The second-season set of NBC's "SeaQuest DSV" carries a front-cover tagline of "Beneath the surface lies the future." If that's true, the future sure ain't pretty, but at least it's shiny.
Executive-produced by Steven Spielberg "? and therefore full of his brand of childlike wonder "? the series had a troubled behind-the-scenes environment, which appeared to have bled over to the screen as well. Creatively, despite all best efforts and an apparently sizable-for-TV budget, this thing never gels.
Shot on the Universal Florida backlot designed to look like circa 2018, "SeaQuest DSV" is about what happens when humans have colonized the oceans, and how they deal with all the forces that lurk under the sea, including a bizarre race of scaly-faced snake-like creatures.
Leagues from "Jaws," Roy Scheider stars as Capt. Bridger, the head of the high-tech submarine DSV. Each episode gives he and his crew a "calamity of the week," be it the discovery of an alien, a time warp, a giant croc or a cameo from Dom DeLuise.
I'm willing to cut ambitious sci-fi/adventure shows some slack, but for everything "SeaQuest" does right, it takes two steps back. Scheider does what he can, and ditto for his love interest Rosalind Allen, but other members of the cast range from amateurish to annoying (and sometimes both "? that means you, Michael DeLuise). There's also a talking dolphin credited in the opening, which should say it all.