Farewell, Professor…

While we wish everybody a Happy New Year from the SQV, we sail into 2019 with some sad news regarding the loss of a popular recurring cast member and a great genre star in his own right –

From The Mirror;

British actor William Morgan Sheppard has died at the age of 86.

The star of Star Trek, Dr Who and Mad Men died on Sunday January 6 in Los Angeles, California.

He leaves behind an actor son Mark Sheppard, with who he starred in several productions, including the TV series NCIS and Doctor Who’s The Impossible Astronaut, where they played different aged versions of the same character.

William was born in London in 1932 and graduated from RADA in 1958.

He enjoyed 12 years as associate artist with the Royal Shakespeare Company and appeared in Broadway productions of Marat/Sade and Sherlock Holmes.

His film career began in the 1960s with Strongroom, Tell Me Lies and The Roses Of Eyam, before progressing to Hawk The Slayer, The Elephant Man and The Sea Wolves in the 1980s.

William also appeared in Wild At Heart, Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country and 2006’s The Prestige, where he played Merrit.

His last film role was as Wil in 2016’s Last Man Club, which followed an uncredited appearance in 2009’s Star Trek and 2008’s Over Her Dead Body.

William is survived by his wife and children.

“He was a really nice guy. All of those scenes were done live, with him set up off set with a camera feeding the video projector…” – Fred Tepper

ML


 

 

First Sightings…

Continuing the story of the show through print media brings us to the first of many features found in the pages of ‘Britain’s Premier Science Fiction Magazine’, Starburst. 

Its evident in this double-page spread by Joe Nazzaro and Alan Jones from Issue #182 that although some of finer points  (like character names and the ‘UEOO’) were inaccurate,  the troubles behind the scenes were clear even at this early stage  (The response to the UK Premiere on Oct 23rd can be found in the last post). 

We find out exactly how and why the show started its downward spiral in subsequent interviews with both show creator and producers and it makes for enlightening reading.  Stay salty…!  

ML


 

SeaQuest ITV…

At the bottom of the SeaQuest VAULT lies the story of the show from its inception until its untimely cancellation.  In the days before internet fandom really took hold, the resource of choice for fans of sci-fi & fantasy were magazines such as Starlog in the US and Starburst in the UK.

By the early nineties, however, with ‘Cult’ themes becoming more prevalent in mainstream media, popular titles like Cult Times, Cult TV, SFX  and TV Zone were flying off the shelves into the hands of fans keen to keep up with their favourite shows while enjoying retrospectives of the classics.  TV Zone was in fact the world’s longest-running cult television magazine – publishing 231 issues between 1989 and 2008.

And indeed, were it not for issue 49 UK fans would’ve been none the wiser that they had literally not been given the full picture of the new underwater Sci-fi series from producer Steven Spielberg – and as John Ainsworth points out in his piece above, (click for larger) the cuts to the pilot episode detailed here may well have been to its overall detriment.

Although the show was already at a huge disadvantage, its acknowledged that there was much to enjoy, not least the performances and the SFX (made even murkier somewhere between the conversion to PAL from NTSC) and with the change of producer (signs of things to come!) the show was going to find its sea legs and become a serious contender.  This is reflected by some unbiased reaction from the letters page (bottom pic) where fans are complimentary in the main and dismissive of the bad press – citing the early days of Star Trek: The Next Generation as a comparison…

MUCH more to come..!

ML