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VOYAGE TO THE BOTTOM OF THE SEA-THE AMPHIBIANS

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THE AMPHIBIANS

WRITER-RIK VOLLAERTS

DIR-FELIX FEIST



TEASER

Fish underwater near an undersea lab which is continuing 20 years of research started by the main man--the old Dr. Winslow. Dr. Jenkins, younger, more muscular, has pushed the doctor ahead on doing more experiments---using human subjects--human volunteers. Biochemistry has been changed using drugs and injections which lowered Jenkins' blood pressure, made his eyes able to function in less light, made his skin able to be immersed in water for a longer period of time. Jenkins' artificial gills have completely healed--they have been put into his neck. Winslow is not completely confident they are doing the right thing. They have spent 3 months at the bottom of the sea. Jenkins is in a bathing suit and goes up to a tank of water. He goes into it and bubbles come from his gills. It works. Jenkins gets overly excited, "It worked! The operation's a success! I breath water!"  ? He is the first amphibian man. Winslow warns him as he moves toward the pressure hatch to dive down and outside--Jenkins, he feels has spent too much time in the water as it is. Jenkins wants to stay under longer--he feels he can now. He dives out and down the lab hatch--to its under cage--then goes outside the cage into the deep. If you look closely, a rock formation out there looks like a giant sea shell or giant clam shell but it is just a rock.



ACT ONE

The main VOYAGE theme is heard. Chip is at the periscope--two miles to the station. Dr. Winslow has asked that Seaview approach from the east to not stir up the water around the XP1 lab. He and Jenkins have been living for six months underwater with plans for one full year. Seaview runs 1.82 degrees at 200 feet. Crane goes to Sparks. At the XP1, Jenkins and Angie, a girl (who seems almost mute) bring in a swimmer--who is unconscious now. Another man, Danny, helps them. Winslow thought they agreed to stop kidnapping people. Jenkins (although at times it sounds like Winslow calls him Jacobs) tells him they need man power (or girl power as the case may be). Winslow sends Angie to her quarters and responds to Crane's call by asking that the sub remain 500 yards away. Crane is bringing them supplies. They need pepper--Winslow tells them that although they can synthesize almost everything they need to eat from Kelp--pepper cannot be made. Jenkins and Winslow operate and make the swimmer man into an amphibian with no side effects in their reactions. Jenkins wants Winslow to let Nelson know what they've done. They put the body of the swimmer into a freezing chamber. Winslow isn't sure what the chemical and medical changes will do to the human body and insists Jenkins is not the same man. Jenkins tells him he is not, nor is Winslow--Winslow is an amphibian also--with gills. They did an excellent job on each other. The tissues are changing, the mind expanded and opened up. Seaview lands on a ledge. Crane goes out and the longer swim gives him good exercise, he jokes about this to Winslow. The reports given to Crane for Nelson are deprived of the most important info--since Nelson was against the use of human volunteers from the start. Jenkins tells Winslow they must, "break away from the world and Admiral Nelson," and make more of their kind. They get a signal that Capt. Crane and Kowalski are here and the two surface up the hatch. It is interesting to note the hatch goes up and there is a tank that allows one to see Crane and Ski before they surface. Crane waves hello and we can see from this and from when he surfaces and takes off his mask there is a great deal of water in his mask. It has been ten days since Crane's last visit. Nelson will make the next supply trip. The scientists want to make it known that this project is about making man adaptable to the sea. Winslow tells him, "Life began in the sea," the first man came from the sea he insists. He also says embryos of humans have had gill slits. Jenkins puts to Crane that they want to try their experiments on a human being. Crane lets them know the Admiral will object. They show Crane mice swimming under the water in a fish tank. A bit unnerved, Ski wants to collect the oxygen tanks and go back to Seaview. Crane goes with him but first Jenkins says, "Science is always held back by small, unimaginative minds." Crane, not one to let anyone get away with a comment like that, skillfully counters with a non-nasty, "I'm sure you're not including the Admiral in that assessment." Crane gives a hearty, "Bye, Dr. Winslow," the older man. Later at dock in Seaview Crane tells Nelson they've changed. Nelson presses him for information since it is important information: the nervous tissues--the brain, the synthetic tissues of Winslow's may caused a change. Crane says it is subtle, something in their personality and attitude. It will take two weeks to complete a proof or disproof of Winslow's results. The whole report to Nelson is a plea to try the experiment on Jenkins. Nelson explains Jenkins is skilled geneticist and Winslow is a brilliant, great scientist. Nelson was only too happy to find the money and do his share of the research. Seaview's crew has brought back tanks that have 80 percent of the oxygen not consumed--a clue that they may have begun experimenting on themselves. The two scientists didn't account for that--perhaps unconsciously Winslow did this and perhaps Jenkins just wanted to let it out into the open. Nelson has talked to Washington DC and he wants Lee to go back. The authorities have informed Nelson of missing people--four men and one woman scuba divers and excellent swimmers all missing along the shoreline near the XP1. There has also been a great deal of publicity about the XP1. Seaview is on the surface soon but dives to 200 feet, course 235. They want to observe the XP1 from behind a heavy rock formation which will shield them from the lab. Angie is fully asleep in an underwater tank. He heart has lower blood pressure. We hear the Seaview theme as we see the sub; Chip and Lee look at the TV monitor in the Control Room. Seaview's engines are off and but it is running and we hear the bleep beep. Chip and Lee see Angie swimming at 200 feet scuba free! They note the metal attachments on her neck. Crane says, "Dr. Winslow has gone ahead--he's made his amphibians," and then a bit too dramatically, "He's started making his monsters."



ACT TWO

Crewmen Carson and Lynch are replacements for crewmen Davison and Morely. The two jobs are to observe the lab from outside Seaview. The XP1 gets signals and also picks up the two divers. When Winslow calls, Crane says he is concerned about the gas content in the tanks given to the Institute and he would like to take some tests. Jenkins calls their not accounting for the oxygen used in the tanks blunder--they should have let out the air from the tanks to show they used air like non-amphibians. Crane tells Chip to make noises like the crew is doing some repair work on Seaview to further their excuse of not being able to leave. The scientists have their electrolysis functioning. Jenkins gets plastic explosives but Winslow is worried. Even though they will damage Seaview, they will save many of the crew for new recruits. Winslow muses that he is not afraid by what they are doing, he feels power and assurance that they are right. Ski and Crane come back in. Winslow tells them it is funny about the gas content. Crane, dead pan serious now, says, "Really. How is it funny?" Crane and Ski check for leaks but one room is locked. Jenkins makes some excuse about experiments on animals that is in that room and it is crucial not to disturb the tests. They will take 24 hours but maybe by then Seaview's repairs won't be finished, Crane tempts them--he claims they have a pressure leak. He asks the two over to Seaview for dinner but they refuse. When Crane and Ski leave, Jenkins says, "He knows." Winslow tells him they should take the two Seaview watchers and "if Seaview hasn't left in two hours, we'll destroy it." Angie leads Carson and Lynch (we see light from above the surface beaming down--how deep is the XP1 supposed to be anyway and if 200 feet--can light penetrate that brightly?) into a trap. A net drops over the two Seaview men and Danny, also amphibian and in only a bathing suit, uses tranquilizers on them and they are taken to the XP1. Chip looks at a photo of the missing girl and claims it is the same girl. Crane wants to search the XP1 again. Chip feels they have to but Crane considers the safety of the hostages first. They get a report from Davison and Morely that the other two-Carson and Lynch are gone. Crane recalls Davison and Morely back to the ship. Chip looks on the telescopic viewer (fancy name for TV camera). Jenkins tells Winslow to stall Capt. Crane and Winslow wonders if this is the right way to proceed. He wants the amphibians to disable Seaview only--with the entire crew as recruits they will need the living space of Seaview. A three minute timer is on the bomb device. Angie and Danny leave. Crane is called Commander by a crewman getting static. On the TV, Chip gets static. Crane gets heavy electronic interference. Sparks tells them the XP1 is the source of the jamming. Crane tells Chip to prepare to get Seaview underway. The explosive packs are set by Angie and Danny. Two blasts rock the Seaview (we see the smaller model in an extreme long shot).



ACT THREE

Ski takes the very hurt Mr. Morton to Sickbay. Buoyancy tanks, the electric system, and the pumps are out. The flooding is under control. Jenkins is overly happy when Angie and Danny return, "Great job!!! Both bombs exploded!! Seaview won't be going anyplace. Angie, some food---I'M HUNGRY !!!" THIS GUY IS A LOON. And so is Angie for putting up with him. Jenkins looks at Seaview on TV (don't we all). Winslow has done some tests on the electro encephalograph--there is a change in the brain from their experiments. Then he asks Jenkins, "Are we mad?" THIS GUY IS A LOON, also. Jenkins says, "We can't back out now. We're in this a little deep." Yes, 200 feet deep. Winslow tells him the changes include violence that they have done--changed people without their consent (hey, he doesn't hear Angie complaining, does he?). Jenkins says, "Excuse me if I won't shed a tear." THEY ARE BOTH LOONY TUNES and not the cartoon kind. Jenkins is served, "Excellent Angie, you've become a very good cook!" Gee, I guess this experiment was worth it just for that. They get all their food from the sea--bread from plankton (THE PLANKTON! THE PLANKTON! ANNA!). Sorry. They also get meat and vegetables from the sea. Crane calls Winslow and tells him to release the hostages. When Winslow won't, Chip tells Crane he wants to torpedo those maniacs (right, Chip and kill the innocent Angie and the others?). Crane tells Chip to prepare the electronic screen but this will hold back repairs. Winslow knows Seaview is here to spy on them--well, duh. Winslow tells this to Crane and wants to come over to Seaview. Jenkins will start on the Seaview men, making them into amphibians. After the call is over, Crane quietly says, "He's insane, that's the only explanation." He wants them to search Winslow when he comes aboard. In the Missile Room, Crane tells Ski to take Winslow to the observation nose. The electronic screen whines in the Missile Room. Chip calls a Chief engineer who tells him the screen is set up at 100 yards now, safe from further free diver attacks. In the nose, Winslow coughs (a flub or was this to imply that Winslow was getting sick from his change; or that his breathing air is making him sick?) in the nose (well, his cough comes from his mouth but he is standing in Seaview's nose). You know what I mean. Crane tells him five of their men are injured, some severely. Crane is really mad at him. Winslow tells him that no one has a right to stifle scientific research especially in adapting man to life undersea. He and the others can breath air and water, getting oxygen from the water itself. "Oh, commander, if you only knew the freedom, the beauty, the music of the silences of the deep. From it we get all minerals, all chemicals, we can make anything, do anything, and you can't hurt us--touch us but we can destroy you." SOMEONE SHUT THIS NUTCASE UP!!! Crane tries with telling him mankind--people have to set foot on land but Winslow tells him they do not have to anymore. Winslow tells him Nelson lied to him about the brain changes but WHO'S LYING NOW? Crane tells him Nelson, he, and the crew have no interest in joining them. The radio bursts nearby. Winslow gives the Commander (Crane) two hours to surrender and join them. After Winslow leaves, Chip says, "That's no more the man we took out six months ago than I'm Admiral Nelson!" Crane noticed an ozone burst from the radio blast affected Dr. Winslow. He wants to check on something--the ozone from the short in the electrical circuit did that to Winslow. It is ten after four. The Seaview has until 6PM--but Jenkins did not make the promise to wait. He plans a surprise for the sub--Angie. Sayyyy, well now. In one of the Seaview men's scuba gear, she is going to deliver oxygen tanks which are really an explosive. "Seaview loses either way." Chip watches the TV---Winslow passes the high intensity electric field--the 100 yards limit. Crane tells Chip to have ozone generators built and then Crane goes outside the electrical field to be on guard (what? The captain of the sub? Why? To stop someone from getting killed? Did he know Angie was arriving?). Winslow is worried that if Angie is captured, she will make a sacrifice of herself--Jenkins has a plunger on the O2 tanks which will blow her and anyone near her up. Crane swims outside the field and orders it put back on again. Chip sees him and the new scuba diver on the viewer. Crane sees no bubbles coming from the tanks and realizes it is not one of their men--it is Angie--hey, shouldn't he have guessed this from other observations? Crane grabs her and rips her mask off. He tears the tanks off and the tanks fall to the ocean floor and blow up. The blast hits Angie in the back.



ACT FOUR

Crane carries Angie to Seaview; Winslow and Jenkins watch on their TV. Winslow ponders that if the Seaview men knew what the conversion brings--wisdom, pure joy--they would willingly join them. Jenkins will go to attack it again while Winslow will take the two Seaview men out of cold storage to begin their change. Ski takes Angie from Crane and is to get her to Sickbay on Crane's orders. He responds with a quick, "Yes sir." Chip and Crane go to Sickbay. Doc (Rich Bull) doesn't think there is permanent harmful effects from the blast. Her heart rate is low and her temperature is under 75 degrees. Chip uses one of the ozone generators on her and it has a bad effect. Doc gives her oxygen. Crane tells him, "Watch her, doc, keep her here--this young lady could flood the Seaview and kill us all and still get away herself--that's one advantage an amphibian has." The same notion is in DEADLY AMPHIBIANS in year four. Winslow is still talking in the lab, "Why? Why do we do this? Angie was a nice person." How would he know? Jenkins tells him to forget her and to forget the sonar screen, "Take care of our young men--make them amphibians as soon as possible." Jenkins swims at Seaview. Ski and Crane swim out with the ozone generators. Crane tells Chip to turn the electronic field back on after the pair are out. They see Jenkins swim into the electrified shield and he is killed by it, floating in the water now. Crane and Ski leave him and set the ozone generator under the sea lab. Two men inside are knocked out. In Sickbay, Doc spoke to Nelson at the Institute. Surgery may restore the girl back to normal. Winslow, babbling about vulnerability (the non amphibians are vulnerable) and victors (which will be the amphibians) is brought aboard with three men including Danny--however they wake up and plan to escape. They rescue Angie from sickbay. Winslow has a bomb (again!). He wants to go to the stern. He makes the way clear for them to get out the missile room hatch. He tells Crane and Chip to open the escape hatch once they are in the tube. The bomb will explode in three minutes if they do not. Winslow slams the door, "Goodbye Commander Crane, gentlemen." What is this Commander Crane stuff? Winslow in the tube starts to climb the ladder (one of the first times and perhaps the only time this was shown being done). Crane cuts the intake valve off and the hatch to the outside hull can't open unless the interior is equalized by the water pressure. Chip stalls Winslow on the radio. Crane sets a small grenade on the door hatch and calls for all the men present to lean on a crash matt against the door. It blows; Chip opens the torpedo tube door while Crane grabs Winslow's bomb and stuffs it in. Ski fires it out. Crane calls Control, "Blow all tanks--give it everything's she's got or she'll stay down here forever." The blast shakes them a bit. Later at the dock and in the Seaview nose, Winslow tells Nelson that stopping him will not stop the research he and others all over the world are doing to adapt man to life in the sea--man will need the food the sea can give us and must go down to harvest it--the research will go on. Nelson tells him for now they are more concerned with reversing the damage he has done to the other people he changed and returning their normal human characteristics. Staring blankly while sitting at a table, Winslow tells them, "If I'm right, it can't be done." Nelson says, "If I were you, doctor, I'd start praying that I were wrong."



REVIEW: The gills are pretty strange and Skip Homeier who has played in many science fiction series (THE OUTER LIMITS) and who also played a junior Nazis, not even 10 years old, in TOMORROW THE WORLD!, adds to the strangeness of this experiment. The truth is, despite this one being very different from almost all the other first seasoners and also being the first to include water breathing beings---ala THE MERMEN--this one isn't very memorable. Nor is it one of the better first seasoners, possibly the worst one. Frank Graham plays Danny and also played a monster in LOST IN SPACE-A CHANGE OF SPACE. He and Angie have no lines. The concept of this one is fine but it is very talky and repeats itself a great deal. The bomb thing drags on far too much. And Winslow and Jenkins are far too boring--they go on and on with long speeches--one might almost be the other continuing the speeches. There are long drawn out scenes of them talking to each other about the experiment--and only a few of these scenes give us any new information. Skip Homeier is way too over the top and reads his lines like they were from a whimsical fairy tale. Curt Conway as Winslow is not too over the top but too underplayed except of an occasional daft line here and there every so often. Many of these are commented on in the synopsis. Again, the idea and even the story outline are very good---but the lines and the actual writing of dialogue is terrible. The same problem plagues DEADLY AMPHIBIANS, a similar episode. DEADLY CLOUD and SHADOWMAN, written by THE AMPHIBIANS (season one) Rik Vollaerts also suffers from this. Rik's episodes are some of the worst episodes. This may have been due to the fact that his scripts were messed with by the networks and others but he is consistently bad on logic and dialogue. It is also odd to note that both this and the former episode just before it, CRADLE OF THE DEEP, discuss about how life came from the sea.

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