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Sealab 2020 is a Hanna-Barbera animated TV series that ran from September 9, 1972 to December 2, 1972. It ran thirteen episodes, with an additional three that were left unaired.

Opening Narrative[]

"This is the year 2020, the place is the Challenger Seamount. On top of an underwater mountain, a complex beneath the sea. 250 men, women, and children live here each of them a scientist pioneer, for this is our last fronteer, a hostile enviorment, which may hold the key to tomorrow. Each day these oceannauts meet new challenges as they build their city beneath the sea. This, is SEALAB 2020!"


Main Cast

  • Bobby Murphy - Captain Murphy's Grandson, he has great admiration for his Grandfather. He has a childishly heroic spirit. He tends to take unnecessary risks.
  • Captain Micheal Murphy - Cheif Administrator of Sealab, and grandfather of Bobby. He's a man of action, who is deeply concerned with the safety of Sealab's residents. He use to captain a destroyer in the US Navy.
  • Dr. James - Medical Doctor aboard Sealab.
  • Dr. Paul Williams - Cheif Researcher aboard Sealab, he organizes research expeditions.
  • Ed Thomas - An assistant of Dr. Williams. Ed is an Oceanographer [1].
  • Gail - Dr. William's female assistant.
  • Hal - Deep Sea Pilot, and assistant of Dr. Williams.
  • Jamie - A young child born aboard Sealab, he has never seen the Sun.
  • Mrs. Thomas - School Teacher aboard Sealab. She's an elderly woman, and mother of Ed Thomas [2].
  • Sparks - Mans the Comms station. Has a southern accent.

Minor Characters

  • Alex - Archeologist in search of the Viking, a ship that may hold Aztec Treasure. (The Challenge)
  • Chuck - Alex's brother, who is excited about the possible treasure. (The Challenge)
  • Dr. Bell - Wants to install a seismograph on the sea floor. (The Deepest Dive)
  • Dr. Elonzo - Shark specialist, called to Sealab by Dr. Williams to find a humane alternative to Murphy's final solution concerning a rise in the shark population, as well as determine the cause in the mysterious population boom. (Shark Lover)
  • Henry Lucas - Stenographer aboard Sealab. (The Basking Shark)
  • Jol - Wilber's co-worker, and friend. (Green Fever)
  • Larance "Larry" Komings - Expert in Marine Mammals. (The Singing Whale)
  • Mr. Brackan - Oil man (Backfire)
  • Mr. Brock - A professional sportsman who set his life's goal to be the first person to successfully take down a blue whale. To him, being the first to do something is what matters when it comes to getting in the history books. (The Singing Whale)
  • Mr. Harlem - A collector of living specimens. (The Capture)
  • Mr. Mills - Representative of Aerospace Bureau, who is paranoid that foreign powers are trying to steal the bureau's research. (The Basking Shark)
  • Mr. Neils - Kelp Farmer. Bobby, and Sally help him with the crops from time to time. (Deep Threat)
  • Rogger Komings - Wheelchair bound son of Larance Komings, he knows a great deal about whale sounds. (The Singing Whale)
  • Samuel Carlson - A deep sea dredger who has no respect for the International Ocean Agency, and sees the sea bottom as his ticket to wealth. Forfilling his contracts is his main concern. (Where Dangers Are Many)
  • Simba - Bobby's pet seal.
  • Wilber Cambell - A worry wart. He tends to catch 'Green Fever', or a longing for the surface world. (Green Fever)
  • Quincy - Meteologist on Sealab (Backfire)


  1. Deep Threat | September 9, 1972 | Radiation is released into the water via some leaking barrels dumped years ago before legislation forbid such. Meanwhile, the captain's grandson and his friend Sally get lost while diving.
  2. Lost | September 17, 1972 | A red tide engulfs Sealab, cutting down its oxygen supply. Meanwhile, Gail becomes attached to a lost, young dolphin she found and tries to train it to rescue divers.
  3. Green Fever | September 23, 1972 | An anchor hits Sealab, causing one of the compartments to flood. Meanwhile Wilber is having troubles of his own.
  4. The Singing Whale | September 30, 1972 | A whale expert and his wheelchair-bound son visit Sealab just as a blue whale and the obsessed hunter chasing it come to the seamount.
  5. The Shark Lover | October 7, 1972 | When the level of shark activity skyrockets around Sealab, they call in a shark expert to try to learn the cause and ensure safety for the oceanauts.
  6. The Basking Shark | October 14, 1972 | A probe sent to study the planet Neptune's atmosphere returns to earth after 12 years but on reentry the parachute fails and it crash lands into the ocean near Sealab. Mr Mills from the Aerospace Bureau enlists the help of Sealab to help recover the probe within 48 hours. An anomalous malfunction with the sonar system and perceived sudden disappearance of the probe lead Aerospace to suspect Sealab sonagrapher Henry Lucas of espionage. The probe turns up in an unusual place and is retrieved in an even more unusual way.
  7. Where Dangers Are Many | October 21, 1972 | Sealab crew investigates a disturbance to find an automatic bottom dredging mining operation in their Marine Preserve. What begins as a mission to repel the intruder soon turns into attempting to show the man responsible, Samual Carlson, that there are less destructive means to mining the sea floor.
  8. Backfire | October 28, 1972 | Unknown to the crew, Sealab has granted an oil company exploration rights on the Challenger Ridge. While trying to capture an electric ray Hal, Ed, and Gail are hit by the vibrations of an explosion causing Hal to be stunned. The three complain to Dr. Williams, who informs them that the company has rights, as Williams feels they wont find oil. The three try to get the company to relocate to a new field away from sealab, they don't comply. Soon after an Earthquake causes a Tsunami, which destroys the oil operation,
  9. The Deepest Dive | November 4, 1972 | The crew of Sealab are testing a new submersible vehicle called the "Crystal Ball", which is made out of mostly glass and is supposed to be better than conventional submersibles and dive deeper. They are given a mission to place a seismograph unit at the bottom of a deep part of the sea, but for some reason the unit stops functioning. They go back out with a second replacement seismograph unit and realize that a giant squid had taken the first unit and used it for material for its rock home. The squid catches the Crystal Ball and the crew is stuck trying to escape from its grasp. They eventually get free and the new seismograph unit works.
  10. The Challenge | November 11, 1972 | The Sealab team meet Alex, an archaeologist who has dedicated the last 7 years to finding the sunken ship Viking, which sank over 100 years ago. It is rumored that the ship was carrying some Aztec treasures. Alex's brother Chuck is very excited by the discovery, and his excitement is getting in the way. Sealab follows rules and guidelines that guarantee safety, but prevent Chuck from finding the treasure faster. Alex is willing to cut his losses if lives could be lost, but Chuck will not let the last 7 years of his brother's life be for nothing.
  11. Collision of Aquarious | November 18, 1972 | A malfunctioning cargo submarine crashes into the side of the Seamount and its damaged nuclear reactor threatens Sealab, forcing an evacuation. The oceanauts race against time to prevent the submarine's reactor from melting down, but complicating the situation is its commander, who has an acrimonious history with Captain Murphy.
  12. The Capture | November 25, 1972 | The Sealab crew reluctantly assists biologist Mr. Harlem in collecting animal species living on the Challenger Seamount. Two of the children are upset by this and secretly release the captive animals. Whilst trying to release animals from their cage the children become trapped in the cage and get dragged over the edge of the seamount.
  13. The Artic Story | December 2, 1972 | Members of the crew use the submarine Dolphin in a desperate search for a two-man Arctic research station which is underneath a capsized ice floe.
  14. S.O.S.: Sealab Signal | N/A | Unaired Episode
  15. Utopia of Cassidy | N/A | Unaired Episode

Notes on Setting[]

The year is 2020, the place is the Challenger Seamount. But there is more to the setting.

In "Deep Threat" it's revealed that dumping radioactive waste in the sea is no longer practiced, as it was in the 1970s. It is also revealed that Jamie has only seen the Sun in pictures. It is also revealed that Sealab is powered by an Atomic Reactor. Sealab uses a system of chemical exchange units to produce breathable air. Kelp is grown as a food source, and for medical use. Lobsters are kept as livestock. It is also revealed that the the citizens of Sealab have been under water for so long, that rising to the surface too quickly would result in death from nitrogen build up. It takes two days for a citizen to decompress, allowing them to reach the surface unharmed. In the same episode it is shown that Sealab maintains a mining outpost along the Challenger Ridge.

In the episode, "The Singing Whale" the depth gadge reads 130 for Sealab.

In episode 7 it is revealed that Sealab has an area of Marine Preservation, and operates under the authority of the International Ocean Agency.

Educational Content[]

The series has a great level of Educational Content; giving viable information on diver safety, marine life, ecology, and geology. The show also shows how marine life can benefit mankind, and the ill effects of human negligence.

Related Series[]

Sealab 2020 was latter parodied by Cartoon Network's Sealab 2021  from 2003 to 2005.

Broadcast History[]


  1. Episode 7 "Where Dangers Are Many"
  2. Episode 1 "Deep Threat"