"Hail To The Chief"


VBS episode
1x16 / 16th of 110 aired
First aired
Written by
Irwin Allen, Don Brinkley
Directed by
Gerd Oswald
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The President of the United States has suffered a bad fall, resulting in a subdural hematoma that could kill him. Unfortunately his presence is mandatory at an upcoming conference or else all chaos is expected to break out if his influence can not soothe foreign tensions.

There are two options available: using the MQ-G, an experimental device that will dissolve the blood clot in his brain without harming him, or surgery. The MQ-G is the preferred method, as the White House is keeping the President’s condition secret, and surgery would make the secrecy much more complicated to contain. Whichever direction is taken, the Seaview is being sent to pick up the required personnel for the ordeal.

Harriman Nelson and Lee Crane are met with superiors and given orders in regards to picking up the required personnel for the MQ-G usage, surgeons in case surgery is going to be performed instead in case something goes wrong with the first option, and the President. One of the superiors also requests that a member of the Seaview with a high clearance delivers the remaining top secret orders to Nelson in regards to the mission. Crane appoints Kowalski for the job. Once Kowalski is given the orders (via locked armband, which Nelson had been given the key earlier to unlock it), he is sent to the Seaview rendezvous point on a motorcycle. Unfortunately the receptionist outside the official’s office that had prepped Kowalski for the assignment was a spy that had eavesdropped on the conversation, which she radioed in to a contact that Kowalski was on his way. His motorcycle was tripped up by a wire in the road, and once he was knocked unconscious, two men took him inside a van and used an x-ray device to take photos of the orders inside his armband, then sent him back on his way, unknowing what had happened once he regained consciousness.

Also, the person who was originally going to use the MQ-G machine on the President, a Dr. Taylor, was deliberately killed so an associate of his named Laura could use the machine in his place. Unfortunately she is a secret enemy agent who tampered with the machine, so it will end up killing the President instead of healing him. The MQ-G’s function is that it changes the internal molecular density of an object, animal or person: as Laura demonstrated with an egg for another fellow agent, after using the machine, the egg itself was unharmed, but upon breaking it open, rather than being egg yolk, the yolk had been transformed to ashes. Laura had created a hidden switch near the base of the machine to intensify the beam of the MQ-G, but tampered with the machine’s readings to make it look like it was not delivering a much more powerful output to indeed kill the President.

Once Laura is on board the Seaview, meets with the surgeons and sets up the machine, she powers it on, which Nelson, Crane, and several members of the crew noticed that their instruments were giving off false readings. Once Nelson checked in with Laura – as he assumed the machine was causing the problem – she assured him everything was ok with the MQ-G (although not shown, it was assumed that she flipped the hidden switch before Nelson arrived). Crane ordered for sensors to be installed so in case the problem happened again the cause could be better pinpointed.

Later when it became time to use the machine on the President and Laura switched it on, the crew became alerted of the problem, which Nelson exclaimed that it was coming from sick bay, which he ran to the area and wrestled Laura from the MQ-G. During the struggle, the beam from the machine was so intense that it shattered several objects in sick bay as Nelson and Laura struggled. This resulted in Nelson having Laura arrested and for the doctors having to go with their second option of operating on the President, thus saving his life and ending the crisis so he could attend the conference.


Guest starsEdit

  • Viveca Lindfors as Laura
  • John Hoyt as General Beeker
  • Malcolm Atterbury as Commander Jamison
  • Edward Platt as Morgan
  • David Lewis as Dr. Kranz
  • Nancy Kovack as Monique
  • Berry Kroeger as Chairman


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

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