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.”
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.
(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.)