Sci-Fi Storm

Random memories: City Beneath the Sea

by on Nov.03, 2006, under Movies

So, its been a slow news week, so I start looking up random things on the Internet. Today’s adventure was about the Irwin Allen SF TV movie City Beneath the Sea (also known as One Hour to Doomsday in the UK, where I also saw it as a kid). It was shown periodically through the 70s (I didn’t realize it was made as early as it was (1970). I remember that it could even be though of as a direct sequel to Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea – it had the flying sub, and even Richard Baseheart (as the U.S. President). The science was patently ridiculous, but that didn’t stop me as a kid from being glued to the TV whenever it was on. It was a TV pilot, but didn’t make it. Read More for a plot synopsis from my own memory. This is on my “I’d buy the DVD if there was one” list.

This is from 20+ year old brain cells, so accuracy is not guaranteed.

Admiral Matthews returns to take command of the city of Pacifica, a wholly underwater city and science facility. He isn’t particularly welcome as he left after a decision he made after an accident resulted in the death of a friend. He has to deal with the animosity while an almost identical accident occurs.

In the meantime, Pacifica prepares for the arrival of the entire gold reserves of Fort Knox, along with an incredibly unstable substance called H128, that can only be stabilized by surrounding it by the gold.

Only after the materials arrive, it is discovered that an asteroid is on a collision course with Earth – and will land right on Pacifica. Evacuations begin, but the gold and H128 are to remain – except pirates with inside help want the gold.

I remember some of the effects. The city looked like a toy, and the asteroid was some lumpy grey thing spewing rather weak flames (in space, no less). The H128 were 5-foot balls that sparked and made lots of noise. They “stabilized” the balls by surrounding it on four sides with brick walls made of gold. Apparently, it’s not unstable on the top or bottom.

There was even a scientist who could breath underwater (and may have even had webbed hands and feet). I don’t remember it being explained how, but it predates a similar character in the short-lived The Man From Atlantis.

Had they mentioned that the president’s name was Nelson, or the Seaview made a cameo, you could even call it a sequel to Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea.

Anybody else remember details? I missed/got wrong?

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