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S1E12 – Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea (book/movie)*


Ryan: 3 Stars “…Captain Nemo’s slow but compelling rise to the surface gives this adventure enough buoyancy to savor the flavor of a Victorian travelogue (and early science fiction progenitor)…

Wilk: 4 Stars “…If you are interested in reading a classic this would be an excellent place to start. Especially if you have a short attention span, like the author of this review…

Rick: 5 Stars “…This book is like The Doors breakthrough self titled album in 1965 – edgy and extremely unique, especially within the context of other art in the era it was published…

(Click the links to read full written reviews on



“Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea” by Jules Verne

Book: “Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea” by Jules Verne

“The “man who invented the future,” French novelist Jules Verne fanned mankind’s desire to explore earth’s hidden territories. His prophetic 1870 adventure novel, featuring a fabulous underwater craft commanded by the brilliant and mysterious Captain Nemo, predated the deep-water submarine.

Weaving amazing scientific achievements with simple, everyday occurrences, this memorable tale brims with detailed descriptions of a futuristic vessel and bizarre scenes of life on the ocean’s bottom. On-board travelers view Red Sea coral, wrecks of a historic naval battle, Antarctic ice shelves, and the fictional Atlantis. In addition, they confront a giant squid and belligerent cannibals, among other rousing adventures.

The crowning achievement of Verne’s literary career, Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea not only influenced H. G. Wells and future generations of writers, but also inspired numerous films.” (from

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“Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea” by Richard Fleischer (Kirk Douglas)


Movie: “Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea” by Richard Fleischer (Kirk Douglas)

“For the first time ever, you can enjoy this timeless classic in a Special Edition DVD. Fully restored to look and sound as it was originally intended, it also includes hours of exclusive bonus materials your family will enjoy again and again. Climb aboard the Nautilus…and into a strange undersea world of spellbinding adventure! Kirk Douglas, Paul Lukas, and Peter Lorre star as shipwrecked survivors taken captive by the mysterious Captain Nemo, brilliantly portrayed by James Mason. Wavering between genius and madness, Nemo has launched a deadly crusade across the seven seas. But can the captive crew expose his evil plan before he destroys the world? Featuring Norman Gimbel and Al Hoffman’s memorable song “A Whale of a Tale,” Disney’s Academy Award(R)-winning (Special Effects and Color Art Direction, 1954) adaptation of Jules Verne’s gripping tale makes 20,000 LEAGUES UNDER THE SEA a truly mesmerizing masterpiece!” (from


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“20,000 Leagues Under the Sea” by Rod Hardy (Michael Caine)



TV Movie: “20,000 Leagues Under the Sea” by Rod Hardy (Michael Caine)

“The year is 1886 and New England’s fishing harbor is the scene for a “creature of unknown origin” destroying all ships at sea. It is the job of a curious marine expert, Professor Pierre Aronnax (Patrick Dempsey from the hit TV show “Grey’s Anatomy”) and the iron-willed sailor, Ned Land (Bryan Brown) to learn the truth of the “monster” roaming the depths of the ocean. Their discovery begins when they encounter the reclusive Captain Nemo (Academy Award Winner Michael Caine) and learn of his surprising relationship with the terrorizing “creature” and all the other secrets lurking in the waters. ” (from

[no film trailer available]




When we started this show, Rick and Ryan had no idea. Nothing. Not a clue. Those fools. I wanted to reach out and put my giant palms over one of their ears, and lean in, give, whoever, a big kiss. I wanted to watch them squirm on the hook I had pushed through their wormy centers. The fools.

It must have been their week, their month, their year. “A year for Fools!!!” I screamed at the moon and all the invalids that lay underneath it. I moved some dirt on the ground with my foot, making concentric circles in the dust and rock.

Perhaps not this time, dear listeners. Perhaps not next time. But that time will come for them and it will come for me. But, it will come for them first.

We did all agree that this book was a work of both genius and art. The author, Jules Verne, put forth a story that correctly estimated nautical advances. It featured characters that were tolerant and admirable. It also took place on the sea, which makes my previous choice of words, notably “admirable,” seem like a pun. Well, if it is a pun than I’m just a guy covered in someone else’s skin who loves puns. And the smell of tears.

Since we all more or less liked it, and were getting along, the only thing left to do was to spectacularly get facts and time periods wrong. Which I did, stating that Jules Verne had lived through the French Revolution (later edited from the show). While this is not technically true, Jules Verne once had very bad gas from eating rich French food. Who hasn’t?!

The Disney movie was “meh.” It was clearly a top shelf production, featuring special effects that still hold up today. However, in my opinion, it didn’t make Captain Nemo look quite as heroic or interesting as it should have.

We did have some robust debate over Captain Nemo and whether he was villainous. Rick and I were right, Ryan was wrong (listen to the episode for proof).

And remember, next time you head for the stars, spray yourself with a painful stream of pressurized water, because there is No Deodorant in Outer Space!!!!! *

– Wilk


On the podcast we talked about the fact that Jules Verne’s works needlessly suffered from poor translation into the English language. If you want to know more about this you can see what the North American Jules Verne Society says on their website, including reviews of specific translations. Here is a link to their page on “Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea”:

Another fun fact, is that the first underwater film ever made was a 1916 silent film of “Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea.” The later 1954 Disney Version was filmed in the same location as this very early version. Although we did not review it for the show, the film is available online:



* DISCLAIMER: Please be advised that the views and opinions of the hosts and guests of NDIOS are completely their own and do not necessarily reflect the views and beliefs of the other hosts and guests or that of NDIOS.