Spartakus And The Sun Beneath The Sea (or in their native French The Engulfed Worlds) is at the very least interesting. It has some good action moments but when I watched this show, just after our cable company FINALLY started carrying Nickelodeon, I had trouble following this show. Maybe now I’d have better luck, I don’t know.
From what I can gather the show involved the world of Arkadia, whose artificial sun, the Tehra, was “failing” and I was never sure what that meant other than it was about to go poof. The Arkadians had ended up in their underground world after a great cataclysm on the surface, so the kids believed that people from the surface were somehow the key to restoring Tehra, and created an artificial woman names Arkana to reach the surface. The series followed her, two surface children named Matt and Rebecca (because going to children was a good idea) and another escapee from the underground “strata” world, the titular Spartakus.
I mostly watched this show because of the action and the sentient vehicle, Tehrig, and I promise you I knew none of these spellings until researching this article. Then there were the comic relief characters Bic & Bac. I never understood them. Literally, but I blame the dubbing for that. I never really understood the strata idea geographically. I had learned strata in science class, so I did get that, but was each layer of the earth supposed to be a different world? Are the layers really big enough to hold an entire world? (I didn’t think so.) And how did the pirates fit into it? Yes, there were pirates as the main recurring threat who of course had their own pirate TV station, raising another question.
But this intro has gone long enough. We’re supposed to be talking intros and this show actually had two, not counting the original French and other languages. Originally I was going to make this a “not so favorite” intro because I didn’t remember enjoying them. Hearing them again, however, I take a more neutral view of them..but I still planned this article so here we go.
First it’s the original intro, complete with the describing narration.
Funny, I remember a better logo than that. The song isn’t one that would go in my favorites list but it’s also not so bad that I would put it in the negatives list. It’s functional, fits the tone of most episodes, and explains the story between the narration and the actual singing. The visuals are…not bad but I think it’s the constant use of the holes with crystals all over that gets a bit repetitive. Otherwise, not really good, not really bad, just..there. Yeah, it’s middle of the road for me.
For some reason, AFTER the final season Nickelodeon decided to cut a new theme song for the show. The narration from this theme was stuck in after the new one, but the head-scratching comes from the choice.
Yep. Menudo. I don’t even know if this is the right line-up since it was always designed to be a group of young to teen singers, like Kids Incorporated but with original songs and outside of a brief moment in the 1980’s when they even had their own TV show, pointed towards a Latin America audience rather than North American. The current members really weren’t as known to the US audience because their 15 minutes of fame here were already past. Yet Nickelodeon grabbed them to do this:
I think this was an attempt to put more focus on the title character. Remember, the French title (unless Wikipedia is lying to me) was “The Engulfed Worlds”, and didn’t put any of the characters in the forefront. That’s all guess-work on my part. It could also be an attempt to “fix” the intro for new audiences, thinking it might be more inviting with a pop song. It wasn’t. Again, it wasn’t bad (weak and a bit lame perhaps, but Menudo was light for even pop music) but it wasn’t all that good. Also the inserted animation of the sun going into the sea…wow, was that bad and looked nothing like the show. At least it had a logo. A rather silly one that didn’t invoke the show either, so I guess there’s a trend there.
I can’t really put them into a favorite or not-so-favorite list but I will say having re-watched them the original was a bit better, if only because it matched and introduced the show better. I’m still not drawn into re-watching the show, though.