Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea: Season 1, Episode 16

Hail to the Chief (28 Dec. 1964)

TV Episode  |   |  Adventure, Sci-Fi
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Ratings: 7.4/10 from 27 users  
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President Henry McNeil has fallen and seriously injured his head. That imperils an upcoming peace conference; even a whiff of the president's incapacity may doom it, as he is the one man ... See full summary »



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Title: Hail to the Chief (28 Dec 1964)

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Episode complete credited cast:
Captain Crane
General Beeker
Commander Jamison
Morgan (as Edward C. Platt)
Dr. Kranz
Berry Kroeger ...
Henry Kulky ...
Del Monroe ...
Robert Dowdell ...
Chip Morton (as Bob Dowdell)


President Henry McNeil has fallen and seriously injured his head. That imperils an upcoming peace conference; even a whiff of the president's incapacity may doom it, as he is the one man who can hold it together. Everything depends on a delicate operation to relieve the swelling in his brain. To keep that operation a secret, the Navy co-opts the Seaview. But enemies of the conference have learned of the president's ill health, and manage to smuggle an agent aboard Seaview with orders to kill McNeil! Written by CommanderBalok

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Adventure | Sci-Fi




Release Date:

28 December 1964 (USA)  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


The title makes reference to the march "Hail to the Chief" which announces the entrance of the President of the United States at public appearances and is preceded by four ruffles and flourishes. The march is often played by the United States Marine Band and has been used officially by the Department of Defense since 1954. See more »

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User Reviews

Hail to the Chief
2 June 2012 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

The President of the United States has fallen and a subdural hematoma, a blood clot, is in need of special attention, quick-like as a NATO convention, set to feature all the important major powers of the world in attendance, the Commander-in-Chief's presence is essential in maintaining peace treaties that have kept WWIII from breaking out. A new type of machine, designed to dissolve tumors, clots, etc without the need of surgery, the MQ-G, could be of use to the President. Surgery might still be an option, but the MQ-G machine, its magnetic rays, is the safest, or so those among the President's treasured staff are led to believe. When the main architect of this machine is run down by one of The Enemy's agents, the doctor's secretary, Laura (Viveca Lindfors), will be in charge of using it on the President—exactly according to plan as Laura is a member of The Enemy and plans to use the MQ-G as a death ray, the President's death would be attributed to natural causes. When the Seaview, a civilian sub (not commissioned by the military, but built and operated by Nelson's research institute), is called upon to transport the MQ-G machine, surgical staff, and eventually the President himself, they are unaware that Laura is in cahoots with one of the country's most diabolical enemies. One flaw Laura wasn't expecting is that when she turns on the death ray (one check to see if the equipment was functioning properly sets off alarms) it throws the controls of the Seaview out of whack, resulting in a near catastrophe as a specific valve is stuck after the sub rams into underwater mountainous terrain. This episode has another one of those intricately designed plots regarding the political landscape of the world and how there are those countries wanting total anarchy, threatening the life of the US President as his presence is important in maintaining the structure of peace. It was always cool how the Seaview, its main intent in studying and exploring the ocean depths for unique life and answers to potential mysteries yet undiscovered, gets brought into all of the political intrigue. Lindfors is quite good as a sophisticated, yet devious foe, her comfortable explanation of how her machine would change the inside of a raw egg and kill the US President certainly one of the most memorable scenes in the episode, all told to her (Russian?) superior. I was amused at how carefully/exquisitely these nefarious types smoke their cigarettes, a certain style and flair and the dialogue rolls off their tongues…a delicate method of delivery is also part of this style. Anyway, the token suspense scene in regards to the Seaview's danger is a stuck valve inside the ventilation pipes, and how a crew member will have to risk his life to loosen it, with Capt Crane having to come to his rescue when his arm gets stuck.

It's a spotfest in regards to the recognizable faces of several guest stars such as John Hoyt as General Beeker, Malcolm Atterbury as Commander Jamison, Edward Platt as Morgan, and Star Trek's Scotty himself, James Doohan as a White House aide. Lindfors is really the standout, though. Kowalski even gets involved in the plot as he must carry microfilm in an arm device, is knocked out, the film photographed, disturbing what was supposed to be a level of top secrecy. Susan Flattery is a stenographer who works for The Enemy using eye glasses to listen in on the White House Top Brass meeting and communicate back to her superiors what has taken place.

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