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Updated: February 22, 2023

Commander Lee Crane young, virile captain of the submarine. An outstanding athlete at Annapolis, he was graduated with honors and served with distinction in the submarine service before being detached from the Navy and assigned, as a civilian, to the command of Seaview. He has tremendous respect amounting almost to awe for Admiral Nelson. The two men act as perfect complements and hold each other in mutual high esteem.

Crane is equally respected by his men. He has a rule, amounting almost to a fetish, of never ordering a man to tackle a dangerous assignment that he would not risk doing himself. And his skill as an athlete, together with his natural resourcefulness, make almost any job seem possible to him.

Needless to say, Crane's qualities make him enormously attractive to women. The attraction is mutual. The fact that he has not yet married presents an almost irresistible challenge to every unattached female who crosses his path and there are many.

To play Lee Crane, Captain of the SSRN Seaview, Irwin wanted David Hedison. He had worked with David on the film, The Lost World, and felt that Hedison had the qualities he wanted in the leading man of the series, "Hedison looks like the type of modern, thinking, fighting man that we have come to recognize through the brilliance of the image created by the astronauts."

Hedison resisted Allen's desire for him to appear in the film; since he felt the film Crane was "too one-dimensional" and was also resisting his pull to the series, until he found that Basehart was doing the show. Richard's involvement sold Hedison on the project (with a bit of persuasion from David's good friend, Roger Moore) and he soon signed with Irwin Allen.

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