seaQuest DSV

Season 1 Episode 1

To Be or Not To Be

Aired Unknown Sep 12, 1993 on NBC

Episode Fan Reviews (7)

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out of 10
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  • Top notch pilot!

    If you never seen Seaquest before the pilot is a good litmus test if you will like the series or not - it is at least tied for best in the series. The grand intro theme catches your attention right away, and really screams out its a pretty high budget production. The cast is slowly introduced to you one by one, with just enough lines to get to know them, well paced. Soon we get to the series main star, Captain Bridger, played by the late Roy Schnieder. His intro I found a bit lengthy, but perhaps necessary to explain his reluctance of wanting to return to Seaquest. We actually meet his current successor first, Captain Stark, in a climactic scene early on (not to give too much away). Stark, played by Shelley Hack, is quite menacing and believable in her role, and ends up being a worthy challenge for Bridger's wits.

    While some of the storyline has a cliche feel to it, the underwater element adds some new elements. Suffice it to say there was no dolphin in Star Trek or Battlestar that ever played a key part in saving the day. The special effects still hold up good enough that they don't detract. Again, if you are the remotest sci fi fan, you owe it to yourself to check out the pilot of Seaquest DSV.
  • A good, not great, start that leaves plenty of room for improvement.

    For a pilot episode, this was just okay. I would have shortened the lengthy lakeside scene where we met the future Captain Bridger and his dolphin Darwin. That scene dragged the first half of the episode to a very sluggish pace. seaQuest itself is an impressive sub. Despite having a scientific purpose, I think it was the right move for producers to show in this very first episode how much punch the sub can bring into a fight. Their defense of the farming colony was impressive, but I think the enemy characters need a little more development. The head villain that was shown living in a posh mansion was about as compelling as a cinder block. By making the villains a little more threatening and edgy, it makes the crew's victory that much more fulfilling.
  • The first, and the best, episode of "seaQuest."

    "seaQuest's" pilot is also arguably its best episode. Everything about the show - action, sci-fi, characterization and the sense of exploration and wonder - are all captured here brilliantly. If the rest of the series had measured up to the caliber of the pilot, the series may be better regarded today.

    Most of the credit belongs to Roy Scheider. In many ways, he acts as the viewer's eyes into this world. We discover the ship and her crew right alongside Bridger and are plunged into this new adventure with him. Scheider is weather-beaten, world-weary, but still has that spark of adventure in his eyes. He reminds me a lot of Captain Kirk in "Star Trek II," when his youth and spirit return in the midst of a crisis.

    One could argue that it's a very formulaic pilot, wherein we meet our motley crew and set off on the trip, but that's not the point. "To Be Or Not To Be" works because it handles and presents its archetypes so successfully - there's a reason why certain story archetypes and cliches stick around...they're usually good. Here, we have the self-exiled hero returning to duty and the ship itself is staffed with roles we've seen before - class clown, the kid, the crusty veteran, the passionate doctor, the cool-headed #2, etc. But the cast is so good that they rise above these labels and give us characters that feel real moments after meeting them.

    Of course, some aspects of the show did not measure up upon another viewing. Case in point, our villainess, Shelley Hack as Captain Stark. Man, is she AWFUL. Her scenery-chewing, preening speech where she tells Nathan "we're not so different" (honestly, are every villain and hero "not so different?") is laugh-inducing rather than menacing. I used to wonder why the producers never brought her back as a recurring villain, but maybe it's best she stayed on the ocean floor. Faring far better is Michael Parks as Le Chien, the billionaire industrialist. Too bad we never saw him again.
  • meet the new crew of seaquest dsv

    i remember when this aired in austraila there were a lot of fans of the show from here who loved it. i loved the new captain nathan bridger hes charming kind hearted and cares for his crew and his boat and his dolphin whose name is darwin. the boat is amazing and the storys are great and entataing. as the captain take control of his sub they are being followed by a rouge sub whoses x captain was in charge on seaquest. she wants revenge on seaquest. so its up to bridger and the new crew to work together to save the people that are in trouble and to remain peace. im not suprise that this is one great show. seeing steven speilberg was part of the team that produced this great show.
  • This is a fantastic beginning to a wonderful show that lasted three seasons (Although the third is better left not mentioned)

    I first watched this when I was a bit younger, and eventually forgot it, this episode specifically. I had always thought that Bridger wanted to be captain. To see this again when I bought the DVD was surprising, and at the same time, amazing. I popped it into the player, and saw the corridors of the ship and immediately said (Rather loudly I might add) "I'm home!"
    Amazingly enough, the way that this episode was written, along with most of the subsequent ones, made me feel even more at home.
    I wasn't, and still am not fully, sure what nationality Le Chein is. The surname denotes Spanish or French, but to me he sounded like he was perhaps German.
    However, I feel that the rest of the show was fantastic, the bond between Bridger and Darwin, and the immediate yet hesitant bonding with Lucas and Bridger from the beginning. I almost felt as though Bridger saw in Lucas a part of Robert. And that could be the reason why he so readily went back on his promise in the end and continued on as Captain.
    It was a little strange to see how the crew took to him so quickly, though the time lapse between the pilot episode and the one after it may be more than a few days or so (a tour of duty on a sub normally lasts 13 months, like they say in the end) so it may have been even a month later.
    All in all, I think the pilot episode was a great introduction for what was to come, and rather realistic for a science fiction type television series. I know that Roy Scheider wanted to keep as close to reality (Science fact, not science fiction was the quote I believe) and I think that given a decade or so, we might accomplish some, if not a lot of what they have going for them.
    It's great to be able to pop in the dvd and get a glimpse of 'home' when I'm feeling a bit low.
  • Promising start to a fantastic show that left me salivating for more.

    From the moment I first saw this mini-movie when I was 14 i was hooked. I watched it at first because Jonathan Brandis was in it. Then Darwin the talking Dolphin hooked me. Captin Bridger (The great Roy Scheider) kept me. It was a fantastic show that my whole family could enjoy.
    It's a shame that Captain Stark was never brought back as a villian. It was one of only a few good villians this show came up with. The way the crew treated Bridger when he first returned shows the ground work for the respect he garners and carries from them for the entire show.
    The hints of relationship between Ford and Westphalen is interesting especially in the scene right near the end of the first hour where Bridger and Westphalen first meet. Good choice on the producers and writers side though to recoginze the chemisty between Schieder and Beachman almost immediately.
    The scene between BRidger and Lucas where they talk about lost loves is priceless. It lays the groundwork for a series-long father son relationship between the two.
  • Nathan Bridger Returns to the high-tech submarine he helped build many years earlier to confront a threat only he can face.

    The lost classic began with this pilot. Big budget, big cast, big ideas. it was all there. remember watching this pilot when it aired in Australia in July 1994 and remember being amazed at the incredibly intricate sets. like star trek but in the not too distant future. Well worth your time.