Sunday, April 11, 2010

Star Trek
Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea

I have been watching Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea. A comparison to Star Trek is inevitable. What's amazing about these shows is their 180 degree approaches and the fact that they overlapped each other in TV history. Voyage ran from 64 to 68 while Trek ran from 66 - 69.
The Enterprise was well armed but it's mission was exploration while the Seaview was promoted as a research vessel but was "really" secret weapon. The enemies in Voyage were bald, bearded foreigners who smoked pipes or used cigarette holders. The Seaview crew was 100% white male Americans. The only ethnic character was Kowalski who was probably from exotic Cleveland. In Trek the enemies frequently weren't enemies & the drama was frequently more of an inner turmoil thing. The crew, just on the bridge, was American, Russian, Japanese, Scottish, African & even a friggin alien. Well, semi alien with a half breed Vulcan. The African was a chick to boot.
Star Trek took place around 2260 while Voyage was placed in the far off futuristic realm of the late 1970s.
Home for both shows was in SoCal, Trek in San Francisco & Voyage in Santa Barbara.
The biggest difference is the attitude. Voyage has a heavy ominous feel with danger lurking at every turn while Trek is a hopeful adventure with new worlds & new civilizations. Voyage seems more topical, nowadays with it's themes of terrorism & nationalist paranoia. Star Trek's fluffy optimism seems almost quaint. I think I like the Star Trek universe a little more than Voyages. FWIW, as paranoid as the Seaview crowd are, their security sucks. In the first episode the new captain sneaks onboard through a door hangin' wide open on the Seaview. Forget security, isn't making sure the doors are shut a priority on a submarine? I was laughing at the smoking going on in the sub but, poking around, I found smoking actually has been allowed on subs. So, how come 300 years later you can't have open flames on the Enterprise? Unless you are a half breed Vulcan, of course.
Both the Seaview & the Enterprise are ridiculously huge! I have been on the USS Cleveland. It is not a place for the claustrophobic.
So, ultimately, one has to ask, who'd win in a fight? While the Seaview might be able to elude the Enterprise, it certainly couldn't win with it's antique tech, although the Flying Sub might give the Galileo a run for it's money. A better match up would be Lee Crane v James Kirk. So, given equal vessels who would win? Poll at top right.


Anonymous said...

I too found similarities between Star Trek and Voyage. When I first saw everyone lunging side to side as the Enterprise got pushed around I immediatly thought of the same side to side action on the Seaview. I just saw an episode of Voyage where they find a wrecked civilization on the ocean floor covered with shiny capsules. They brought one aboard and opened it to reveal a live ancient human who looked like a Star Trek alien. He was from a human race that evolved 20 million years ago. He wanted to open up all the other capsules to free his people and kill all the modern humans and take over Earth. So the crew of the Seaview burned him alive. It was just like a Star Trek episode.

Anonymous said...

I agree seeing the crew being slung from side to side in vtbs reminded me of star trek, which made me do a search to see if any writers or directors were the same.