Fathom (1967) Super Sexy Raquel Welch Skydives For Spies

Finally, I found the strength to emerged from the wolf den. I’d put myself in a sadness of solitude after hearing the heartbreaking news of the passing of the delectable Raquel Welch. Taking myself off into a 3 day mourning period. I wiggled my hips as I squeezed my large frame into a star spangled two piece bikini and then proceeded to wail and howl in the darkness. You see, Raquel was my first, true, love…

Young Mikey wolf cub had sat innocently playing with his train track in the middle of the lounge floor as Mum and Dad watched TV. It was around the festive holidays when this angel appeared on the screen. Dressed in green, in fact I believe she wore a Christmas elf costume. This enchanting lady captured my heart. Around me the trains derailed at a crossing and flew across the room, smashing in a heap. I didn’t care. My eyes lit up wide, my mouth mumbling words trying to speak, “Who lady that is?” pointing at the tv transfixed. Instantly I had became a man. I was probably 9 years old.

The mind meddles with you over time and I probably have it all askew but my first encounter with my Raquel was something like that. Around that same time she would follow up that brief encounter and literally blow this young wolf’s head clean off with her beauty. Corrupting my adolescent mind as she grunted a few words and ran across the screen in a fur-skinned bikini and fist fought other like minded, scantily clad, prehistoric ladies. It was, of course, One Million Years BC (1966). It’s safe to say, Raquel did funny things to me. The next film was Fantastic Voyage (1966) and mixing Raquel with my other love, science fiction, she was forever cemented as my top girl. Others came close but Raquel always reigned supreme for me.

Tagline – She’s A Sky Diving Darling Built For Action!

As tribute I wanted to marvel at her, acting assets, with a film I hadn’t seen before. Well, I lie a little, I’ve watched the intro on many occasions but didn’t get much further. No way it can beat a certain Barbarella (1968) opening scene. That’s mission impossible! Jane Fonda completely smashed that a year later, however, it has a similar vibe to it. All played out with Miss Raquel packing away her parachute, in her undies of course…

The film in question is Fathom (1967). Raquel Welch plays our hero Fathom Harvill. This all American skydiver was touring Europe with her teammates. She’s happy gliding and smiling away in the Spanish skies until she decides it’s time to leave. Getting picked up by Timothy (Richard Briers) whom she believes is her driver. With a detour she suddenly realises he’s not taking her to the hotel! He assures her that he’s British intelligence and along with his superior, Colonel Campbell (Ronald Fraser) they inform her they needed her specialist skill set to help save the world from impending nuclear war!

These two Brits work for an organisation called H.A.D.E.S aka Headquarters Allied Defences, Espionage, and Security. Intelligence states that two Hong Kong double agents, Jo-May (Greta Chi) and Peter Merriwether (Anthony Franciosa) were in truth working for the Chinese government. In their possession, they were believed to have, a vital control device for an atomic bomb. Living a pretend happy family lifestyle within a small community it had become impossible to retrieve reliable information. In steps the need for Fathom. They required her to parachute into the compound “by accident” saying she had been blown off course. On arrival she can activate a recording device to eavesdrop on the two spies.

Tagline – Get Set For A Free-Fall With … FATHOM!

As you can imagine, things don’t go to plan. With more dodgy people turning up it’s hard to keep up with the plot. With even co-star Richard Briers quoted to claim in interviews that he finds the plot of this movie hard to Fathom.? But come on! Is anyone here for the story? Not when you try and Fathom where our divine star is getting all her snazzy prime colour outfits from? I guess they are so skimpy she squeezed them all in her purse? And you spend all the glorious run-time stood, transfixed, like I was back at the beginning of this story as a young wolf boy on the edge of manhood. Staring at her ample elegant charms mumbling words like “Eye Carumba” “Dear God!” “Praise Ye The Lord!”

A Few Random Things…

  • There’s two reasons Fathom is called Fathom. The first “Hey Senorita, how did you ever get a name like Fathom?” a reporter asks. Fathom answers with a cheeky grin “A fathom is six feet. Papa was hoping for a tall son. Papa was disappointed.“… The second, even stranger, she’s named after all her Uncles first initials, Freddie, Arthur, Tom, Harry, Oscar, and Milton. OK!
  • Richard Briers will be known to many Brits, of a certain age, for the sitcom classic The Good Life (1975/78) and the voice narration for children shows Noddy (1975) and Roobarb and Custard (1974) and the devastating Watership Down (1978) to name a few.
  • Throw into the mix a crazier than a bag of frogs, Russian called Sergi Serapkin (Clive Revill). Who goes full Peter Sellers as a strange heat needing skin suit monocle wearing fruit loop. “Miss Harvill, I must have heat; but, I dislike firecrackers.

  • The soundtrack is by British composer and jazzman John Dankworth.
  • The character is based on a novel called A Girl Called Fathom by Larry Forrester written in the same year as the film. Yet in that book she’s a tough cookie who is given the option to become a counter espionage agent or go to prison. With a different mission against the Soviets. Also I don’t believe her skydiving skills are mentioned. It is stated that Forrester had started a 2nd novel called Fathom Heavensent. I guess whilst doing the screenplay, using the films storyline but it was never published.
  • Novelist Larry Forrester would go on to co-write the screenplay for Tora, Tora, Tora (1970) after Fathom.
  • Director Leslie H Martinson film before Fathom was the fun camp classic Batman: The Movie (1966) along with working on the series.

Is Fathom any good? Well if you went and read that two bit film critic charlatan Roger Ebert (it’s here) you’d find that he gave it a thumbs down zero! Yes zero. And he gives our Raquel a right smashing! Huff! What does he know…. Hehe, ok it’s pretty bad, made worse for being pretty confusing and having a McGuffin but hey, you know what? I really enjoyed it. Come on! Who’s here for plot? I’m only here for sweet Raquel.

Rest in peace Raquel. You made this here wolf boy a very happy man. x


15 thoughts on “Fathom (1967) Super Sexy Raquel Welch Skydives For Spies

  1. Oh Raquel…it made me sad to hear that you’d passed away. I’ll always remember our one short, sweet moment together (“Hi!”…”Hi!”) at my workplace, so many years ago.

    I believe ‘One Million Years B.C.’ was my first with her as well, though ‘Fantastic Voyage’ might’ve snuck in there first. And I did see ‘Fathom’, a few decades back, and I remember…well, let’s just say all I want to remember is that Raquel was in it.

    Still quite a few of her films left for me to see, though…maybe I’ll make ‘Kansas City Bomber’ my next. A nice tribute/review, Mikey…and I must know, do you own that ‘Fathom’ soundtrack LP?

    Liked by 2 people

    • No way Todd!!! You got to say “Hi” and got a “Hi” back!!!
      My normal responses received from any such interaction like that seem to be always greeted with screams, running and lawsuits. It’s how I met my wife! HAHA only joking…..
      Good to hear we both on the same trajectory with falling head over heels with Raquel with “One Million BC” and “Fantastic Voyage”.
      I don’t have the Fathom soundtrack but I really should/have it in my record collection…
      I got my eye on watching “Kansas City Bomber” too (will keep an eye out if you do get to it) and also “Fuzz” looks fun.
      More Raquel to put a smile on our faces.

      Liked by 2 people

      • Oh trust me, I got a scream, a scrambling away, and an eventual lawsuit as well! Actually, no…her Mom was in the hospital I was working at decades ago, and I went to get her for an x-ray, and Raquel was in the room visiting her, so Mom told her who I was, I said hi, Raquel said hi back, and I took Mom down for her pictures. Later, after Raquel and I had returned from dinner…

        I don’t think I’ve ever seen ‘Fuzz’, but I might’ve seen ‘Mother, Jugs, and Speed’, though I remember nothing about it, except there was an ambulance involved. I might have to add those two to the list as well.

        And if I ever spot that ‘Fathom’ soundtrack, I’m grabbing it!

        Liked by 2 people

        • Wow Todd that’s an amazing interaction. Xray and all. Yeah no problem adding the dinner, I would do the same. Shhhh don’t tell anyone but through the years this here wolf-dude has told his stories with Jenny Agutter, Dionne Warwick and Pam Grier to name a few of my star connections.

          I too have seen Mother Jugs and Speed. I’d rented that on VHS. Remember it being good fun and having a funky soundtrack. Another I need to go back and visit. If it wasn’t for being super busy at work at the moment I’d love to do a whole Raquel marathon. Though I’m hoping to get to something else saucy before. Hopefully this weekend hehe.

          Hope you get to find the Fathom OST as it’s also great cover art.

          Liked by 1 person

  2. I got SO hung up on your hips wriggling line, Mikey- couldn’t shake that image out of my head, lol! Haven’t seen this at all but I do remember Raquel like everyone else here. I wonder if she were born a few decades later, would she be stuck in fantasy film roles in the modern era like some cheesy “B” actress. Anyway, I’ll recommend Kansas City Bomber because it works on a few fronts (outside the obvious).

    Liked by 3 people

    • Haha Greg please except my apologies for the image imprint! To be honest it’s all furry hair and fluff. LOL
      I’m certainly looking forward to seeing Raquel’s “fronts” in Kansas City Bomber. I think I’m gonna enjoy that one. It does look like a fun film.
      Yes so true. Would of been interesting to see what she would of been starring in if she’d been a born a few decade later. Oh for a time machine…

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I, too, loved your opening, expelling a loud guffaw that startled hubby as I read about the mourning period, the bikini, and trying to speak: “Who lady that is?”
    Oh man, hubby felt it too.
    He’s the one who turned me on to Fantastic Voyage. The scene where the men are pulling the antibodies off her…hands scrabbling over her breasts… LOL
    On a side note, it wasn’t until I saw Fantastic Voyage AND Airport that I understood where all the jokes from Airplane came from.
    Well, a wonderful tribute to a true statuesque beauty.
    Here’s to Raquel: we will miss her. For anyone still mourning, hat tip to Airport: I picked the wrong week to quit drinking!

    Liked by 3 people

    • We really should have a yearly national Raquel day of mourning. Sure you can get your hubby to join in too. We can all strut around our towns in various Raquel outfits. OK! No one will have a clue what’s going on. “Oh good god, the wolf thing has lost it once again” the whispers would likely be but we’d all know we were doing our own little tributes. “Oh gosh he’s only squeezed himself inna gold future suit!” “Better call the doctor again!”

      I know right, that scene in Fantastic Voyage is quite the shocker!!! How many retakes I wonder?
      Haha yes Airplane was so funny grabbing all those tropes and turning them into rip roaring hilarious bits.
      Brilliant LOL ” I picked the wrong week to quit drinking” Lloyd Bridges was so freaking funny. A revelation.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Hubby is all for a national Raquel Welch mourning day. He’ll probably try to squirm into the 10,000 BC outfit. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

        • Oh, and he says a film retrospective each year would be good, and Mother, Jugs and Speed MUST be included…


  4. “Who lady that is?”

    Hehe, lol.

    I remember this being on TV when I was a child and I was going to watch it, because I liked spy things, but my brother persuaded me against it. He’d seen it before and said it was rubbish. I finally got to see it a couple of years ago. Turns out he was right! It’s pretty lame.

    I don’t remember the John Dankworth music, but I sometimes have his Modesty Blaise theme going around my head. Actually, maybe Raquel would have made a good Modesty Blaise. Surely better than Monica Vitti anyway.

    Liked by 2 people

    • hehe good to see some of the little jokes get noticed there Jay 🙂

      Oh man it’s really rather bad. And like I say it doesn’t really make sense when you look into it and then you think, ok, no one cares. Raquel looks amazing. Tick box.
      It’s all about that opening packing the parachute away scene tbh.
      However, I’m a sucker for some silly stuff and I’m usually pretty happy watching how they play stuff out. Especially when they throw all kinda crazy at you. Like the Russian heat sensitive guy! So silly, no real point but somehow he just kinda fits LOL..

      I’ve never seen Modesty Blaise though I really should. Heard the soundtrack and seen lots of images. Great cast and of course Monica Vitti is easy on the eye…. Another for the “to watch list”…. 16 years till retirement and I can really knuckle down to some film list smashing HEHE

      Liked by 1 person

      • Modesty Blaise is absurd, and absurd in a bad way. But it does look fantastic, a real time capsule of peak 60s style.


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