Goliath Awaits

Goliath Awaits is a 1981 American made-for-television action-thriller film originally broadcast in two parts in November 1981 on various stations as a part of Operation Prime Time's syndicated programming.[1][2] It is about an ocean liner sunk by a German U-boat in 1939 whose wreck is discovered in 1981, with over 300 survivors and their descendants living in an air bubble inside the ship.

Goliath Awaits
Written byRichard Bluel
Pat Fielder
Directed byKevin Connor
StarringMark Harmon
Christopher Lee
Eddie Albert
John Carradine
Alex Cord
Robert Forster
Frank Gorshin
Jean Marsh
John McIntire
Emma Samms
Music byGeorge Duning
Country of originUnited States
Original language(s)English
Executive producer(s)Larry White
Producer(s)Hugh Benson
Richard M. Bluel
Pat Fielder
CinematographyAl Francis
Editor(s)J. Terry Williams
Donald Douglas
Running time~200 min (original)
110 min (VHS/laserdisc)
Production company(s)Larry White Productions
Gay-Jay Production
Columbia Pictures Television
Operation Prime Time
DistributorOperation Prime Time
Original networkSyndication
Original releaseNovember 16 
17, 1981


On September 4, 1939, the British ocean liner RMS Goliath, carrying 1,860 passengers, is torpedoed by a German U-boat and sinks within minutes while on a transatlantic crossing to the United States three days after the outbreak of war.[1][2]

Scientists aboard a research ship in 1981 discover the wreck of the Goliath lying upright in 1,000 feet (305 m) of water,[2] and divers are sent down to investigate the wreck. Oceanographer Peter Cabot (Mark Harmon) hears systematic banging and music coming from the ship[3] and is shocked to see the face of a beautiful young woman (Emma Samms) inside a porthole. Cabot and his colleagues discover 337 people, survivors and their descendants, living in an air bubble in the wreck caused by the vessel's having slowly sunk in relatively shallow water. The residents of Goliath, who have invented some technologies to help them survive, some not even known to the outside modern world, live in a superficially utopian society under the autocratic leadership of John McKenzie (Christopher Lee), a junior officer at the time of the sinking credited with saving a sizable number of passengers and crew.[1] The scientists are surprised to discover that McKenzie and some of the ship's residents are not at all interested in being "rescued", and that there are outcasts and rebels opposed to McKenzie's seemingly beneficent leadership, which also includes brutal discipline, mandatory contraception, euthanasia, and outright murder disguised as a mysterious disease.

Complicating things, the Goliath had been carrying some sensitive documents to President Roosevelt. A joint American/British military team is sent by Admiral Wiley Sloan (Eddie Albert) to retrieve and destroy the documents.[1][3]

Principal cast


The interiors of Goliath were principally filmed on location aboard the RMS Queen Mary in California.[1][4]


  1. "Goliath Awaits". jimusnr.com. Archived from the original on 2008-05-12. Retrieved 2008-04-08.CS1 maint: unfit url (link)
  2. McLean, Robert A (1981-11-05). "High Adventure at the Bottom of the Sea". The Boston Globe. p. 1.
  3. Maslin, Janet (1981-11-16). "TV: 'Goliath Awaits,' Undersea Yarn". The New York Times. Retrieved 2008-04-08.
  4. Gore, Robert J (1981-05-30). "Queen Mary Is Setting for Sci-Fi Film". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2008-04-14.
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