Euroversal…

“Little me would have freaked out over a SeaQuest ride. Heck, big me would’ve freaked out…”

When the ‘Powerhouse property’ that was SeaQuest DSV didn’t make as big a splash as anticipated, MCA’s ‘comprehensive licensing program’ would evaporate short of delivering much from the ‘out of this world promotional campaign’ as announced in the 1994 Playmates Toys catalogue. 

However it was recently revealed that one project with the formidable backing of NBC, Amblin and Universal in particular came much closer to fruition than once thought  –

And now, over two decades later courtesy of the company tasked with the mammoth project’s development we can finally see inside of the bold – but ultimately doomed – theme park venture that was ‘Universal Hollywoodland’.

FROM THE ARCHIVES, we have a very special update – 

We’re taking a look back at the never-before-seen plans for UNIVERSAL HOLLYWOODLAND- a Universal theme park developed back in 1996, and planned for the European market.

Soon we’ll reveal what themed zones would have been found in this unique park concept, but in the meantime, can you guess them based upon this beautiful Chuck Cancilier bird’s-eye?

Our team here is blown away by your scrupulous studying of the UNIVERSAL HOLLYWOODLAND bird’s-eye, and by the mostly spot-on guesses as to what would have been included in the park. That said, there are a few IP’s that either no one spotted, or couldn’t have known just from the bird’s-eye.

In case you aren’t able to read the captions, here’s a list of the park’s lands and attractions, starting at the bottom and going around clockwise. (And remember, it was the 90’s)

CINEWALK:
-Mel’s Diner
-3D Theater
-Live Music Stage

TELEVISION LAND:
-Country Star
-Western Stunt Show
-Hercules Wooden Coaster
-SeaQuest Adventure

MOVIE LAND
-Jurassic Park Rapids
-Raptor Trap
-King Kong Tower (Drop Tower)
-Fantastic EFX
-Monster Mash
-Amity Boardwalk (Jaws)
-Hanna Barbera
-Twister
-Back To The Future Timewarp (Coaster)
-Apollo 13 Moonshot (Coaster)

CARTOON LAND:
-Spooky Adventures (Casper Dark Ride)
-ET’s Green Planet
-Animal Actor’s Stage
-Bedrock Bomber (Coaster)
-Cruisin’ USA

As for the SeaQuest Adventure itself, even though the huge pavilion depicted in the concept art above takes up a significant portion of ‘TV Land’, no further details about the attraction were made available. Last year I contacted park designers Legacy GGE (formerly the Goddard Group) for more information –

“From what we can recall, that attraction was meant to be a direct lift of the one operating at other parks (Universal Yokohama Experience and Port Aventura in Spain) if we have things straight) so no additional creative development was done.”

The actual location of Universal Hollywoodland was revealed to be Krefeld in Germany, (go here for more info) but by 1996 SeaQuest had already been cancelled so its possible The Goddard Group planned to adapt and rebrand an existing attraction or Legacy’s recollection is inaccurate – I found no reference from either of the two existing sites as stated.

And so, in the absence of anything definitive it’s fun to speculate just what kind of ride the SeaQuest Adventure may have been – given the scale and budget one conceives of a motion simulator similar to Disneyland’s Star Tours – where guests would be sent on an ocean sightseeing trip aboard a UEO Launch only to be caught in an underwater earthquake and have to navigate their way through uncharted caves (with the help of Ensign Darwin!) before being rescued by the SeaQuest.

Other features would surely be a state-of the-art aquarium and educational activities for kids similar to Epcot Centre’s The Living Seas (Ironically used as location for season 2!) with live shows featuring ‘Darwin’ and his pod performing tricks similar to those of Shamu and co. at Sea World.

The mind boggles but can you imagine the treasures awaiting in the gift shop on exit?  Maybe all these other unproduced items had the project forged ahead?

Of course we’ll never know but as always when it comes to footnotes about SeaQuest its always interesting to imagine what might have been…

ML


 

Its About Time…

Welcome aboard..!!

Thank you for joining me as the door is officially opened on the SeaQuest DSV Vault. There are many treasures to be found within but first I must ask you visit the Mission page for your introduction and briefing.  We’ll be right here when you get back…

While the year 2018 has great significance for the worlds of SeaQuest, in 2001 the future wasn’t so bright.  As the show languished unaired since its initial broadcast there was real danger of it being consigned to cult TV history and forgotten. Sales of the VHS boxset by Universal Playback of the first – episodes were not strong enough to warrant a follow-up release and there seemed no likelihood the show would ever be introduced on the new format of DVD.

Whereas many genre shows from the era really did fall into the void never to be seen again (Space: Above and Beyond, Time Trax and Earth2 for example) something about SeaQuest endured. True, it had a colourful production history and was rife with inconsistencies (helped in no part by how it was handled by networks) but the charm and wonder of seafaring tales set in an optimistic vision of the near-future, our future, must have resonated with a larger audience than was once thought.

The article above from UK Sci-Fi magazine SFX is a perfect example of the kind of spirited debate that still surrounds the show today. Its retrospective series ‘Gave____another chance’ ran for dozens of issues and while disguised under a layer of facetiousness did nevertheless provide compelling evidence to do just that. The piece is also very well-researched and states the facts around the UK broadcasts and how the show was doomed from the outset thanks to scheduling (It fared no better in the US where Season1 episodes were shown out of sequence also). The case for the prosecution really does convey the layperson/casual fan’s enduring attitude towards the show but the defence puts in a convincing, and ultimately successful case. If you’re not a fan already I ask you read this and re-evaluate your opinion of the show, and -yes! – give it another chance. With all the rich material being debuted on this website now and to come you’ll be glad you did…

ML