I can’t say I’m all that fond of Sea Hunt: The Replacement from July 1960. This third season outing focused a bit too much on sharks, and I’m just not a shark lover. Personally, I prefer the dolphin shows. At any rate, The Replacement focuses on a couple of shark-killing teenagers who end up having to help Mike Nelson (Lloyd Bridges) catch a live shark for Marineland of the Pacific.
It’s amazing to me that such a thing would be allowed, but at the same time, it was a great idea. What doesn’t work, though, is the reformation. It happens, of course, but it didn’t hit me that emotionally or realistically. It walked me through the events, but I wasn’t attached to it.
The shark killers were played by Bob Ritterbush as Nate ‘Congar’ Norris and Sal Ponti as Edward ‘Jocko’ Palmer. They were so so, and maybe that was part of the problem with the episode. Neither were stellar actors, and that showed as the story progressed.
Also appearing were Nelson Olmsted as the Marineland Aquarium Director, the wonderful Meg Wyllie as Nate’s mother, and Ken Christy as Jocko’s dad.
The opening of the episode shows Nelson catching the shark, which was enough to have me close my eyes. The murder actually occurs at Marineland. I didn’t like that, either, simply because while sharks may not be fun to watch, seeing them being killed simply for kicks doesn’t work for me either.
It really isn’t explained how the kids got into the area with the sharks or kill how to kill it, but they did.
Maybe this is why The Replacement didn’t set well with me. As I said the turnaround just didn’t touch me emotionally. Even at the end, all I saw and felt were two nutty teenagers who never really owned up to what they did. It was stated, but it was so fast that I just wasn’t convinced.
The underwater sequences were good, as they usually are, and I do prefer these shows that focus more on ocean life over those spy ones that happen so prevalently in the final two seasons. This isn’t a bad show; I just wanted more from it.