The Soviets have launched a rocket carrying a new satellite to be placed in orbit around the Earth. Everything is proceeding normally when they lose control of the rocket and their power to... See full summary »



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Episode complete credited cast:
Captain Crane
Ford Rainey ...
U.S. President
Presidential Assistant
Russian Chairman
Henry Kulky ...
Curley Jones
Del Monroe ...
Robert Carson ...
S.A.C. General
Chip Morton (as Bob Dowdell)


The Soviets have launched a rocket carrying a new satellite to be placed in orbit around the Earth. Everything is proceeding normally when they lose control of the rocket and their power to abort it. The rocket with its nuclear pile will fall back to Earth and splashdown near the San Franciscan coast. The Seaview is ordered to pick up two Russian missile experts and find the rocket and disarm the nuclear pile before detonation. Written by tomtrekp

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Adventure | Sci-Fi




Release Date:

9 November 1964 (USA)  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


The title refers to the Washington-Moscow hot-line used during the Cold War, known as the red telephone which was established after the 1962 Cuban Missile Crisis. See more »


At the start the image of the rocket switches between an Atlas booster with a Mercury capsule, an Atlas booster with a dummy payload, and a finned rocket booster. See more »

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User Reviews

Hot Line
20 May 2012 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Exciting plot with good suspense and an example of a voice against the Cold War, the script, you can tell, asks for peace between United States and Russia as evident by the two countries having to work together to stop a nuclear bomb from reacting within a capsule that has landed in the ocean near the Bay Area of San Francisco. The capsule was supposed to go into space but sabotage caused it to land in the ocean. The ones responsible have swapped an impostor for another Russian space capsule expert, Gronski (Everett Sloane, expertly cast because he face, demeanor, and voice are of a civil, kind, and reliable nature that makes him seem trustworthy and likable), who flies by chopper to meet the Seaview while another Russian space expert, Malinoff (Michael Ansara; the Lost in Space episode, "The Challenge") arrives by a trawler to board the sub. The goal is to rendezvous with the capsule in time to disarm the bomb before it goes off, causing a devastation that will not only impact a million lives in San Francisco but the entire country as nuclear energy has the ability to do. That "rush against time" is palpable and the idea that time is ticking away, "time is of the essence", can be felt in the performances of the cast of characters on board the Seaview (the sweaty nervousness of the crew during the key sequence where Gronski and Malinoff are in the capsule is brilliantly conveyed). I prefer these kinds of episodes to the usual giant underwater monsters and "on the ground" plots that often feature heavily on the show, as it takes a realistic scenario, something very authentic of the era for when Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea was on the air and wrings as much tension it can from the premise. The idea that it takes a capsule dropping into the ocean near US, a weapon inside threatening to destroy American lives in order to cause two countries at odds to join forces I think is a good message storyline that I imagine gave the audiences of the time good food for thought. One of my personal favorite episodes of the series thus far.

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