"The Fear-Makers"


VBS episode
1x03 / 3rd of 110 aired
First aired
Written by
Directed by
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At the Nelson Institute, Admiral Nelson oversees a deep dive experiment conducted by the submarine Polidor, manned by a hand-picked crew. After a short time, the Polidor crew panics, sending the sub too deep, where she explodes. Wracked with guilt, Nelson becomes obsessed with discovering the cause of the tragedy. A committee appointed observer, psychologist / scientist Dr. Arthur Kenner, is the inventor of a fear gas, which was used without his knowledge to send the Polidor crew to their deaths. His assistant Martin Davis joins him on the expedition. Davis, however, is a spy, and has brought a container of fear gas with him, releasing it into the air revitalization system.

As Seaview dives deeper toward the wreck of Polidor, the crew becomes agitated as the gas works on them and Davis asks pointed questions geared to exploit and stimulate their anxiety. Kenner succumbs to the gas and is escorted from the control room. When a pressure leak erupts, Captain Crane confronts Nelson on his decision to put the crew at risk to salve his own conscience. Finally, Davis learns from Kenner that the fear gas is unstable and it breaks down into nerve gas twelve hours after it is released. Panicking, Davis rushes to stop the gas delivery system, but it falls too deep into the vents to reach. Now gripped by his own terror, Davis goes to Nelson and explains that the twelve hours are up. Vindicated and furious, Nelson explains they can't surface; the controls are jammed. Turning up the heat sends the gas to the ceiling until the repairs are made. Now free of fear and doubt, Nelson and the crew head for home.

Background InformationEdit

  • Edgar Bergen (Dr. Kenner) is best known for his radio performances and his ventriloquist act with dummy "Charlie McCarthy." He was also the father of actress Candace Bergen.

Links and ReferencesEdit


Guest StarsEdit

  • Edgar Bergen as Dr. Arthur Kenner
  • Lloyd Bochner as Dr. Martin Davis
  • William Sargent as Anders
  • Ed Prentiss as Philip James
  • Walter Brooke as Dan Case
  • Robert Payne as Murdock
  • Robert Doyle as Pryor


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