Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Cap’n Bridger in Davey Jones’ Locker

Roy “You’re gonna need a bigger boat” Scheider died last week of multiple myeloma, a blood cancer, according to what I’ve read. He was 75. He was best known for his role in Jaws, but in my indexed-to-sci-fi life, he was Captain Bridger of seaQuest DSV (1993-96). You know, I just noticed how that title prefigured words-squished-together-with-mixed-caps which is so common now.

SeaQuest was sort of a Star Trek of the Sea. After all, the ocean is the final frontier here on Earth, and there is still a lot we don’t know about it. I have often thought that some day, when I have enough disposable income, I’ll take up diving, largely because it’s the closest I’m likely to come to the mysterious unknown of outer space. Anyway, seaQuest had a really solid first season. It was interesting and sciencey, but it got whacky in the second season and was cancelled after the third.

Scheider was a good actor, and could play the commanding yet and likable character with ease, it seemed. It makes you wonder why he wasn’t a bigger star, but he ended up more of a character actor in the end. Most of the main actors on seaQuest have maintained solid TV careers, including the entertaining Ted Raimi (brother of Sam, Joxer on Xena, Hoffman on the Spiderman movies). Teen-aged heartthrob Jonathon Brandis, who played the smart kid role, hung himself in 2005.

Rest in peace, Roy.

1 comment:

Rob said...

I always felt SeaQuest was an underrated sci-fi show, and I always liked the first season the best. NBC messed with it way too much - always trying to go after a younger demographic in seasons 2 and 3. Roy Scheider took a stand in the third season only appearing in a few episode.

Still, I actually own a set of Seaquest action figures, produced after the first season, including Darwin the dolphin.