SeaQuest DSV: Season One (review)
The buzz is that devoted fans of this sci-fi series got so frustrated waiting for this long-time-coming DVD release, they made this the most-bootlegged series ever, with homemade discs burned from videotaped episodes selling like hotcakes on eBay. Additional buzz has it that this set was rushed out in an attempt to cut off that piracy. And, indeed, this feels like a rush job: for such a beloved series, little care has gone into giving fans a package worthy of their loyalty — the only extras are a few scenes deleted from the broadcast episodes. On the other hand, it’s hard to see why the show inspired such love in the first place. A clear effort to cash in on the popularity of Star Trek: The Next Generation, these 23 episodes, which aired in 1993 and 1994, constitute the overly earnest and intensely self-important tale of a mid-21st-century submarine and her crew of military officers and scientist-explorers cruising Earth’s last frontier: the ocean. Potentially interesting concepts never take off — the shaky global political situation that informs many of the stories never really becomes a believable backdrop, and the way-cool talking dolphin utterly fails to become the intriguing character he could have been. Star Roy Scheider’s (The Punisher) boredom with serving as a stand-in for Trek’s Jean-Luc Picard, which would sink the show in its second season, is plenty evident here, and it rubs off on the viewer.