Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea (1964–1968): Season 4, Episode 3 - Cave of the Dead - full transcript

When four capital ships vanish, Admiral Nelson and Commander Van Wyck are sent to investigate. They find an island where Nelson removes a dagger from a skeleton which happens to be the captain of the Amsterdammer, the Flying Dutchman, and is then cursed. Van Wyck is in reality the first mate who killed the Captain. His plan is to kill Nelson with the dagger so that he can be free and Nelson will take his place.

[ Thunderclap ]

It's getting worse.
I'm turning back.
No, not yet.

It's not worth the risk.
We can't find out anything
in a-- in a storm like this.

The navy won't
take that for an answer.

[ Chuckles ]
Then they're gonna have to.

[ Thunder Rumbles ]

Admiral, every ship we've lost
in this area reported a storm
like this, then vanished.

I have to find out
how and why.

Yeah, well, we can't find out
if we're lost too.

W-We can't take
any more of this.
We're heading back to Seaview.

We're not going back!

Another move like that,
and you'll wind up
in the brig.

four of our largest ships
have been lost without a trace!

Now we have
to find the answer!

- There.
- What?

Look, there.

- [ Thunder Rumbles ]
- Admiral, what is that?

I don't know.
But whatever it is, we--

[ Engine Whirring ]

Hang on.
We're gonna crash.

[ Man ]
Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea.

Starring Richard Basehart,

David Hedison.

Voyage to the Bottom
of the Sea.

[ Sighs ]
You all right?

Yeah, I guess so.

What happened?
[ Chuckles ]

Well, If I can
believe my eyes,

we were, uh, shot down
by an ancient square-rigger.

That is impossible.
The storm must have knocked us--

The storm--
There's no sign of it.

[ Switches Clicking ]
It sure left its mark.

The controls don't respond.
We're dead in the water.

[ Sighs ]
Flying Sub to Seaview.
Flying Sub to Seaview.

Seaview, this is Nelson
Do you read me?

Can you make repairs?

If it's not too serious.

But in any case,
we're gonna do
a little exploring first.

That island? Why?

It might hold the answer
to the missing ships.

Maybe even our, um,

Admiral, we didn't see any

That was... an hallucination,
optical illusion.

Well, whatever it was,
we're still going ashore.

Give me a hand
with this life raft,
will you?

Any word
from the admiral?

Well, keep trying.

Sparks keeps calling.
He just can't raise
the flying sub.

What could've
happened to him?

What happened to those four
navy ships that are missing?

Well, no sign of
any installation here that
could've sunk those ships.

Let's look around.

[ Birds Squawking ]

Admiral, look here.

It's a cave.

Look here, sir.

It's like
some kind of writing.
What is that? Uh, German?

No, sir.
That's Dutch!
You're sure?

With a name like Van Wyck?
Yes, sir. I'm sure.

[ Chuckles ]
Well, can you make it out?

Yes, sir. Roughly
translated, it reads,

"Cursed be those who venture
through this portal."

Well, that's interesting.
Let's find out if it's true.

[ Thud ]

Sort of
an antique booby trap.

Thanks, thanks.
Could've killed me.

Well, it looks like
this place was
inhabited once.

But, uh, he didn't
sink those ships.

Certainly not
with that dagger.

[ Thunderclaps ]

[ Male Voice ]
A curse upon your head.
A curse now and forever.

[ Rumbling ]

It's a cave-in!
Let's get outta here!

You all right?

Of course I'm all right.
Why shouldn't I be?

After what we've
just been through,
you can ask that?

A simple little rockfall while
we were investigating the cave.

That's nothing to be
alarmed about.

Wait a minute.

What about, uh--
What about the curse?
The voice we heard?

And, uh, that square-rigger
that shot us down?

Well, Admiral,
I'm afraid I don't know
what you're talking about.

[ Sighs ]
You're not going to try to deny
that this happened to us?

Well, I think--
Well, let's just say...

you seem to have
a very active

Mmm. Hmm.
Now, what about this?
Is that imagination too?

No, that's real enough.
Probably some old pirate weapon
dropped here centuries ago.

Let me take a look at it.
Uh, I-I think not.

Obviously one of us is
losing contact with reality.

And if it's you,
I'd prefer to keep the weapon,
thank you.

[ Chuckles ]
Anything you say, Admiral.

Now, let's get back
to the flying sub.

Where's that dispatch
from Washington?

Here you are, sir.

FS-1 from Seaview.
FS-1 from Seaview.
Come in, please. Over.

No, we just can't raise 'em.
Now, look at this.

Washington just radioed that
they want a full report
on those missing ships.

On top of that, the whole
11th Fleet is moving right here
in this area on maneuvers.

Isn't that
a little risky, sir?

Moving the fleet in
without knowing what's
making our ships disappear?

Sure it's risky.
But that's Washington's
decision to make, not ours.

The admiral's nearly
an hour overdue.

You don't think he could've
run into anything, do you?

I don't know
what he's run into.
What about Seaview?

- What about it?
- Our course is set for the same
area. Do we change it?

No. Continue on course
at flank speed.

[ Clicks Tongue ]
What do you think?

What is there to think?

Control to Engineering.
[ Man On Speaker ]
Aye, sir.

Proceed on present course.
All ahead flank!
All ahead flank. Aye, sir.

Well, let's get the repairs
made and get back to Seaview
as soon--

What repairs, Admiral?
Everything seems to be
in working order.


Uh, Nelson to Seaview.

Nelson to Seaview.
Do you read me?
Come in, please.

This is Nelson.
Seaview, come in.

Admiral, we've been trying
to make contact with you.
Is everything all right?

Well, we, um-- we did have
some trouble with the storm...

but everything's
all right now.

Wh-What storm are you
talking about, Admiral?

[ Scoffs ]

Look, you must have felt it.
Your instrumentation
must have picked it up.

No, it didn't.
We've had nothing
but clear weather here.

[ Sighs ]

Well, I guess it must've been
some local squall
that hit us.

But as I said,
we're all right now.

And we'll be heading back.

Did you find out anything
about those missing ships?
Washington's getting nervous.

unless it has something
to do with the island.

Admiral, uh, there's
no island out there.

Well, of course there is!
We were just on it.

None on the charts.

Uh, we don't show one, Admiral,

but, uh, if you were on it,
I guess it's there.

Uh, is it important?

I-I don't know yet.

We'll talk it over
when I get back aboard.
Over and out.

Well, shall we be
getting back, Admiral?


All right. Let's get up
to the control room.

[ Crane ]
Do you hear me?

No. No. Go away.
Go away.
Leave me alone.

[ Sighs ]

don't you know who I am?

Lee, you know,
for a moment I thought that--

[ Sighs ]
Y-You thought what?

Sick bay!

Y-You came aboard,
and you passed out.
We brought you down here.

Well, I'm all right.
I'm not sick.

Take it easy,
just, uh--

When I tell you I'm all right,
I'm all right!
Let him, Skipper.

Still feeling
a little weak, sir?

Not weak, exactly, Doc.
Just a little bit tired.

That's hardly surprising.

Characteristic syndrome of
a very severe emotional trauma.


What about Van Wyck?
Surprisingly enough,
he's okay.

Mm-hmm. Mmm.
Well, where is he?

He's in his cabin.
He should be asleep by now.

Did he say anything about
the control room?
Anything unusual or different?

No, why should he?
There's nothing wrong.

No, no, of course not.
There's nothing wrong.

[ Sighs ]
Where in the world
did you get that?

Oh, I-I found it
on the, um--
on the island.

Then there was an island.
And what was that
about the curse?

Who said anything
about a curse?

Well, you did
in your delirium.

And you-you told me
about the island
from the flying sub.

Oh? But there was
no island on the chart.

That's what I told you.

Uh-huh. And Seaview didn't
go through any storm.

No. Admiral,
what's wrong
with you, anyway?

I've got to
see Van Wyck.

Admiral, look, um--

I don't know
what's happened to you,
or what's gone wrong,

but whatever it is,
please tell me.

Later, I've got to think
some things through first.

Did you--
Did you get any word
from Washington?

Yes, the whole 11th Fleet
is moving into this area.

They'll want to know
if you found anything
about those missing ships.

Oh, if they ask again,
tell 'em to-to--
No. No.

Tell 'em
I'll get in touch.
Aye, sir.

[ Sighs ]

[ Cracking ]

Commander Van Wyck?

What are you--
That wiring, sir--
This is a restricted area.

Nobody's allowed
to touch that.

Hey! Wait!

May I have that dagger,
if you don't mind?

How did you get in here?
How does anyone
enter a cabin?

You were too absorbed
in the dagger to hear me.

I rather doubt that.
I checked your cabin.
It was empty.

I think you've been here
all the time.

May I have the weapon,


Admiral, I'm aboard Seaview
to investigate the mysterious

of four units of
the 11th Fleet.

That dagger could be
an important clue.
I need it.

[ Laughs ]

Are you asking me to believe
there's a connection between
an 18th century dagger...

and the disappearance
of four capital ships?

I have reason
to believe so. Yes.

I have reason to believe
that you're lying.
Now, why?

Admiral, you haven't
forgotten the curse
in the cave, have you?

Well, the-the curse
was nonsense.

- And the Flying Dutchman?
- The Flying Dutchman.

Well, surely
you know the legend.

An ancient square-rigger
lost in time.

A ghost ship,
sailing aimlessly and
endlessly the seven seas.

What has that got to do with--

Admiral, the
Flying Dutchman was cursed.
Just as we're cursed, all of us.

You, me, Seaview,
the four ships that were lost.

- You don't really believe that.
- Why not? You believe it.

No! No, it's absurd,

Ah, but true, Admiral.
There is a curse on us.

But I know how to break it.
Let me have that dagger.

This dagger is going
right into this safe.

Admiral, I warn you.

The entire 11th Fleet
can be destroyed
if that curse isn't broken!

- [ Knocking ]
- Come in.

[ Sharkey ]
I can't, sir. It's locked.

Excuse me, Admiral.
I'd like a word with you.

Ah, what is it?
Commander Van Wyck.
I'm worried about him.

-In what way?
-Sir, I found him fooling around
with our control systems.

When I asked him
a few questions,
he clobbered me and ran.

Mmm. Did you tell the captain?
Yes, sir. He's ordered
a search for him.

Well, that's not necessary.
He's right here.

Where, sir?
Right here.
We were just--

We were just--

[ Male Voice ] They who reach
the Flying Dutchman
never, never reach the shore.

They who see
the Flying Dutchman
never reach the shore.

Flying Dutchman.

Have a look around.

Fire in the
admiral's cabin.
Fire detail on the double!

[ On Speaker ]
Aye, sir.
[ Alarm Rings ]

Over here!

Grab his arm!
Come on!

Come on.
Get in here!

[ Fire Extinguishers Spraying ]

[ Coughing ]

Come on. I'll get you
down to see the doc.

No, no. I'll be all right
in a minute.
You sure?

Yeah, positive.
Have your men found
Van Wyck yet?

No, but they will.
Get going.
He can't get far.

Lee, how much do you know
about the Flying Dutchman?

I'm taking you to sick bay.
No, no, no. I'm going
to the control room.

What's the weather topside?
Heavy seas running
before a gale, sir.

And there's no storm predicted.

No, sir. But the weather around
the cape is always tricky.

Mm-hmm. The Flying Dutchman
always seems to appear
in heavy weather.


Take us up to
periscope depth.
I want to look around.

Admiral, I think you
should get to sick bay.
Periscope depth!

- [ Sighs ]
You heard the admiral, Chip.
- Aye, aye, sir.

[ Morton ]
Ten degree up bubble.
Level off at 90 feet.

Ninety feet and level,
Up scope.

Prepare aft torpedo tubes
for firing.

Sir, are you sure
you want to give that order?

You heard me, Chip.
Aft torpedo tubes
ready for immediate firing.

Belay that. We're not
firing anything, Admiral,
except on my specific orders.

Then take a look through there,
and give those orders!

Unless you want us
to disappear
like the navy ships!

I don't think there's
much sense in firing torpedoes
at an empty sea, do you?

Empty sea.

She's out there.
The Flying Dutchman.

I tell you, Lee, unless
you fire, she'll destroy us.
Take another look.

There's nothing out there,
Admiral. Nothing!

Down scope.

What's the matter with you?
Are you blind?

She's sailing there
like a curse of death!
Send the torpedoes after her!

[ Pinging ]
what are you picking up?

Nothing, sir.
Is there any ship at all
in the immediate vicinity?

- No, sir, absolutely nothing.
- Kowalski, check again.

The board's clear, sir.

"They who see
the Flying Dutchman
never, never reach the shore."

[ Scoffs ]

What's wrong
with him, Lee?
What did he see?

I don't know. There was
nothing on the surface.
Absolutely nothing.

[ Male Voice ]
Admiral Nelson.

Mmm? Hmm?

Who's there?
[ Male Voice ]
Surrender the dagger you stole.

Surrender the dagger.

Surrender the dagger
or suffer the curse
of the Flying Dutchman.

Where are you?

There's still
no sign of Van Wyck.
I can't understand it.

He can't get off the ship.
We'll find him.

We'd better.
I don't like the idea of him
running around loose.

Mr. Morton,
take a look at this.

We're right back
where we started!

We've been sailing
in a great circle all night.
So I see.

Did you know about this?
Not-- Not until
just now, sir.

Chip, get
the navigations officer.

I want all instruments
checked out on the double.

Chief, give him a hand.
Aye, aye, sir.

did you know about this?
I know. We're off course.

What do you mean?
How did you know
we were off course?

I have been trying to convince
you that we're up against
forces beyond our control.

I'm going to send out
a distress call.

A distress call? Why?
We're in good order and
proceeding under our own power!

Proceeding where?
We're no closer to port
than we were last night.

We won't be
any closer tomorrow!
How do we know?

We can find the trouble
and fix it, can't we?
Not this trouble.

Look, there have been four ships
lost in this area. I don't
intend for us to be the fifth.

Sparks, send out
a general distress call.
Aye, aye, sir.

Sparks, belay that.

You can't stop me
from making this call.

I am stopping you.
You're in no condition
to make any decisions...

because of some delusion
about a Flying Dutchman.

Oh, and you're determined
to protect me from myself.
Is that it?

- Yes, sir, that's it.
- Mm-hmm.

[ Kowalski ]

I'm picking up a ship
on the surface, sir.

Bearing 0-1-5 relative.
Range 2,000 yards and closing.

The Flying Dutchman.

- Now do you believe me?
- It's a freighter,
not a Flying Dutchman.

Oh, just--
just a freighter, huh?

Just a freighter.

All right.
I want to talk to the captain.

- Why?
- I want to talk to him.

Sparks, there's a ship
within 2,000 yards of us.

Contact her in the clear.
Ask to speak to her captain.

Aye, sir.
Why are you doing this?

Oh, I don't know.

Perhaps I want to
find out if we can still
contact the outside world.

Lee, we can't find a malfunction
in any of our instruments.

Navigation officer's
still working on it.
Very well. Take the conn.

Aye, aye.
I'll see what luck
Sparks is having.


[ Man ]

Van Wyck.

Why don't you face facts,

It's impossible to contact
that ship up there...

or any other ship, anywhere.

Who are you?
And what are you?

I think you know.
Just as you know you're doomed.

You'll never contact
the outside world again.

I just don't understand it,
Can't you contact them?

Well, my transmitter's working.
I double-checked it.

But there's no reply.
There might as well be
nobody up there.

All right.
Secure the call.
Aye, sir.

We can't raise them.

Oh? And how does
Sparks explain that?
He can't.

All right, surface.
I want to try
a visual signal.

Admiral, the seas
are running pretty high.

We can still try.

Chip, take us up.

In that storm?
Take us up.

- [ Morton ]
Prepare to surface.
- Stand by to blow ballast.

[ Explosion ]

what's wrong down there?

what's the trouble down there?

This is the captain.
Engineering, report!

Maybe the freighter rammed us.
She wasn't close enough.

Lee, you better have
another look.

I tell you she wasn't--

Dive! All dive!

Freighter, huh?

I think we better
talk it over
in your cabin!

[ Alarm Rings ]

And all this has something to do
with the cave on that island
you discovered. Am I right?

You still
don't believe me,
do you?

The explanation's
simple enough.

It's-- There must have been
some kind of volcanic gas
on the island...

that produced

You said you saw
the Flying Dutchman
fire at us.

Were you hallucinating then?
Is this an hallucination?

No, it's real.
But what does it prove?
What does it mean?

It has something
to do with the curse.

I think that Van Wyck
would like to kill me
with this dagger.

Let me look at that,
will you?

I've a book here that gives
a detailed account of the legend
of the Flying Dutchman.

It all started when a Dutch ship
the Amsterdammer failed to
return after a lengthy voyage.

Oh, here it is.

And, according to the legend,
the ship and the crew were
somehow cursed...

fated to sail the seas forever
unless the curse
could somehow be broken.

In that case,
the Amsterdammer would sink,

and its doomed crew
would turn into skeletons.

So you see--
[ Grunts ]

Skipper! No!

[ Grunts ]

[ Groans ]

Leave him alone.

I didn't-- I didn't mean it.

I couldn't stop my arm.

That dagger. It's--
It's got a life of its own.

Yeah, I know.

Well, according to navigation,
we're sailing this course.

Right along
the circumference.

Our controls are still frozen.
We just keep sailing
in an endless circle.

And inside the circle--

Let's see.
At this point, here...

here and here,
four capital ships
were lost.

And right here in the center
is where we discovered
that island.

I know there has to
be a connection,
but I don't see it.

No, I'm not certain I do either,
but I'm going to
have a crack at something.

How long will it
take you to get the bell
ready for a deep dive?

Oh, about 15 minutes, sir.
Mmm, I'll settle for 10.

[ Chuckles ]
Aye, sir.

Come on, Ski.
Let's go.

What are you
going to do?
What am I gonna do?

I'm going hunting...
for a Flying Dutchman.

All right, Scotty.
Finish her up.

Everything okay with the cable?
I've got 2,000 feet of it
on the drum.

That enough?
Oh, plenty.

Then we're all set.

Are you ready to
lower the bell, Chief?
Aye, sir.

I don't like this, Admiral.
Do you have to go alone?

Oh, I'll be all right, Lee.

[ Door Slams ]

We're ready
to lower away, sir.
Very well. Go ahead.

Okay, Ski.

You're paying out cable
too fast, Kowalski.
Slow it down.

Aye, sir.

Slower, not faster!

I'm doing it.
Nothing seems to happen!

Let me take that.

It's too fast.
What's the matter with them?

Cut the power, quick.

I can't, sir.
Something's jammed!

If that cable runs out,
we'll lose him.
Cut the power.

We've lost him, sir.

Slow the descent.

Seaview, do you read me?

We read you, Admiral.
Something went wrong with the
controls. We slipped the cable.

[ Sighs ]
You mean, you can't
haul me back up?

-Not until we pick up the cable.
-[ Chuckles ]
That's gonna take some doing.

Stand by.
I'm gonna hit bottom.

[ Groans ]

- Lee, you still read me?
- Yes, what happened?

I-- I'm on the bottom.
But the impact smashed
my reserve air tank.

Air-- How much
do you have left?

About-- About 20 minutes.
No longer.

Well, uh,
you're too deep for divers.

We can bring
the Seaview down
and try for the cable.

It's our only chance.

Wait a minute.
I've got a better idea.
It might save time.

[ Electrical Zapping ]

Admiral, come in!

Come in, Admiral,
we're listening!

[ Sighs ]

I might've known
you'd be here.

Of course. You don't think
I'd let you make such
a perilous trip alone, do you?

That won't do you any good,
you know.

Ah, maybe
you're right.

I feel sorry for you, Nelson.

But I have to do this.

You don't know
the real story
of the Flying Dutchman.

Probably no one else does,

Save it.
We're running out of air.

You see, when the Amsterdammer
reached this part of the world,

the crew demanded the captain
set a course for home.

Well, he refused.
So, they mutinied.

They brought the captain
to this island and
the first mate killed him.

But, with his dying breath,
he put a curse on them...

saying they'd never again
reach port.

- And you were the first mate.
- I am the first mate.

[ Sighs ]

What's the matter, Chip?
I ordered a deep dive,
and we're still at 90 feet.

Something's gone wrong
with the induction valve.

We can't fill
the ballast tanks.
That's impossible!

Excuse us, sir.
It was impossible to run
out 2,000 feet of cable,

but we did it
just the same.

I wonder what the admiral
was trying to say
before we got cut off.

Maybe something about how we
could recover the cable.

It had to be that,
Chief, but how?

It can't be a diving party,
not at that depth.

Say, Chip, that gear
we put in the flying sub,

is it ready
to launch?

We gave her a routine check
during the last watch.
She's ready.

Chief, come with me.
Aye, aye, sir.

You can't hold out
much longer, Nelson.

You'll be ready soon
to take my place.
Take your place?

Once you die by that dagger,
then I'll be free.

Then it'll be you
who'll roam
the seven seas...

till you find somebody
to take your place
as I found you.

So that's it.

Give me the dagger.
It's of no use to you now.

You'll make
a worthy replacement.

Your plan to come down here
was actually a sound one.

The Flying Dutchman.
I knew she had to
be down here.

There's no other place
she could've come from.

[ Explosion ]

And you thought the weaponry
aboard this bell would be
able to destroy her, huh?

There's only
one way to end this.
Give me the dagger.

[ Breathing Heavily ]

I can wait, Nelson.
Your time has nearly run out.


S-Seaview will
get to me in time.


I've arranged it so that she
can neither surface nor dive.

Just sail in that constant
circle till the end of time.

You... sank four ships
in-in these waters.

Surely there must have been
one man aboard...

who would have
served your purpose.

they all died before I could
get one of them to my island.

You see, only the man
who removed the dagger,
as you did,

and received
the dutchman's curse
could relieve me of it.

[ Breathing Shallowly ]

Just a few seconds more, Nelson,

and you and the Seaview
will be the new Flying Dutchman.

Do they work?
Like a charm.

Find me that cable,
and I'll pick it up
in five seconds.

There it is.

Can you reach it
from here?

I think so.

- Got it!
- Good work. Hang on.
We're going up.

Good enough.
Take her up, Ski.


He needs oxygen... bad.
Take him to sick bay, Ski.

No. No, no, no.

That-- That island
has to be destroyed.

You know the coordinates.
Set the firing mechanism.

Where's Van Wyck?
Wasn't he--
Van Wyck, sir?

Oh, no. No, of course
he wouldn't be.

[ Breathing Heavily ]
[ Toggles Clicking ]

What about Van Wyck?
If I told you,
you wouldn't believe me.

Missile ready
for firing.
All right. Fire.

[ Van Wyck's Voice ]

touch that button
and you're dead.

Move away from that panel.

I mean what I say,
Captain. Move!


Don't move.
Not a muscle.

Van Wyck,
the Flying Dutchman--
The legend come to life.

Or did we
imagine it all?

Well, we didn't
imagine this.

And navy records still show
four ships lost without a trace.
There's one thing we know.

The 11th Fleet
won't have to worry about
losing any more warships.

What kind of report are you
gonna file with Washington?
[ Chuckles ]

You know, Lee, that is
a very good question.

I only wish I knew the answer.

[ Chuckles ]