Writer-WILLIAM REED WOODFIELD
Seaview is seen as we hear the VOYAGE theme. The ocean bottom is sliding away. Seaview is now 100 feet below the water. Crane calls Admiral Nelson to the control room. The sea bottom caves in and Crane warns all hands to "brace yourselves" as small shakes hit. They discover a double bottom--the cave in altered the bottom and revealed a layer of silt that hid the true bottom floor. Soon, Nelson and Crane watch the diving team go past the nose windows. Seaview is above the divers who see a crumbled city of what looks like what might be a future city. Mounds are all about as well as buildings. They find capsules scattered on the bottom. Divers are to bring one into the Missile Room. Once there, the men find no opening, only a small window one inch or more thick. Curley gives Nelson a flashlight which he uses to see inside, wiping the fog off the window. Inside is a face of a man, no hair. The eyes open.
We hear the full VOYAGE opening credit theme song as the titles of the INVADERS is shown. The light hurts the man's eyes. Curley dims the whole area to night light status. Nelson wonders if the being was in suspended animation. Curley drills to get the man out but the drill has no effect. Crane tries acids of many kinds--no effect. The man inside is suffocating. Nelson tells the others to keep the capsule moist and wet long enough for them to use the arc to cut an air hole. This also fails. Crane says, "It's too late." Seaview surfaces and all hatches and vents are opened. All electrical switches and relays are turned off. Since they are going to try liquid nitrogen next, the smoking lab is off. This nitrogen is 97 degrees below zero and will freeze skin instantly if touched. Nelson and Crane cover their ears as the men start using the chemical. It allows them to cut open the capsule and use ropes to take the top section off. The man inside is bald, wearing a black tunic and pants, sandal like shoes, and a cumberbun. Crane moves his hand to take a gun off the crewman standing next to him. The being uses his own hand gun (which looks like a laser gun from SPACE: 1999's Alpha Control) to knock Crane down.
Crane gets up. The being learns their english as they speak it and claims he is a man, too. He and the others are all that remains of their civilization, left in capsules by his people for those who follow them in the evolutionary cycle. Nelson tells him they found others and that they will return to base for now and get permission from their government to recover the others. Crane takes the man toward his quarters. The man feels a room and admits steel is unfamiliar to him. Crane tells him they have a double hull. The being tells him that his people used some alloy from the sea that was light in weight--Crane figures probably aluminum--which the alien man claims they built their undersea boats out of. Lights, he tells Crane, emit unnecessary heat. His people had lights that did not emit heat and also had electricity without wires. He asks about the one central wiring place. Crane tells him forward beneath the Control Room. The man sees the High Voltage room. Lee shows him a cabin and the man asks about the bunk. His people never sleep--they only are put into suspended animation for long journeys. He tells Crane that animals only sleep due to the sun going down and it being difficult to see, and out of habit, not because they really need to sleep. He refers to the animals that Crane's people evolved from. Crane and he talk about life forms that do not sleep--some fish, dolphins, and sharks do not sleep. Lee goes to Nelson's cabin--and inside the desk is to the left of the door (not where it would be in later seasons--it would be moved several times). Crane feels they are going to regret opening the capsule. He tells Nelson, "He's weird." Crane orders Mr. Morton to tell O'Brien to dive to 90 feet. The man leaves his cabin. Seaview dives into stock footage. The man uses his handgun on the door of the voltage room (his gun has sound effects from FANTASTIC VOYAGE). Suddenly the radios won't work with no reason apparent, everything malfunctions. Nelson says, "Our, ahh, friend must be responsible." He wants Lee to play along to see what he's up to. Crane says, "I hope he doesn't kill us all while we play along." Nelson finds the alien out of his cabin and calls a search. Curley and men search the halls but Doc calls Nelson--the man is in Sickbay, locked himself in to read medical books. Doc has talked him into letting him perform an X Ray examination. Nelson wants to see this. Doc is shocked, "I don't see how he can function." Inside the body is an odd expanding star shaped mass--no brain, stomach, heart, no nervous system, no blood. This inner thing is him. His scientists created the body, face, and hands for they knew that they might evolve into human beings someday or even be outclassed by a new evolutionary cycle. When the Earth started to boil and become unlivable, even in the seas, the experimental people were placed in capsules in a suspended state. Fire, water, and then ice covered the Earth. Doc tells Nelson that a Carbon 14 test revealed the man (whom the credits but not the episode calls Zar) is over 20 million years old! Doc is certain of this. The man yells for Doc not to use a syringe on him, yelling, "I would not want to see you become ill because of me." He destroys the syringe. Nelson tells a crewman to show their guest to the fine microfilm library Seaview has. After the man leaves, Nelson tells Doc he wants to know what was in that sample. Seaview, the small model is shown. There is no sign of life in the blood sample--no bacteria, no germs, nothing. NOTE: There is a TV screen in Sickbay in this episode. The electron microscope is not working. Doc tries to figure out what the man is. More importantly what does it or he want? The being asks crewman Foster his name and then asks about diseases. Foster tells him they have shots for everything. The man cuts his hand--seemingly on purpose but this goes unnoticed by Foster. The man asks Foster to look at it for him. Foster does The man smiles.
Ski asks Curley about the alien. Ski would put women in the containers so he could repopulate the world. In 32 hours straight, the alien has read everything including Nelson's chess books, encyclopedias, biology, medicine, ecology, and diseases. He told them there was a great flood in the past. Crane talks to Nelson, "Yet he's alive and back there in those capsules, there are others like him waiting to be released. Why?" Doc calls Nelson and Lee to Sickbay. Crane tells Chip, "See you in the control room." Foster's temperature is 106 degrees. The blood in Foster looks exactly the blood in the alien--it is free of germs. Nelson demands they rig the electron microscope up to a high voltage system of some kind. The alien tells the men this new world is on the brink of destruction--he had hoped for something more. It is his duty to release his people---he must decide if his people and the existing people can live together. If not, he has to destroy the existing people. Crane presses a button. The alien judges them, "When reason fails, you are open to violence." Two crewmen come in and he uses his gun on them. Another with a machine gun is on the nose ladder but is shot with the gun. Nelson and Crane fight the being (and this time we can tell Nelson has a stunt man). Zar flips Nelson and fights Crane but threatens Crane with the gun. The fight stops. If Zar was killed, nothing would have saved their world. 30 knots and Seaview is up to 90 feet to periscope depth. Using the sun and a sextant, Ski and Crane find out the coordinates from the periscope. Chip relays to them. Seaview goes to 100 feet above the bottom. Crane calls Nelson, "Admiral Nelson," when he calls him down. On the TV scanner are the tombs of the alien people. Seaview has sailed in a circle. The man says his people are a highly technological civilization. The camera zooms close up to his eyes.
Zar opens the hatch that leads down to the air revitalization room and throws a tube of smoke, then uses his hand gun on it. Smoke drifts into the vents. He goes to the control room and wants the coffin-like capsules brought aboard. He also smiles, asking, "By the way, how is seaman Foster?" Nelson tells him Foster is dead and tells the Master of Arms and another man to watch him. Someone must go into the air revitalization room to find out about the smoke. Chip and Ski volunteer and descend. Crane orders hatches 27 and 28 closed. For some reason, the two only have one mask but share. Nelson calls Chip via mike, "Morton!" The gas is explosive, the hatch beneath is welded and they can't open the hatch above for fear of contaminating the ship. Since the ballast is fixed now, Seaview can maneuver without engineering or control. Seaview's nose goes down and the gas moves away from the upper hatch. Crane has had it with Zar and orders that if he moves, if he speaks--kill him. Seaview tilts down and the bottom of the ocean is coming up fast. Finally it levels off (after a really nice close up on it). Doc and Nelson look at the slide--even at one million times magnification the picture is too small. They increase to one billion with the photon ion grid. They see the virus, some kind of new strain of bochilitius which a small drop of can wipe out a city. The strain can spread if Zar is wounded in any way--by spreading out through the bulkheads into the sea, eventually making man extinct. Doc consumes the sample in fire, foreshadowing what is to come. Nelson sets up a chessboard. The vent shaft to his cabin is made air tight. When the King is moved to Queen Bishop Three--the signal light to Crane will turn on. Then, he will have the oxygen valves into the hoses running into the cabin, turned up full. The men will seal up Nelson's door after Zar enters. Crane is worried about Nelson giving himself enough time. Nelson tells him, "Get out of here and send him in." After Zar enters, the men calk up the door. Nelson and Zar play chess. The alien tells Nelson his people and the humans cannot live together: Foster's death proves that. It was a test. Had Foster lived, he says, or if Earth medicine was more advanced, the two races might have been able to co-exist (which, given the way he delivers the line, we tend not to believe him--he'd probably have destroyed all of the human anyway.) Nelson stands up, setting off the signal when he makes his move. Chip and Lee open the oxygen valves, flooding Nelson's room with oxygen. Nelson says, "That's why I must destroy you." He runs into his bathroom and out the vent, then seals it. The alien yells, "Nelson, you die, you all die!" He shoots the gun at the door and blows up into an inferno. Later, on the conning tower, Lee and Nelson watch as Seaview remote detonated the area. The rest of the capsules are buried (good music use here). Nelson says, "Man's second chance." Good thing those capsules could withstand the blasting and the rocks falling on them. NOTE: The copy I saw showed Seaview after the ending with the voice over, "VOYAGE TO THE BOTTOM OF THE SEA brought to you by..."
REVIEW: A very scary story with a villain who seems to be just different but who is filled with his people's own superiority so much so that when Crane reaches his limit from Zar, so have we the viewers come to hate him so when Crane says, "If he moves, or if he even talks, kill him," we side with Crane. Robert Duval is excellent as the man-alien (named Zar in the promotional material and in the credits and script) and makes his willing, at first, to give him the benefit of the doubt of just being different and not evil. But the truth is, he is very evil minded, at least to our way of thinking. This reminded me of SPACE: 1999's later episode (1976) THE EXILES where two aliens wanted their exiled rebel comrades taken out of suspended animation capsules, put there by a supposed tyrannical people. It turned out the aliens taken out were the psychopathic killers, put in these capsules to keep the rest of the home planet safe from them. With Zar, it is even more scary in that if he is hurt or wounded or if his blood is spilled---it could mean a disease which will kill off all human life. With AIDS constantly on the minds of the media and the public in general, the blood contamination factor is even more scary nowadays. The gas sequence with Chip and Ski gave them something to do but wasn't really fully explained enough. Why did they have one mask with them and not two? Why didn't the gas explode even when contained? The X ray of Zar was really quite scary when you think about it, a throwback to some of the aliens in THE OUTER LIMITS. The fact that his human-like body and appearance were fabricated by his scientists makes this episode even more intriguing. Although some of this episode was a routine evil man-thing among us, the blood factor, the background to Zar and his people, and the way it was presented made this an entertaining installment, one that is difficult to forget from this Season or any season.