City Beneath the Sea was a short presentation reel made to promote a new idea for a TV show in 1969. The presentation features Glenn Corbett (who had recently starred in the Land of the Giants episode Weird World).
The action takes place on June 12th 2068 (note that June 12th also features in the pilot of Land of the Giants and was Irwin Allen's birthday). When you watch this presentation, one of the most beautiful aspects is the amazing backdrop art work for the underwater city and its interiors. The artists are really to be commended for this as they use amazingly vivid colours. It is rare to see colours used like this on television.
The idea later reimerged as a television movie by the same name, City Beneath the Sea, and starring Stuart Whitman and several Irwin Allen stars such as Richard Basehart, Robert Colbert, Whit Bissell, James Darren, Robert Dowdell, Burr DeBenning and Robert Wagner.
Glenn Corbett - General Kevin Mathews
Lawrence Montaigne - Dr. Raymond Aguila
James Brolin - Wild Bill Tyler
Francine York - Miss Lia Holmes
Norman Grabowski - Shawn "Irish" O'Reilly
Cecile Ozorio - Choo Choo Kino
Lloyd Bochner - Harmon Temple III
Steve Marlo - Engineer in Emergency Control
It's June 12th, 2068. General Mathews (Corbett) dives down into the sea in a mini-sub. He calls into Triton tower to request landing rights.
He is told of a red alert in Emergency Control on the bottom of the ocean. On his arrival, he is met by Harmon Temple (Bochner) who expresses his concern about the alert and Project Mole. Lava pressure is breaking through. Mathews asks him what he recommends as the consulting engineer on the project. Temple tells him to abandon the project. Mathews tells him no, as Washington wants the project completed at all costs.
Mathews calls through to Bill Tyler (Brolin) in Emergency Control and is told that Tyler's men will be killed by the orders Mathews has given. Stubborn Mathews says that if they are having problems it is because they haven't followed his orders correctly. Tyler tells him that they cannot control white hot lava when it is busting through. There's an explosion in one of the pipes and Mathews tells them to close the valves. He says he is going over to Emergency Control.
Temple tells Mathews that there is no way to stop what is happening, but Mathews won't accept that. Mathews tells Lia Holmes (York) to set up an emergency staff meeting with all key personnel in the situation room that evening.
As Mathews goes to Emergency Control in the mini-sub, he is called by Dr. Aguila (Montaigne), an amphibian, who is swimming outside the sub. Aguila tells him that they are in trouble as someone is trying to deliberately sabotage project Mole. Aguila tells Mathews to get Tyler and his men out of there. Just as Mathews is about to act, there is an explosion in the mini-sub.
Mathews wakes up and finds himself in the Triton tower. Security chief Choo Choo Kino (Ozorio) tells him that the explosion was a deliberate attempt to kill him. He asks Aguila and Kino what else they know and she tells him that Project Mole will be destroyed next.
Temple is giving instructions to one of his men and checks to make sure that they are clear, that they will blow it up at exactly 8 o'clock.
At the emergency staff meeting, Mathews and the team are waiting for Temple. Bill Tyler asks about the caisson and Mathews reminds him that someone is trying to destroy Project Mole. He warns that if the project is destroyed, Pacifica and 40,000 lives could go with it. Tyler tells him that the evacuation has already begun.
Mathews instructs Aguila to look for any explosives and Holmes to coordinate all operations directly under his command. Kino reports that a 24 hour alert is already in effect. He tells Irish that the people of Pacifica are the main concern and must be on full alert. He says that they have to save Project Mole, but that they don't know how much time they have to do it.
Meanwhile, back at his residence, Temple checks the time and opens the secret door to a hidden control panel. He contacts one of his men and starts the 15 second countdown. He sends the command to fire and there's an explosion on the platform. Triton Tower is rocked by the explosion.
Temple rushes up to a waiting helicopter. Mathews goes up to the platform and seeing him, begins to fight Temple. As the tower rocks, the long fight continues until Mathews throws Temple over the side of the railings and he falls the long distance down to the sea. The tower, with Matthews on it, collapses...
What happens next?