Writer-WILLIAM REED WOODFIELD
A sub called the Angler has an exec named Frank Richardson (the always brilliant Tom Skerrit) who is mumbling about his captain--Jim Williams. They disagree over the course, both men edgy and jumpy. The commander's agitation rises; Frank yells at him that he's been on his back since they left that island. The fight escalates to blows but the other men break it up. Jim runs, gets a machine gun out, spouts how he has always hated Frank, and fires into the group of men. The sub crashes into a mountain side.
Seaview is 200 miles away; Nelson is taking water samples from 6000 feet, checking the profiles--which read constant. Chip gives Lee the report about the Angler--no survivors. Captain Williams and Frank Richardson were friends of Nelson. Nelson wants the Radio Commander Sub Pack--which might give them a clue to the disaster. Lee calls Frank and Jim, "Two of the most decent, gentle men he's ever known." Nelson bangs a beaker in anger over this tragedy. Seaview gets metal contact and sonar is piped into the PA. The sound is at 200 feet. On the scanner screen, they see the wreck--no wonder no one got out. They must have hit the mountain at full force. Divers get the log tapes of the sub. Note: the door hatch is the one that must be turned by hand to open. Crane and Nelson watch the divers go by the viewport windows from the lower nose section. In Missile Room, Crane and Nelson listen to the tapes of the two arguing. Some of the crewmen overhear the tape and listen, looking upset. Crane cannot understand how this happened, "Frank and Jim were as close as..." Nelson stops him, "Yeah, I know." The demolition team opens Jim's safe. They read his personal log--the Angler had found an uncharted and fog bound island and after they left the island, trouble started. Jim and Frank went to it on a raft. Nelson and Lee feel they owe it to the two men to find out what made two friends hate each other to the point of murder. Seaview goes to periscope depth. Nelson views it--it is covered in slime and it gives him gooseflesh. The logs had said the island was uninhabited. Nelson and Crane use the mini-sub, then they hide it mini sub once on the island. They are in survival gear clothing. A device is watching them. They see two dead jungle cats--they killed each other---something they rarely if ever do as mates. Nelson finds papaya and feels as if someone is watching them. Crane felt the same way since they arrived. Nelson pulls Crane's foot out of a quicksand pit--the fruit falls in and sinks. We hear the jungle sounds from DOCTOR DOLITTLE. A TV camera is watching the two men. A landing party stands by. Doors open. Nelson calls Seaview, telling Chip if he doesn't call him back in one hour--to tear the island apart. Nelson and Crane go through the doors to a room---a giant man--some kind of soldier--walks in--towering far above them.
The man is apparently Oriental, General Tao, who tells them the room is an illusionary trick--a psychological ploy that makes things on one end look larger than on the other. Nelson claims to charting the coral reefs. Tao explains this is top secret research installation and that this second visit is not a coincidence, referring to two others who were here--Jim and Frank. Nelson tells him that the two officers who came here before, did so by accident. Oriental guards come in and disarm the two men. Nelson tells Crane, "Easy Lee." Tao, sarcastic and arrogant now, mocks them by repeating Nelson's words to Crane, "Yes, Lee, easy, Lee." Chip and Ski and other crewmen (some with white sailor hats on) come to the island in a raft. Tao and guards stop them, Tao telling them the two commanders left an hour ago. To prevent Chip and his men from searching the island to make sure, the guards fire a machine gun in front of them and a bullet from Tao hits SKi's gun down, looking as though it hit his arm. Fu Nag Tao of the People's Republic (of China?) tells the insisting Chip he has no right to demand any search on this island. Crane, in a rock walled cell, asks Nelson, "What happened to Chip?" Nelson's watch was taken. Tao tells Dr. Shinera, a quiet, lab coated, sly scientist, he grows impatient with this experiment. As he eats with chop sticks, Dr. Shinera tells him he has an electric brain stimulant-drug polluting every stream and lake on the island. Tao wants the drug proven--by making Nelson and Crane kill each other. Shinera smiles and nods in agreement.
O'Brien picks up nothing on sonar--Seaview has no clearance to return to the island. O'Brien wants to go back anyway. Sonar suddenly gets the mini-sub at 2000 feet--below crush depth. Tao in the dark room, paces--he wants this weapon to work. Shinera tells him only scientific method can tell if it will work. First--he makes certain they are truly friends. He uses suspicion, isolation, and mistrust--the friendship must survive this. Each man is put in a smaller cell--separate and dark. Shinera wonders if each is blaming the other. The rooms are near each other and one wall of each room is a one way mirror so the two enemy agents can see into Crane and Nelson's rooms, monitor their reactions. In the rooms, alone, they each face the fact that there are forces that control their destiny--which would frighten anyone. Shinera wants to strip the veneer of civilization that separates us from the animals. Seaview is below again--a nice effect. A deep sea suit--metallic and bulky is being put on a crewman by O'Brien. This suit looks like the robot from THE INDESTRUCTIBLE MAN. Shinera's phase two--fruit and water are placed in Nelson's room and to Tao's surprise, are not drugged--they are pure. They light up Crane's room. Seaview diver returns and explains the two men in the mini sub were torn up badly--and he couldn't get the bodies out. He did find Lee's ring and Nelson's watch. In the lab we hear Jupiter II's interior first season sound effects (via FANTASTIC VOYAGE). Shinera directs the animal emotions. They allow Crane to view Nelson on a small TV screen and Crane sees Nelson has food, water, books. For a split second, Shinera feels, Crane is resentful; while this goes on, Nelson via a TV in his room, sees Crane and feels guilt. Tao tells Shinera that Nelson is only pretending he feels guilt but Shinera feels Nelson really does, "Oh, he does, he does," but also thinks Nelson will justify his guilt. Crane, Shinera guesses, will try to find a reason to hate Nelson. Shinera then says, "He must not see what his friend does next." He cuts the TV screen off and Crane cannot see Nelson now--since Nelson will knock the food, drink, and books off the table they are on. Shinera is correct--Nelson does this. Crane is allowed back into the trick room and he finds a gun. Nelson comes in from the other side--and appears as a giant--and has a gun also. They face each other, pointing the guns at each other.
Shinera and Tao view the pair on a rounded screen---and determine the pair are genuine friends. Shinera sets them free, the two unite, and the doors open automatically. Shinera makes tea with water from a sink. Tao is beginning to appreciate the scientific method--or least he tells this to Shinera. Nelson feels the enemies are playing cat and mouse with he and Lee. A system of screens is on the island which are auto trackers. Sound is not given but Shinera tells Tao that doesn't matter now. Crane eats a berry which Shinera tells Tao contains 20 micrograms of the drug. In 30 minutes he will hate Nelson. Lee eats more. When Nelson recalls the enemy agents never had Williams and Richardson at all--he makes Lee drop the grapes. The two men who are now dead--were drugged. Nelson tells Lee there are drugs that can completely change a personality. The two talk of this. Nelson feels they can contaminate the water supply and the drug can seep into the earth, contaminating the entire island's growth. There must be some water source of the People's Republic troop that is not contaminated--for their own use. Something like a reservoir on top of the island. Nelson and Crane destroy a camera watching them. The cameras are self activated to movement. Crane stops another. Then the two aim two cameras at each other and jam the TV system, unaware in five minutes, the drugs will affect Lee. The two go to a cliff where lee wonders where Chip is, "When I get my hands on him--he disobeyed orders, Admiral, I'm going to break him--he's a coward!" Nelson fires shots to alert Chip, then asks Lee for his gun to continue the signal. Lee questions as to why Nelson wants his gun and then starts reacting against Nelson, telling the Admiral, "I don't have any use for you." Nelson attempts to get the gun and Crane falls. Lee then shoots at Nelson who flees into the jungle. Lee pursues him, "Nelson! I'm going to kill you!" This is one of the first and last times, Crane calls Harry by his last name---he usually just calls him, "Admiral" or when referring to him, "The Admiral." Nelson goes to thick trees, hides, and releases a tree branch he bent back. It hits Lee who shoots at Nelson as the Admiral once more runs away. Lee hits a tree but falls again. Nelson finds a small water fall and a pump. He turns the pump, pulls a cable out from under, and slings it over to another stream or lake. Not able to see Nelson or Crane now, Tao takes a rifle and goes outside. Shinera drinks tea. Ski and Chip return in the raft with men but Crane surprises Nelson, who throws Lee away from him. They have a large fight, ending when Lee kicks Nelson into quicksand. Tao goes to shoot Crane as Lee tries to make Nelson sink faster. Nelson, having scooped up Lee's gun, shoots Tao. Tao falls headfirst into the quicksand and sinks to his death. Crane scoops up a branch and tries beating Nelson over the head and misses. Chip and Ski and other men come up behind Crane and overpower him. In Seaview later, Crane is visited by Admiral Nelson. Crane wishes they could blow up that island. Nelson says, "That would have jeopardized relations with a friendly country. Of course, when they find out I put their water pump into a lake with the drug in it, that friendly nation might hear a few protests of their own." Lee adds, "That is if anyone is left alive to protest."
REVIEW: A good hour of excitement which showcases the role of friendship and what it can withstand. Tao is played by the wonderful Henry Silva who can smile and show how evil Tao really is with just the smile. His sarcasm ("Yes, easy, Lee") makes him one of the more snide and superior feeling baddies of the show without sacrificing his potential as a powerful man. His death scene is very shocking even in the overall violence of VOYAGE--not only was he shot but plunged headlong into the quicksand. I always wondered where Tao took the bodies of who was really in the crushed mini sub. The direction was good and the island set was very nice to look at...and for once, the jungle looked wild and overgrown. It also appeared to really be outdoors which it may have been.
NOTE: Patrick Culliton is credited as "Sonar Man", Derrick Lewis is credited as O'Brien (for once credited), and Robert Lipton is "Helmsman".