- SEAQUEST DSV
- US tv series (1993-). Amblin Television/Universal. Series creator Rockne S. O'Bannon. Execprods include O'Bannon, David J. Burke, Patrick Hasburgh, Steven SPIELBERG, TommyThompson. Supervising prods include Kerry Lenhart, John J.Sakmar, Hans Tobeason, more. Dirsinclude Irvin Kershner, Les Landau, Bill L. Norton, Les Sheldon, Bryan Spicer. Writers includeLenhart, Sakmar, Michael CASSUTT, Melinda SNODGRASS, more. Stars include Roy Scheider(Capt. Nathan Bridger), Jonathan Brandis (Lucas), Don Franklin (Cmdr. Jonathan Ford), "Darwin" (voice: Frank Welker),Stephanie Beacham (Dr Kristin Westphalen, season 1), Royce D. Applegate (Chief Crocker,season 1),Edward Kerr (Lt. Brody, season 2). Two seasons to 1995, current.An 86-min pilot (Aug1993) was followed by approximately fifty 50-min episodes in the first two seasons.seaQuest DSV (so spelled out onscreen), re-teaming the successful Jaws(1975) combination of Scheider and Spielberg, was the Spielberg organization's second attempt to develop amajor prime-time sf tv show for NBC, the first being AMAZING STORIES,which lasted only two seasons. Critical consensus is that the producers' ambitions again exceed their grasp.The series, set around 25 years in the future, postulates an Earth loosely governed by the "United Earth Organization", wherein many nations and corporate entities have claimedareas of the ocean for colonization or resource development. The title refers to the submarine designed and commanded by Captain Nathan Bridger, a flagship vessel in the tradition of STAR TREK's U.S.S. Enterprise.Also distinctive was the introduction of "Darwin", a dolphin crew member able to communicate with his crewmates via voder-liketechnology.Young actor Jonathan Brandis, as boy genius Lucas Wolenczak, rapidly became a fanfavorite.Initially conceived and promoted as fairly rigorous science fiction with an emphasis on exploration and discovery (Woods Hole oceanographer Dr Robert Ballard was a technical consultant during the first season, delivering educational messages over the closing credits),the series achieved only faltering ratings and was soon embroiled in a nearly constant cycle of retoolings and changes in creative leadership. The direction of the stories changed,increasingly emphasizing extra-terrestrial visitations and mystical phenomena, much to the publicly expresseddisapproval of Scheider. Several cast members departed or were dismissed after the first season, when it was announced that second-season production would be moved to Florida from Hollywood.Part of seaQuest DSV's rocky history may arise from its time slot, 8.00pm Sunday,opposite CBS's venerablMurder, She Wrote and ABC's SUPERMAN vehicle LOIS \& CLARK. Never a solid ratings success, it showed a further marked decline in ratingstowards the end of the second season. Prospects for a third season appear uncertain, and further retooling is likely, but loyal fans have mounted a well-organized lobbying campaign reminiscent of that launched nearly 30 years earlier to preserve the original Star Trekseries.Tie-in material has included a novelisation of the pilot by Diane DUANE and Peter Morwood, novels by Matthew J. Costello and David BISCHOFF, and ashort-lived comic book from Nemesis Comics.JCB
Science Fiction and Fantasy Encyclopedia. Academic. 2011.