VBS episode
1x19 / 19th of 110 aired
First aired
Written by
Irwin Allen, William Read Woodfield
Directed by
James Goldstone
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Unidentified missiles are being launched, followed by the president of the United States giving a clearance code, then the order to unlock a failsafe and prepare to launch counter missiles in response.

Meanwhile on board the Seaview, things are looking very tense. All crew members’ eyes are keeping watch on a certain instrument. Once the equator has been reached, Captain Lee Crane announces over the loudspeaker that this has occurred, and those that have not participated to report immediately for initiation, which the room cheerfully empties out.

What follows are crew members being dressed in homemade t-shirts, in drag, as a baby, and as the sea god Neptune. Two new recruits are covered in a sticky matter, have feathers dumped on them, and must crawl on their bellies to appease Neptune, as Admiral Harriman Nelson (who is speaking in a stereotypical pirate dialect) and Crane (both of whom are wearing silly headgear) are trying to convince Neptune of the men's loyalty.

Unfortunately the ceremony is cut short by an alarm sounding. Once everyone mans their stations “on the double”, it is discovered on a tactical display that they are on Alert (as it reads "peace", "alert", and "war"), which Nelson explains that they don’t really have to worry unless the War alert is lit up.

Then it does. A glass panel also explodes, leaving Kowalski blinded; he is taken to sick bay.

Following the war alert, four failsafes must be unlocked in order to launch missiles in retaliation; Chip Morton, Crane, and Nelson all turn their keys to unlock their safes. A Commander Corbett does not, freezing up at his panel. Nelson, after failing in repeatedly demanding for Corbett to follow his order, has to run to Corbett’s station and physically knock him away when he tries to prevent Nelson from activating the final failsafe.

Later, and at the last second, the War alert cancels out; all failsafes are canceled and close, except for Corbett’s, which his panel won’t disarm due to its fuse being jammed. Meanwhile, a destroyer has shown up, which its crew is going to be wanting to know why the Seaview hasn’t shut off the one failsafe, so the ship is ordered to surface. Unfortunately Corbett states that the missile is rigged so it will detonate at the surface, so surfacing the ship is ruled out. Not liking no communication or explanation, the destroyer starts dropping depth charges, rocking the Seaview. The doctor cannot finish surgery with Kowalski due to the ship being tossed about. Nelson has the mini-sub launched, which, along with jamming the destroyer’s sonar, causes the ship to chase after the sub while work at correcting the fuse continues.

Nelson contacts the president of the United States, asking him to unlock the failsafe again so they can fire off the missile in a clear area. The president says he can only open it for five seconds, so it cannot be detected by anyone else. Nelson says that is all he needs.

Once the time approaches, however, the Seaview hits a rough area, sending Corbett tumbling about, so he is unable to launch the missile. Nelson is trying to find an answer to the crisis, giving out suggestions, which, when he mentions fuel, Corbett interrupts with "that’s it!", venting some of the missile’s fuel, as it would run out of fuel before reaching the surface, then harmlessly float back down to the bottom. As the missile is launched, he admits to disobeying orders, as he rigged the missile to detonate at the surface. The missile did indeed behave in the way Corbett indicated, averting the crisis.

Finally, after Morton and Crane are confirming their position, Nelson joins Crane, discussing how Corbett saved the lives of everyone, yet he would face a court martial for disobeying orders and be dishonorably discharged.

(As it turns out, the missiles were just launching communication satellites, but this was not acknowledged to the United States government prior to the launch, plus Kowalski turned out not to be blind after all and was expected to make a full recovery.)


Guest starsEdit


The previous episode had a ship similar to the Seaview, the Neptune, being destroyed, and in this episode, two recruits’ loyalty must be accepted by the sea god Neptune.


The episode can be seen at on the Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea channel

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