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74. Talking Dolphins (seaQuest DSV 1.01)

We are a seaQuest DSV podcast. We have always been a seaQuest DSV podcast. Specifically, we’re discussing the pilot episode, “To Be Or Not To Be”.

  • The near future: 2018
  • So where’s our reboot?
  • Underwater Tom Paris
  • Liz’s very first Cranky Older Woman In A Position Of Authority
  • Hitchcock/Kreig: okay, imagine B’Elanna and Neelix were married…
  • Marilyn Stark: we want to love her, but she is not a good character
  • Does modern television need more talking dolphins?
  • he younger and sexier season 2
  • That thing where you glom onto a minor character actor and try to follow their career … without the internet
  • A conversation about following career actors evolves into Liz just straight-up spoiling the end of Major Crimes.

It’s the podcast that leaves us thinking, man, maybe we SHOULD do a full seaQuest rewatch pod…


Netflix’s The Deep

Corrections corner:

Liz misremembers the plot of the Shatner episode – the Shat (and his moustache) seek to commandeer seaQuest and steal Darwin, whom Shatner believes will “cure” his autistic son. You can see why maybe that bit was repressed.

Also, the third season character JJ Fredericks was African American, not Latina.

Finally, Liz completely misremembered the premise of Bren MacDibble’s Across the Risen Sea, but maybe you would enjoy it anyway.


Anika:   Welcome to Antimatter Pod, a seaQuest podcast where we discuss fashion, feminism, subtext and submarines, hosted by Anika and Liz. This week, we are talking about the pilot episode, “To Be Or Not To Be”.

Liz:   So I was gonna be like, “April Fool!” But we really are going to talk about seaQuest. Because I just thought this was a really funny idea. And we don’t even drop on April 1, but at the same time, time is a construct, April is a construct.

Anika:   Hey, it’s the near future. It’s past the near future.

Liz:   It’s … 2018!

Anika:   When I told my daughter that this took place in the near future of 2018, she started laughing for, like, a full minute. It was just — it was so great. Because it’s also — you watch it, and it’s, like, yeah, there’s parts of it that are so clunky, like the computers.

Liz:   Oh, I know. And no one has a phone. Like–

Anika:   So hilarious!

Liz:   Lucas should spend the whole episode complaining that he has no reception.

Anika:   That just wasn’t a thing. They couldn’t imagine it in the near future.

Liz:   The internet was a thing by ’93! But apparently, like, Star Trek: The Next Generation was only just beginning to adopt computers instead of typewriters at this time. So I guess the technology was barely penetrating. To be honest, once I got over that and just accepted that these are the rules and the visual language of this universe, I really enjoyed this episode.

Anika:   I really enjoyed it, too. It’s a lot of fun. Do you remember watching it live or or contemporary in the 1990s?

Liz:   I missed this specific episode. seaQuest was always in a really inconvenient time slot for my family. It ran at 6:30 on Sunday nights, and we went to the evening Mass. So I would have to set the VCR to record it, which meant that I couldn’t record Lois and Clark, which was on in the same time slot. So it was a whole thing! 

But I remember being sad that I had forgotten to set the VCR for the much-hyped first episode, and then seeing a letter to you know, the editor of the TV guide — remember those? And it was like, “Oh, this is not as good as Star Trek, this whole series is weak. The men are weak, the dolphin’s voice is weak, the concept is weak. And the only thing strong about it is the nasty, bitchy women.” And I read that, and I was like, I really need to watch this show.

Anika:   “What a perfect show for me!” Oh my goodness. 

So I definitely watched it as it ran. At least the first season, which is easily the best season. And I remember — I’ve mentioned before that I wanted to be a marine biologist like Gillian Taylor. And this is, you know, close to — you know, that was 1987?

Liz:   ’86.

Anika:   So I already wanted to be a marine biologist. You know, I was now in high school, and it was my goal now, right? I was going to be a marine biologist. No one believed me. Despite the fact that I loved seaQuest, like, obsessively loved seaQuest. They just assumed it was a Jonathan Brandis thing, like I had a crush on the guy, and that was the only reason I cared. In fourth grade, I did a special report in my gifted kids program, I had to do an independent study, and I did it on dolphins! And yet!

Liz:   And yet.

Anika:   Flash forward five, whatever, years, and yet, still, no one believed me. But I loved it.

Liz:   It had a very clunky first season, but I really think that if they had persisted with that cast and that core concept and style, instead of sexing it up and firing everyone over forty except Roy Scheider, I think that if they had persisted with that, it would have become a classic along the lines of Babylon 5, you know, something with a thriving retro fandom, instead of just being that weird sort of Next Gen underwater series that is still sort of a punchline.

Anika:   Not to skip to the end of my outline here, but if anything needs a reboot, now is the time, guys. It could be on Disney+ — I don’t know who owns it, but it could be on — oh wait, I do know who owns it, because it’s on Peacock.

Liz:   Right, yes, NBC. 

Anika:   I guess it could be on Peacock but the reason I said Disney+ is that it’s a goofy kids show that you can still make good for adults, you know what I mean? Like, this could be that audience of family watching together.

Liz:   Yes, yes! Science fiction for family which still has the space politics underwater and all of that stuff, and still a bit of sex and romance and plenty of shipping, as we will discuss, but also suitable for the whole family to watch together. Like, my brother watched this. He’s five years younger than me, so he would have been seven, and I’m pretty sure he followed all the plots just fine. And not just because he was, like, a Titanic tragic. Or was I the Titanic tragic? Anyway…

[Liz’s note: turns out we were both Titanic tragics.]

Anika:   We were all — no.

Liz:   This was pre the movie, I should say. Like, I always thought Leonardo DiCaprio was no Jonathan Brandis.

Anika:   Awwww, that’s so sweet. Poor Jonathan Brandis. I get very sad about him. Still, to this day. Because as much as I say I wasn’t in it for Jonathan Brandis, I did have a crush on him. He was on my wall.

Liz:   Oh, yeah, yeah, same. It’s just that he wasn’t your sole motivation for watching.

Anika:   Right.

Liz:   I understand.

Anika:   He was a perk.

Liz:   Yes, yes. So this premiered in September 1993, and it was interesting to realize that’s nine months after Deep Space 9. And there are actually quite a lot of parallels with “Emissary”, and between Captain Bridger and Commander Sisko. He’s widowed, he’s on the fence about taking this job.

Anika:   Sad.

Liz:   He’s sad.

Anika:   Set in his ways.

Liz:   Yes. A little bit cranky. Like, obviously, they’re very different characters, and I don’t think there is even a slightest bit of accidental plagiarism. I think these are just very common tropes for male leads. But it struck me as interesting, structurally interesting, [that] it’s quite late in the story before he makes the decision to stay.

Anika:   It’s interesting, the way that this is structured, because — I mean, going in, you know that he’s gonna stay.

Liz:   Oh, absolutely. He’s on all the promos.

Anika:   But even just watching it, like, you don’t cast Roy Scheider, and you don’t introduce him in such a way if he wasn’t going to be an important character. But you’re sort of going on the journey with him. 

And there is the sort of juxtaposition between Bridger and Stark as — you know, the previous captain. So there’s this sort of interesting push and pull, like, you never think that she’s gonna take over, because she’s crazy. She’s crazy evil lady.

Liz:   We’ll get to that.

Anika:   But there is this interesting, sort of, ‘we’re showing two sides of who would be in charge of this,’ and why, you know, he’s the better vision for it. And why, even though he has to be talked into doing it, and she was pushed out. There’s an interesting dynamic there that I liked. I liked the way that they did his comeback, that it wasn’t just, you know, “We’re gonna go and get you and convince you for glory, or for your talking dolphin, or for, like, ‘Oh, I was lonely on my island, and now I’m not lonely anymore.'” Like, maybe all of that is true, but that wasn’t his real motivation by the end.

Liz:   No. And I really liked — this is so far off our outline, but I loved the scene at the end, where he’s talking to Lucas, and Lucas is saying, “Well, my parents made a promise to be together, and they are they’re too inflexible to change that, even though it’s a really toxic relationship.” 

And even a person who takes his word very seriously, as Bridger does, needs to be capable of looking at the context and understanding when he needs to change. And I think that’s a really sophisticated concept for a very dumb show.

Anika:   It is a very sophisticated concept. And honestly, that scene is kind of amazing. It’s sort of tacked on, like, the show’s over, and then there’s this scene, but then that scene is like the entire heart of the episode. 

And, I don’t know, like, they just did they did a really good job of taking the obnoxious little kid and the grumpy captain — which is a dynamic that we’ve seen before — and, you know, the genius who doesn’t fit in and the grumpy captain, but they are already bonding. And they’re already sort of like finding common ground, I guess.

Liz:   It’s almost as if Lucas is in a position to give advice to Bridger, which is something Wesley could never, ever have done with Picard. And even though they’re both teen boy genius characters, it’s striking how different the two characters are, Wesley and Lucas,

Anika:   Lucas is–

Liz:   Lucas is cool.

Anika:   Not to be Michael Chabon, but Lucas is organically a part of the crew.

Liz:   Right, right!

And I feel like people are a lot more reasonably and openly wary about having this unsupervised teenager on the ship. And also he’s not — in this pilot, he’s not put at the forefront of the mission. He has his own subplot, but he’s not single handedly saving the ship. And it’s also that Lucas is, you know, he’s a floppy haired ’90s non-threatening boy, he wears his amazing baseball shirt. He’s–

Anika:   Oh my gosh, I want that shirt.

Liz:   He is a cool character, whereas Wesley is a nerd, and even nerds respond — well, no, no one responded to Lucas except teenage boys. Uh, teenage girls. And probably some teenage boys.

Anika:   Lucas reminds me of Tom Paris, like, he’s a younger Tom Paris, where — he’s probably smarter, but he has that same sort of charisma.

Liz:   Yes, yes. “I am a nice guy who is in danger of completely messing up my life unless someone comes in and gives me the affection that my father withholds.”

Anika:   Exactly.

Liz:   Basically, Tom Paris needed to be put on a submarine when he was sixteen.

Anika:   Okay, so we’re gonna write that AU.

Liz:   Yes. We already have Admiral Paris right here in this pilot as Exposition Admiral.

Anika:   Exposition Admiral! Yes. One of your questions here is — as an episode or as a pilot, Going back to our “Caretaker” discussion, yes. And definitely, this was very much a pilot, where there’s that one scene where he literally walks around from room to room to, like, meet people.

Liz:   Oh, I know. It is–

Anika:   And they tell him their entire life story. It’s like, this is not the way talking goes. This is not what people do. But it was sort of charming. It wasn’t annoying.

Liz:   It was so very piloty in the way that “Caretaker” was not. But I did enjoy it! And I think it’s because I enjoy these characters, and it’s great to look at this show and realize that I am enjoying it as much as I did when I was thirteen. 

And, you know, Hitchcock comes in and she’s like, “I’m the engineer. I’m a strong female character, so I’m a bit of a bitch, and I’m not going to apologize for being really rude to a senior officer!” And I’m like, I love you. I love you so much!

Anika:   Exactly! As soon as she was on screen, I was like, I remember you, and I love you. And also Wayland, too, Doctor–

Liz:   Westphalen.

Anika:   The scientist. Westphalen. Yes. Like, again, as soon as she comes on, with her accent, and she’s like, all, you know, bopping around and saying, “This is a science vessel and you guys gotta step back with your guns,” I was just, like, yes!

Liz:   So you know that I love, more than anything, a cranky older woman in a position of authority.

Anika:   Mm hmm.

Liz:   Kristin Westphalen was my first.

Anika:   Aw, that’s so sweet!

Liz:   Beverly obviously had her moments, but she wasn’t that old — except compared with, like, Deanna or whatever. And she didn’t have that much authority, and she’s also only occasionally allowed to be cranky, because it’s the ’80s–

Anika:   I was going to say, she doesn’t get to be cranky.

Liz:   Yeah. Like, we find out she is always sarcastic in her internal dialogue, but it’s not the same. Whereas now it’s the ’90s and women can be arrogant and demanding! And we’re scientists so we’re here to keep the peace, and we hate the military! And I love her so much. Her introductory scene where she’s reaming out Ford for no reason in particular, and Bridger is just watching and laughing? I ship it so, so hard.

Anika:   You can see his heart eyes.

Liz:   Yes!

Anika:   It’s like they’re right there. He’s absolutely, in that moment, like, “Oh, okay, there’s a reason to stay on this ship.”

Liz:   Yeah, “I know my wife is only recently dead and I’m not over that, but I really like this lady.”

Anika:   “However…”

Liz:   Yes, it’s just so great. And then we learn that Kreig went to the academy with Bridger’s late son, and I don’t think it ever comes up in the series again? I don’t remember it being a thing?

Anika:   I don’t remember it being a thing I mean, poor Krieg, he’s one of the — half these people are gone by the second season. And I love your — so, Hitchcock, the engineer that we were just talking, and Kreig, who we’re talking about now, were married briefly for a year, I think at most, and–

Liz:   Certainly early in their careers.

Anika:   She’s the engineer and he’s supply and morale.

Liz:  I guess he’s the quartermaster? But he’s also the guy doing weird deals that seem to be about drugs, but actually, they’re about hair regrowth solution. And he’s the one going, “Why is there no porn in our media library?” Like, he’s a bit of a sleaze, a bit of a charmer, he is very much Handsome Neelix. As opposed to Book, who is Sexy Neelix.

Anika:   He’s very much Handsome Neelix. He’s replaced Book as Sexy Neelix because he’s more like Neelix.

Liz:   Yeah.

Anika:   Book doesn’t actually do the Neelix stuff. But Krieg here, even to the point where we were saying that he he sees Bridger and he introduces himself as like, “You know, I don’t know you, but I know you because I knew your son, and we were buddies.” And again, it’s like this whole, “Here’s my entire backstory, and also, I’m going to give you Hitchcock’s backstory while we’re at it.”

Liz:   Yeah, that bit where he’s like, “What a sweetheart,” and I’m like, that is your superior officer and you’re being a sexist jerk. It’s doing that ’90s TV thing where the women are very strong, and the men compensate by being assholes about it.

Anika:   Yes, very much so.

Liz:   But in a wink, wink, nudge, nudge sort of way. Of all the characters we lost at the end of season one, Krieg is the one that I miss least.

Anika:   In that scene where he just butts in and tells the captain everything — and he’s the least — he’s the lowest rank. He’s not in the chain of command. So that was super Neelix to me, that was like, “I’m going to ignore the fact that you’re the captain and I’m a nobody, and I’m gonna, like, exposit at you, and basically guilt trip you into treating me like your son.”

Liz:   No, that’s the thing!

Anika:   “Because I’m the closest thing you have to a son on this ship.”

Liz:   It’s so blatantly manipulative that I almost don’t mind how weird it is to tell your backstory to a stranger, because it’s clearly done to manipulate. He’s an awful person, I love him!

Anika:   So your your note here, the B’Elanna/Neelix pair-up we always needed. I laughed out loud reading that. That was hilarious. And true, completely true.

Liz:   Hitchcock is very B’Elanna! I love Hitchcock. I think she was a great character, and I’m so sad that we lost her. Like, Hitchcock and Westphalen are the ones that I’m bitter about losing when the series reboots itself. And I don’t understand the thinking that Hitchcock is insufficiently sexy because, hello? She’s the most beautiful woman in the world? Anyway.

Anika:   Even Krieg was let go because he was too old. And it’s like, what? On what planet are any of these people too old? I don’t mean that because — like, they’re really young. They’re really young, and they look young. And I’m pleased that at least that’s one thing that has improved in the last thirty years is that forty is not, you know, the “I’m gonna kick you off the ship now” age.

Liz:   Right. We were talking about how with “Caretaker”, it was an issue that Kate Mulgrew was forty. And now we have Michelle Yeoh in her fifties, preparing to lead a series, and she’ll be even older when that series finally gets off the ground.

Anika:   And everyone is clamoring for it. It’s not like, “I’m gonna throw those old ladies a bone.” It’s–

Liz:   I mean, they should do that as well.

Anika:   “Where’s my Michelle Yeoh series?” 

So is this a good time to talk about Captain Stark? Because she’s another older woman that is pretty much trashed.

Liz:   Yeah. I really want to defend Captain Stark, the villain of the episode, but the script makes it really, really hard.

Anika:   The script makes it hard. She’s pretty much a mustache twirling villain.

Liz:   Pretty much. The series opens with her being relieved from command by Commander Ford as she prepares to launch a nuclear strike against a bunch of civilians. And that’s before she goes fully axe crazy. And–

Anika:   That’s even worse than Gene Hackman in Crimson Tide!

Liz:   Also, like it only takes the captain’s authorization to launch torpedoes? That is a bad design. Dunno what they were thinking. 

But then, thirteen months later, she has gone off-grid and is now working as, like, a mercenary submarine captain. And she’s planted this virus in seaQuest’s computer that leaves it helpless. And she’s just going to wait around for the kill. And there’s a cutscene where a crewman goes like, “Hey, this is more about revenge than anything else, and I would like not to die,” and she kills him. And she goes, “Does anyone else think they can command this ship better than me?” And I’m like, oh…

Anika:   So she’s straight up Darth Vadering over there, is what you’re saying?

Liz:   Pretty much. And it was just such poor writing. And I definitely think that the writing would not change if it were a man playing the character. But at the same time, they’ve cast Shelley Heck, who was one of the later Charlie’s Angels, and she’s a very beautiful actress… 

I think, had they given her a little bit more depth and made her an ongoing antagonist as Bridger’s former student turned nemesis, I think that would have been really cool. But she was just cardboard, cardboard through and through.

Anika:   I wonder, what was the decision to make her a woman, is what I want to know. I want to actually be in that room. Because, absolutely, every single thing that happens could be done as a man and it wouldn’t change the plot in any way. But–

Liz:   But someone made that choice.

Anika:   –it would change the story. Like, yeah, someone made the choice to make her a woman. And she she comes off as a straight up “bitches be crazy”–

Liz:   Yeah. In fact, Ford even says it was recommended that she have psychiatric evaluation, and she refused.

Anika:   Yeah! It’s so bad.

Liz:   And I don’t see anything about her that says “psychiatric evaluation” to me. I just see someone — it’s almost very ’90s, like, she’s complaining that they’ve been at peace too long, and they’ve gone soft, and they’ve gone too long without going to war. And this feels like a really ’90 sort of villainy.

Anika:   No, I agree with you. But I also — that’s kind of the plot of Star Trek: Beyond

Liz:   Which was very recent!

Anika:   –which was about five years ago. So it’s still there. It’s still — but it’s partly because those people are still making stories, and those people’s students are making stories. And it takes a long — it takes a lot to cut those ropes and get to the new kind of story. We’re still in this — you know, like, Steven Spielberg is still a big name who is making movies.

Liz:   Yeah. And I remember, when this came out, it was a big, big deal that Steven Spielberg was producing a television show.

Anika:   It was a very big deal.

Liz:   Even now, anything produced by Spielberg would get some buzz.

Anika:   Right. And I sort of love that Spielberg wanted to do it, because it’s this guy who wanted to tell these stories when he was a certain age, and he was kind of a little bit of a nerd, and was interested in the things that other people weren’t interested in, and made his little mechanical shark, and then, like, that gave him a whole career, right? And so he has that sort of energy. 

And it just feels like it’s that sort of, you know — Spielberg’s older than me, I’m not a contemporary of Spielberg. So it’s already old. Like I said, the people who are making this are already too old to be making the near future stuff because they didn’t have the imagination that could get them to an actual near future.

Liz:   They were insufficiently connected with the youth of the modern world?

Anika:   Right, yeah. I don’t know exactly where I’m going with this, except that I really think that Spielberg is important. If you think of seaQuest DSV as a — like, 12 -year-old Spielberg imagined this thing, kind of story, it has that feeling, even though he’s not the person who wrote it. He’s just the producer. But people in that same era and with those same ideas, and, you know, still being a nerdy engineering sciency kid, who also wanted to tell stories,

Liz:   Yes! And the nerdy engineering and science side is a big deal in this first season. Like most of the episodes have a marine – was he a marine archaeologist? They have a science guy explaining the science over the end credits, which I really enjoyed. And I had his books. Maybe I was the Titanic tragic in the family. You were going to be a marine biologist, and I was going to be a marine archaeologist.

Anika:   Mm hmm.

Liz:   Because I’m really into shipwrecks.

Anika:   What happened?

Liz:   I’m not a very good swimmer?

Anika:   That’s very sad.

Liz:   Anyway. Yeah. But this was very much trying to be legitimate family science fiction. And there were a lot of jokes about it being Next Generation underwater, which we have a note here about.

Anika:   That’s still how people describe it.

Liz:   Yeah. Well, it’s very much in conversation with Next Gen. But had it been allowed to develop in its own way, it could have been more.

Anika:   What’s so wrong with Next Generation underwater?

Liz:   Right? It’s certainly not a copy of The Next Generation. And there’s the interesting politics of this brand new underwater Federation that not everyone buys into. This is Enterprise underwater!

Anika:   It has the same uniforms as Enterprise.

Liz:   I was going to say that! I just think this is a show that needed another chance. And Disney+ should do a family SF series where climate change has pushed people into creating, like, on-water and underwater communities. And that would be cool.

Anika:   Okay. Like, I know, I always say, why isn’t someone hiring us to make these things, but that is the best idea!

Liz:   Thank you!

Anika:   And it needs to happen right now. Like, that’s so good. And so topical, and you can reach such a wide audience because you can have — you know, it’d be like Lost in Space, you know, you can have the family dynamic drama stuff and the military versus science and the discovering new worlds and new things and having close encounters, and all of that stuff is right there.

Liz:   Now that I’ve said it, it just seems like a really, really obvious idea.

Anika:   It’s right there, guys. It’s right there. Make it happen.

Liz:   I just remembered, it already exists. It’s an Australian animated series called The Deep, it’s on Netflix, about a family that lives in a submarine and do scientific exploration and have adventures. And it’s really good. I follow one of the writers on Twitter, and he follows me because it’s Australia, and everyone knows each other. And yeah — but this is not to say that Disney+ should not consider a similar but non plagiaristic concept. You know, I think the climate change and–

Anika:   And live action.

Liz:   Yeah.

Anika:   Bring it — you know, have a talking dolphin. I know people make fun of the talking dolphin. But you know what? People like dolphins. And if you could do it in a way that wasn’t so…

Liz:   Twee?

Anika:   Twee, that’s a good word, then, you know, it would work.

Liz:   Yeah.

Anika:   You don’t even have to have the talking dolphin. You can just have cute dolphins. They don’t have to talk. They’re always trying to prove the dolphins are as smart or smarter than humans. So it’s, it’s not a — I like it. I like the dolphin, even if it’s silly.

Liz:   I love the idea of the dolphin. And I do wish that Darwin had been — I remember reading somewhere that Darwin was conceived as being like Data, like, naive, but also wise. And I feel like they went a little bit too far down the dolphin-shaped-child route. I think it’s an interesting idea, and there is science behind it. And we’ve had sillier concepts. 

I enjoyed the opening scene, how it was basically The Expanse, but underwater, with the marginalized mining community, and you can tell that they’re on the fringe of society, because they’re all wearing baseball caps backward. Imagine if The Expanse was made in the ’90s. That’s what the Belters would look like.

Anika:   Oh, my goodness. First of all, The Expanse of the ’90s is kind of a scary concept to me.

Liz:   Yeah, I don’t think it would have been good.

Anika:   It definitely wouldn’t be what we have, and I … worry. And that’s another thing that was sort of lost when they — they really — it’s weird. It’s like they read all of the commentary that it was TNG underwater and decided to try to be more that, instead of just continuing what they were doing, and it was like, you don’t — being TNG underwater doesn’t mean, let’s find aliens underwater.

Liz:   Yeah, that was a very strange decision. But also the ways in which they broke with their TNG concepts were really disappointing. You know, the women were less powerful, they were much more scantily clad. They really went to a strong underwater sexy drama, sort of thing. And it was more military drama than…

Anika:   Yeah, right. Exactly. It became more military, it became more, yeah, “We’re gonna find an alien, or something terrible is going to happen, and we’re gonna have to fix it.” 

And then the third season is literally in the apocalypse, like, everything blew up, and now we’ve found the old seaQuest, fifteen years later, or whatever. So those were interesting choices that I disagree with.

I just think that it’s another one of those [cases] where they didn’t — and I said this about Enterprise, you have to trust the story you’re telling. You have to trust your concept, you have a good concept, you just find the best parts of that. You don’t try to rewrite everything about your show — because what ended up happening is that they lost the people like me, who loved the first season. And they didn’t get any of those people that they were trying to get. Again, the same thing that happened with Enterprise, they lost me, and they didn’t get any new people.

Liz:   You know, I’ve started blogging, season four of Voyager, and I’m really impressed by how, with the introduction of Seven of Nine, they have sexed it up, and they have added more conflict and more tension. But it’s all still organic to everything that came in the first three seasons. And that was how they gained an audience without losing much of their old audience, even though they had things like “Seven of Nine fights the Rock!”

Anika:   Right. They trusted — and Seven of Nine is almost the perfect example of sexing it up. I mean, I was on a panel for the 20th anniversary of Voyager. And it was great. It was so good, because one of the panelists — it wasn’t even me, I was moderating. And one of the panelists, like, someone in the audience said, “I feel like it became cheaper when they introduced Seven of Nine just to bring sex into it.” And the panelist was like, “Well, I understand that critique. But if you actually watch the Seven of Nine episode, like, if you–“

Liz:   Yeah.

Anika:   “–watch her stories, she is never once treated as a sex object unless it’s like part of the plot, unless someone was gonna point out that she’s being treated like a sex object.” And even with, like, the camera stuff, like–

Liz:   Yeah.

Anika:   –she’s introduced in a certain way with the big sweeping up her body and like, oooh. But when she’s just in a group scene with people and they’re doing a close up on Seven, it’s not on her breasts or on her lips, or — like, it’s just on Seven. It’s not, like, “Here’s the sexy lady.” It’s, “Here is Seven of Nine, and she has this to say.”

And it’s not fair. It’s not fair to put it all on the audience that, like, “We’re going to titillate you, and we want you to ignore that titillation and listen to what’s happening.”  It’s obnoxious that that’s what we have to do. However, the plot and story and the medium, even, of Voyager treats Seven like a person. And like a really important person, practically the star of the show.

Liz:   Basically. To Kate Mulgrew’s regret. 

Whereas I think — and I have not rewatched season two of seaQuest, ever. As far as I’m concerned, it doesn’t exist. Because they broke up my OTP and then tried to get Bridger with the replacement doctor who was, like, young enough to be his daughter. 

But the female characters they introduced — it’s not just that they were younger and sexier, and, you know, more appealing in general. They didn’t have that strong female character thing happening. It was just that they weren’t very interesting. 

Like, the new doctor is a telepath, and there’s one episode where you see from her point of view, what it’s like to walk through a space and hear everyone’s thoughts, and how agonizing that is. But other than that, it’s just not terribly… She wasn’t a particularly conflict driven or interesting character. And the other one was basically there to be — to wear a tight tank top and have men explain things to her.

Anika:   Yeah, exactly. And so they went out of their way to dumb it down. They said, “Oh, our science and our ladies who understand science are turning people off, so we’re gonna get rid of all of that, and we’re gonna have–” and that’s just — it’s so insulting to anyone who likes it, but it’s also insulting to — like, why do you think that the only reason I’m gonna watch this show is if you have a sexy dumb lady on it?

Liz:   Right! It’s so–

Anika:   Are there really those people? And if so, why are we catering to them?

Liz:   Well, I don’t think there really are those people. Because it was not exactly a ratings winner. 

And I remember — I actually quite liked season three — I really missed Bridger and I wrote a lot of fic where Bridger and Westphalen hooked up ten years later. But that’s beside the point. There was a new female character introduced that season — I can’t remember her name, but she was a Latina soldier who had a chip implanted in her head which recorded all her thoughts, and it sort of made her the perfect soldier because she could never have an independent moment of privacy.

[Corrections corner: Lieutenant JJ Fredericks was African-American, not Latina. And she was a fighter pilot, not a soldier. ANYWAY.]

Anika:   I remember the chip part. I have a very strong memory of that subplot.

Liz:   Yeah. And I really liked her because she felt like, you know, the 1995 version of the strong female character. And that was a really interesting science fictional concept, and it did some interesting stuff with her identity and her sense of self, which I really enjoyed. 

And, yeah, it was sort of the first time since season one that we had a really complicated female character, who didn’t necessarily have agency, but her lack of agency was the story.

Anika:   I say this about Voyager and I say this about Enterprise, that DSV never really — it didn’t become what it could have been because they were afraid to go there. And it’s hard. It’s hard to be a television series. It’s especially hard to be a television series in the ’90s. It was like one of the worst possible times for you to have a  — you know, this is why The Expanse would not work in the ’90s, is because conceptual and serial storytelling, like, those things just weren’t happening yet.

Liz:   Unless you were The X Files

Anika:   Yeah. And The X Files, even — like, it’s not like they didn’t do monster of the week every week. They had a storyline that went along with it. But it was still a procedural as well.

Liz:   Yes. And even Babylon 5 was, famously, the first planned arc-driven story, but it was still, I’d say, about at least two-thirds procedural. And it has these tremendous scenes of exposition in every single season, because they’re writing for an audience that did not — was not familiar with a serialized television format. So there was a lot of “as you know, Bob”.

Anika:   So this is just another reason why revisiting these ideas. And, you know what, there are 500,000 television channels now, and — or, you know, streaming — that call themselves television channels. We need a new word for it. So there’s no reason why this shouldn’t be something that they go back to. Because, yeah, you know what, Titanic was the most popular movie, and the biggest moneymaker, for years.

Liz:   And not just because of the legendary romance and the big fancy ship. Some of us actually really like the submarine stuff at the beginning where they’re finding the wreck!

Anika:   I honestly think that’s true. And The Abyss is not wildly popular, but is a cult classic, like people. who love that movie love that movie, and I’m one of them.

Liz:   Submarine movies are a perennial genre for a reason. And maybe in 1993, the world was not ready for the family submarine drama. But, you know…

Anika:   But they are now!

Liz:   Well, maybe?

Anika:   Well, I mean, I like the idea of the — because it’s not like it’s a crazy idea that we’re going to run out of — I mean, Florida isn’t going to exist soon. Definitely Louisiana isn’t gonna exist soon, because the water is rising, and we’re not figuring out how to stop it, or fix it, or do anything about it. So…

Liz:   And now I’m recalling there is an Australian middle grade novel called — oh, gosh, I’m totally blanking on the name, but the author is Bren MacDibble, and I will put the book in the show notes. And that is, again — like, I don’t think it’s a submarine story, but it is about a family and kids living on the water because climate change has reduced access to land. Like, that is cool. Submarines are cool.

Anika:   Even Waterworld is popular with certain people. I’m just — like, these are cult classics. They’re not, you know, mainstream. But there’s an audience. That’s my point. My point is there is an audience for this. I am one hundred percent the audience for this. And I think that we have ten Star Treks now, right–

Liz:   Yeah, we have room for–

Anika:   –that are happening, in addition to the last season of The Expanse, and then who knows what’s gonna happen and like–

Liz:   For All Mankind!

Anika:   –there are so many space dramas. They exist. They’re making a Lord of the Rings movie, I mean, a series, and they’re making more Game of Thrones. So, like, high fantasy is also fine. What we need is the ocean.

Liz:   Right? It doesn’t have to be a literal seaQuest reboot. I think that an original IP would be really great. I just think this is a story waiting to be told. 

Speaking of stories waiting to be told, or that were told, in seaQuest’s quest — oh God — to be like legitimate science fiction, they did get Shatner and Hamill.

Anika:   which is amazing.

Liz:   I know! Shatner plays — it’s actually one of my favorite episodes, because it’s a Westphalen episode, but Shatner plays a deposed dictator, who I think hijacks the ship? To get a cure for his dying son, or something? [He was actually after Darwin, believing that some sort of dolphin magic would cure his son’s autism. Yikes.] Yeah. He has a terrible mustache, and Shatners all over the place.

Anika:   That’s a given.

Liz:   Yes.

Anika:   I don’t remember a lot of individual stories of this series. It’s now on Peacock, and, you know, maybe I’ll watch some now, maybe I’ll revisit it.

Liz:   There’s a blu ray edition. I don’t know how well it’s been remastered, but I am a little bit tempted. It’s just that it carries all three seasons, and as you know, I don’t acknowledge the existence of season two.

Anika:   I like how season two just isn’t — that’s not real. That didn’t happen.

Liz:   It’s like The Last Airbender movie. Not a thing.

Anika:   But what I remember of these stories is that, again, they have to be a story that is told in one episode kind of thing. And you can’t do this show and not have the — like Voyager, things have to happen, you know, as it goes on. Like, you can’t have Tom and B’Elanna flirting in one episode and then that’s never mentioned again. It’s like that kind of stuff still has to happen.

Liz:   Right. There are emotional throughlines, but they’re very, there’s very little serialization. Even in season three, where–

Anika:   Right, but the plots–

Liz:   Yeah, I recall that the villain in season three is, like, Macronesia. And it’s like Australia took over New Zealand and a bunch of South Pacific Islands? And I’m not saying we wouldn’t. It was pretty cool, being the villain in season three.

Anika:   Again, season three was this — they like, went into this really dark place, where, like, we’re going to blow everything up, and everything’s gonna be bad. And, right, entire nations are rising up, and we’re on the brink of war. And that was — it’s not the story that I wanted.

Liz:   But it is interesting.

Anika:   But it is interesting! It is interesting. And it could — like, if we’d gotten more of — like, you know what, season three with all the characters that I knew in season one, I think I would be more into that.

Liz:   That was the fic that I was writing — I was literally writing that fic the day I watched Voyager for the first time.

Anika:   Because the ideas are cool. But I just want to experience them with people that I care about.

Liz:   Yeah.

Anika:   I just sort of got like, you know, I’m the person who’s still angry that they replaced Dr. Crusher with Dr. Pulaski for that — you know, it’s still hard. It’s still hard for me to watch season two of Next Generation. Because I feel insulted, I feel personally attacked by the lack of Dr. Crusher.

Liz:   I mean, you and Data, really.

Anika:   And that’s sort of how — they even took away Bridger in the third season. You know, it’s like–

Liz:   I think it’s more accurate to say Roy Scheider quit in a huff.

Anika:   But you know what? I applaud him, really.

Liz:   Absolutely.

Anika:   For saying, “You know what, I didn’t sign up for this mess. I was telling a good story, and you did this with it, and I don’t want to be a part of it anymore.” And you know how you said that you wish Robert Beltran just left?

Liz:   Yeah, exactly.

Anika:   It’s better that Roy Scheider pitched a fit and got, you know, written out than that he pitched a fit and then just snarled through the entire season.

Liz:   No, I completely respect his decision to put his money where his mouth was. And part of the reason seaQuest got off the ground was that they had Roy Scheider attached. And you see it in the pilot, he slips so easily to this character and delivers some pretty cheesy lines with so much confidence that you almost forget how cheesy they are. Whereas — like, I feel like he, Stephanie Beacham, and Jonathan Brandis are the most confident members of this cast, and everyone else needs a few episodes to sort of catch up.

Anika:   And that comes across, like we were talking about with, you know, like, the heart eyes, and then that last scene with Lucas. Everything pops because they’re already in character. They already know what they’re doing, and they’re doing it. They’re throwing them themselves wholly into it.

Liz:   And you can see them becoming a family unit. Which is amazing because there are so many — like they have so many different acting backgrounds. Like, Brandis was a child actor. Beacham came from soap operas. She was in Dynasty! She played Joan Collins’s … sister? Cousin? Anyway, check it out on YouTube, it’s amazing. Her hair is so big. And Scheider, of course, was a big, big movie star with a lot of — with a big reputation.

Anika:   Yeah, Stephanie — I had to look it up to make sure before I said it, but Stephanie Beacham was Dylan McKay’s mother on 90210!

Liz:   Because I was such a massive Westphalen/Bridger shipper, I sort of glommed on to Stephanie Beacham, the way I have now glommed on to Jayne Brook, but without Twitter and stuff, so all I would, all I could do was, like, go to the library and look up her filmography, and then look up the films that she had been in and try and get them on video, or whatever. I would read vintage TV guides to get episode summaries for her episodes of Dynasty. I was such a fangirl

Anika:   I love the fact that she was society drunk Iris McKay, but was also this so competent, you know, to say The Abyss again, like, she comes across as Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio’s character, but, like–

Liz:   Older.

Anika:   Older, yeah, like more, I don’t know.

Liz:   It’s actually part of why she took the role. I don’t know why I still retain this information. But she took the role because she really liked the idea of playing a scientist and being able to dress down in her, you know, her coverall, her uniform, and not be dripping with diamonds with hair up to the ceiling. And it was something that her daughters could see her in and respect.

Anika:   Okay, now I’m gonna cry.

Liz:   I know! I know!

Anika:   Because that’s so wonderful.

Liz:   She was in one episode of Next Gen, and I have to assume that she was just too old — like, if Kate Mulgrew was too old, then she was too old to be Janeway. But they should have seen her in this and gone, “Janeway.”

Anika:   Yeah, she has that vibe.

Liz:   Yeah.

Anika:   Like, they would definitely — they would “Science! Science! Science!” together. It would be great. They’d be so happy.

Liz:   I don’t know what she’s doing these days, so I hope she hasn’t, like, turned into a TERF or a racist or something. But — just let thirteen-year-old Liz have–

Anika:   It’s always a danger these days.

Liz:   Oh my God.

Anika:   But this is why I’m glad that we’re doing this completely ridiculous episode on our Star Trek podcast, because — do people know that seaQuest DSV is available on Peacock? Because it is.

Liz:   If someone out there wants to do like a proper episode-by-episode seaQuest podcast, I will totally listen to that. Like, just the scene where Westphalen is trying to let Darwin give informed consent for his military service? That alone deserves an episode!

Anika:   That’s the thing, is that this ridiculous show had — it asked ridiculous questions, but it took it completely seriously. And they needed that confidence to carry through everything they did. Because when they do it, I’m fully there. I believe in everything that’s happening, and I’m invested in everything that’s happening. 

Liz:   And it’s only when it loses confidence that it falters, and you suddenly see through the illusion. They understood that science fiction needs to be played with a straight face, or else it’s not going to work.

Anika:   Right. Exactly.

Liz:   Babylon 5 is at its weakest when it’s making weird jokes about Deep Space 9.

Anika:   Yeah, that’s not its own thing, do you mean?

Liz:   Yeah. Yeah. I highly recommend watching the the cutscene with Bridger and Westphalen — it’s also reproduced in the novelization by Diane Duane, which I have read many times — because she talks about having been married several times, and she doesn’t quite know why her relationships ended. But then she says, and I wrote this down, “Strength in a woman can be debilitating in a man.” Which is kind of a weird way to put it?

Anika:   It’s kind of a weird way to say, like, to–

Liz:   To say that men are intimidated by strong women.

Anika:   Yeah.

Liz:   But it really makes it clear that the writers were intentionally writing strong and interesting female characters with the limitations of the time.

Anika:   Right. Again, they’re thinking out of the box.

Liz:   Yeah. In as much as there is still a seaQuest fandom, it’s mostly people who were really — it’s mostly women who were really big fans of the female characters.

Anika:   I was just gonna say that I think that’s true about Lucas as well, they didn’t recreate Wesley, they were like, “Okay, we’re going to have a kid, and he’s going to be a genius. But he’s also going to be, like, a delinquent, and have a chip on his shoulder, and, like, be really desperate for affection, but also unwilling to look for it.”

Liz:   Yes.

Anika:   I love Wesley Crusher. But that’s a way more interesting character. There’s so many more things you can do with that character than you can with the boy genius who gets along with everybody, and is unreasonably ingratiated into the action. Whereas Lucas is like, on the periphery.

Liz:   He’s more integrated as the series goes on. And like–

Anika:   I think he even becomes part of the crew in the third season.

Liz:   Yeah, he’s given his own field commission to the rank of ensign, but he doesn’t take over the show the way Wesley does. Like, I remember there are Lucas episodes, but they’re mainly about him doing teenage boy things within the context of the ship. They treat their characters like people.

Anika:   And it’s better. It turns out that’s a good way to do things. Again, I love The Next Generation. Everyone knows I love The Next Generation. Beverly Crusher, my favorite character on The Next Generation, not counting Ro, she does not have any — like, all of the characterization is something I put on her. It is not given to me. I have to tease it out of the scraps that are given to me. And so did Gates McFadden, you know, or — we talked about how Jonathan Frakes brought Will Riker to life. Will Riker on paper–

Liz:   Is the most boring man alive!

Anika:   There’s nothing there!

Liz:   But consider, for example, Commander Ford in this show. He is basically, I want to say, basically, underwater Riker. Extremely, extremely dull. The most interesting things about him are that he is clearly going to hook up with Hitchcock. And don’t tell me if they don’t, because I ship it now. And this extremely terrible, problematic order from Admiral not-Paris to pretend to be a coward and incompetent so Bridger has to take command.

Anika:   Yeah. Gross.

Liz:   Yeah, because Ford is African American. So I assume he turned around and filed his report with HR.

Anika:   One would hope. First of all, definitely Ford and Hitchcock, like, were — they were trying to like, “Oh, it’s gonna be a love triangle between Hitchcock and Ford and her ex husband,” and I was like, No, no, it’s not gonna be a love triangle. It’s gonna be, these two get it on, and that guy gets off the ship.

Liz:   It’s pretty clear that as far as she’s concerned, he is not even — like, her ex is not even a contender. They don’t even have a particularly friendly ex on ex relationship.

Anika:   I always ship her with pretty much everyone.

Liz:   Oh, yeah.

Anika:   All of them. She’s very shippable.

Liz:   I watched it and I realized that there are almost certainly, like, Bridger/Lucas shippers out there.

Anika:   What?!

Liz:   I know, I know.

Anika:   I’m sorry-

Liz:   He’s a child. I’m just going to not think about that. And then I was struck by how it’s actually weird that there aren’t that many slashy pairings on this show, because in this season — like, I think that there were O’Neill/Ortiz shippers? But that was mostly because, in season two, they hung out a lot. And Ortiz was very sexed up.

Anika:   Proximity.

Liz:   Yeah, yeah. I think Ortiz may have been the first Latino character I saw in science fiction.

Anika:   Wow.

Liz:   Well, Star Trek was pretty far behind on that one. So…

Anika:   I’m just going to throw in Bail Organa as a Latino in space, before Star Trek. And I mean, you know, it was 1999. So it wasn’t, like late, but it was still still important to me. Anyway, moving on.

Liz:   It’s still important now. We don’t stop thinking about representation just because we have some.

Anika:  Yeah, exactly. And I, you know, we’re not a Star Wars podcast. We’re a seaQuest podcast.

Liz:   And we always have been.

Anika:   However, it’s hugely important to me that Leia’s father was a Latino man, like, hugely important to me that both of her parents were people of color.

Liz:   Yes, her mother was played by a Filipina Australian.

Anika:  Don’t yell at me about the prequels being bad when they do things like that. But back to seaQuest. And back to Ford, who I agree, you’re absolutely right that he is Riker, in that he is the straight man. He has nothing to do other than, like, push the plot forward. He doesn’t get any character. He doesn’t even get to exposit randomly.

Liz:   No. And it’s kind of a shame, because I feel like he’s actually the most interesting character we don’t get to see much of, because he has just released his captain of command, and now he’s being passed over for this other white guy. And does he feel a way about that? Does he care? Does he feel guilt for having to relieve Stark, even though it was the right thing? Were they friends?

Anika:   And we get none of this. None of this happens.

Liz:   Captain Stark is literally never mentioned again.

Anika:   I looked up Ford, ‘cos I was sort of like, what even happens to him? He gets to be in all three seasons.

Liz:   Yeah, he’s one of the few.

Anika:   But he still doesn’t really — like, nothing really happens to him. He continues to be that guy, who is sort of like the continuity guy, but doesn’t get to do anything. But I looked up that he had a backstory that he was — this is horrible. So like, content warning for racism. But his original backstory was that he was from the streets of Chicago, and, you know, was a, you know, basically, Thug (TM).

Liz:   Wow.

Anika:   Impoverished. Single mom, didn’t know his dad. Like, every stereotype you can think of for a black man was on him. And none of that made it into the show.

Liz:   Thank God!

Anika:   Instead, he was given the backstory of being super rich, like, parents who were high up in the fleet, or something. And again, they never do anything with it.

Liz:   It sounds like he was basically underwater Tom Paris.

Anika:   Yeah, he was underwater Tom Paris.

Liz:   Everyone in this show was underwater Tom Paris.

Anika:   That’s just what the show’s about. No, but so it’s interesting to me that they so narrowly avoided this horrible Black stereotype, and yet still completely failed to give him his due as a character.

Liz:   Yeah. And it’s a real shame!

Anika:   So that’s just sort of one of those interesting stories about the ’90s.

Liz:   Oh, yeah. Oh the ’90s.

Anika:   Really, you know, it’s one step forward, twelve steps back.

Liz:   I looked up most of the cast to see where they’re at these days. Obviously, Jonathan Brandis tragically took his life in, I think 2003. And there’s a lot more dialogue now about the mistreatment of child actors in Hollywood, and the pressure they’re under and the abuse to which they’re vulnerable. Roy Scheider passed away just a couple of years ago. He was played in the miniseries Fosse/Verdon by none other than Lin Manuel Miranda.

Anika:   Wow.

Liz:   Yeah. So maybe that’s the casting for our seaQuest reboot.

Anika:   Nice. Oh my god. Yeah, I would do it. I can see it.

Liz:   Yes. Stephanie Beacham is still working. The most recent thing she’s been in that I can think of off the top of my head is the British series Bad Girls, which is basically Orange is the New Black but English and also predates it. At some point, she was in Celebrity Big Brother. So that’s her career. And everyone else is just still sort of, you know, working. They do guest spots, they turn up here and there. They’re professional working actors.

Anika:   Right. They’re working actors, not names. Sometimes Hey It’s That Guy.

Liz:   Yeah, which — I remember, I went to see Janet Varney, the voice actress of Korra, at a con a few years ago, and she talked about how her heroine, and her inspiration as an actor, was Teri Garr, because she never really achieved stardom, but she also never stopped working. And she’s done everything from Star Trek to … not Star Trek. But that made me a lot more interested in following the careers of people who consistently work in the entertainment industry without achieving celebrity.

Anika:   I’m old enough now that I see — you know, I knew that James Frain was in Where the Heart Is, right? Eventually, everyone’s a Hey It’s That Guy for me, unless they’re young and new, you know? And it’s very, it’s fun. I do that all the time. I also, like, went to Wikipedia and clicked on each name. And I forget which one but someone had like eighty credits, this person is super working, and yet also doesn’t have a picture on their Wikipedia page. Because they’re not a face, but they absolutely have a career.

Liz:   Yes, yes. And, you know, prior to seaQuest, as a teenager, I think, Stacy Haiduk played Lana in the Superboy series that was sort of a precursor to Smallville. So, yeah, it’s cool to be able to follow a person’s career and see that by all accounts, they’re doing well.

Anika:   Right. And it’s always fun to watch a show that you might not be super interested in, but it has someone that you like, for example, Jayne Brook, and then you in your mind, make it secretly an alternate universe story about that person that you like? I’m just saying…

Liz:   I don’t do that. But I did watch the four episodes of Major Crimes that Jayne appeared in in 2017. And–

Anika:   With–

Liz:   Mary McDonnell.

Anika:   –Laura Roslin?

Liz:   Yeah. And–

Anika:   You mean the Kat Cornwell and Laura Roslin show?

Liz:   The Kat Cornwell murders Laura Roslin show, even though she’s the lead? Yes, yes.

Anika:   Yeah, that one!

Liz:   It’s actually weird because, like, the series was pressured by the network to go into serialization. And they compromised by doing, like, four-episode arcs — which I think is brilliant, by the way, it’s a format more shows should adopt. 

And the penultimate arc is about — it’s really, really dodgy. It’s about strippers and sex workers being murdered. And the prime suspect is this self-help guy or his son, and Jayne plays their wife slash mother. And then it turns out that Jayne did it so these woman couldn’t accuse her husband of raping them. And then, like, all through the series–

Anika:   This was just a few years ago, right?

Liz:   2017! And this is like their #MeToo story. But then, all through it, one of the male detectives is like hitting on the victims and the witnesses. It’s really gross. 

But they finally realize that it’s Jayne, and they pull her in for questioning. And she basically gets into a screaming match with Mary McDonnell about the rightness of her actions, blah, blah, blah, and Mary McDonnell’s character has a heart problem. And in the middle of the shouting match, she has a fatal heart attack and dies. And Jayne is like, “This is very uncomfortable.” 

But I’m like there are four episodes left in this series, and they’ve just killed the leading lady! And then I looked it up — it’s a procedural, so it doesn’t have a massive fandom. But what fandom it does have was furious.

Anika:   I actually remember — because I follow Mary McDonnell on Twitter. And I do remember there being a firestorm about this. I remember her putting out this statement that was like, “I really appreciate everyone’s words. And I really enjoyed, you know, putting my heart and soul into this story and blah, blah, blah and was like, you know, don’t be angry on my behalf,” or whatever. But I have never watched Major Crimes because I cannot put Laura Roslin into a Law and Order. Like it just doesn’t work for me.

Liz:   Look, it’s — I know you love procedurals, but this did not seem to be a very good one, even setting aside its poor decisions as it wrapped up. And it’s notable — like the other reason, the non-Jayne Brook reason that I watched it, is that it was showrun by James Duff, who is now an executive producer on the Trek Renaissance.

Anika:   I see.

Liz:   Yes, he wrote a couple of episodes of Picard, he wrote a couple of episodes of season three of Discovery. So let’s hope he doesn’t kill off Michael halfway through the final season.

Anika:   I hope that there are enough people who would be in an uproar about that, that that won’t happen.

Liz:   I like to think that he’s learned. Oh, and he also wrote the play, and I think directed the telemovie of Doing Time on Maple Drive, which was iconic in the early ’90s for its depiction of queerness, and coming out and dysfunctional families, and starred Jim Carrey in a dramatic role. And also star Jayne. And Bibi Besch from Wrath of Khan, Carole Marcus, as the mother.

Anika:   Wow. That cast. But that’s actually our point, is that actors show up everywhere, and it’s cool.

Liz:   Yes, and definitely don’t waste your life watching telemovies from the early ’90s when you can waste it by watching failed science fiction programs from the same year.

Anika:   Look.

Liz:   Look.

Anika:   It’s just one of those things, okay? We like what we like. You know, again, they’re rebooting everything. So reboot, like, reboot this, reboot Alien Nation, like–

Liz:   Oh, I forgot about that.

Anika:   Where are the shows from the 90s that I watched and loved? And why haven’t they got their day in the sun? No one wants Mad About You, you know, God, no one cares what they’re doing ten years later.

Liz:   All I’m saying is, I have a lot of ideas for rebooting Babylon 5, and recreating what was best, you know, while also fixing its many, many problems from the ’90s.

Anika:   Yeah. And it’s newly available streaming, right?

Liz:   Yeah, HBO Max.

Anika:   So it could happen. That’s my one, you know, maybe it’s gonna be okay for seaQuest, is that it definitely was not readily available. Now, you know, Peacock is ridiculous. But you can watch it for free. You’d have to watch, you know, ads, but I watched ads in order to watch seaQuest and it wasn’t — there’s only like, one ad per break. It wasn’t the worst thing. And also, like, seaQuest had ads. So it’s actually — when watching, like, Next Generation, and it does that, like it gets dark.

Liz:   Yes. Yes, it fades to black.

Anika:   That’s where the ad happens. And then it comes back in and they’re the same scene. It’s like, we went from one sentence to — and then they answer, but it’s, like, dark in between. Or there are some episodes of Leverage where they actually repeat the lines.

Liz:   Oh my God.

Anika:   You know, after they come back from commercial break, and they say the same two lines again, and it’s like, guys.

Liz:   That’s like classic Doctor Who, but they did that between episodes. I really hope the Leverage reboot does the same thing.

Anika:   But my point is that, hey, they made the Snyder cut. So!

Liz:   Thank you for listening to Antimatter Pod. You can find our show notes at, including links to our social media and credits for our theme music. You can also find transcripts, which are slowly being filled in. 

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And join us in two weeks, when we’ll be discussing that obscure science fiction series, Star Trek — specifically, IMDB statistics. But don’t worry, we’ll have a guest who understands numbers better than us.