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Category:    Home > Reviews > Science Fiction > Adventure > TV > SeaQuest DSV - Season One

SeaQuest DSV – Season One


Picture: C     Sound: B-     Extras: C-     Episodes: C+



On the heels of James Cameron’s The Abyss (1990) and its lesser feature film competitors Deep Star Six and Leviathan, writer Rockne S. O’Bannon created a TV response and even had Steven Spielberg on board to co-produce it.  The result was SeaQuest DSV, a show with serious initial buzz that was expected to be Star Trek underwater and boasted a look at work in the future when we built a colony to explore the ocean in 2032.  Roy Schieder, Spielberg’s lead in Jaws back in 1975, was hired for the lead role of Captain Nathan Bridger and his lead work in Peter Hyams’ 2010 (1984) was another reason he got the part.


Season One launched in 1993 with 23 episodes that included some guest stars and teleplays that tried to build the show’s own world.  The great journeyman veteran director Irvin Kershner even helmed the pilot show.  The episodes here are, with guests where applicable:


1)     To Be Or Not To Be*

2)     The Devil’s Window* (Roscoe Lee Browne)

3)     Treasure Of the Mind*

4)     Games

5)     Treasures Of the Tonga Trench (Yaphet Kotto)

6)     Brothers & Sisters

7)     Give Me Liberte (Udo Keir, Daniel Stern)

8)     Knight Of Shadows

9)     Bad Water

10)  The Regulator

11)  seaWest (David McCallum, David Morse)

12)  Photon Bullet (Seth Green)

13)  Better Than Martians (wrestler Steve Austin, Kent McCord)

14)  Nothing But The Truth*

15)  Greed For A Pirate’s Dream* (Roscoe Lee Browne)

16)  Whale Song

17)  The Stinger

18)  Hide & Seek

19)  The Last Lap Of Luxury* (Carl Lumbly)

20)  Abalon* (Charlton Heston)

21)  Such Great Patience* (Kent McCord, Dustin Nguyen)

22)  The Good Death

23)  Higher Power



Unfortunately, the innovative, clever, mature, interesting adventure show with an edge Schieder thought he was getting when he signed on turned out to be a sillier series pandering to that UFO known as the family audience.  It was too technical for families, yet not nerdy and complex enough for hardcore Science Fiction fans.  What’s worse, it was not even considering the older audience tuning in for Schieder, so the series was a disappointment.  Schieder still stayed on beyond this season and hoped things would get better, but for this season, it was just not working out much.


Then there is Jonathan Brandis, who was being primed as the next big star and was getting roles beyond the run of this show.  Unfortunately, the appealing and talented actor who the camera liked took his life just a few years ago and we lost yet another great face of tomorrow.  It is with great irony I watched his work throughout.  Even if this was one of the biggest TV hits of all time, there is no telling if that would have helped him, but he definitely added to the show.  That is especially apparent when the scripts were not that good.  Over a decade later, he carries the show as much as even Schieder, who is not easy to compete against.


The 1.33 X 1 image is surprisingly poor, with a digitizing of the live action footage that degrades it, likely coming from the digitization of the entire episodes for the then-new kind of digital visual effects.  They look old and dated; somewhere between the bad garbage we have been getting too often lately and an Atari 2600.  The Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo is better with Pro Logic surrounds and decent dialogue reproduction.  Extras only include the deleted scenes on the episodes above marked with an *.



-   Nicholas Sheffo


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