Judge Cynthia Boris thinks that this yellow submarine kicks the Beatles's yellow submarine's ass.
Our reviews of Voyage To The Bottom Of The Sea: Season 1, Volume 2 (published July 26th, 2006), Voyage To The Bottom Of The Sea: Season 1, Volume 1 (published March 8th, 2006), Voyage To The Bottom Of The Sea: Season 3, Volume 1 (published July 4th, 2007), Voyage To The Bottom Of The Sea: Season 4, Volume 1 (published May 21st, 2009), Voyage To The Bottom Of The Sea: Season 2, Volume 2 (published March 7th, 2007), Voyage To The Bottom Of The Sea: Season 4, Volume 2 (published March 10th, 2011), and Voyage To The Bottom Of The Sea: Global Warming Edition (published October 26th, 2007) are also available.
"La, lala, la, lala, la, la, la…la, lala, la, lala, la, la,
In 1965, The Man from U.N.C.L.E. was going strong on the small screen and James Bond's Thunderball was breaking the box office. The Soviets had spy satellites and LBJ sent 50,000 troops to Vietnam. And though the Cold War wasn't quite so cold, we were still living in an era of mistrust. Those themes and fears were the bases for Voyage to the Bottom of Sea: Season 2, Vol. 1. Monsters of the week need not apply.
Facts of the Case
In 1964, Irwin Allen made his first foray into the world of TV when he shrunk down his major motion picture Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea and turned it into a weekly series. We've still got Richard Basehart and David Hedison (The Fly) heading up the crew of the submarine Seaview. Bland-but-beloved Bob Dowdell is there as the sub's exec and Terry Becker as Chief Sharkey. We also have recurring background players turned fan favorites Del Monroe and Paul Trinka. Allan Hunt adds a bit of youthful enthusiasm as surfer boy, Crewman Riley.
Other than cast tweaks, there were two major changes to the series in this season. First was the use of living color. For the first time, audiences got to see the lovely blue-green ocean with its bright, white-capped waves. Such a waste that the Seaview herself is nothing but a dull gray…oh. . wait. . time for major change number two! The addition of the bright yellow Flying Sub! This clever gadget was berthed beneath Seaview's command deck (and they were smart enough to retool the front windows of the sub model to match). The "sub" had a pilot and co-pilot seat and room for two more. Its unusual saucer shape made it visually stunning as it sliced upward, breaking the surface of the ocean to become airborne time and time again. The Flying Sub was so popular with fans that the model kit made by Aurora and then Monogram is still highly sought after today.
The second season of Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea is an interesting mix of plots with the emphasis still on spying, action, and adventure. There are a few more fanciful storylines scattered throughout the season, but most don't go further than you see in a basic James Bond flick. Don't worry, though. If you're a fan of the monster-of-the-week stories, they'll be popping up real soon.
Let's take a look at what you get this time out.
Disc One: Side One
• "Time Bomb"
• "And Five of Us Are Left…"
• "The Cyborg"
• "Escape from Venice"
• "The Left-Handed Man"
• "The Deadliest Game"
• "The Peacemaker"
• "The Silent Saboteurs"
• "The X Factor"
• "The Machines Strike Back"
• "The Monster from Outer Space"
This set doesn't have as many great special features as previous sets. There is a nice photo gallery that includes the Mad Magazine send up of the series. There is also twenty minutes of behind the scenes special effects footage showing the Seaview models cooperating and not. It's amusing at first and tedious to watch by the end.
One unusual bonus involves the opening theme song. Apparently they had planned to go with a different theme for the second season but changed their minds (thank heavens) after the first outing. Fox Home Video has left that unusual alternate theme on the first episode just as it was when it aired in the sixties and I call that die-hard dedication to the fan base since this theme was never used when the show aired in syndication. Kudos to the folks at Fox.
The Rebuttal Witnesses
What can I say here? I love Irwin Allen. Okay, so there could have been a few more extras and Hedison is still around—why not have him do a commentary? Other than that, I've got no complaints.
Once again, Fox has done a tremendous job bringing back this classic series from the sixties. The print is crisp and clear. The sound is terrific and the packaging really does the show justice. Die hard Irwin Allen fans (and there are many of us) won't be disappointed—and if you've never see the show, I'd give this season a try. Slightly lighter than Season One and not as silly as the later seasons, it's the perfect choice for the first timer.
The court finds Voyage to the Bottom of Sea: Season 2, Vol. 1 not guilty. Close all water tight doors. Batten down the hatches and get ready to dive, dive, dive.
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