The premiere issue of the (very) short-lived sci-fi magazine Not Of this Earth contained features on both men at the helm of the upcoming show for the NBC network produced by Steven Spielberg –
Indeed, this wasn’t the first rodeo for veteran actor Scheider and Director Kershner (having worked together years before on Loving) with both going on to contribute to numerous genre projects and considerable box-office success. The powerhouse combination of their names, plus Spielberg meant that executives were probably justified in their belief they had the hit of the season in their grasp.
With the pressure on once an order for a full 22-episode season was made, filming the pilot for seaQuest DSVwould represent a challenge for the actor on his first television series (Scheider had sworn off TV since Assignment: Munich in 1972) and a Director also more accustomed to shooting for the big screen. However, despite the limitations of the set and a script in need of a few more revisions, ‘To Be Or Not To Be’ was nonetheless a huge ratings success and set the bar for subsequent episodes.
While Scott Nance interview with Roy Scheider is one of very few coversations on record with the actor about the series, look out for more insights to come from the much-missed Director as the SQV posts more vintage interviews with Kirshner about his experiences on the pilot.
Finally, although it may not seem that posts are few and far between recently, I direct your attention to the Main Menu navigation bar above where I have spent considerable time updating and reorganising to build up the site to make it even better. The SQV is always a work in progress and relies heavily on contributors and fans so please DO go to the ‘Mission’ page to submit any suitable content.
“Dropping on The Geek Authority’s YouTube Channel with your host Lorenzo Marchessi on Wednesday, February 10th, 2021 – The Geek Authority dials in the United Kingdom and talks to Martin Lakin – an amazing man and father who admires a TV show from the 90’s that we miss so dearly – seaQuest DSV! He has original props, costumes, continuity Polaroids and so much more. Fun and incredibly charming it is a great conversation from across the pond! Don’t miss it..!”
Today marks the 88th Birthday of Roy Richard Scheider, known to many as the Police Chief from Jaws, to movie buffs as a leading icon of 1970’s cinema, to fans as one of the most underrated actors of all time, and to his grandkids as simply ‘Grandpa Big Fish’.
To describe Scheider as an ‘urban everyman’ would be to grossly understate the range of the twice Oscar-Nominated performer. Was he a vulnerble, relatable leading man that audiences rooted for? Undoubtedly. Was he also a versatile actor just as capable of headlining a musical as he was in the shoes of a thinking man’s action hero? Definately. Yet many believe that he failed to live up to his full potential despite leaving behind a vast body of work and countless box-office receipts.
For anybody interested in Scheider’s life & career I can personally recommend Diane C. Kachmar’s definitive volumeRoy Scheider, A Film Biography but to chronicle the story of the only TV series he made in his career, the seaQuest VAULT picks up his story around 1992 with the super-rare piece taken from the UK edition of Hello magazine shown above.
By all accounts during the early ’90’s Scheider’s star appeared to have dwindled. Despite a filmography peppered with commercial and cult hits alike, Scheider entered the new decade tentatively, with suppporting roles in such fare as ‘The Russia House’ and ‘The Naked Lunch’ as his personal life had apparently taken precedent.
To date, Scheider had always maintained a balance between mainstream and modestly budgeted projects based on what had interested him. In 1992 he had just finished shooting four-part mini-series ‘Wild Justice’ based on the novel by Wilbur Smith, an international production shot on location in the UK and starring Scheider in a role as close to James Bond as he would ever get. Response to Wild Justice was indifferent and it would eventually be re-cut and released as ‘Covert Assassin’, a straight-to-video quickie that would sadly foreshadow much of Scheider’s later work.
By his own admission more mature, wiser and slower, Scheider was in a better place than he had ever been by the time he was contacted by his old friend Steven Spielberg. Finally heeding his call for a bigger boat it seemed like he was on course to Captain one all his own in a TV show with the working title Deep Space…
With news surfacing last month that the colonisation of of the ocean is finally becoming a reality as predicted, its only natural that the fictional equivalent should be enjoying somewhat of a resurgence –
Indeed, the return of seaQuest DSV to the airwaves is long overdue and currently winning new fans on both sides of the Atlantic, courtesy of NBC’s new Peacock streaming service and re-runs on the Horror Channel here in the UK. This has also been compounded by the out-of-the-blue release of the Deluxe Expanded Edition of the Original Soundtrack by John Debney – a collection fans have clamoured for.
Probably the most significant development, however is the recent merging of the SQV with the most popular and active seaQuest Facebook group Beneath The Surface, where yours truly has been added as a moderator (alongside creator CJ Brittingham). What’s most gratifying about this group (besides the daily increase of members!) is the passion for the show and the well of creative talent its inspired. So impressive were some of the skills apparent that I reached out for contributors to help make this website the definitive online archive of the show (as it was becoming too big a mission to complete on my own) –
Therefore I’m delighted to announce that the result of the first of these collaborations is now live – starting with the exclusive all-newSeason 1 Episode Guide. This page features both synopses, review and links to Blu-Ray screen-captures and links to downloadable PDF copies of the original scripts!
Before I go any further, let me introduce you to some of the newest recruits whose work will be showcased in future pages and posts –
UEO PERSONNEL FILE
Name: Charles Mento
Duties: Episode Reviews
Bio: Longtime sci-fi
fan and prolific
writer with offbeat
style and encyclopedic
knowledge of cult TV
UEO PERSONNEL FILENo. 22813-A
Name: Cora Ortiz
(A.K.A Lylianne Ware)
Rank: Lieutenant JG
Bio: Collector and
fan-fic writer of
& short stories.
UEO PERSONNEL FILENo. 77932-B
Name: Kim Malinowski
Rank: Chief Warrant
Duties: Media Reviews
Bio: Established author,
poet. Writer of 'Death,
A Love Story'and Numerous
articles for publications
The SQV also acknowledges invaluable contributions from Julie Esteves (Scripts), Damian Sobieraski (Imagery) Christopher Spencely (Imagery) Brian Kidd, John A (Props) Ryan Paquet (Articles) John Billings (Props) Gary Kester (Reviews) Justin Boggan (Reviews) and Travis Karlgaard (Scripts).
Finally, a special mention for both Jon Janes of the seaQuest costuming group DET ONE for his dedication and applying his enviable talents in offering an exclusive outlet for ‘Questies (courtesy of his etsy store), and also industry professional Mark Bradley, graphic designer for the second and third seasons of seaQuest – look out for an exclusive interview with many never-before-seen images..!