Brave New World (seaQuest 2032)

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seaQuest 2032 episode
"Brave New World"
Seaquest301.jpg
Captain Bridger must share the bridge with the new captain of the seaQuest DSV, Captain Oliver Hudson in "Brave New World."
Episode no. 46
Prod. code 301
Airdate 20 September 1995
Writer(s) Clifton Campbell
Director Anson Williams
Guest star(s) Roy Scheider
Michael York
Andrew Stahl
Karen Fraction
Year 2032
Episode chronology
Previous episode "Splashdown"
Next episode "In the Company of Ice and Profit"

"Brave New World" is the first episode of the science-fiction television series seaQuest DSV`s third season, now under the new title of seaQuest 2032. It was originally shown on September 20, 1995.

The episode is notorious for skipping forward in time ten years following the second season finale, Splashdown, and marks the final appearance of Nathan Bridger as captain of the seaQuest. The episode also introduces Captain Oliver Hudson as he assumes command of the boat. The episode's title is also a reference to the Aldous Huxley novel of the same name, which deals with a dystopic future, much like the year 2032 is presented as being from this episode forward.

Quick Overview: Ten years after the seaQuest mysteriously disappeared off the face of the Earth, Captain Oliver Hudson's decade-long quest to find the missing ship and crew ends when it turns up in a cornfield. However, the crew's homecoming is not a happy time as they find that the world has become a much more dangerous place in their absence.

Overview[edit]

"They say obsession is the cancer of mental illness, but if you ask me, anyone who can ignore his gut was never sane in the first place. Ten years ago, Captain Nathan Bridger and the crew of seaQuest disappeared off the face of the Earth, and for ten years I've been trying to find her. Following the economic summit of 2026, the UEO lifted the ban on colonial deregulation, putting more than a hundred thousand square miles of undeveloped basins back on the market. Overnight, hundreds of new colonies sprang from the sea, but without seaQuest, the UEO was unable to control the explosion of commerce, or the fallout of wealth, power and greed. They found themselves outgunned and outmanned. I could have retired, but they offered me triple the pay and any boat I wanted. The problem was, the only one I wanted was missing. (Secretary General) McGath hit the roof when I took command of his UEO supply hauler, but I had my reasons; if seaQuest was out there, a slow-moving, long-distance hauler was my best chance of finding her. Besides, the way things were going, I knew they'd get their money's worth out me. The Alliance of Macronesia (formerly New Australia); they engineered this ridge and a dozen more like it. They got rich fast and it went to their heads. The UEO calls this a trade embargo against a non-aligned nation. I call it war."—Captain Oliver Hudson.

When the Macronesian Alliance fires on a colony's fresh-water supply, prompting Captain Hudson to return fire, President Alexander Bourne announces his outrage at an emergency session of the UEO council. But before he can say too much, Lucas Wolenczak staggers into the room, soaking wet and disoriented. Before Lucas can say anything, he collapses, and is taken into UEO custody.

Captain Hudson questions Lucas as to seaQuest`s location, but Lucas doesn't know where the boat is, nor does he know where the crew is either, nor does he know where he's been for the past ten years. When Captain Hudson brings up the records of seaQuest`s last known location in an attempt to jog Lucas' memory, he still cannot remember where the ship is. Moving on, Hudson briefs Lucas on Alexander Bourne and Macronesia; that the threat of Macronesian expansion constantly looms. Angered, Lucas lashes out at Hudson, claiming he only wants seaQuest so he can destroy what's left of the world by starting another war. Lucas demands that Hudson find Captain Bridger before he is taken back to his cell.

Meanwhile, in a Bangkok nightclub, Lieutenant James Brody awakes at the bar, unsure as to where he is or how he got there. He overhears on a nearby television that Lucas has been found, but when he demands that the bartender turn up the volume on the television, he accidentally awakens Lieutenant O'Neill, who is sitting next to him, also unsure as to where he is or how he arrived there. As the two look around the bar, they find Piccolo at a craps table, gambling excitedly, but Piccolo soon regains his composure, and finds he too does not know where he is or how he got there.

At SeaWorld, Dagwood walks through an aquarium exhibit when he finds Darwin swimming with the dolphins. When a janitor tells him that the park is closed, all Dagwood can say is that he knows Darwin. The next morning, in a hotel shower, Commander Ford awakens to a stream of hot water shooting into his face. In the next room, Lieutenant Henderson awakes, also uncertain as to where she is. Before the two can make sense of what is happening, UEO officers burst into the room and take the two of them into custody.

Later, in a cornfield in Iowa, a farmer carelessly tends to his crops when he suddenly stops his tractor and rushes to what he sees appear in front of him; that of the 1,000-foot-long (300 m) seaQuest DSV lying in the middle of his field. The UEO is notified and Captain Hudson, Ford, O'Neill, Brody and Dr. Perry quickly arrive on the scene. Perry informs Hudson that there is no medical explanation for any of the crew's memory loss, but reveals that a biopsy scar on O'Neill from a cyst he had removed three days before the ship disappeared has only healed a week, suggesting that perhaps the reason the crew doesn't remember the last ten years is because it hasn't been ten years for them. Hudson orders Ford to shake down the seaQuest in two hours, but Ford protests, saying it would take four to six months to do so. Hudson has no time to waste and tells Ford that as the new captain of the boat, he demands expediency, just as helicopters arrive to move the seaQuest to the ocean. O'Neill suggests that they might be able to get the seaQuest back in operational capacity quicker if they had Lucas' help. However, at the same time, Lucas breaks from UEO custody and steals a naval vessel.

Meanwhile, while President Bourne enjoys a state dinner at his palace, his right-hand man, General Stassi, is informed that the seaQuest has been found. Bourne inquires as to Bridger's whereabouts, but Stassi claims that no one knows where he is. Bourne realizes with the seaQuest back in the UEO fleet, if he wishes to seize control of the Nexus Colony and rule the Pacific Ocean, he best do it before Bridger is recovered.

In the Yucatán, Lucas' vessel washes up on the shore of Bridger's Island. The boy is shocked at what he finds; the captain's house is in ruins and a small child stands alone inside the remains. From behind, he hears a voice call to him. He turns to find the smiling face of Captain Bridger behind him. As the two reunite, Bridger explains that the boy is his grandson, Michael, proving that Bridger's son was not really dead all those years ago. Lucas is able to pinpoint seaQuest`s location and the two set off for their ship in the naval vessel.

Aboard the seaQuest, the crew is joined by Lieutenant J.J. Fredericks, Hudson's sub-fighter pilot and prepares to set up a blockade around the Nexus Colony to prevent the Macronesian fleet from seizing control. However, the plans are hampered when Lucas' ship comes under fire and the seaQuest is forced to save his ship rather than maintain the blockade, allowing Macronesia to annex Nexus.

With Bridger back in command of the seaQuest, Hudson tells him that the past decade has been very difficult for humanity and that Bridger's attitude of "treating seaQuest as some kind of scientific holy grail was not only arrogant, it was dangerous." Bridger asks if Hudson thinks he can beat Bourne with seaQuest, to which Hudson believes he can. While watching Darwin swim through the hydropressure swim tunnels, Hudson tells Bridger that every underwater colony now uses the same kind of system. With that in mind, Bridger orders Ford and Brody to sneak into the colony through the hydropressure system and get to Bourne.

Ford and Brody are successful and order Bourne to vacate the colony, to which he complies. With the colony free, Bridger assembles the crew on the bridge of the seaQuest. There, he reveals that he has erased everything from the seaQuest`s memory banks pertaining to the incident on Hyperion. After becoming unwitting, but desperately needed allies to the rebels in the Hyperion civil war, the seaQuest and her crew fell to destruction and into a deep meditative coma, induced by the Hyperion rebels. However, they could not save the entire crew; some like Miguel Ortiz and Dr. Wendy Smith could not be saved. Tobias LeConte and some of his rebel friends were able to liberate some rescue pods and return the crew and ship to Earth; a process that took ten years to complete. The Hyperion rebels erased the crew's memories and transported them from the time they heard Scott's call for help to the last peaceful thought they had in their minds before they were about to die, hence why the crew did not remember anything from the past decade.

Bridger also announces that he's retiring from the navy once and for all. He believes that if world peace is to be maintained, the seaQuest must be ready to ship out on a moment's notice; which is Hudson's job, not his. He also intends to care for his grandson and find his son and wife if they're still alive. Lucas is crushed, but Bridger reassures him that they'll stay in touch. Relinquishing command to Hudson, the new captain orders to the crew to stand at attention and render the salute in respect. Bridger returns the salute one last time and leaves the boat he designed for good.

The next day, Lucas visits Hudson in his quarters, intent on apologizing. Hudson assures him that it isn't necessary; that he realizes that Lucas was emotionally motivated to find Bridger; something that he understands and even respects. Hudson claims that Lucas would make a fine member of the seaQuest crew, but Lucas tells him he already is a member. Hudson shakes his head and orders no civilians on his boat. Realizing it'd be the only way to remain aboard the ship he knows as home, Lucas suggests that he enlist in the UEO navy, which Hudson allows him to do.

Background[edit]

Following the end of the second season of seaQuest DSV, Roy Scheider (Captain Bridger) had become very vocal and negative about the direction the show was heading; focusing more on heavy science fiction and fantasy-type plots, coupled with the fact that he believed that the show should maintain an arc, rather than just be individual episodes (similar to other sci-fi type shows such as Star Trek: Deep Space Nine and Babylon 5). Scheider had requested to be released from his NBC contract, however, the network only partially agreed, allowing him to downgrade from a regular cast member to a recurring guest character.

Ironically, following Scheider's departure, the show (having been renamed "seaQuest 2032") did incorporate several character and plot arcs and moved away from much of the "gimmicky" science-fiction elements that had been prevalent in the second season. The slogan around the set for the third season was "seaQuest DSVerisimilitude" (which was printed on a number of film crew shirts). The show's Emmy award winning theme music from the first two seasons was replaced as well.

With Scheider's departure, NBC brought in Michael Ironside to replace him as the star of the show as Captain Oliver Hudson, who was named after Henry Hudson, a famous sea explorer in the 16th century. Marco Sanchez (Sensor Chief Miguel Ortiz), who had been with the show since the pilot, and Rosalind Allen (Dr. Wendy Smith), who joined the show in season two, were both released as well, as NBC had opted to downsize the number of cast members in order to cut costs.

The "Ballard Institute" where Hudson debriefs Lucas is named after Dr. Robert Ballard who served as the technical advisor on "seaQuest DSV" and presented marine trivia segments during the first season's closing credits.

The photo that Lucas finds in the debris of Bridger's house is that of him and the captain from the season 2 premiere, "Daggers."

Continuity[edit]

While the fate of the missing seaQuest crewmembers is explained as "we lost some very good friends", the fate of Commander Scott Keller remains a mystery.

Preceded by:
"Splashdown"
seaQuest DSV episodes Followed by:
"In the Company of Ice and Profit"