At the bottom of the SeaQuest VAULT lies the story of the show from its inception until its untimely cancellation. In the days before internet fandom really took hold, the resource of choice for fans of sci-fi & fantasy were magazines such as Starlog in the US and Starburst in the UK.
By the early nineties, however, with ‘Cult’ themes becoming more prevalent in mainstream media, popular titles like Cult Times, Cult TV, SFX and TV Zone were flying off the shelves into the hands of fans keen to keep up with their favourite shows while enjoying retrospectives of the classics. TV Zone was in fact the world’s longest-running cult television magazine – publishing 231 issues between 1989 and 2008.
And indeed, were it not for issue 49 UK fans would’ve been none the wiser that they had literally not been given the full picture of the new underwater Sci-fi series from producer Steven Spielberg – and as John Ainsworth points out in his piece above, (click for larger) the cuts to the pilot episode detailed here may well have been to its overall detriment.
Although the show was already at a huge disadvantage, its acknowledged that there was much to enjoy, not least the performances and the SFX (made even murkier somewhere between the conversion to PAL from NTSC) and with the change of producer (signs of things to come!) the show was going to find its sea legs and become a serious contender. This is reflected by some unbiased reaction from the letters page (bottom pic) where fans are complimentary in the main and dismissive of the bad press – citing the early days of Star Trek: The Next Generation as a comparison…
“Prop Store and The Comisar Collection invite you to an auction 60 years in the making. From Gotham City to the Twilight Zone, join us for a live auction event featuring over 400 lots of props, costumes, stop-motion puppets, spaceships, and more, curated by The Comisar Collection…”
Arguably the most significant lot to be made available since the original liquidation/public auction in 1995, this random selection of props and costume from SeaQuest DSV/2032 is now live at propstore.com
The Comisar Collection is host to a plethora of treasures from decades of sci-fi TV and the listings above (taken from Propstore’s catalogue) represent a rare opportunity to own a piece of TV history.
Whereas Propstore’s presentation and attention to detail is first rate, there are still some amendments to be made that may be of interest to the diehard SeaQuest fan – therefore the SeaQuest Vault is pleased to offer the following additions –
Thank you for joining me as the door is officially opened on the SeaQuest DSV Vault. There are many treasures to be found within but first I must ask you visit the Mission page for your introduction and briefing. We’ll be right here when you get back…
While the year 2018 has great significance for the worlds of seaQuest, in 2001 the future wasn’t so bright. As the show languished unaired since its initial broadcast there was real danger of it being consigned to cult TV history and forgotten. Sales of the VHS boxset by Universal Playback of the first – episodes were not strong enough to warrant a follow-up release and there seemed no likelihood the show would ever be introduced on the new format of DVD.
Whereas many genre shows from the era really did fall into the void never to be seen again (Space: Above and Beyond, Time Trax and Earth2 for example) something about seaQuest endured. True, it had a colourful production history and was rife with inconsistencies (helped in no part by how it was handled by networks) but the charm and wonder of seafaring tales set in an optimistic vision of the near-future, our future, must have resonated with a larger audience than was once thought.
The article above from UK Sci-Fi magazine SFXis a perfect example of the kind of spirited debate that still surrounds the show today. Its retrospective series ‘Gave____another chance’ ran for dozens of issues and while disguised under a layer of facetiousness did nevertheless provide compelling evidence to do just that. The piece is also very well-researched and states the facts around the UK broadcasts and how the show was doomed from the outset thanks to scheduling (It fared no better in the US where Season1 episodes were shown out of sequence also). The case for the prosecution really does convey the layperson/casual fan’s enduring attitude towards the show but the defence puts in a convincing, and ultimately successful case. If you’re not a fan already I ask you read this and re-evaluate your opinion of the show, and -yes! – give it another chance. With all the rich material being debuted on this website now and to come you’ll be glad you did…