TV From The Crypts: Seaquest DSV
How many of you 90’s kids are out there reading this site on a regular basis? Well, for those of you who were around at that time I am sure you will remember this classic Sunday prime time show: Seaquest DSV. This TV show was such a GREAT and classic science fiction show. So many of our beloved science fiction shows are about exploration of space, alien invasions on Earth, or some form of post-apocalyptic catastrophe related to zombies, vampires, mad scientists or a combination of them. In a way this show was quite unique and not many others since have tried to explore an unknown area of our planet in such a magnificent way since.
For those of you youngins’ who were not privileged enough to have been alive and cognitively coherent in the 90’s, let me set up the premise for you. The year is 2018 and mankind has exhausted most of their resources from the surface of the planet, hence it’s time to explore the ocean floor. This might seem a little bit far-fetched and like a little bit of a let down, I mean, how much is there to explore on the ocean floor? Well, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association, 70% of the surface of this planet is the ocean floor, and at this time, circa 2013, over 95% of this is still unexplored by humans. Think about all those Discovery Channel Planet Earth specials you’ve seen on The Deep Blue Sea and realize that all those deep water species, images of hot water trenches, and creatures you can’t believe actually exist is probably less than 1% of what we haven’t seen.
Yes folks, those are real deep-sea creatures, and no folks, this is not a horror of horrors post. All in all, it makes this idea of a TV show about exploration in to the unknown depths of our very own oceans seem like a sustainable plot. And so it was in my opinion. The show is named after the ship that takes the main stage: Seaquest is a gigantic, technologically advanced, state of the art submarine that the United Earth Oceans Organization (UEO) owns and enlists to navigate our waters. Think the Starship Enterprise of the sea.
In addition to its military responsibilities, which are to patrol and maintain peace in the ocean amongst warring states, the Seaquest also has the mission of exploring that >95% of the ocean where we just don’t know what the hell is going on. Hence the analogy from Star Trek, to boldly go where no one has gone before, just below the surface. What’s so great about this show is that just like Star Trek, it has the potential to have such unique and never-ending stories. And Seaquest does just that. In addition to the standard standoffs with other military forces and torpedo battles that make the show fun and action-packed, what I found to be the best about this show were those unique stories where they would find a haunted ship wreck with ghosts, or a crashed alien space ship deep in a uncharted sea trench. Other episodes deal with genetic modification of humans, and one of the characters on the ship happens to be a genetically modified human, better known as GELFs instead of GMOs (which stands for genetically engineered life form of course). My personal favorite character was Piccolo, who is an ex-con that was allowed out of jail early after he signed up for a new experimentation program where they ended up implanting gills in his sides. And of course there is the talking dolphin Darwin, who steals your heart even if you are opposed to marine mammals in captivity (though luckily they used a CGI version or a robot most of the time, and you can’t really tell the difference).
If Darwin doesn’t steal your heart, then I am sure one or many of the other characters will, whether it is the teen-heart throb Jonathan Brandis or one of the many attractive and intelligent female officers who look great in a wet suit. Regardless of how much you like or dislike the various characters on the show, you will find yourself growing attached to the crew. Much like Star Trek, you feel invested in their relentless and heart felt exploration of the sea. Even if you are not sold by the 90’s CGI special effects since you are so used to those from today’s day and age, you will fall in love with this story, and the writers definitely take advantage of the infinitesimal story ideas that can be developed from this situation. I recommend you go re-invest in this classic from the past in order to contemplate what could be in our future.
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