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Taking a Dive

August 08, 1993

Regarding "Dive! Dive! Dive!," Daniel Cerone's story on the making of the upcoming NBC series "seaQuest DSV" (July 25):

"Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea" may have been campy, as Cerone pejoratively described the mid-1960s underwater TV series, but unlike "seaQuest DSV," it did not cost a bankrupting $1.5 million an episode to produce!

"Voyage" featured solid acting by a strong ensemble cast headed by Richard Basehart and imaginative scripts that probed everything from ecological disasters to monomaniacal saboteurs to bizarre ETs. Although the show's low-budget special effects will undoubtedly pale in comparison to the computer-generated marvels of "seaQuest," they were visually interesting and certainly did not dominate to the point of taking precedence over the stories.

Whereas "Voyage" enjoyed a respectable run from 1964 to 1967, "seaQuest," already foundering in a quagmire of internecine in-fighting, will be lucky to launch its first-season span of 22 episodes.

FRANKLIN R. RUEHL

Glendale

Ruehl is host-producer of "Mysteries From Beyond the Other Dominion," seen nationally on the Sci-Fi Channel.

*

In your enlightening cover story, reporter Cerone detailed the litany of production and script problems on Steven Spielberg's "seaQuest." The article went on to identify one particular script, "A Place Called Armageddon," that distinguished itself with all parties, including executive producer Tony Thompson and series star Roy Scheider.

If would have been good of Cerone to have credited the writer of that extraordinary script, our client Tom Blomquist. Not only did Tom's work generate an enthusiastic response from the producers of "seaQuest," but it also prompted a personal telephone call of appreciation from one of the show's leading actors--in our experience, an unprecedented and gracious show of support for a free-lance writer.

As a print journalist, Cerone should know that effective words don't just happen; they are the result of experience, craft and intelligence. It shouldn't be too much to ask that serious, quality writing be so acknowledged.

MARK LICHTMAN, MARTY SHAPIRO, LISA SULLIVAN

Shapiro-Lichtman Agency

Los Angeles

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