From May 1960, The Cellini Vase was the 21st outing for Sea Hunt’s third season. Sea Hunt was an underwater adventure series that focused on expert deep sea diver Mike Nelson as portrayed by Lloyd Bridges. In this episode, Nelson has taken on a job to try to find a sunken Spanish galleon. However, it’s not really the vessel that is the treasure, but what is within it. This is something Nelson becomes suspicious of as the show progresses.
Nelson has a good sense of intuition sometimes. He realizes there is more to the story than what he’s been told, and of course, there is. The fun part is watching him circumvent his employer until he can determine who exactly are the bad guys.
One of the tools the producers used to set up this episode were flashbacks of prior adventures. They do this on a couple of episodes, but it’s really neat to see.
Guest star Joe De Santis appears as Dr. Ruiz, the director of a museum in Spain who hired Nelson to get to this sunken ship. It’s not easy, though, thanks to forces of nature. There’s nothing like watching the diver being tossed around by underwater currents. That’s hard to pull off; this show did it fairly well.
They have tried to show this activity in the past, but this was the most successful attempt at making the viewer see and understand how a stream of current can carry a diver away and turn him all around. The stunt diver did one of the better jobs of showing this. At other times, the scenes have looked rather lame, like a diver just turning himself around like any of us could do in swimming pools.
My favorite line in the half hour is “Money won’t make it safe,” a line Nelson uses when he’s offered more money to get to the ship. It’s a good lesson, actually. Every now and then this show comes out with a good line like this one.
Other guest stars include Al Ruscio as Captain Ebera, Arthur Gould-Porter as Det. Inspector Rigby, Barry Harvey as Ramone, and Kelly Yost as Sgt. Sloan. Veteran character actor Ruscio was the standout, however.