23 June 2011 | rcj5365
Sealab 2020:Commentary about this short-lived cartoon series from the Early 1970's that lasted 13 episodes.
Originally was supposed to be a development animated project that was set to premiere in 1971 for CBS' Saturday Morning schedule,the short-lived animated action-adventure/science fiction series "Sealab 2020" ended up premiering on September 9, 1972 as part of NBC's Saturday Morning schedule that lasted 13 episodes until December 2, 1972. Only the original episodes aired during its broadcast while the repeated episodes lasted from January of 1973 until its demise for the Saturday Morning scene on September 1, 1973.
"Sealab 2020" was the next to last of the Hanna-Barbera action adventure cartoons that were produced during the 1970's. This was a series that was part "Star Trek" under the sea with elements of Jules Verne,part "Ivan Tors",with hints of Irwin Allen's 1960's television series "Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea" for great measure. With an educational purpose that was prone to teach kids about the ocean environment and different types of sea animals to boot,all within an half-hour.
The cartoon series takes place in the year 2020...."Sealab" was an underwater laboratory where 250 people,including children lived. It's leading scientist was oceanographer and Native American Dr. Paul Williams(who was a Chinook Indian),who was head of the research facility under the sea who studied the undersea world assisted by aquanauts Hal(Jerry Dexter),Gail(Ann Jillian),and Ed(Ron Pinkard). Sparks(William Callaway)was the radio dispatcher and communications officer,while Captain Mike Murphy(voiced by Hanna-Barbera stockplayer John Stephenson)was in charge of the Sealab's operations. Captain Murphy's children,Bobby(Josh Albee),and Sally(Pamelyn Ferdin),along with Jamie(Gary Shapiro)got involved in some of the adventures which were involving dangerous rescues and helping out others in several episodes. Mrs. Thomas(Olga James)was the educational consultant with Sealab and was responsible for looking after the children of Sealab and was Bobby and Sally's teacher.
The great Ross Martin(of the television series "Mr. Lucky",and was also of "The Wild,Wild,West" fame)was the voice of Dr. Paul Williams who was one of several minorities that were featured in this short-lived series. Regular Hanna-Barbera stockplayers John Stephenson,Jerry Dexter,and even in some episodes Don Messick along with Henry Corden, Mike Road, Janet Waldo, Joan Gerber, Casey Kasem and Paul Frees provided character support. Peter Dixon and former "Star Trek" writer-producer Fred Freiberger contribute to some of the stories. After its initial run on NBC ended,"Sealab 2020" came back in re-runs during the mid-1980's on cable as part of the USA Network's Cartoon Express and most recently,Cartoon Network's Boomerang Channel brought it back after a decade long hiatus...in re-runs mostly.