That’s right. For those of you who haven’t seen it, SeaQuest DSV was a NBC science fiction drama set in the early 21th Century. The idea behind SeaQuest was that in the near future, the human race would begin moving into the Earth’s oceans for natural resources and colonization. With this, would come territorial claims, alliances, etc… Who would keep order in such a radical new world? The U.E.O. (United Earth Oceans), that’s who! The U.E.O is essentially the Starfleet of the oceans, and SeaQuest is the Enterprise. SeaQuest is captained by Nathan Bridger, Roy Scheider of Jaws fame, a strange combination of Kirk’s determination and Picard’s intelligence. <Side note: You will see me make constant comparisons to the various Star Trek series in this piece. It’s hard not to. This is a great show, but it is also a blatant rip off of Star Trek so deal with it.> The rest of the cast isn’t too shabby: Jonathan Bradis, Don Franklin, Ted Raimi, Peter and Michael DeLuise, Edward Kerr, and many others throughout the three seasons the show was on the air.
SeaQuest had a very interesting life. When the show first came on the air in 1993, which was a great year for science fiction, Deep Space Nine also premiered that year, it was expected to be a smash hit. It had a huge budget and massive ambition. The show always ended with Robert Ballard, an expert in deep sea diving, giving us facts about the ocean and the latest about what was going on in the world of ocean exploration. It was pretty cool. The problem was the numbers were not steady. It had fairly good numbers at the premiere, but slowly drifted off. The shows that did get good numbers in the first season where the episodes that focused more on the paranormal and extraterrestrial story lines, not the political and exploratory minded shows. This really showed when the show made the transition to Season Two.
Season Two took what seemed to succeed from a rating standpoint in the First Season, and put a magnifying glass on it. All of the episodes had to deal with eugenics, giant alligators, or some intergalactic war (which we’ll come back to in a second). The idea of having a show that accurately represents what the next great adventure for humanity was over, replaced with a science fiction drama with a new monster every week. Don’t get me wrong, I did enjoy the Second Season for what it is. It is just bizarre. I have never seen a show switch focuses so abruptly and intentionally like that. By the end of the Season, we find the Seaquest on another planet fighting an alien was. Again, bizarre.
In Season Three, there were three major changes. One: Roy Scheider left the show to be replaced by Michael Ironside. Two: The show moved from NBC to the SciFi (not SyFy) Channel. Three: The show actually changed it’s name to Seaquest: 2032. Again, bizarre. In 2032, the shows producers tried to bring the show back to it’s roots, less aliens and monsters, more political backstabbing and terrorist bombings. Did it work? That’s debatable. Either way it is defiantly worth watching to develop your own opinion on.
I am writing this piece for people who have never seen the show, or for people who never watched the whole thing, or for people who DID watch the whole thing and were unaware that it is available streaming on Netfilx. Through all the ups and downs, I love this show. There is just something about early to mid 1990’s science fiction TV that was just so…ambitious. The producers, including Steven Spielberg, assumed people would eat this show up…That didn’t happen, but it was awesome that they tried. So if you feel so inclined next time you are browsing Netflix, give Seaquest DSV a view. Worst case scenario, you relive some 1990’s memories and was anything bad in the 90’s? I say no.