Voyage to the Bottom of the Barrel

VoyToTheBotOfTheSeaVariety reports today that Fox is mounting at VOYAGE TO THE BOTTOM SEA revival…

The original show, as you may recall, was about a giant submarine exploring the sea and starred Richard Basehart and David Hedison. It was basically Star Trek underwater… with giant octopuses and algae monsters and space aliens (and, my favorite toy as a kid, "the flying sub.").

The new version, however, is going to be substantially different.

the world’s most advanced submarine is sent on a deep-sea salvage hunt, inadvertently bringing aboard a predatory organism from the ocean floor.

"They got that we wanted to jumpstart Irwin’s franchise not only with cutting-edge effects, but an intense story with a fantastic villain," Jashni said. "We were inspired by imagining what would happen if we put ‘Alien’ underwater."

So it’s two old ideas rehashed… ALIEN and VOYAGE TO THE BOTTOM OF THE SEA. But is it really going to capture the camp fun of the old series? Unlikely.

This is the third Irwin Allen TV series revival in recent years. An ABC revival of TIME TUNNEL died in development. The WB’s LOST IN SPACE revival, directed by John Woo, was scrapped. The New Line Pictures version of LOST IN SPACE was a critical and financial bomb.

So after a string of Irwin Allen remake failures, why the mad rush to develop another one?

6 thoughts on “Voyage to the Bottom of the Barrel”

  1. As a huge fan of Irwin Allen’s TV work, I’m always sorry to hear about this kind of thing. When will these guys learn that slapping the name of a great series/film/book on a less-than-original idea is a bad marketing move? The name has no pull for viewers who are unfamiliar with the original, while fans of the earlier work are bound to be let down.

  2. I Know what you mean — one need only look at the movie versions of I SPY and MOD SQUAD for evidence of that. The movies bore little or no resemblance to the series they were supposedly inspired by.

  3. Hopefully, they won’t ruin this classic adventure show! The concept is a sound one, especially if they get imaginative, detail-oriented writers such as Lee Goldberg (formerly of Seaquest DSV) and the aspiring Shepard. We have learned an incredible amount about the seas and the top secret silent service since Voyage went off the air (nice alliteration, eh?). The original show had good effects for its time, but my TV Scriptwriting class laughed their butts off at it a year ago!
    Another major problem with the show was all white casting. It’s time that the Seaview was integrated!
    I wish Kevin Burns well!

  4. I agree that good writers are needed. But more important is to find someone who knew the old show, has a love for it and knowledge of it and can transfer that to contemporary times. You need to reinterest the old fans and generate new ones, and changing or reimaginaing something,while keeping the name of the original and little else is an injustice.
    You also have to realize that when we look at 40+ year old TV shows with a 2005, consciousness that we do the shows a basic injustice. They were not made with production values or continuity, character and other concerns that series are made with today. It was a different time, with different thinking, and different values. Most TV made then is found lacking by the young people of today. But that was then, and this is now, and if we make something today, we need to keep the values of the old and translate it to the current mode. Voyage was ripe for characterization. It didn’t happen then, because it wasn’t done then. Yet the actors, Basehart, Hedison and the rest gave them characterizations that keep fans talking about the show forty years later. I venture that few of the shows of today will have that kind of endurance.
    And as a final note, Voyage came two years before Star Trek, so that there is no way that it could have been a Star Trek underwater.
    Linda Delaney, still a fan


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