“Somebody said that the road to Hell…”
“…is paved with good intentions. And apparently, the road to Heaven as well.”
Doctor Helena Russell (Barbara Bain) to Ernst Queller (Jeremy Kemp) from the Year One Space: 1999 episode, Voyager’s Return
And while he didn’t have a reason to, Queller should have included “beneath the sea” as well.
Having seen Kevin McDonald‘s Black Sea last night it struck me how remarkably similar the movie was thematically to the Johnny Byrne-scripted episode of Space: 1999, Voyager’s Return. In it Ernst Queller built a star drive that opened the stars to humanity, though too late to know that whenever the drive was engaged in proximity of populated worlds, ‘fast neutrons’ from it would devastate any worlds within its range.
The point being that Robinson (Jude Law) is a man that does his best to do good for everyone in his life, despite things not working too well for him. He lost his wife and son to someone richer and more successful, and when the film begins, his job as a submariner as well.
That is till he learns of the location of a German U-Boat that’s resting at the bottom of the Black Sea that also happens to contain a fortune in Russian gold.
He finds a backer, gets a submarine (the decline of the Soviet Union providing ample opportunities for buying surplus weaponry, such as submarines) and brings together a crew comprised half of Brits and Russians (Russians because being a Soviet sub, Russians on the crew is a necessity).
Though despite Robinson’s best intentions, things go awry pretty fast, and retrieving the gold becomes less of a problem than dealing with treachery from within and the Russian Navy from without.
Black Sea is a remarkably engaging movie, with great performances across the board, though Robinson would have probably done better if he had watched Aliens prior to going to sea, because someone does a serious ‘Burke’ on him.