miniatures." The number of bow windows was reduced from eight on two levels of four each to a single row of four (actually two with a dividing girder.) This then matched the interior set with the exterior miniatures but with the added detrimental effects of a more bulbous frontal appearance and a reduction in apparent overall size of the vessel. The Control Room, previously located on an upper level, was moved forward on a lower level ahead of the conning tower, to connect directly with the Observation Room, and a large hangar bay was added to the bow, beneath the Observation Room/Control Room combination. This hangar held the 36 foot wide and long, flying submersible, aptly called the "Flying Sub" or "FS-1", implying that there were several more back at the base, which would have to be the case since several Flying Subs were lost to mishaps or combat during the run of the show. Promotional materials published between the first and second seasons referred to it as the Flying Fish, but the name was evidently dropped prior to the start of filming and was never used in the show. It was deployed through bomb-bay like doors. As it broke the surface, its engines could generate enough thrust for the vehicle to take off and fly at supersonic speeds. The Flying Sub was also nuclear powered.

Three models of Seaview (a 4 foot, 8.5 foot and 17 foot versions) were built (eight-window nose in the motion picture and first television season, four-window version thereafter). The four-foot wood and steel tube approval/pattern model was extensively seen in the feature and on the TV series used as set decoration on a shelf in the observation nose, and behind Nelson's desk in his cabin. The eight-foot model had external doors for a not fitted nine-inch Flying Sub, while a more detailed 18-inch Flying Sub was held within the larger Seaview. For close-ups, a three-foot Flying Sub was produced, which was also used in the aerial sequences. All three Seaview models were built for a total 1961 price of $200,000 by Herb Cheeks' model shop at Fox, and were filmed by L. B. Abbott who won two Emmy Awards for special effects in the series. For the television series a rather poorly rendered two-foot model was built.

The fates of the three original models vary; the original eight-window wood and steel four-foot display model was damaged in an altercation between writer Harlan Ellison and ABC Television executive Adrian Samish and after a full restoration resides in a private collection. There were at least two fiberglass cast "wet models" in this size all of which are now in private hands. One of the two eight-foot model was extensively modified; (bow cut off) for use in the short-lived 1978 series The Return of Captain Nemo and aside from the nose section, is believed to have been destroyed. The single 17-foot model sat in the Virginia Beach garage of model maker Dave Merriman (who built several of the miniatures for The Hunt for Red October movie) during most of the 1980s where it was modified from its original appearance. It then was displayed above the bar at the (now-defunct) Beverly Hills Planet Hollywood restaurant from 1993-2002 and after a partial restoration, is on display at the Museum Of Science Fiction located in Seattle, Washington. There were several miniatures of the Flying Sub and the mini-sub, and after a props and memorabilia auction in the late 1970s at 20th Century Fox most have found their way into private collections.

Both the Seaview and Flying Sub have been represented by several model kits. Both were originally offered by Aurora Plastics Corporation back in the 1960s during the run of the show, and have been re-released several times. Moebius Models have recently issued versions of both the Seaview and Flying Sub, each in two differing scales. Though superior to the original kits from the 60's, these are still not entirely faithful to the contours and dimensions of the original miniatures.


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