Monday, November 5, 2007


Thanks to Netflix, I've begun watching 'Voyage To The Bottom Of The Sea' from its beginnings. While growing up, I never caught it on a regular basis during its first run, but over the years I've seen a good number of the episodes. Most of those, however, were before my Toobworld mania, so I didn't bother with trying to remember the details. I suppose most of my memories of the show were attached to brain cells lost during my 1970s college days.....

At any rate, the first episode, "Eleven Days To Zero", contained several points of interest for the televisiologist, besides the obvious ones like cast introductions and key (if minor) characters, like Captain John Phillips. ("Eleven Days To Zero" - It's refreshing to find a first episode that's not dunned with the title "Pilot"!)

There were two recastaways straightaway - both of which took place during the episode! Those will each get their own entry. But for this first post, I'm going to focus on a "Theory of Relateeveety" dealing with a topic near and dear - the O'Brien family tree.

Among the crew of the Seaview was an O'Brien in engineering. It's been a Toobworld tradition down through the decades that certain characteristics repeat themselves throughout the generations, and this happens with more than just genetics. Usually we see it as a tendency to lean toward the Heroic. But it could just as easily apply to an aptitude for a particular occupation.

Thus it could be that an O'Brien in an engineering posting would be a family tradition carried down even over hundreds of years, culminating in Miles Edward O'Brien.

The audience first met Miles O'Brien on board the Enterprise under the command of Jean-Luc Picard. He later transferred to be part of the command staff on board the Deep Space Nine space station near the planet Bajor.

The O'Brien assigned to the Seaview doesn't sport an Irish accent, but after hearing the butchered brogue in the last few episodes of 'Heroes', that's not altogether a bad thing. And with the span of a few hundred years between the Seaview O'Brien and the Enterprise O'Brien, who's to deny that the family emigrated back to the Emerald Isle? Or perhaps after his many years in service to the Nelson Institue of Marine Research, the 1973 era O'Brien (the estimated year in which 'Voyage' takes place) finally lost his accent but never gave up his citizenship. (Nothing says that NIMR only hired Americans, even if they did have a quasi-official connection to the armed services.)

The O'Brien on board the Seaview was an extremely minor member of the crew; if I'm not misremembering, he was just a voice on the intercom in the first episode played by a different actor than the one who took the role in his next appearance. And as he was a man of the 2400s, Miles O'Brien wasn't going to be too forthcoming on his many ancestors. So both characters give us plenty of wiggle room to declare this Theory of Relateeveety as valid.

Toby OB

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