Warner Archive Releases Rare Irwin Allen pilot

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Sat, Oct 10 - 12:46 pm EDT | 5 years ago by
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If you’ve been reading this blog awhile, you know I am a huge fan of Irwin Allen, the 60′s guru of scifi TV and the 70′s Master of Disaster. But as much as I love Irwin, my husband worships at the shrine. Today, Warner Archives announced that they are releasing a rare Irwin Allen gem on DVD. So here’s my husband, Lars, to tell you all about it.

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City_Beneath_SeaIrwin Allen’s spectacular underwater epic City Beneath the Sea, has finally been released on DVD by Warner Bros. Archives. This long overdue release will be of great welcome to Irwin Allen and science fiction fans everywhere!

In the 21st century, Commander Mike Mathews, (Stuart Whitman) is called back to resume his duty by the President, played by (Richard Basehart) of the underwater metropolis Pacifica. There were two reasons for his return to Pacifica, it housed the entire Fort Knox gold supply, making it very vulnerable, as well as the earth was being threatened by a giant meteor, capable of destroying the whole planet!

I remember seeing this film for the first time many, many years ago, and it leaving quite an impression. A great cast, Stuart Whitman, Rosemary Forsythe, Robert Wagner, and Robert Colbert to name a few.This, in combination with good use of old props and excellent miniature work, the most impressive, being the city itself. Many new, and elaborate models and miniatures were created. Futuristic and cargo submarines, a cool vehicle called an Aquadozer, and if you look real closely, you may even spot a cameo of the great Seaview far off in the distance. The Flying Sub, (which doubles as the “Aquafoil”) has a new color scheme and is put to good use here.

Irwin Allen’s previous ground-breaking science fiction series, Lost in Space,  The Time Tunnel, Land of the Giants, and Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea had all gone into syndication. The prolific and energetic producer-director had intended this pilot film as his fifth series. I have always thought this film was like all four shows rolled up in one! Its high production values, brilliant use of color, extraordinary miniature work, all star cast and of course, lots of action! This is one of the great, slightly overlooked, works of Irwin Allen. His contribution to science fiction was well ahead of its time, and will always be etched in our memory.

I am very happy to see this excellent film, finally released on DVD by Warner Archives. It deserves attention as a single release, by one science fiction’s great master’s Irwin Allen!

*Warner has also released Gene Roddenbery’s Genesis II, Earth II and The Man From Atlantis. To purchase City Beneath the Sea or any of these DVDs, visit the Warner Archives.

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