City beneath the Sea

Tagged: Film | TV

1. Made-for-tv film (1970; vt One Hour to Doomsday). Twentieth Century-Fox TV Productions for NBC TV. Directed by Irwin Allen, starring Stuart Whitman, Robert Wagner, Joseph Cotton, Rosemary Forsyth, Richard Basehart, Robert Colbert, Sugar Ray Robinson. Screenplay John Meredyth Lucas from a story by Allen. 100 minutes, cut to 93 minutes. Colour.

Released outside the USA as a feature film called One Hour to Doomsday, this was a pilot for a television series that was never made. In an incoherent jumble of over-familiar sf situations, the citizens of twenty-first-century Pacifica have to contend with a super-H-bomb to be exploded somewhere within their underwater City, invasion by an "unfriendly foreign power", a sea Monster, rebellion, the theft of a shipment of gold from Fort Knox, and imminent destruction by the impact of a planetoid approaching Earth. This is Irwin-Allen plotting at its most typical, foretelling the Disaster movies which would become his speciality. All ends happily. [JB/PN]

2. UK tv serial for children (1962). ABC TV. Written by John Lucarotti. Produced by Guy Verney. Seven 25-minute episodes. Black and white. This told of a reporter and his young sidekick kidnapped to the underwater base of a Mad Scientist intent on world control.

City Beneath the Sea was the sequel to Plateau of Fear (1961). ABC TV. Written by Malcolm Stuart Fellows, Sutherland Ross. Produced by Guy Verney. Six 25-minute episodes. Black and white. Thriller set in the Andes where a reporter and young sidekick investigate a strange beast thought responsible for attacks on a nuclear power plant; the true villain is a general who wants the plant for military purposes.

The sequel to City Beneath the Sea was Secret Beneath the Sea (1963). ABC TV. Written by John Lucarotti. Produced by Guy Verney. Six 25-minute episodes. Black and white. Again in the undersea city of Aegira, the plot revolves around an ex-U-boat commander (from the earlier story) and rare metals vital for space research. [SH]

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