There have been many adaptations of the classic novel but 1993's Journey To The Center Of The Earth by NBC has to be the worst. The book was written by Jules Verne, who also penned classic adventures Around The World In 80 Days and 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea. The plot of the book finds a professor and his companions undertaking an expedition into the Earth via some volcanic tubes, and they encounter various dangers and prehistoric creatures along the way. Journey To The Center Of The Earth is rightfully regarded as a science fiction classic, and it's been adapted for film and TV several times.
The first movie from 1959 starred James Mason and featured elaborate sets and special effects for the era. Another major adaptation arrived in 2008 with Journey To The Center Of The Earth 3D. This version starred Brendan Fraser and the slightly meta premise involved the idea Jules Verne's work is fact and not fiction, with Fraser taking his nephew on an adventure into the Earth. The movie received a sequel in Journey 2: The Mysterious Island with Dwayne Johnson taking the lead, and it was based on Verne's The Mysterious Island. A third Journey movie adapting From The Earth To The Moon was announced but later scrapped when Johnson couldn't fit it into his packed schedule.
Journey To The Center Of The Earth received a TV movie adaptation in 1993, which was supposed to lead to a series. The movie opens with a professor played by F. Murray Abraham (Homeland) who builds a craft intended to explore the interior of the planet, with Sam Raimi - director of Evil Dead - making a cameo as his assistant. When the craft blows up and seemingly kills the professor, a more advanced vehicle called "Avenger" is built, with a ragtag team of explorers setting off to explore the inside of Earth. They encounter various creatures and even befriend a talking yeti.
Journey To The Center Of The Earth 1993 only takes a few elements from the novel, and the whole affair is garish and cheap looking. The effects were poor, even for the time, and the script is littered with stilted dialogue. While it features a few decent performances, including Tim Russ (Star Trek: Voyager), the characters are mostly flat and one-note. The group also find themselves up against an evil, human-like villain who may or may not be Abraham's professor, though the movie doesn't make it terribly clear.
Journey To The Center Of The Earth 1993 is a dreadful adaptation and a bad b-move in general. The proposed TV series never arrived, though the ending left things open for more adventures. The movie also feels like a strange dry run for 2003's disaster film The Core featuring Aaron Eckhart. No one would argue The Core is great cinema, but its at least more entertaining than Journey To The Center Of The Earth 1993.