Monday, February 11, 2008

Roy Scheider - captain of seaQuest DSV, pilot of Blue Thunder, as well as police chief in a wee film called Jaws

Roy Scheider as Captain Nathan Bridger in SeqQuest DSV

Roy Scheider’s death has been reported this morning. Perhaps best known for his role as Martin Brody, the police chief in Jaws, I remember him for his portrayal of Captain Nathan Bridger on SeaQuest DSV which used to be shown on Saturday afternoons on UTV. (Or am I meant to call it ITV? Channel 3? You know what I mean!)

“The 21st century: mankind has colonised the last unexplored region on Earth; the ocean. As captain of the seaQuest and its crew, we are its guardians. For beneath the surface lies the future.”

Roy Scheider as Pilot Frank Murphy in the film Blue Thunder

Only equalled in the mid 90s by Airwolf for Saturday afternoon viewing, it was a maritime version of Star Trek, set in a high-tech submarine, but with similar geo-political storylines and a particularly intelligent dolphin named Darwin. The third series morphed the name into SeaQuest 2032 and sunk without trace was abruptly cancelled mid-season.

And before that Scheider had popped up playing Frank Murphy, a Vietnam veteran and now police helicopter pilot in the film Blue Thunder. Based around the futuristic (ie, boxy) LAPD surveillance and attack helicopter, the film spawned a spin-off TV series of the same name which didn’t feature Scheider.

Blue Thunder film - DVD cover

(At a Friday night film screening in the school assembly hall, I can remember the voyeuristic scene looking though the apartment block window while in whisper mode attracting a lot of oohs and ahs. Too late for the teacher responsible to censor once the print had arrived.)

I feel a comparative post coming on to look at Blue Thunder, Street Hawk and Knight Rider as well as a look back at a strange fascination with the low-quality, stock-footage-reusing Airwolf.


Rob Elkin said...

Seaquest DSV was the first thing I thought about when I heard about Roy Scheiders death.

I commend you on your excellent viewing choices!

Anonymous said...


Calibra Pictures is pleased to announce the release of the trailer for Roy Scheider’s last film “Iron Cross”.

The revenge thriller, written and directed by Joshua Newton, will be previewed towards the end of the year in Los Angeles, following our Roy Scheider Film Week, dates and location tbc.

The trailer can be downloaded securely from the following link:

We’d be delighted to receive your comments.

Yours truly

The Iron Cross Team