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Topic: How Compelling Is The Sea/Ocean? Post Reply | Post New Topic
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Robbie Parry
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Joined: 17 June 2007
Location: United Kingdom
Posts: 11692
Posted: 01 March 2018 at 10:30am | IP Logged | 1 post reply

Here in Britain, the Horror Channel is showing SEAQUEST DSV. It features Roy Scheider as Captain Nathan Bridger, commander of a submarine that fought for good in the world.

It's okay. It's solid. But I don't find it particularly compelling. I felt the same about THUNDER IN PARADISE, featuring Hulk Hogan piloting (is piloting the right term for boats?) a hi-tech boat. And VOYAGE TO THE BOTTOM OF THE SEA didn't really appeal to me, either.

Then it dawned on me: I may be the problem. The problem may not be those works of fiction, but my preferences.

Truth is, I am not sure I find the sea/oceans compelling long-term. Sure, in real life, I think they are fascinating - check out BBC's THE BLUE PLANET documentary - but in fiction, I find I lose interest in the sea/oceans very quickly. 

There are exceptions. I love what Mr Byrne did with Namor. I have enjoyed reading some Aquaman tales. But I find that I lose interest quickly, it seems like there is only so much one can do with the sea/oceans before it loses appeal.

I love land-based stories. Or air-based stories. And, of course, those works of fiction set in outer space. I never tire of those. But I have a limited interest in anything nautical.

As ever, with a topic like this, I'm generalising. And I do acknowledge it's not my preference, but at times I have found it hard to muster up enthusiasm for long-running sea/ocean exploits.

Thoughts?
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Eric Sofer
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Joined: 31 January 2014
Location: United States
Posts: 2475
Posted: 01 March 2018 at 11:41am | IP Logged | 2 post reply

The difference between exploring outer space and our oceans and seas might be pretty similar (lots of nothing interesting, long travel times - although of course, interoceanic and interstellar aren't even in the same class!)

  • I believe that, as in so many cases with fiction, it's the presentation and quality of the story that  There have been a ton of water based TV shows, but how good were they? How engaging? Let me provide a list from my little ol' memory..
  • Aquaman (animated)
  • CPO Sharkey
  • Flipper
  • Marine Boy (animated)
  • McHale's Navy
  • Moby Dick (animated)
  • Namor (animated)
  • Operation Petticoat
  • Sea Hunt
  • Sealab 2020 (animated)
  • Sealab 2021 (animated)
  • seaQuest DSV
  • Sinbad Jr.
  • The Last Ship
  • The Love Boat
  • The Man From Atlantis
  • Tigersharks (animated)
  • Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea
Undoubtedly there are more; my memory isn't very good.

Now myself, I would love a Sea Trek show a la Roddenberry... but how much activity can be happening under the seas? Maybe a series similar to V, but with the invaders being aquatic, rather than extraterrestrial. That absolutely can work (and maybe I'm recalling a BBC series that was about this...? It obviously didn't make much of an impression.)

Robbie, I don't think it's you; I think it's the nature of the shows broadcast.

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David Miller
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Joined: 16 April 2004
Posts: 2057
Posted: 01 March 2018 at 11:46am | IP Logged | 3 post reply

Oceans are both too alien and too familiar. We can imagine a survivable  hostile environment on an alien world, but we know all too well the steps required to adapt humanity to the ocean floor, and the results when they fail. As a result, just about any show is going to be setbound. If they went all gonzo and defied what we know, I doubt audiences could suspend their disbelief enough to watch a movie where say humans walked around on the ocean floor without diving suits and talking normally through the fluid.
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Doug Centers
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Joined: 17 February 2014
Location: United States
Posts: 3289
Posted: 01 March 2018 at 6:21pm | IP Logged | 4 post reply

I remember liking Flipper a looooooong time ago as a young lad. I've no urge to revisit it though.

Some years ago Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea was shown at a certain time on tv that worked good for me. I think I've seen every episode and enjoyed my time with it.

I watched the first 3 seasons of The Last Ship regularly. I kind of faded away from it in season 4. Not sure if I will give it a go this season. Season 2 was my favorite.( uggh I just wrote season 4 times, wait now 5 times)


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Brian Hague
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Joined: 14 November 2006
Posts: 7703
Posted: 01 March 2018 at 10:22pm | IP Logged | 5 post reply

One advantage fictional space has over the fictional sea is that there are people there, whereas under the water, not so much so. A franchise may posit one undersea civilization, maybe even two... But the audience is pretty sure all the while that they're just getting their chain yanked. After all, we don't know who might be OUT THERE... Here on Earth, under the water, we're pretty sure we do know.

Picard as a scientist may have been able to reconcile giving up space to research plankton, solve world hunger, and develop inexhaustible reserves of energy... But he'll never have another First Contact mission.

Ahab vs. Moby Dick is fascinating as one man's descent into obsessive madness and a Man Vs. Nature tale. For television and film entertainment however, we'd rather have Kirk vs. the Romulan Commander or Khan than Sheriff Brody vs. the shark.

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Brian Hague
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Joined: 14 November 2006
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Posted: 01 March 2018 at 10:24pm | IP Logged | 6 post reply

I say all that, but I should also point out that one of my favorite features and characters throughout comics history is the Sub-Mariner, particularly when he's being done by Bill Everett.

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Rebecca Jansen
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Joined: 12 February 2018
Location: Canada
Posts: 1092
Posted: 07 March 2018 at 10:46pm | IP Logged | 7 post reply

I was crazy about Marine Boy, Flipper and Voyage To The Bottom Of The Sea as a kid. Even the old Stingray puppet series of the '60s! These were all re-run in the '70s-'80s. New shows we had were The Man From Atlantis and Jacques Cousteau specials (and why The Life Aquatic thing with Bill Murray was so much fun for most people my age). I only remember Seaquest from it being covered in the cult TV type magazines sometimes, for some reason i never really saw it... it must've been scheduled at a time I was already taken with something else. I'd watch it in weekday re-runs if given the chance, that's the only way I got into Deep Space 9 and Voyager at all.
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Rebecca Jansen
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Joined: 12 February 2018
Location: Canada
Posts: 1092
Posted: 07 March 2018 at 10:53pm | IP Logged | 8 post reply

I loved the run of Sub-Mariner Bill Everett did in the early '70s Brian. Have you ever heard of or seen another early maritime themed character he created in the '40s called The Fin? I think it ran in Mystic Comics.


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Steve De Young
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Joined: 01 April 2008
Location: United States
Posts: 2992
Posted: 08 March 2018 at 2:18am | IP Logged | 9 post reply

I'm actually really attracted to the ocean/sea in terms of these kinds of stories.  But I think I must be in a minority.  Or a perceived minority.  Because even most of the stories, especially on the big screen lately, involving these characters take place mostly on land.  Aquaman gets a fair amount of sea time, but its mostly in Atlantis, and so effectively in a surface city under water, rather than sea exploration per se, uncovering the wonders of the deep.

For years, when asked if I could have super powers which I would want, I've said Aquaman, only to have people look at me like I'm crazy.  To me, being able to explore 2/3 of the Earth and be the only one to know what's at the bottom of the oceans would be a lot more fun than flying or running fast.  And I think people who want to be able to turn invisible are somewhat creepy. 
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Robbie Parry
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Joined: 17 June 2007
Location: United Kingdom
Posts: 11692
Posted: 08 March 2018 at 5:21am | IP Logged | 10 post reply

Oh, Steve, invisibility would be useful, e.g. if at work and not wanting the boss to see you and give you more work. Or if you're on a bus and you really don't want that drunk to make conversation. ;-)

But I'd opt for Aquaman's powers, too.
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Doug Centers
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Joined: 17 February 2014
Location: United States
Posts: 3289
Posted: 08 March 2018 at 7:15am | IP Logged | 11 post reply

The first time I seen The Fin is when Roy Thomas used him in the Kree/Skrull finale.
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Brian Hague
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Joined: 14 November 2006
Posts: 7703
Posted: 08 March 2018 at 6:17pm | IP Logged | 12 post reply

Rebecca, I did know about the Fin and Everett's connection with the character. Long ago, I was able to lay hands on a collection of the original George Olshevsky Marvel Indexes which were a treasure trove of information. Along with Namor, Namora, and the Fin, Everett also created Amazing-Man, Marvel Boy, Venus, and Hydro-Man, who could actually change himself into water. 



In the first two issues of Kid Komics, there's a Sub-Mariner influenced character called Subbie who spurs discussion among the characters as to what his connection to the Sub-Mariner might be, but since the strip only lasted two issues and the comics folded after ten, no answer has ever been forthcoming. How could Roy Thomas have dropped the ball on this, I wonder?


Everett doesn't seem to have been involved in the character's creation, but it is fun to know there is black sheep to Namor's family out there somewhere. (There is also a 1956 knock-off of Namor called Kanu who appeared in a single issue of Adventure Into Mystery, absent any involvement from Everett.)

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Rebecca Jansen
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Joined: 12 February 2018
Location: Canada
Posts: 1092
Posted: 08 March 2018 at 8:24pm | IP Logged | 13 post reply

Wow, Hydro Man is pretty trippy! Kind of Sand Man in reverse. Never heard of a golf ball shortage during WWII, must've been due to the rubber going to airplane tires and such.

Subbie may've served with JFK. He does look a bit like a young Namor.

Aquaman talks to fish, not sure I'd want that power. I can just imagine some dolphins driving me up the wall yakking all the time. I did watch the Aquaman cartoon sometime in the '70s, I think I remember it and Hawkman being on during primetime or close to it. Also had a cherished big-little-book of Aquaman with Nick Cardy illustrations.

I could go for a few packs of Marine Boy's 'Oxygum' though!
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Brian Hague
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Joined: 14 November 2006
Posts: 7703
Posted: 08 March 2018 at 11:33pm | IP Logged | 14 post reply

Rebecca, it's probably safe to assume everything was in short supply in the days of rationing. Also, there is a modern Marvel Comics Hydro-Man with the same power. He's a Spider-Man foe and I used to have the issue where a lightning bolt fused him together with the Sandman into a sort of mud monster...

I may have a copy of that Aquaman BLB. I don't think I've ever read it.

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Bill Collins
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Joined: 26 May 2005
Location: England
Posts: 10209
Posted: 09 March 2018 at 2:23am | IP Logged | 15 post reply

Stingray shows that it can be done! The Man From
Atlantis only lasted about 12 episodes if memory serves?
I did enjoy it though!
Also wasn`t Seaquest basically Sea Trek?
I loved Marine Boy when i was a kid! Neptina and the P1!
Great theme tune too!
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