The Deep Gets a Second Season and a Reprint Collection
The Deep is a cartoon based on a comic, a joint Australian/Canadian production that can be seen on Netflix (both seasons so far, a total of 39 episodes) or the cable/satellite Universal Kids Network (formerly PBS Kids Sprout), which is now airing the first season on weekdays. Season 1 is also available for rent on Amazon.
The show is about the Nekton family — dad Will (Michael Dobson), mom Kaiko (Kathleen Barr), daughter Fontaine (Ashleigh Ball), and son Ant (Vincent Tong), plus his pet fish Jeffrey — who live in a giant submarine, exploring underwater for a lost civilization and fighting giant monsters and modern-day pirates. Season 2 introduces a new rival, Alpheus Benthos (Andrew Francis), who’s obsessed with being Ant’s nemesis.
The Deep began in 2011 as a comic written by Tom Taylor, illustrated by James Brouwer, and published by Australia’s Gestalt Publishing. I vaguely remember seeing it, but it’s better as a cartoon, frankly, since you can see the water move. Taylor serves as lead writer of the series and Brouwer serves as art director, keeping the approach consistent.
The six comic issues have just been reprinted by Boom! Studios in a collection with a tie-in cover. The first storyline maps closely to the premiere animated episode, while the second is about a “Vanishing Island”. (One major difference: in the comic, they were looking for Atlantis, while in the show, they’re looking for Lemuria.)
The cartoon is a fun watch for all ages to share, with a different setting that sparks imagination. It’s great seeing the mixed diversity of the family, both in heritage and attitude. The interplay is good, with Fontaine getting legitimately annoyed with Ant’s gee-whiz-ness, and the parents letting the kids explore and invent while still watching over them.
I’m not a fan of the blocky computer-generated animation, but the cartoon kept my attention through an entire episode due to its strong visual imagination. I do wish that the sister got as much attention as the pushy younger brother, but that’s the inherent sexism of kids’ cartoons, that the boy has to be the lead and the hero. There’s also a certain amount of wishful thinking plotting, that things suddenly start happening because the characters need them to, but they are looking for a magical lost civilization, so I should expect some fantasy.
Find out more at the show’s website, or watch the trailer below.