Thursday 5 December 2013

1993: SEAQUEST DSV COMIC (Nemesis)

Yup… it's the one with the talking dolphin.

SEAQUEST DSV was the much touted, but frequently not much cop, undersea science fiction series from the Universal/ Spielberg stable which promised much, and delivered little, between 1993 and 1996.

Despite the deep pockets of the studio (apparently made possible by a multi-year deal with NBC to keep it on-air despite audience apathy), a great cast, headed (for the first two years at least) by Roy Schieder, and top-notch guest turns (Shatner, Heston, McCallum, Hamill, York) the show never really clicked.

Amongst the merchandising effort that accompanied the show's launch (and soon withered) was this supposed-to-be-ongoing comic from newbies NEMESIS.  It ran for a solitary single issue before Nemesis succumbed to the imploding market and no-one else rushed to acquire the license.

The House Ad below appeared in the back of the first (and only) issue and, presumably, features the rather nice artwork (by Dave Dorman me thinks) that would have adorned the second issue had it ever appeared.

The show had something of a rocky ride on this side of the deep blue (grey?) sea: ITV were quick to acquire it but, demonstrating their usual disregard for imported fare, quickly dropped the ball.  The feature-length pilot was heavily cut for no obvious reason other than the duration of the allocated timeslot.  The following episodes (which may have been shown in a different order than US airdates but that may have been explained away by production problems Stateside which saw subtle retooling and NBC themselves jumbling the running order) aired in the traditional 'imported adventure' early Saturday evening slot before, at mid-season, switching to a similar Sunday evening slot.

Once the first season played-out there was a significant break in transmission as ITV initially op[ted to completely skip the drastically retooled second year (the show moved to Florida with a younger cast and dumber scripts) and only brought the show back for the even-more-retooled third year: SEAQUEST 2032.

I must confess that I like the third season best.  Individual scripts were still all over the place but I liked the new darker, more militaristic tone and more of a sense of a story arc (both borrowed, I think, from BABYLON FIVE).  Schieder did a Fawcett and bailed, save for some contractually obliged guest shots across the truncated season.  His replacement: the ever-dependable Michael (everything) Ironside.  

Banished to a Saturday afternoon slot, the 2032 episodes played out followed by - err - the second season.  Casual British viewers no doubt scratched their heads.

The series was initially scheduled against LOIS AND CLARK: THE NEW ADVENTURES OF SUPERMAN in the States and, despite naysayers claiming Spielberg would blow the Man of Steel out of the sky, it soon became clear which show viewers favoured.  In the UK, the BBC also slotted L&C into the early Saturday evening shot… with considerable success (until it got more than a bit crap).

Seasons 1 & 2 have been released on DVD but - unfortunately - we're still waiting for the final season.  


  1. Thanks for posting this - I haven't seen this cover for years! I had a lot of fun painting this one.
    --Cover Artist Dave Dorman & Denise Dorman

  2. You can now purchase the third season from eBay and its region 2 compatible


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