DVD Review – ‘SeaQuest DSV: Season One’

     January 13, 2006

Posted by Frosty

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Review by Travis Richey

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SeaQuest DSV” is an early 90’s show that helps to prove the axiom that while you can’t go wrong appealing to the lowest common denominator, high-concept shows with an intelligent message will almost certainly fail.; Such was the case with “SeaQuest,” Steven Spielberg’s attempt to ride the sci-fi boom of the early 90’s.; There’s a lot of good entertainment from those days.; Deep Space 9,” “Babylon 5,” “Earth 2” were all children from that era, and all solid in their own ways.; SeaQuest is no different, except that instead of canceling the series when ratings were disappointing, it was retooled from the serious depiction of the future of a human civilization that has taken to Earth’s oceans to include aliens, monsters, and even the Greek god Neptune (Hey, it was working on Hercules!).

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Well, now you can relive the first and best season of this series which was groundbreaking in its own way.; Join ex-military scientist Roy Scheider as he reluctantly takes command of the largest, most advanced submarine on the planet.; In order to capitulate to the public, the United Earth Oceans Organization (the future of the US Navy) refits their prized Seaquest with room for scientists, and changes her standing mission to one of exploration and research, in addition to her role as the peacekeepers of the high seas.; Nathan Bridger (Jaws’ Scheider) is convinced to put a uniform back on, even though he made a vow to his dead wife never to do so.; He comes to Seaquest in sort of a mediator role, balancing the needs of the military on board with those of the scientists, as well as playing a father role to young Lucas Walenczek (played by the late Jonathan Brandis).; Bridger’s best friend/pet is a dolphin named Darwin, who talks via technology conveniently developed by the kid genius Wesley Crush- er, Lucas.

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I remember the show fondly, especially in the first season.; But in watching the DVD boxed set, it seems dated somehow.; Especially when we now have sci-fi like “Firefly” and “Battlestar Galactica,” which feature nuanced characters who don’t fit into re-made molds, “SeaQuest” almost feels like the original “Battlestar Galactica” where the good guys were really good and the bad guys were really bad, and there was no real reason and no middle ground.; (even the main themes sound remarkable similar.); I can also see why the show was thought to be a bit preachy.; Each episode features a Captain Planet-esque message about our planet’s oceans, and how the science in each week’s episode related to real life in the seas.; Personally, I like that, but then, “SeaQuest” was around before I had access to the Discovery Channel, and I loves me some science.

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Extras

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There aren’t a lot in the way of extras in this set.; There are subtitles in English and Spanish, and about half the episodes feature de;le;te;d scenes.; There aren’t a lot of these deletions, but it is always interesting to me to see what doesn’t make the final cut of a show.; I was hoping for a making-of documentary or commentary or something more, but alas, this seems to be a product aimed directly at the nostalgic few who want only to see Seaquest dive beneath the waves once more.

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Final Words

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If you’re at all a fan of “SeaQuest DSV,” season one is definitely the set to get.; It’s an enjoyable throwback to simpler sci-fi, and it’s a smart show.; The special effects and sets hold up, even if the characters don’t.; The acting is passable, but nothing spectacular, and I’m still not sure how they got a performance out of a dolphin.; I mean, was that thing real or what?; Recommended for the fan with extra cash.

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