Retro Recap: seaQuest DSV S1, E7 ‘Give Me Liberte’

Commander Jonathan Ford and a team of replacement scientists arrive at Aqua-Sphere 7 only to discover that all six team members are dead. Dr. Kristen Westphalen places Ford and the scientists in quarantine until they can figure out what happened.

A WSKR (remote sensor probe) sent to search the area reveals the downed French space station Liberté. Assuming that the wreckage is connected to the death of the scientists, the WSKR is sent inside the station and finds the skeletal remains of the crew.

Lucas Wolenczak begins searching on his computer for information related to the Liberté and the North Sea Confederation. He finds hidden files that refer to Guy Peche, a geneticist that Captain Nathan Bridger met at a conference years before. With the new bit of information, Bridger and Chief Crocker travel to Paris to locate Peche. They find a broken man who doesn’t want to discuss the Liberté. But Bridger appeals to his curious side and uses the lure of “his world,” meaning the ocean, to convince Peche to return with them to the seaQuest.

Meanwhile Ford and the scientists are beginning to exhibit symptoms of the disease. Ford is terrified since he saw what happened to the dead science crew. They suffered tremendously and harmed themselves and others. With Ford losing his grip–literally, as a result of loss of muscle control and figuratively–Hitchcock finds herself in the unenviable position of relieving him of command.

She has more on her plate than she bargained for, though, since the North Sea Confederation caught Lucas doing his hacking thing, and they’ve arrived with guns blazing, ready to blast the Liberté out of the water. They don’t want anyone to learn its deadly secrets. 

Meanwhile, Westphalen is working with Peche, questioning him about the virus. It was man-made, and Westphalen can’t believe they created a biological weapon without an antidote. Peche is wracked with guilt and keeps fleeing from any reminder of it. But Bridger sits and talks with him, and Peche begins to recall one of the Liberté crew who wasn’t affected by the virus. But he was in the contaminated room with the others, and Peche was too scared to let him out, and he died at the hands of the infected. His name was Pierre, and they realize he might just hold the key to the cure. They put on biohazard suits and take a shuttle to visit the wreckage.

The North Sea Confederation hasn’t let up on their mission, though. They launch missiles at the wreckage that Hitchcock meets with countermeasures. But time is running out. Bridger and Peche need to get back to seaQuest before the missiles hit their target, and before Ford and the others succumb to the virus.

Fortunately, Peche identifies Pierre, and they extract some DNA from his remains. They get back to the ship just before the Confederation destroys the space station. After that, it doesn’t take long to produce the cure. Everyone celebrates, both in quarantine and out.

Peche thanks Bridger and says that he was right about “his world.” It has a healing effect.  

Because . . . say it with me: “Beneath the surface, lies the future.” Cue theme music. 

 The Science

This time, Bob Ballard discusses how seaQuest is surrounded by WSKRS: Wireless Sea Knowledge Retrieval Satellies. He stands in front of ABE, an autonomous underwater vehicle on which the WSKRS were based. Its first voyage was, according to Ballard, “this year” which would have made it 1993. It was capable of staying underwater for months, but sadly its final voyage was in March 2010, after 222 missions. 

Where are They Now?  

Ted Raimi is probably one of the more successful cast members of seaQuest after the show ended. He portrayed Communications Office Tim O’Neill, who is fluent in over 6 forms of communication. Though many of his roles have been small, and still more collaborations with his brother director Sam Raimi, he made quite an impression as Joxer the Mighty on Xena: Warrior Princess. (John D’Aquino also appeared in the series as Odysseus). Raimi has also appeared recently in the Ash vs. Evil Dead tv series.  I always enjoy watching a film and seeing him pop up unexpectedly, usually yelling out, “That’s Ted Raimi!”