1 9 9 3 – 1 9 9 6 (USA)
1 x 90 minute episode
58 x 60 minute episodes
“The 21st century. Mankind has colonised the last unexplored region on Earth – the ocean. As captain of the SeaQuest and its crew, we are its guardians. For beneath the sea lies the future.”
This Hi-Tech Voyage To The Bottom Of The Sea for the 90s featured the adventures of the 1,000-foot Deep Submergence Vehicle (DSV) SeaQuest, a one thousand foot long super-sub patrolling the deep on behalf of the United Earth Oceans (UEO) organisation in the year 2018.
The oceans of the world are now being colonised and their resources are being exploited with the establishment of undersea farming, mining and manufacturing communities.
SeaQuest was funded by the UEO as a means to protect its undersea interests and stories followed the experiences of its crew as they encountered outside forces (including aliens) seeking not only to control the ocean but the Earth itself.
The SeaQuest was commanded by Captain Nathan Bridger (Roy Scheider entering the sea again, just when he thought it might be safe having won the day in Jaws) with a crew of 312 people (224 scientists and 88 military personnel).
Key members of Nathan’s team included chief engineer Lieutenant Catherine Hitchcock (Stacy Haiduk); chief medical officer Dr Kristin Westphalen (Stephanie Beacham), and Lucas Wolenczak (Jonathan Brandis), a teenager who was an expert with dolphins and had devised a system that enabled dolphins to talk. His ‘assistant’ was Darwin, a dolphin he rescued from a fisherman’s net (voiced by Frank Welker).
The ship’s janitor, Dagwood (Peter DeLuise) was from a race of genetically engineered beings called Daggers; Miguel Ortiz (Mario Sanchez) was the sensor chief; Benjamin Krieg (John D’Aquino) was the supply and morale officer and Tony Piccolo (Michael DeLuise) was a crew member who had been physically altered by a scientific experiment and had surgically implanted gills.
The first season was very eco-aware and green-oriented, which resulted in a choppy critical reaction. Nervous studio executives insisted on more bug-eyed monsters and fantasy – to the displeasure of Scheider (and many hardcore fans) who dismissed it as “childish trash”.
The show arose from the schlocky abyss for a cyberpunkish third season, but with Michael Ironside as Captain Oliver Hudson replacing Scheider on the bridge of SeaQuest Mk II – the original having been used to plug a magma fissure to stop a catastrophic earthquake – and the loss of the scene-stealing animatronic/CGI-generated dolphin, Darwin (which was ruled too costly).
The action was updated to 2032.
Captain Nathan Bridger
Lt Cmdr Catherine Hitchcock
Dr Kristin Westphalen
Cmdr Jonathan Ford
Lt Tim O’Neill
Sensor Chief Miguel Ortiz
Dr Wendy Smith
Chief Manilow Crocker
Royce D. Applegate
Lt. Benjamin Kreig
Helmsman Lonnie Henderson
Lt. James Brady
Lt. JJ Fredricks
Captain Oliver Hudson