seaQuest DSV - Season 3

Season 3

Blaming continued disputes with producers and abandonment of the show's original premise, Roy Scheider requested to be released from his contract with NBC. However, the network only partially agreed and demanded that Bridger would make several appearances throughout the third season. Edward Kerr had been very frustrated with the episode entitled "Alone" (reportedly, Kerr hated the script so much that he walked off the set, which is why Brody does not appear in that episode) and also wished to exit the series in the third season, which is why his character was critically injured in the season finale, "Splashdown". However, NBC would only agree to release him from his contract if he continued to play Brody for a few episodes in the third season so his character could be killed off for more dramatic impact in the episode "SpinDrift". (Because of rescheduling, the episode "Brainlock", with Brody still alive, aired after the character's death.) Rosalind Allen was released as her character proved to be unpopular with the audience. Marco Sanchez (Sensor Chief Miguel Ortiz), who had requested to remain with the series, was also released after NBC decided it wanted the principal cast number dropped from ten to nine, leaving Jonathan Brandis (Lucas Wolenczak), Don Franklin (Commander Jonathan Ford), and Ted Raimi (Lieutenant Tim O'Neill) as the only three cast members who remained with the show since the first episode. The marine trivia presentations at the end of the show, formerly hosted by oceanographer Dr. Bob Ballard in the first season and the principal cast in the second season, were dropped entirely. The show itself was renamed to seaQuest 2032, with the storyline pushed ahead ten years after the end of season two.

"The world is not a nice place, it's not comfortable...corporate entities have grown to the point where they rival and sometimes are more powerful than actual national governments. UEO is not the big kid on the block anymore, seaQuest is no longer state of the art; it's a boat and it's a military vehicle and I'm going to take it places it has never been before." – Michael Ironside, in an interview promoting season three

In the season premiere, the seaQuest reappears, its crew mostly intact, ten years after their abduction at the end of season two. Captain Bridger retires to raise his new grandson and Michael Ironside joins the cast as the more militaristic Captain Oliver Hudson. Originally, Ironside refused to take over for Scheider as star of the series. "I saw so many problems that I couldn't see where I'd be able to do the work I wanted to do." claimed Ironside. After weeks of negotiations where Ironside offered producers of a number of changes to the storytelling structure of the series, which were mutually agreed upon, he finally signed on. "You won't see me fighting any man-eating glowworms, rubber plants, 40-foot crocodiles and I don't talk to Darwin." he said. Also joining the cast was Elise Neal as Lieutenant J.J. Fredericks, who serves as seaQuest's ace sub-fighter pilot. Steering back towards more reality based story lines, the third season attempted to blend the sense of the first season with some of the more unique elements of the second season, while at the same time, pushing forward in an entirely new direction altogether as the UEO faces the threat of the Macronesian Alliance and the ever growing corporate conglomerate Deon International. The series is perceived as becoming much darker than it was in the previous two seasons, focusing less on science (season 1) and science fiction (season 2) and more on international politics. While these changes were met with mostly positive reactions, ratings did not increase and NBC cancelled the series after thirteen episodes. The final network airing of seaQuest DSV/2032 took place on June 9, 1996 after 57 episodes.

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