WRITER-WILLAM REED WOODFIELD
October 3rd, 1974 (and AFTER the second season episode AND FIVE OF US ARE LEFT-circa--Nov. 16, 1973--!!!!???!!!): a dictator of the People's Republic is about to be shot (the country is it---China? Nope. Russia? Seems like it? Some other country? Fictional one? We are not told and this time, it may be a good thing we are not--it is better left to the imagination). Dictator Alexi (or Alexis) Brynov is to be shot, "Today my comrades kill me--tomorrow I kill them." A man leads the execution. This same man, Josip, who asked Alexi if he wanted a blindfold (he did not want one!) and who Alexi spit on before the shooting due to this question, has set up this escape and told him to be steady. The firing squad is shot by men on the roof of the nearby building. Josip spirits Alexi away.
We see the teletype and the camera zooms in and out. Nelson goes to Sparks and at this point we don't see Sparks but we hear him. There are orders from Washington DC. Crane wonders why DC is granting Alexi asylum--supposedly the former tyrant has micro film that could avoid a war. Alexi's yacht is in a fogged coastline. Nelson is to leave in the mini sub in scuba gear--if caught he will be shot as a spy. Crewman McGarrett reports to Mr. Morton who tells him to take Seaview to 100 feet. Nelson has three hours to get to the yacht. His radio is water proof. Seaview cannot stand by the yacht since the US may be blamed for kidnapping Alexi. Crane is not happy about this. If he doesn't hear from Nelson Seaview is his life insurance. The mini sub is lowered. On the yacht is Alexi's personal doctor Konstantin-an older man with thick glasses; the smug Josip; Mikhil Brynov--Alexi's older brother who fought with him side by side in the rebellion to make their country free; and a banker man named Semenov who seems to be Alexi's accountant. Alexi repeats the motto to Josip, "Together we conquer, revenge me if I die, but kill me if I retreat." Alexis tells the doctor he is strong, "I will die violently fighting, I will not die from a heart attack." Alexi mentions he never turns his back on Josip since Josip's hobby is razors (he helps Alexi to fix a razor as Alexi shaves). The American Admiral comes aboard. Alexi will see him in five minutes. Mikhil knows Alexi will drive the world to war but Alexi smiles, "Just A SMALL WAR to return me to power." He calls Mikhil an old woman and stops the older brother from throwing Alexi's St. Barbara chain outside the porthole window. Mikhil is through killing and warns he will tell Nelson. Alexi threatens him, "Then you will have his death on your conscience." Alexi tells him to tell Nelson and then to trust in the saint to protect him. Alexi comments on Nelson being in an outfit of the People's Republic. He also tells him, "We are aware of the scientific exploits of men such as yourself." He tells Mikhil to get underway. Nelson wants to evaluate the micro film but the Premier won't let him...he will only let the American President see it. Nelson will then return to Seaview and forget the whole thing. Alexi asks how Nelson knows he will let him go. Nelson reveals, "My Captain has orders to radio the yacht's position to your enemies." This is his insurance. The micro film is in the St. Barbara chain--she is supposed to protect from death. Alexi tells Nelson, "You don't like me very much." Nelson almost spits, "I despise you and everything you stand for." Seaview shakes from depth charges launched by destroyers; frame 20 is flooding, 4-5-6 leaks. They can't lead the destroyers to the Admiral. As Nelson looks at the micro film, Alexi puts his hand on Nelson's back. Nelson glances at him and the stout man removes his hand. The film shows missile sites and 12 major cities of the US that will be attacked. Nelson calls it the plans of madmen. Alexi claims he fought against them. He goes to a breakfront and reveals a radio set up inside. Nelson calls Sparks who gets him to Crane. In six hours they will meet. The inertial navigator and the radar is damaged on Seaview. It will take 3 to 4 hours to fix. Propeller shafts are hot and run out (by A TIME TO DIE in the fourth season, Nelson tells the men in the Control Room they don't use propellers, perhaps by that time they didn't). Nelson refuses a drink from Alexi to celebrate. A raft is thrown into the water. Nelson and Alexi hear a searching plane which Alexi says cannot find them in this fog unless someone's betrayed them. The two run out and there is a blast. The room blows up.
A body slips beneath the water (I never found out if it was one of the survivors who make it to the raft ala ABANDON SHIP with Tyrone Power and Hitchcock's LIFEBOAT). Nelson is on a wooden door but swims to Mikhil who is hurt and they get to the lifeboat raft. Mikhil is delirious and yells at a non-present Alexi. Mikhil tells Nelson he must warn him about Alexi. The doctor, Semenov, and Josip pull Nelson and Mikhil into the raft. Josip can only worry about who he calls "my beloved Alexi." Seaview stops; Pat hears nothing on the hydrophones. Sparks tells them the Baltic--the ship of Alexi--was sunk. Crane tells them they have to reach the rendezvous coordinates--200 miles away. Chip tells Crane, "They'll shoot him as a spy!" Crane yells, "You don't have to remind me of that, Mr. Morton!" He yells for him to set a course. Nelson pulls a gun on Josip who attacked a man in the water. They are five in a raft now, three men must take turns in the sea except Mikhil, who is badly hurt. Nelson tells them he is positive the raft, made for 4, can take 5. The doctor tells them, "He knows the sea--we are saved." Mikhil asks if Alexi is alive and feels it is better that he were dead. He also asks Nelson to "Pray for me, Admiral, and my brother." He dies and they put his body in wrappings and Nelson says a few words, "Whoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved." Nelson will make a schedule for them to rotate and tells Josip everyone must take turns in the water. Dr. Konstantine says to Nelson, "My survival depends on your good health." Nelson puts Josip in charge of food and water; the doctor tells Josip that his influence died with Alexi. Nelson wonders who launched the raft. The banker-Semenov-tells them the raft was already in the water. Alexi is alive on a desk or a chair and he swims over to them. The doctor calls him indestructible. Nelson orders Josip and Sonja (or Semenov) into the sea. Alexi tells them he is alright but one of them betrayed him. Alexi pulls Josip's gun away from him and asks about Mikhil. When he hears, he says, "Poor Mikhil--did he say anything before he died." Nelson tells him about the prayers for him and his brother--meaning Alexi himself. Alexi laughs at this, "Is that all!" Josip sees sharks. Men jump in to the raft; Alexi shoots one, then another and tosses another to a shark, killing three men in all. "Murderer!" Nelson attacks Alexi but Alexi points the gun directly at Nelson.
Sharks gone. Nelson feels Alexi has no conscience and tells him so. He's killed thousands of men, woman, and children only to gain power. Alexi calls them traitors. A ship comes toward the raft; Semenov yells to them but Alexi chokes him down and asks if he is THE TRAITOR; wanting his 60 million dollars in Switzerland which he and Alexi only have access to. Nelson grabs Alexi off Semenov who is almost dead from the choke. Nelson makes a sail--he wants to be away from here with the fog--before it lifts. Alexi puts Semenov out of the raft. Alexi wonders if the doctor betrayed him but feels the doctor saves lives, not takes them. Josip he knew since childhood and Josip fought with him in the revolution--but both the doctor and Josip were on the raft before him--the doctor first. Alexi says, "Because a rat always leaves a sinking ship first." Nelson wonders what Mikhil was really trying to tell him before he died. Seaview approaches the rendezvous point. Crane takes info from Chip but then says, "Chip, I'm sorry I blew up." Chip says, "I understand, Lee." Crane tells him it is difficult only being able to wait which is all they can do--is wait. Chip adds, "And hope." The raft is off course and misses the rendezvous by 200 miles. The doctor figures they can survive three days. Nelson tells them to go on half rations--a cup of water twice a day. Semenov is weakest now and asks for water--he does not prefer to die of thirst. Alexi asks, "How would you prefer to die?" The doctor knows the word rudder but before he told them he knew nothing of the sea and of rafts--Josip and Alexi point this out--maybe he lied because he is the traitor. Nelson tells them all they have to start learning if they are going to survive. Night: Semenov begs for water and will trade info to Nelson that will save his country--the US--he asks for the water first. The micro film will reveal positions of bases--but these are not attack sites they are defense sites with defense rockets--the foreign country is not about to attack the US. Alexi wants the US to strike at the country first; when the war begins, he will return as a hero. Alexi shoots Semenov and the man falls into the sea. As if on cue, lightning bursts forth. Holding the gun on Nelson, Alexi says, "Sorry you had to hear that, Add-mirror-al."
Alexi never kills anyone he needs and he needs Nelson to get back. Alexi makes Konstantine take Nelson's gun and tells him to toss it into the sea. Nelson makes a move for it but Alexi shoots Nelson in the leg. The doctor puts the gun he has to Alexi's neck. It was him after all. He makes Alexi throw his gun away. The doctor tells Alexi, "You betrayed our country." The doctor tells Alexi he used Josip, who gets mad and rallies up--grabbing the doctor's arms. The two fall over board in their fight and die. Alexi says, "Interesting, isn't it, Admiral, just the two of us." Nelson reminds him, "And the sea." He orders Alexi to stow all gear. Crane looks in the periscope and gets a report--a storm front is moving in from a westerly direction. Crane tells them they are on this side of it but hope Nelson is also. Alexi cannot get the sail down. Nelson tells him to or they will capsize. He does and Nelson tells him to stow it down. The storm is bad and the raft goes over anyway. They hang onto it. Alexi is on top the raft with a gun. Nelson is hanging on to the side but in the water. Day: Alexi awakes as Nelson tries to get his gun. Nelson tells him, "Get it over with, once we reach Seaview, you'll kill me." The sun beats down on them, hotter than ever to both. Alexi looks at it, "Perhaps you will have the pleasure of watching me die first." Nelson laughs, "The thought of it could keep me alive for a week." Alexi tells him he has defeated enemies and has a will to outlast them--a born survivor he fancies himself. Nelson tells him they should get the raft right side up. Crane is looking through the periscope on Seaview. Alexi takes his jacket off. Nelson uses a hand device to take a reading. It has been two days and the storm blew them off course. Alexi puts his hand in the water. Nelson sees a ship and moves the raft away; Alexi doesn't seem to notice much now. Night: Nelson drinks the last of the water and dumps the rest, he then feigns sleep. Alexi looks up and sees a star. He suddenly grabs the rudder. Nelson tells him, "Anything you say." He had showed Alexi how to navigate. Day again: Alexi finds the water gone and yells at Nelson to wake up. Nelson throws the canister over but Alexi tells him to steer. We hear the main VOYAGE theme. Alexi tells him, "If we don't reach Seaview today, I'll kill you, Nelson." Alexi drinks salt water from the sea. Nelson seems to sleep. Alexi drinks more salt water. Nelson ties the rudder and grabs Alexi's gun. He finds the St. Barbara medallion. Nelson puts the gun to Alexi's head and seems about to pull the trigger, his face tight with anger. He doesn't--he will leave him to his own people. Nelson turns the raft. Next: Nelson awakens in Sickbay, thinking they found him but Lee tells him he found the Seaview. Nelson tells Lee he was afraid Seaview would have find him too soon--before Alexi passed out. He tells Lee that Alexi would have killed him the moment Seaview was seen. He asks where Alexi is. Crane tells him, "He's dead. He was dead when we picked you up." Nelson sits back to rest some more, "You know Lee, I wish I could say I'm sorry but I'm not."
REVIEW: Ed Asner, aka Lou Grant later on, is a vile dictator. His scenes stranded on a raft with Nelson and others is reminiscent of LIFEBOAT and ABANDON SHIP with survivors being killed off for one reason or another, many of them men who supported the dictator. The acting in this one is fantastic and literate. Neither main performer--Basehart or Asner--try to outdo the other and this shows in that their performances are wonderfully played off each other and the other main men in the raft. The at sea sequences are rather nice, giving VOYAGE a real watery feel this time. A very good episode.