The Gritty Guide to… Sealab 2021

Posted: February 10, 2013 in Gritty Guide to....
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Sealab 2021           

I know what you’re thinking. A sprawling underwater research lab consisting of shiny metal walkways and all those lovely sparkly switches and wetsuits sounds like adventure heaven… and you’d be right if it wasn’t for the blatant disregard for basic health and safety and the worst case of cabin fever since Tim Curry and that bloke off Star Stories got musical with a ship full of Muppets.

Born at the start of Swim, from the same womb as Harvey Birdman, Brak and Aqua Teen, Sealab borrows stock footage and animation from the short lived environmental Hannah Barbera cartoon Sealab 2020 (yeah me neither!). A year later and the plight of the ocean’s precious marine life plays second fiddle to the incompetent Captain Murphy’s latest reckless obsessions whether that be putting the crew’s brains in robot bodies or looking for the golf shop.

Captain Murphy after giving up his noggin to a mouse

Captain Murphy after giving up his noggin to a mouse

Sealab 2021 takes things like continuity with a pinch of salt. This allows the entire crew to be killed off week after week and then just come back again. Like Aqua Teen you’ll find absurdist plots that you can’t predict like Marco’s frisson with some sharkgina and the lab being visited by two Scouse businessmen with a thirst for fresh corn. 


The whole thing is book-ended with one of the catchiest theme tunes ever made that will make you clap along like a sugar maddened toddler at a Tweenies convention.

Sealab was the start of 70/30 Productions, the brainchild of Matt Thompson and Adam Reed who gave us the magnificent Frisky Dingo and it ran for four great seasons which you can still get in the shops or on itunes.


Jodene Sparks








If Murphy is the instigator of Sealab’s more dangerous and irrelevant missions then Sparks is that voice in Murphy’s ear whispering the final words of encouragement. He’s lazy, so lazy that he never actually gets out of his chair and his main joy in life is watching the captain go steadily more insane.

Dolphin boy

dolphin boy








Don’t feel sorry for Dolphin Boy. He may only be able to communicate in dolphin speak but he’s essentially just a fictional chubby blonde boy created to be killed off regularly without reason. Oh and he’s annoying so like I say, don’t you dare feel sorry for him!



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