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SeaQuest DSV

seaQuest DSV was a science fiction television series produced in the mid 1990s. It ran for three years until its cancellation by the American network NBC.

Table of contents
1 History of the Series
2 Cast
3 External Links

History of the Series

“When I was a kid the one story that inspired me more than any other was 20,000 Leagues Under The Sea. I used to pretend to be Captain Nemo and had a lot of undersea adventures with my Nautilus crew. I'd always wanted to explore the possibility of the depths of our oceans, as a stage, as theatre for all sorts of drama and science and entertainment.”

So said one of seaQuest's executive producers at the dawn of the series. His involvement was one of the reasons for seaQuest's almost-unheard-of network commitment of a pilot and a first season, as well as one of the reasons why people took more interest in seaQuest's first season than any other series that debuted in the fall of 1993. (well, maybe “Lois & Clark”…) His name was Steven Spielberg.

Without him, it's doubtful seaQuest would ever have made it onto the screen at all. And, despite producer disputes, changes at the helm (on- and off-screen), and even an earthquake during the first season's filming, everyone who was a part of the series had great hopes for it's success.

Set in “The Near Future” (something few series had done before, but many did after), seaQuest mixed high drama with realistic scientific fact. It starred Jaws' nemesis, Chief Brody, aka Roy Scheider, as Nathan Bridger, captain of this high-tech submarine.

However, it was slated by the critics, who dubbed it “Voyage to the Bottom of the Ratings”, and criticised everything from the characterisation of the show's female characters to Darwin, the show's dolphin! Fans, however, loved it, and “Questies” tuned in to NBC every week to watch the show develop.

In the first season finale, the seaQuest was sacrificed by Bridger to prevent an ecological disaster, and NBC and Universal used this opportunity to “play” with the show. Out went Royce D. Applegate, John D'Aquino, Stacy Haiduk, and Stephanie Beacham, who, as Dr. Kristin Westphalen, was one of the first season's strongest characters. In came a directive from the studio that everyone, except Roy Scheider, had to be under 30. The series had suffered badly in the ratings, pitted as it was against “Lois & Clark”, which, in its first season at least, was a programme of extremely high quality.

The studio also wanted more sci-fi oriented episodes, which first emerged towards the end of season one, when seaQuest encountered a million-year-old alien ship buried in the ocean floor. If they wanted more fans, they almost got their wish. Newer fans emerged, but many of the fans of the first season were unhappy at the studio's attitude to the show's “sci-fact” approach, and abandoned the show.

By the end of season two, seaQuest was again suffering. The season's heavily sci-fi climax, “Splashdown”, saw the crew inexplicably transported to another planet, where they all died. Or so it seemed. The threat of cancellation loomed large. Universal took one last gamble with the series, and gave it one more chance.

Another revamp resulted in the third season, the series now called seaQuest 2032. The seaQuest reappeared, its crew intact, ten years after their abduction at the end of season two. Captain Bridger stepped down to raise his grandson (although Roy appeared in two further episodes of the season), and Michael Ironside entered the fray as the more militaristic Oliver Hudson, as the UEO faced the threat of the Macronesian Alliance. Much darker than the previous series, many felt that seaQuest had finally found its feet, successfully blending science, drama, and fantasy. However, Universal and NBC didn't see it that way, and after only 13 episodes, the series was cancelled.


External Links

TV Tome - seaQuest DSV - Episode guide