SeaQuest DSV first aired on September 12, 1993. Created by Rockne S. O'Bannon (Farscape, Defiance) and co-produced by Steven Spielberg (first 2 seasons). Yes, 2023 is it’s 30th Anniversary and in part, this is the reason why I started another SeaQuest rewatch. Earlier this year I wrote the 30th Anniversary Blog for SeaQuest DSV and while writing, I started to get the urge, to watch it again. As you may know, because I mentioned it a couple of times in other blogs: I currently am in the mood for my 90’s tv shows. Shows like Star Trek: DS9, Star Trek: Voyager, The Pretender, Stargate SG-1. I will start Babylon 5 early next year when it has been released on Blu-ray, and I just finished The X-Files a few months back. Furthermore, I want to start watching Highlander the Series and Star Trek: The Next Generation again and even watch non-SCI-FI 90’s shows like Frasier and am looking forward to also rewatch Nash Bridges again.


So, it was not a far stretch to also wanted to start a rewatch of SeaQuest DSV, which also has been released on Blu-ray a number of years back in Germany and Australia. Last year it also got a Blu-ray release in North America. It really looks great on Blu-ray, the CGI has been upscaled, but the live actions scenes have been upgraded to true HD.


For me, the first season definitely is the best season of all three. It has the best cast, unfortunately after its first season, many cast members did not return in season two, which really impacted the quality of the show. Not to say that season one is perfect, no it is not, but it is entertaining, and the main cast is responsible for a very believable TV show. As I also said in the 30th Anniversary blog, I believe that SeaQuest DSV was the answer to Star Trek: The Next Generation, exploring our seas instead of space.


As I said, the cast is a strong one, the captain of the SeaQuest is Nathan Bridger (Roy Scheider). He is the one who also designed the SeaQuest. He is a captain I would follow in a heartbeat. Nathan Bridger is an honest man, has lots of integrity, will never lie to you. It is a people person who can be tough as well but not in a militaristic way. For me he is on my favorite captains list: Ben Sisko (DS9), John Sheridan (B5), Jonathan Archer (ENT) and yes Nash Bridges (Nash Bridges). Bridger’s 2nd in command is commander Ford (Don Franklin) who is a more militaristic commander, different than his captain but they do complement each other. Lt. Cmdr. Katherine Hitchcock (Stacy Haiduk), 3rd in command. Stacy is a beautiful woman but also a very capable actress. A real shame she did not return for season two.


Lt. Benjamin Krieg (John D’Aquino), the procurement officer, he was the one who could get things, hard to come by things. If you wanted something special, ask Krieg. He is a bit the comedic one, he is good friends with Lucas Wolenczak (Jonathan Brandis), he (Lucas) is a genius, only 16 years old. Lucas invented the "Vocorder", a communications device that translates the clicks and squeals of dolphins into English (and vice-versa). He has been “dumped” by his parents on the SeaQuest because they themselves are too busy. Lucas has a father-son relationship with Nathan Bridger which is very well done I have to say. Lucas is also one of my favorite characters on the show. Often kids in shows can be obnoxious but this is not the case with Lucas. Lieutenant JG Tim O'Neill (Ted Raimi) is the communications officer, O'Neill specialized in foreign languages, was fluent in at least a dozen and could adequately speak several others. He also shared some sort of unknown psychic link with Darwin which allowed him to sense when Darwin was ill.

Miguel Ortiz (Marco Sanchez), as the Sensor Chief, Ortiz was responsible for controlling the boat's WSKRs (Wireless Sea Knowledge Retrieval Satellites) and was also involved in various away missions. Manilow Crocker (Royce D. Applegate) was on the brink of retirement when Admiral Noyce personally asked him to sign aboard seaQuest when it was put back to sea in 2018. Crocker had served together with Captain Bridger before and, as a result, did not regret his decision to serve one more tour with his old friend. Crocker is only there for the first season, like Krieg, Hitchcock and Dr. Kristin Westphalen. I really hated that so many characters left the show after its first season. Dr. Kristin Westphalen (Stephanie Beacham) Also did not return in season two and I have to say that I was most disappointed by that! Somehow, like with Roy Scheider, with her, the series gained more prestige, she was a hell of actress, very experienced and let’s not forget, a beautiful woman! I mean I was in my early 20’s when it first aired and Stephanie Beacham was in her early 40’s at that time, but that didn’t matter, she had such a presence! Her relationship with Nathan Bridger was something that grew into more than just friendship, which I also loved! It really did hurt the show, these characters leaving after its first season, especially Dr. Kristin Westphalen. Darwin is of course also a character I have to mention, no it is not a real dolphin, but it certainly looks like one, you could have fooled me. It is hard not to give a damn about this wonderful creature.


Below you can read, according to Wiki, why these characters did not return in season 2

The series had suffered in the ratings, as it was pitted against Murder, She Wrote on CBS and Lois and Clark: The New Adventures of Superman on ABC. When it was decided the show would return, NBC and Universal used this opportunity to change the show's format, beginning by relocating the show's production from Los Angeles to Orlando. Several cast changes were also made as both Royce D. Applegate (Chief Manilow Crocker) and John D'Aquino (Krieg) were released by NBC as the network wanted a younger cast for the second season (D'Aquino subsequently returned for a guest appearance in the third season). Stacy Haiduk (Hitchcock) informed producers that she did not wish to relocate to Orlando for the second season, having just returned to Los Angeles after spending four years in Florida during the production of The Adventures of Superboy. Stephanie Beacham, who as Dr. Westphalen was one of the first season's strongest characters, was also hesitant to relocate to Florida. Beacham also blamed continued disputes between the network and the show's producers as a major reason why she did not return.

SeaQuest DSV is mostly of episodic nature. It has some character arcs of course, but like with, let’s say, Star Trek: TNG, every week we get a different story, sometimes a two-parter but that’s about it. SeaQuest is also known for very impressive guest stars and recurring stars! Like William Shatner, Kent McCord, William Morgan Sheppard, Michael York, Tim Dekay, Jonathan Banks, Terence Knox, Tim Russ, Alan Scarfe, Charlton Heston, Luis Guzman, Leslie Hope, Mark Hamill, Richard Herd and so many more.


The Episodes:

Well, I decided to do it differently this time, I had so much to say that if I discuss the episodes also to the fullest, it will become a 6-page blog, and no one wants that. The first season does have a few episodes which are average at best, but it is my opinion that there isn’t an episode among there which is just awful. I would grade the first season 7.5/10. My top 3 favorite episodes are: “Give me Liberté” Seaquest is to deliver a new batch of colleagues to a workstation, but they are all found dead. In their logs it shows they found something in the water. This is the space station Liberté, which crash landed in 2009 but never was found. Ford is in the isolation chamber immediately changes into a heavily irritated man. He should be the one to set an example to the others, but he is unable to. The 2nd one is “Better Than Martians”. The title says it all, it’s about a human crew coming back from Mars and getting into trouble when their vehicle sinks to the bottom of the sea and is taking on water. Guest starring Kent McKord (Galactica 80, Farscape). Also, Guest starring Steven Williams (The X-Files, Stargate SG-1, 21 Jump Street). The 3rd one is “Such Great Patience” While exploring an underwater earthquake, the Seaquest discovers an alien spaceship that has been buried for close to 1 million years. These aliens did not come for us humans, but they did come for the dolphins. Guest starring: Kent McCord again. The season finale “Higher Power” is also a strong episode but there are many more, it is a good season, definitely the best of the 3 seasons we got.

Final Word:

If you have been wondering to do a rewatch, just do it, it is really enjoyable, it feels nostalgic, these 90’s shows do feel good I have to say, these characters are like friends or even family, you know them, you have your favorites. The fun thing also is that the older you get, you tend to see episodes from a different viewpoint. Some episodes you don’t find that bad anymore or the other way around, episodes you thought you always loved, suddenly seem less interesting or something. It is very strange, but I’ve experienced it a number of times already with all my 90’s shows rewatches I have been doing the last few months. Looking forward to the next season, even though I know I will miss those characters who didn’t return. As I said, it did hurt the show.

With the help of Wikipedia / screencaps taken from IMdB

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