THE HUMAN COMPUTER
Seaview's nose looks funny--like a new model of it or something. Aircraft fly over Seaview; Chip is mad they have to play sitting duck. Nelson tells him it is up to Mr. Reston. The first of many zoom in shots and other unusual angles are seen as we zoom in on a general or an admiral at the Pentagon. The computer on Seaview is one of the LOST IN SPACE computers which can be seen in many episodes but most prominent in THE RAFT. A bomber zeroes in on Seaview and missiles are fired. Chip tells Nelson they better make themselves scarce. They have 30 seconds to turn tail and run--and take evasive action immediately. The men wonder what Reston is doing. Crane tells them it is too late. Missiles move past Seaview. Crane says they will hit any second. At the Pentagon, a general or Admiral says, "Lt, inform Washington that Seaview's just been sunk."
Pentagon--the malfunction in the computer that was running Seaview is said to be minor by Reston. After the confusing teaser, it is clear now, that Reston has a super brain computer that he wants to run Seaview and the Pentagon and the Seaview men are testing it out. The malfunction was a 137 transistor, the computer test maneuver was only half finished. The slave computer thinks 24 hours a day, once thought to be 20 years away, it was completed in six months. They will install it in Seaview and continue the war games. Ski asks Reston, joking, if the super computer can carry itself on board. Reston jokes, "Give us time, we're working on it." The LOST IN SPACE robot? After a talk of semantics--he, it, she, we for the sub, Crane tells Reston he must stay on board. Even though the computer will run the ship, Maritime Law states a deserted ship can be claimed by anyone who finds it. A Russian foreign diplomat shows his youngish aide the computer layout which he hopes to have to run a fleet of drone subs. When the war games are over, their tape reel will be put into Seaview and bring it to their port; Crane is no problem; he will have an "accident", Seaview will be investigated, then returned to America but after the foreign power learns the secrets of the Master Computer. Music is good as we overlay to Crane having coffee and we see the dock outside the Seaview nose windows. The Russian (not stated in the aired version that he is Russian) walks down the nose ladder. How did he get aboard? How did he get past security? The gate? Seaview sails out to the surface. Crane eats breakfast, then runs to the Control Room. An alarm startles him. Seaview dives as Crane must push the periscope button himself rather than just say, "Up scope." He sees destroyers and talks to the computer, "You blow this, Charlie, and its back to the hardware store for you." He is thrown to the helm and the pilot wheels turn near him. The Seaview--the tiny Seaview model this time--is seen. It lands on the bottom. Crane looks out the window and smiles. The lights go out and he turns them on but they go off again. He calls W437 green to blue leader. The fleet lost him and the war games are over. Crane uses the bypass button for the lights. Later he plays chess with himself and gets a checkmate. He calls Reston again--the computer hasn't lifted them off the bottom yet. He cannot get "blue leader" and he finds out why--someone has cut the cables.
Crane hears the microphone banging; his gun is gone. He creeps around the hall and shuts a door. He runs and runs to a room--while it looks like Sickbay--it is really the Armory. From a hall cabinet he gets a wrench. He hears a fire extinguisher rattling. From the small arms locker, he hears it again and then sees it. He gets a pistol but drops some bullets, then puts them in the gun. He locks the cabinet and returns to the nose--we see the ladder the from above and up the ladder through the curtain to the Control Room, computers are working but he ducks through the room and hides at the periscope island and tightens the tape reel. In the Crew's Quarters, he sees a shadow--a man? He finds it is the clothes hanging, "Kowalski." He goes to the Missile Room and checks the hatch. The torpedo holders fall over Lee, who falls. The Russian is behind the mini sub controls, watching.
Crane shoots, pulls chains off of him--chains which fell and hurt his leg, wrapping around it. He limps out and calls whoever it is. He shoots at a figure in the halls, someone shuts a door. There are glimpses and sounds. Crane picks up a mike, "Why are you running?" He turns and shoots at the man, who stops at a dead end and turns around. Crane realizes his gun is no good and runs to the weapon cabinet but the doors are off it. The bullets are gone, the rifles won't come out of the racks in the hall. The man is behind a door. Crane hides and goes to the ballast pump room locker to escape a trap: gas turned over that starts a fire when the man throws a match; Crane locked in the ballast locker room by the man. He calls, "Thank you, Captain Crane, at last, you've done what I wanted." The Naval vessels will leave, the computer will be reprogrammed, and he will take Seaview to his homeland. Crane calls this an outright act of war. He is shut in on the smallest part of the ship and his air is cut off. "Goodbye, Captain."
Crane, sweating, tries to reason with the man: tamper with the computer you will blow this ship sky high, he tells him. The response: talking will use more of his air. Crane asks, "What do you want from me?" Man says, "I want you to die." This sounds a bit too much like some dialogue from the James Bond classic GOLDFINGER. Crane opens a tiny vent (for once, he cannot get through it). Seaview lifts off the bottom. Crane shakes and is out on the floor. He sees the ceiling. Crane takes out a tank and breathes air. Seaview (mini model version) is in a canyon area. He uses an air mask and opens a lower hatch door and goes down. Inside is water and in a few scenes foretelling the future POSEIDON ADVENTURE, Crane must make his way through water filled drains, very claustrophobic. Crane comes out another hatch. Throughout these scenes, there are long stretches with no music or little music, rare for an Irwin Allen series. Why did Crane wait to go out of this hatch and swim out? Perhaps, being on the bottom, he couldn't risk the pressure--the sub may have been too deep when it was on the bottom. Crane gets out the Missile Room and goes to the Control Room. He gets to the wires and pulls them out; Seaview lands on the bottom---hard. He hides up the deck ladder to the conning tower as the man walks in and passes under Crane--twice (in a rare shot from Crane's upper point of view). As he looks up at Crane, the captain jumps down at him and they fight for the gun. Crane punches, the man punches, then chokes Crane. Crane flips him and they fight on the floor of the sub. Crane is kicked. This well done fight scene is played, again a rarity for an Irwin Allen production, entirely without music---again reminiscent of a James Bond movie--this time, FROM RUSSIA WITH LOVE as Bond fought a bad guy (played by Robert Shaw) on a train, entirely without music--a rarity for a Bond movie as well. Crane punches the man who, on the floor of the scope island, tries to scramble and reach for his gun but Crane traps him under the periscope which he pushes down on the man--by pressing it himself. Earlier, Crane made a face that he had to that by himself, now he welcomes it. Later, Crane is in Sickbay having his ankle taken care of. He pulled the tape out of the computer and they are in Santa Barbara. Crane is eager to get back to duty. Chip asks, "Why so soon?" Nelson jokes, "He's afraid he might be replaced by you know what." Lee says, "That's right and you go and try to borrow ten bucks from that on a Saturday night."
REVIEW: Promo material and erroneous books state a certain Dr. S as the maker and user of the Super Brain. In the aired episode, it appeared that Reston was the only one. Dr. S may have been in one of the early drafts of the script but the aired episode does not indicate his presence in the final draft. Tense, atmospheric tale. Some of it seems like filler but it is really quite interesting and keeps attention. And no one does fear like David Hedison. Great job, David. He carries this off tremendously.