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VOYAGE TO THE BOTTOM OF THE SEA-THE BUCCANEER

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THE BUCCANEER

Writer-WILLIAM WELCH, AL GAIL

Dir-LASLO BENEDEK--one of VOYAGE'S best directors

TEASER

A cleaner at the Nelson Institute sets a fire in a paint room (we hear a slow version of the VOYAGE theme). While it is difficult to believe the Nelson Institute doesn't have its own fire team, a fire engine zooms to the area--what looks like a very old fire engine. The two men at the gate are knocked down or killed by the firemen who are not really fire men--but men dressed in black carrying machine guns. They run to an entrance which goes down to the Seaview dock and climb down it. While they do this, a guard is walking along the Seaview dock and doesn't see them (he's stock footage). The armed men take Chip, Nelson, Crane, Patterson, Ski, Curley and another crewman by surprise in the Missile Room. Nelson and Crane stop their men from rushing at the intruders. The leader--Igor orders them, "Hands in the air...at once!"



ACT ONE

The dock is deserted now. Chip is taken to the officer's section while the others are locked in the aft crew quarters (are there more than one crew quarters? Where is the rest of the crew?). All lines fore and aft are taken off. A Mr. Logan wants to shake hands with Nelson and Crane but they won't. Igor is his the best submariner his money could buy. Military men (from the Institute? No, from stock footage from the VOYAGE movie!) rush onto Seaview's upper deck and bang on the hatches (do they really think this will get them inside?). Logan orders a crash dive. Nelson says, "That'll kill them." Seaview dives and the men fall into the water. Whereas in the movie, Nelson asserts the UN police didn't die, this time, the stock, which shows the men swimming, may have died; in fact, Crane yells and attacks Logan, "Murderer!" Crane is knocked down. Logan expects occasional outbursts. He and his men know every inch of the Seaview--he paid for photos and plans and CODed for the chart of the secret channel through which they have to sail Seaview through and can use the computer and auto guidance system. Nelson's computer (he made it) is on the right side of the Seaview upon entering from the back exit (this will be changed in later seasons). In one hour, Logan expects them in the nose for refreshments. Curley, Patterson, Ski, and another man want to get out of the quarters they are in. Patterson makes some comment about two other crewmen--Henderson and Parsaul--two who were attacked, either badly wounded or killed and put somewhere else. This comment makes me think there is either a missing scene from the copy I saw, a cut scene from the finished film, or a scene in the script that wasn't filmed. A man comes in to feed them. Ski takes the man by surprise as well as his own men by kicking the tray out of the man's hands--Ski was sitting on an upper bunk at the time. They fight but the other men come in with machine guns. The man beats up Ski. In the nose, Logan describes himself as a freebooter, adventurer, buccaneer, and a resourceful man. Nelson can't deny it. He tells Lee to sit and listen to the man who is not content with his acquired fortune: he has one last great goal. Crane says, "You've hijacked the greatest ship in the world--what else could you want to add to your distinguished career?" Logan mentions an unobtainable female. Crane tells him they don't want to be involved in his love life. Logan sends Crane to "his cabin" but Crane is brought to Chip in a room that looks like an officer's mess room--but may be Crane's cabin. Nelson smokes. Chip asks Lee if the reason he doesn't know much about Logan's plan is that Logan won't talk. Lee, seriously says, "Talk? He won't shut up!" Chip tells him he doesn't know if Parcel and Henderson are alive or dead and says, "We're unarmed, locked in--how do we get our ship back?" The Lorraine, the most powerful ship in the France Navy is nearby; Nelson knows what it is carrying and tells Logan that his scheme is outlandish and that he's mad. Logan seems unmoved and tells Nelson he will steal Leonardo Da Vince's Mona Lisa.



ACT TWO

Back in the officer's mess, Nelson tells Chip and Lee the plan. Crane turns to Chip, "You see, I told you Logan was insane." Nelson has placed Logan's face--he's used other names--is a most wanted criminal who stole five million pounds from the Bank of England back in 1971 among other crimes. Nelson admits he is close to being a genius. France is taking the Mona Lisa to the World's Fair in Australia (some sources say the 1975 World's Fair). Only Seaview can catch the Lorraine. Nelson hides a pad he is doodling with--some plot to escape I guess--when Logan comes in and asks him for his help. He forces Nelson to follow him out. Nelson looks at the super carrier Lorraine through the periscope. If Nelson won't tell the captain of the Lorraine to surrender, Logan prepares to fire missiles 1,3,5, and 7. If he can't have the Mona Lisa, no one will possess her. The Lorraine refuses a boarding party. Logan gives Nelson 60 seconds to convince the captain of the Lorraine to allow it. The Lorraine captain asks the radio operator if Admiral Nelson has lost his mind. Nelson calls Logan mad and convinces the captain to allow a four man boarding party--only if Nelson is one of the men. If Nelson is not back in one hour, Logan will sink the other ship and kill all the men of Seaview. When Nelson returns to ready to go, he tells Crane, "You were right about Logan, he is a maniac. I'm convinced he'll sink that ship anyway." As soon as Nelson leaves, Crane goes into the electrical conduit to the missile guidance system and cuts a line. The cabin bearing the Mona Lisa on the Lorraine is air conditioned. Nelson is in full dress. The captain tells him to tell "this pirate" he intends to track him around the world if he has to. Mona Lisa is lowered into the Missile Room; since the humidity is high, Nelson suggests the environmental regulator. He doesn't want any harm to come to the painting either---"I plan to recover it." Logan says, "You are an optimist. Still I'm grateful." He has the Mona Lisa brought to the nose. Chip calls Lee back from the vent, "Hurry up! If they catch you in there, they'll kill you." The Lorraine plans to track the Seaview. Logan is told this and order Igor to ready the nuclear missiles for firing to blow the ship out of the water.



ACT THREE

The evil guys are pushing buttons to fire the missiles from the Control Room (has this firing from this room happened any other time on the series?). It doesn't fire so Logan asks Crane and Nelson to come up. Chip calls Lee out of the vent as the men return. Lee comes out, shuts the vent, and a second later, the door opens--Igor. After Crane leaves, Chip leans back on the wall and whistles, surviving that close call. Logan questions Nelson and Lee about the trouble. Lee says, "What was it they always told us at the academy, Admiral, when in doubt, punt." Igor kicks Lee in the chest and Lee falls. Logan orders them to dive. They rig for silent running. Logan plans to reward Nelson for his help. Nelson says, "I expect to be, eventually." Nelson wants Lee to get to the gyro control through the ducts--if it is cut off, the ship will lurch from side to side (gee, what does that look like?). Chip goes to the Crew's Quarters using the vent. He tells Curley and the others to memorize the plan--they must be in sync--the crew will get fed around the same time Lee hits the gyro controls--so they can make their escape then--by attacking the man who feeds them at the same time Lee hits the controls. Chip returns and Lee is about to get to the gyro control when Logan comes in and insists all three officers join him for dinner. Curley asks, "Kowalski, how good are you at playing sick?" Ski answers, "Who's playing?" Logan unveils the Mona Lisa in the nose for Chip, Lee, and Nelson; Nelson eyes the gyro control switch which is on the controls at the nose panels. Lee moves toward it slowly but the guard with the gun covers him. They all look at the Mona Lisa.



ACT FOUR

Nelson calls Logan insane--he can't sell it or show it off but Logan counters with--there will be no sharing of her. Ski tells the other men they have to keep the guards here since something may have gone wrong. Three men come into the Crew's Quarters and Ski does a bad job of playing sick but it fools them. NOTE: There is a TV scanner screen in the room. Logan tells Nelson and the other two, "You'll be the last outsiders ever to see her." Nelson hits the gyros, the trio punch their way out; Logan holds the Mona Lisa from falling. In the Crew Quarters, the men punch their guards out and make a run for it. One of the Seaview men is shot in the back as they run for it. Ski manages to shoot a Logan man down. Curley holds the door for Chip, Nelson, and Lee. They get in and round up the tear gas. Chip is near the mini sub. Logan calls them and talks to them. Curley looks up, "What's with this guy?" Crane is putting on his scuba gear, "Be patient, Chief, if I know Logan, this is gonna be a long speech." Seaview can outrun all pursuit; Logan will bring Seaview to an Oriental country and trade Seaview for sanctuary. Curley asks, "Can't that guy talk English?" Logan says, "It's been fun, Admiral, don't you agree." Ski shakes his head, "All this for a picture?" Chip explains if he tried to sell Seaview on the open market, it wouldn't go for as much as the Mona Lisa--wars have been fought for less. Using the battery pump, it will take five minutes to pump tear gas through Seaview and force the sub to the surface. Pat goes into the ducts, left passage to the Control Room, taking a hose (and good music) along. Chip asks Nelson about the tear gas and how they will avoid it and any bullets--Nelson shows him the removed glass top to the Mini-Sub. Chip says, "Oh, it's like having our own private tank." One of the bad guys hears Patterson crawling in the ducts and he and another man go into the claustrophobic vents. Patterson hears them in a very tense scene but he manages to get out of the vent into the ballast room. Ski goes in, hearing sounds as well. Pat fights one of the men, waiting for him to emerge from the vent. Another pulls Pat from out of the vent but Ski, in the vent and behind this one, fights the man, gets him to drop the gun, and knocks him out. Amid good fight music, Pat is being choked by the other, then Pat kicks the man off him. Ski hits the man down as he attacked a fallen Pat. Pat says, "Thanks Ski." He continues onward. Ski goes to tell the others it is okay. He tells Mr. Morton to turn on the gas (and turning it on has the door open-close sound effect from LOST IN SPACE's second and third seasons). Igor orders the surfacing as the control room fills with gas. Crane finds the outside pressure is dropping--and realizes they are surfacing. Lee goes into the escape hatch. Ski opens the Missile Room door and uses tear gas guns, shoots one man with a regular gun. Then the men use the Mini Sub plate as a bullet shield to move along the halls, firing the tear gas and being safe from the bullets! This is an inventive sequence and brings a smile to one. Crane gets on the deck after Seaview surfaces and hits a guard there and goes into the lower Conning Tower door entrance and down into the control room. He kicks Igor and another man as he descends. At the same time, the Seaview crew attack, a man rips off Curley's mask. Chip uses karate; Ski and Crane fight other men down. Lee punches Igor down; Curley punches another. Igor, in the confusion, gets his gun and moves out of the room. Nelson runs to the nose (which I thought Logan was moving the Mona Lisa out of?). He stands in front of the Mona Lisa so Logan will not shoot him. Igor comes down and points from the nose ladder. He has no compunctions about marring the painting. Logan shoots him off the ladder, dead. He couldn't let that barbarian ruin her. Nelson asks about his willingness to destroy her before but Logan admits it was before he knew what it was like to possess her--he could never destroy it. Chip comes down the nose ladder with a machine gun. Pat comes in from the other side of the room. Logan tosses his gun down. Chip, Lee, and Nelson view the Mona Lisa at the nose window area. Chip feels she looks almost alive. Lee wonders what she is thinking about. Nelson tells them poets and philosophers have speculated that for many decades but, "Perhaps, uh, perhaps, each man has to find his own answer."



REVIEW: Great episode. Well, Ski and Curly usually get the most comedic lines; however here, the award for most humorous lines goes to David Hedison. His delivery is also perfect and the intonations make it even more funny. Most of his lines deal with his commentary about Logan (he won't shut up, this'll be a long speech). Hedison always wanted to add a bit of humor to the character and perhaps, this director let him. It works well. Well, there are a few slight flaws to this episode but it is one of the most underrated episodes of VOYAGE. Barry Atwater is an excellent actor and he makes Logan just right--not too campy or too unbelievable. The direction is crisp and well done. Director Laslo Benedek must be commended, not just for THE BUCCANEER but also for his LONG LIVE THE KING. He is one of best directors VOYAGE ever had, perhaps the best. Logan is one of the most interesting villains. The stock music really livens up the wonderful action sequences. It is nice to see some other crew in charge of Seaview going up against the men. Logan should have made a return appearance in the future of the series. The dock sequences were a change but could have been handled better. The two crewmen mentioned but never having been seen is a bit strange--did they die? How? Were they shot by these intruders? What the heck? Why didn't we get to see this? Did they live? When Logan took over, why were the rest of the crew not on board yet? Why did the guard on the dock, not see the Logan men drop down to the Seaview? And how come the Nelson Institute doesn't have its own fire fighters? Or at least some way for fires to be put out--sprinklers or something? The year, production wise, was heard in DOOMSDAY--1973. To think this is 1975 is pretty wild, considering the time thing: THE EXILE says it is Oct 3, 1974; the second season episode AND FIVE OF US ARE LEFT says it is 1973! So the year thing on VOYAGE was not consistent and the time frame was a bit off--more than any other Irwin Allen series. It was also some years spread across the four seasons (not the pop music group). Apparently, the first season mentioned 1973 and 1974; the second used one that mentioned 1973 (and FIVE OF US), many that mentioned it being 1976, and a few that mentioned 1978. A few (possibly only two) 1976 episodes were, sandwiched around 1978 time framed episodes (production order again) !!! The third season mentioned the year very few times and when it was mentioned it was 1980. The fourth season hardly ever mentioned the year--1981 and 1982 to be followed by LAND OF THE GIANTS which took place in 1983!

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