"Eleven Days to Zero"
1x01 / 1st of 110 aired
This pilot episode marks the television introduction of Admiral Nelson and the nuclear submarine Seaview. It also introduced Captain Lee Crane. The pilot deals with natural seismic activity located in the North Pole, which threatens to create worldwide tsunamis. These tsunamis are large enough to destroy coastal cities in all outlying areas around the world. The concern is that foreign powers would use the destruction to attempt a takeover of the world. Nelson and a fellow scientist create a plan, which requires setting off a nuclear device. This nuke would counter act the second and deadliest of the tsunamis. Seaview sets out to complete its mission, having eleven days to do so. Within that time, foreign powers attempt all means of stopping Seaview from completing its mission. Suffering damage and consent attacks, Nelson manages to reach his objective and stops the tsunamis from happening, but not before incurring the wrath of the leader of the foreign powers.
- While aired in black and white, this episode was shot in color.
- There are a number of differences between the aired and unaired versions of the pilot. Some of them include;
- Nelson remarks twice about their opposition being "evil." This was later looped to soften the group as "destructive."
- The unaired pilot omits Crane's security test and all references to his sneaking aboard and punching Kowalski. However, these scenes are in the original shooting script, and were shot in color.
- Dr Gamma is played throughout the unaired pilot by Theo Marcuse. A number of his scenes needed to be reshot, and the actor was not brought back. He was replaced by Werner Klemperer in the aired version. The only semi-clear view of the character's face is that of Klemperer.
- The main and closing theme music is completely different in the unaired pilot. Also, some background music was replaced in the aired version by music scored for the The Village of Guilt. The unaired pilot also opens with cues from the 1961 Voyage movie.
- The unaired print is only 47 minutes long.
- The narrator introducing the Seaview at the start of the episode is Dick Tufeld, who provided the voice of the robot on Lost in Space, as well as narration for that series and The Time Tunnel.
- Del Monroe (Kowalski) and Mark Slade (Malone) are the only two actors from the 1961 Voyage movie to join the cast of the series. Both played different characters in the film. Mark Slade made only a handful of appearances in the first season, while Del Monroe remained for the full run.
- The script has Chief Curley Jones refer to Crane as "Lee B. Crane." While the middle initial can be seen on the envelope of his orders (read in Nelson's cabin), it is never spoken aloud.
- Aside from shots of the Seaview, there is a great deal of stock footage from the film. The undersea sub chase and explosion, any scenes of people falling the mess or in the corridors during the attack, and the entire squid encounter are all stock. In the squid sequence, close ups of Crane reveal the face of Robert Sterling, who played the character in the film. Other scenes taken from the film include; the emergency blow and the ice chunks falling on the submerged Seaview.
- The entire sequence involving the helicopter attack on Nelson's motorcade would be reused in the second season episode The X-Factor.
- Eddie Albert (Fred Wilson) would become well known as Oliver Wendell Douglas in Green Acres.
- Booth Colman would reappear as The Chairman in The Mist of Silence.
- Admiral Nelson has three stars, while the film shows Nelson to be a four star Admiral. After The Last Battle, however, Nelson will have a fourth star. No explanation was given for any of these changes.
Links and ReferencesEdit
- Richard Basehart as Admiral Harriman Nelson
- David Hedison as Captain Lee Crane
- Robert Dowdell as Lt. Commander Chip Morton
- Henry Kulky as Chief Curly Jones
- Del Monroe as Kowalski
- Mark Slade as Malone
- Theodore Marcuse as Dr. Gamma
- Werner Klemperer as Dr. Gamma (additional footage - uncredited)
- Booth Colman as Chairman
- John Zaremba as Dr. Selby
- Eddie Albert as Dr. Fred Wilson
- Derrick Lewis as O'Brien