When it premiered, "seaQuest" blew me away. I loved every minute of it, and it was a Sunday night ritual in our house, marking the end of the weekend and serving as one of the few shows my whole family could watch together. The mix of adventure, sci-fi and humor, coupled with a cast that seemed to be enjoying themselves under the command of Roy Schieder, was perfect. seaQuest saw action, to be sure, but there was always a sense of awe and wonder about the ocean and the world beneath the sea. This wasn't a gunship, it was a vessel of discovery.
Then Season 1 ended, and the downfall began.
What went wrong? Too much to list here, but the sense of adventure and exploration (along with oceanic tidbits from Bob Ballard) were jettisoned for more action (which was usually mindless), more women (who lacked the charm and beauty of Stacy Haiduk and Stephanie Beachum) and more sci-fi (which brought far too many aliens, monsters, ghosts and mutants to the forefront). It's the curse that befalls any show that wants to aim high. Network interference inevitably brings it back down to earth. Don't even get me started on the retcon which jettisoned Schieder. I wanted the seaQuest of Season 1 back. No Daggers, no DeLuise brothers, no Neptune, no travel to other planets. Just the seaQuest trying to keep the peace and aid humanity as the UEO tried to control the oceans.
At least Season 1 is out on DVD. A bit hokey now, but it has recaptured my imagination. And I don't have the subsequent seasons to disappoint me.