We depart from the normal Heroes of outerspace and Earth to the Heroes of the deep blue sea. The premise was simple: instead of exploring space, we explore and colonize the depths of the ocean. This one is personally important to me, as I had a good friend in school who was obsessed with Star Trek. When I first saw this show, I immediately thought of it as a reasonable alternative to Star Trek (it wasn’t that) and a unique take on the concept of sci-fi (it was that). It had not one, but two DeLuises, which is two more than many, many TV shows have. (It was also created by a guy we’ll see again later.)
Favorite character: Lucas Wolenczak (played by Jonathan Brandis). This show should have shot him into the upper stratosphere. He played the smart-alecky wunderkind to perfection. This was an actor who hadn’t been taken seriously, I think, since Ladybugs (which was and is a horrific movie), and it could have been the next step for him. Sadly, it turned out to be as good as his career would ever get, and he committed suicide in 2003.
I think this is also the only time that Ted Raimi ever got to play a normal human being in a TV show.
Favorite supporting character: Darwin the dolphin. I mean, it was a talking dolphin! Okay, it didn’t really talk (Lucas translated), but still.
Favorite moment: The genetic manipulation storylines were very well done, and both Peter and Dom DeLuise really drove that home with their different characters.
Why it’s here: Another nostalgia pick, partially, but it was genuinely a great show and the first sci-fi show I remember liking because I liked it, not because my parents did. Also, awesome theme music! I didn’t remember this, but Mark Hamill also had a two episode cameo, which was really odd at the time. He didn’t do TV, to my recollection, in the early 1990s.
Why it’s not higher: Nearly 20 year old spoiler alert time — killing Roy Scheider’s character really killed the show. They tried rebranding it, but whatever magic the show had died with him.