1 9 5 7 – 1 9 6 0 (USA)
155 x 30 minute episodes
Although he ultimately became more famous for his comedy roles in movies such as Airplane (1980), Lloyd Bridges appeared on TV for three years as Mike Nelson, a former US Navy frogman and owner of the seagoing vessel Argonaut, in which he travelled the globe as a freelance underwater trouble-shooter.
Nelson was employed by salvage companies, insurance firms and, at times, the US Government.
Researching the possibility of making TV films with an underwater setting, producer Ivan Tors – who went on to have another aquatic hit with Flipper – went to the US Navy, the Coastguard and various US Law Enforcement agencies all of who were quite happy to supply him with subject material.
Real divers and marine scientists were employed to act as advisors in order to make the shows as realistic as possible, and Lloyd Bridges’ two sons, Beau and Jeff, both appeared from time to time.
Much of the diving footage was shot at Marineland of the Pacific in California, as well as locations on both coasts.
While the show often focussed on educational and environmental topics concerning diving and the sea, Bridges decided to depart when the production changed toward more predictable procedural stories.
One of the most extensively syndicated series in the United States, Sea Hunt drew about forty million people every week to watch. It was revived briefly in 1987 with former Tarzan star, Ron Ely, as Nelson.