Monday, February 11, 2008

God Speed, Captain

For me, he'll always be Captain Nathan Bridger.

I was fourteen when seaQuest, DSV debuted, and I admit the real draw was (the late) Jonathan Brandis. After enjoying films like Ladybugs and Sidekicks, I determined he was the most adorable thing under the sun. It also helped that Don Franklin (of The Young Riders fame) was one of his co-stars. I only knew the actor playing the captain as "that guy from Jaws."

But Roy Scheider was, and will always be, the heart of that series. Even though he left after season two (good move, in my opinion, as the abbreviated season three was a huge blunder), his absence was felt. It was an ensemble, but the series was about Bridger and the ship he helped build. I bought the first season on DVD a few months back, and it's been great fun to relive those old adventures. I'll be adding season two to my collection very soon.

No matter the role, Mr. Scheider had a humanity that he instilled in his characters. His guest arc on Third Watch, as a homicidal Russian mafia honcho, blew me away. His small part in The Punisher had an intensity of love that made Frank's desire for vengeance that much more realistic. His quiet heroism in Jaws is something I'll never forget.

R.I.P., Roy Scheider. 1932-2008.

No comments: