WRITER-WILLIAM REED WOODFIELD
Navy News: Nelson Inspects Subs: Admiral Evaluating Neptune Now. Neptune looks like Seaview, only changed and less modified. When we see it up close, one of the side windows looks like it has a pin crack in it. Nelson tells the Captain--Jim the gyros are sluggish, the oil temperature is 20 degrees high, the port propeller shaft bearings have water in them. Nelson tells the captain there is no reason to decrease speed now--the best time something can go wrong is on a shakedown cruise. Guidance checks out okay but the bow is ten degrees down. Nelson tells the captain, "Easy, Jim, you're not being evaluated, only the ship." Jim says, "Thanks, Admiral." NOTE: Promo material relays that Jim and Harry are supposed to have been good friends. Electronic circuits receive interference, sonar feels they are right in the center of the interference, and gyros deviate. Neptune shakes and hits rocks. Nelson wonders if it is a forcefield of some kind. Nelson tells Jim to radio Com Sub Pack. Above is a mountain reach--with peaks up to 300 feet. They are at 3600 feet, in uncharted water deeper than the Marinas Trench--mountains bigger than Mount Everest. In the periscope they see the biggest school of coelentera which soon vanishes. They get electro magnetic radiation from the mountains. Nelson smiles, "I'd give a lot to have core samples." Nelson and Fowler (whom Jim calls to be the "Admiral's buddy" in diving) go out into the waters. Suddenly, a giant Man O' War, a jellyfish, descends on the Neptune, making it look very tiny indeed!
Nelson and Fowler swim by large growths, their geiger counter reading. On the Neptune, the guidance controls malfunction and they cannot blow ballast--compressors don't respond. Nelson and Fowler pick up some rocks and haven't yet seen the jellyfish. Suddenly, they see the giant tentacles descend on the Neptune from above. This scene, makes one realize how the color episodes with the jellyfish somewhat pale by comparison--the hugeness of it in MUTINY and the black and white photography as well as the sound effects mixed with the way the thing strikes with those tentacles, make this a very creepy scene and episode. The tentacles drape on the Conning Tower of the sub which has no maneuvering speed now. The thing completely engulfs the sub, which is visible through its hide. Nelson and Fowler go upward as the jellyfish causes an explosion which rips the Neptune in half. The two men fight their way through the smaller coelentera to the surface. Nelson tells him they have to keep their heads, slip out of the wet suits and use the airtanks to inflate them. Nelson gets water in his mouth. He is more worried about sharks which he points out to Fowler and which scare the tiny coelentera away. They use their shark repellant spray to ward off the sharks. They hook their scuba gear together and tie the tanks to the legs of the wetsuits. Nelson pulls Fowler up to their makeshift raft and then gets himself up, "Good work, Fowler." It is 300 miles to the next shipping lane. Admiral Jim Stark of Com Sub Pac calls Lt. Commander Jackson in. The 7th fleet cannot locate the Neptune even though it has been 12 hours and there are no reports of survivors yet. Jim went through Annapolis with Harrimin Nelson. Lee comes in to Joe Jackson and insists on seeing Stark, even though the older Admiral is in a foul mood, Jackson telling Lee, "Even on his best days, he eats junior officers for breakfast and right now he's sore as a boil." Joe brings Crane in. Stark tells Lee that the Admiral is a sailor--if there's a way he'll find it. The South Pacific area weather: hot sun. Crane reads it and Stark yells, "I can read." Crane apologizes. Nelson sails NORTH BY NORTHWEST in a good current. They row with their fin flippers but Fowler drops one by mistake. He curses himself, "Clumsy...I'm sorry, Admiral." Nelson just makes a face (nice guy, today). Fowler ties the other flipper to his hand. Planes and destroyers search. We see an extreme long shot of the raft. A pound of excess fat is two meals to them. Nelson is stung by one of the coelentera as he tries to fish. Fowler was stung when the things were in his wet suit and even stung him on the back of his head. Nelson tells him to keep the stings cool with sea water. Fowler does but also starts to drink some which Nelson stops. Nelson pulls up a fish for them to eat. Fowler knives it. Stark is on the phone demanding results--it is night where he is now and soon it will be night in the Pacific. 200 planes search 500 square miles of sea. Stark wants every inch searched and hopes they survive the night. It is rough seas and heavy waves; Fowler's shirt is used as a sail. Fowler asks about whether or not they will make it. Nelson wonders about the creature--perhaps the forcefield stimulated its ability to grow, he will know when he goes back. Fowler won't go back and he tells Nelson. The creature is really a whole system of creatures together, organized. Nelson holds onto Fowler. Crane tells Stark, "This not knowing--there must be something." It went down 6000 miles away. Stark berates Lee--again, "Men have gone down with subs for hundreds of years--good men, brave men like Nelson and the crew of the Neptune." Heavy seas prevent further searching. Nelson pulls Fowler up again but the rough storm makes Fowler go back down. Nelson calls for him and looks under the water for him. Nelson yells for Fowler but the man is gone.
Seaview dock: a man carries a crate with a rolling aide cart. Others carry boxes. Nose: The secretary of defense tells Lee Seaview is in commission to investigate the loss of the Neptune. Chip comes in, "Good morning." Crane turns, "Oh, good morning." On the phone, Stark talks loudly and yells at Lee, "I run a tight ship--old Navy, spit, polish and brig." Crane tells him, "Yes sir," and when he gets off the phone with him, raises his hands in frustration, "That's all I need--Captain Bligh!!!" On ship, Stark yells at Curley about a sloppy drill and threatens him with being back in the Navy as a seaman if he doesn't move faster than that. Curley looks up in the Missile Room, "Yes sir," he says angrily. Crane tells Stark to let up on the men, "This is not a Navy ship. You've been on them for days. I'm New Navy, so are my men," and then he winces as he says, "So was Admiral Nelson." Stark ignores this info and tells him the Seaview is on active status, calling Crane Captain. Sparks calls the captain several times--he has a call. Crane puts it on the intercom--Nelson is in bed in the Honolulu Naval Hospital, safe. Jiggs Stark is talked to by Nelson. Nelson tells him, "Well, uhmm, let's keep relaxed." Stark says, "Sure, Harrimin." Crane hugs some of the men and puts his arms around two at the same time. Hospital: Crane meets Nelson as Nelson dresses in full uniform. He sailed-drifted half and half for two more days until he hit the shipping lanes. Fowler's mind was completely gone--Nelson says--"he was haunted by the coelentera and the loss of his buddies aboard the Neptune." Nelson laughs but looks at Lee and tells him he looks like he just lost his best friend. Nelson is talking fast, nervous-like, not like himself. The captain of the Neptune didn't blow ballast--he couldn't. Nelson takes pills--the doctors wanted him to stay for further testing but he told them he can't. He takes cortisone pills. On Seaview, Stark turns command over to Nelson who tells him point blank, "Captain Crane is in command of the Seaview." He takes more pills. Nelson says, "The sooner this mission is accomplished, the sooner we're civilians again." Nelson asks Lee to join them in the nose as soon as they've cleared harbor. Seaview leaves the city area. Nelson tells Stark and Lee that neither the captain or the crew of the Neptune were at fault or error. There were two emergencies--a forced dive and the coelentera. Lee says it sounds like a Portuguese Man of War. Nelson tells him it was 1000 feet across and the forcefield stimulated its growth--it could grow to two, three, or four times that in size. Stark tells Harry he was adrift for too long. Lee tells Stark, "Admiral Nelson doesn't exaggerate. You see it's like Seaview, Admiral, all of us, you, me, the crew...inside, we're individuals, outside we're like one big creature." Nelson explains it has only a central nervous system and can only respond. "We can function as a team and that's our strength." Later, in a hallway, alone, Crane tells Chip to check out a line. Stark calls Crane over and goes on about Naval doctrine--customs, traditions, and how Crane should have been trained in these as an Academy Man. He tells Crane he has been watching him and Stark wonders feels as if Crane "seems to disapprove." Crane tells him on the contrary--HE seems to disapprove. Stark cites easy informality, which leads to trouble. He cites Crane calling his Exec by his first name. Lee tells Stark that he calls Chip Mr. Morton when addressing him in front of the crew but when they are alone, he calls him Chip (this isn't always true but...). "Chip and I are good friends. Alone I call him Chip. Unless I've had bad training, I was taught the Captain sets the tone of the ship." Stark considers his answer insubordinate and his attitude toward superiors is not correct. When Crane is called away, he says, "By your leave, Admiral." They are at 3600 feet and getting electrical interference. Nelson hesitates. Crane tells Chip, "Mr. Morton, take er down." Nelson pops another pill. Seaview shakes, nose down, guidance affected. They shake and sink--compressors out. Crane looks at a very quiet Nelson who is doodling on some paper---drawing two or more men of war jellyfish!
Seaview is going down, gyro gone, guidance inoperative. They are near the Neptune's last area. Chip turns on the TV. They steer by their engines port to starboard, 100 feet down per minute. At 225 Crane spots a plateau and calls the crew, "Rig for collision!" On the TV they see one but is too sheer. Stark wants ahead full but Crane orders port back. They find a plateau. Stark watches an unconcerned Nelson and then says, they are coming in too fast. Crane tells him they don't have enough speed to maneuver. He orders all stop and hold fast. "Admiral Stark, brace yourself." Seaview lands on the plateau and Stark, not obeying, falls down. Crane picks up an angry Stark, "Obviously, you didn't hear my order to stand fast." Nelson talks about a vein of conatite ore and divers go out. Nelson says, "Have them hurry--we're all vulnerable down here." Nelson defends Crane when he and Stark are alone, "Crane's the best there is." The jellyfish is descending (THE PRICE OF DOOM music). The divers are outside. Chip goes to the nose. They have ten minutes to figure out what to do. They are making repairs on the compressors but it will take one to two hours. Crane says, "What if that thing down there decides to eat again--that's all we need." Lee suggests their computer which can solve all kinds of improbable and insolvable problems. Stark tells Nelson that Crane is insolent and has no respect for superiors. Nelson tells him he doesn't like Crane because, "you can't scare the pants off him." The computer says: flood ballast, full dive on all planes. Doc (Richard Bull) checks divers for radioactivity--electroactive. The smaller creatures can destroy brain cells. Nelson takes more pills. He theorizes that Theta Emissions are causing the sub problems. The coelentera is what killed Fowler when his brain cells were destroyed by the smaller ones. Stark points out one problem--they can't get out before the coelentera gets hungry again. Crane tells Chip to dive to 4400 feet, just 50 feet below crush depth at 32.9 knots. Chip asks Crane what the Admiral thinks of this. We see an Oriental--dark skinned and possibly Hawaiian crewman come in to get Crane's signature.
Crane asks Chip if the Admiral seems different to him. Chip asks what he means. Nelson and Stark come in. Nelson is excited and active. He doesn't agree with Lee's plan when Crane tells them it. Lee insists the computer told him to do this but Nelson says, "Hang the computer! I designed this sub, I know how she works! Up angle on the planes, all ahead full!!!" Stark backs up Nelson's tantrum, "Captain, that's not a request, it's an order." Crane says, "I'm Captain of this vessel." Nelson relieves him of that responsibility! Crane tries to reason with him, "In the hospital you said the Neptune lost maneuvering speed." Nelson yells, "I never said any such thing!" He yells at him that he is relieved of his command. Crane tells them this is a private vessel--I can't be relieved." Stark interferes, telling him this is a vessel commissioned by the US Navy and relieves him of his command again--under Navy Rules and Regulations. Stark orders, "Mr. Morton escort MISTER Crane to his cabin." Chip nods to Crane (traitor Chip is, innihe?).
Crane follows Chip but elbows him in from behind into his ribs. "No! This ship is my responsibility!" He gets a gun from a small locker near the door and orders Chip to do as he says. Chip says, "Aye, aye." Nelson gulps, "Lee, don't. It's down there." Stark doesn't care about it and tells Crane, "MUTINY is a hanging offense, captain." Crane shouts that before they hang him he will get this ship home. He orders full down angle--ahead flank. Chip looks at him, "Captain! Lee!" Right bastard, innihe? Nelson repeats that the creature is down there. Lee orders them to dive and Seaview dives.
Seaview tilts to 4300 feet. Crane orders to stand by to reverse angle and full up angle on the planes. They shake. NOTE: I believe the brief clip later used in Season four's THE DEADLY DOLLS is taken from here as Seaview passes a large rock formation in the foreground. Seaview levels off just as the computer predicted. It moves up and Crane puts the gun down. Nelson says, "I...I...I treated you like a brother! You drew a gun on me! Get out of here! Get out of my sight! Mister Morton, you're in command of Seaview--set a course for home!" Lee leaves the room. Nelson cries and bites his hand. Nelson tells Stark he is right--Navy ship law--Captain Crane mutinied, Nelson yells. "I demand a general court martial! Stark raises one side of his lip, confused for once, "He..Lee was right..he saved the ship and all hands." Nelson yells, "He drew a gun! Mutiny!" Stark says, "Harrimin, I think we should go to your cabin." Nelson yells, "You were right, Jiggs, right, you were right, Seaview is a loose ship, a mutinous ship, mutinous, all of you!" Nelson has a break down and sits on the periscope island. In his cabin, Crane is leaning against his bunk when Doc comes to him, one diver is dead, out of his mind and he sank into a coma. His head was covered with the coelentera--and electrical radiation destroyed his brain cells. The other diver isn't showing radiation but there may be symptoms days or weeks later: personality changes, talkativeness, depression, irritability, and a violent episode--all of which sometimes shows up in people who are allergic to certain drugs. Crane worries about Nelson. The irradiated cells are not reversible and is always fatal. Crane says, "Oh no." They hear an alarm. Chip tells him the coelentera is closing in. Stark calls Crane, "Get up here on the double." Crane and Doc run up to the Control Room, "Doc, take care of the Admiral." Doc takes Nelson out. Crane tells the crew, "Alright, pull yourselves together." On the TV they see the thing. Crane orders up scope. Seaview ahead full. Crane calls the Reactor Room and tells them to bring the reactor up to full and hit it with an electrical charge. Crane tells Stark to look at what happens. The lights blast out and Seaview shakes once. Lights blink and there are sparks. Attitude generators are okay. Crane orders them to hold until they are inside the monster. He wants to get a shot at its central nervous system. More shaking and sparks. NOTE: Unlike later seasons (three and four mostly) the shaking sequences are not prolonged or overdone. Chip orders firing of 1,2, screen, 3, and 4. Seaview electrifies its hull and the creature from within it. It vanishes from around them.
SICKBAY: Nelson is in his bunk. Physically he will be fine--his brain cells are not damaged. He had an allergic reaction to the pills--throw the pills away, Doc recommends, and he will be as good as new. NOTE: We do not find out what happens to the other diver but I would guess the other diver is okay--after all, Nelson survived the earlier encounter in the water but Fowler didn't. Stark looks at Nelson, "He's Navy alright," in other words tough and he will beat it. Stark turns to Lee who leans over Nelson's bunk with Stark, "...and so are you, captain. He should be proud." Nelson, awakening, with his back to them and under covers, says, "He is...mighty proud." Seaview sails off.
REVIEW: Stark was being most obnoxious in this episode but not due to the poison by the jellyfish giant--Nelson's tirade only comes later in a terrifically acted sequence--Basehart is magnificent. The stranded at sea scenes are not poorly conceived but the damage is done when the man Nelson is with dies also, leaving Nelson the sole survivor of the tragedy. Harold J Stone as Admiral Jiggs Starke adds spice to the whole interplay, making things heat up even faster. Nelson seemed very vulnerable and human for once and this episode is one of the first where he is taken over as well as being the first to feature a giant man of war. A tension filled one. It is odd that they choose to show this one before DOOMSDAY where Nelson is more pro-military and pro-Navy as well as pro nuclear deterrent. At one point, a voice answering Crane from another part of the ship (Reactor Room or Engineering or Damage Control) sounds exactly like Bob Dowdell even though his character Chip Morton was in the control room at the time. At first, one thinks this episode is going to detail Nelson's struggle to return from the sea and for a while it does but wisely, it shifts to the changes in Nelson and the interpersonal differences between Stark and Crane. Stark was not evil though and this is a good thing... he just had his own ways and belief systems--very true to life as anyone who works for a similar type boss will understand.