Tommy Thompson was a soundman at Burt Reynolds Theatre in 1986 while I was an apprentice. For one month while in the booth together we dreamed about writing and hitting the big time. We both moved out to Los Angeles and wanted to do our own original stuff. My peers at the time felt more comfortable doing the same material other actors would do and were not interested in doing Tommy or my work. The call to Tommy was not easy, but I was honest. He responded by writing for a TV show called THE HIT SQUAD and hired me. He wrote for QUANTUM LEAP and hired me and worked and worked and worked. In 1993 he found himself as the head writer and Executive producer on Seaquest along with Steven Spielberg. He knew how much I loved Star Trek and found a role for me. Weapons Officer Dalton Phillips – (I was the torpedo shooter) or Mr. Checov underwater. I was in heaven. I received a letter from Steven Speilberg while he was shooting Schinlder’s List, welcoming me to the show. The director for the pilot was Irvin Kershner who directed RETURN OF THE JEDI. Our Captain was Academy Award Winner Roy Scheider. My very dear friend John D’Aquino was part of the cast. I loved all of the cast and crew. The set was massive and gorgeous. It was perfect! The table read for the Pilot was so exciting. I was so honored to do this show and felt if we could pull this off like a Star Trek we would be doing this for a very long time. Shortly thereafter Roy Scheider mocked Star Trek in an interview and we were like ah oh! That’s not good to take a shot at one of the biggest sci fi shows of all time. The pilot was fun and I made very good money while writing Evening Shade in my trailer and really had a blast. Sam Raimi would often stop by the set and be in our station because his brother Ted sat right next to me on the bridge. The episode of GAMES came out and I had a pretty nice part and absolutely loved the show. The villain was great and working with Joe Napolitano the director was awesome. I felt so safe. But suddenly, Roy became very clear that he didn’t want monsters, torpedo’s, fighting etc … he wanted to resolve everything peacefully. That would be great in real life, but doesn’t make for great television and conflict. My dear friend Tommy Thompson was having a heck of a time getting him off of that and they had huge creative differences. Shortly thereafter Tommy left the show and I don’t blame him. I wouldn’t know how to write an action series without action. With Tommy gone I no longer felt safe. I shared a makeup person with Roy and Roy didn’t want me tanner than him so they made me lighter. My part eventually went away. John D’Aquino followed shortly thereafter and other cast members left too. My very good friends Michael and Peter Deluise joined the cast in the second season and were excellent. The show moved to Florida and eventually Roy left too. I think the show had great potential but Star Trek it wasn’t. Jonathan Brandis was a cool kid and a major talent. He was by far the most popular person on the show. The sad part about showbiz is when you are on top of the mountain it is great … when you are in the valley it is dark and scary. How does one go from that much adulation and work to nothing? I was said to hear of his death. Royce Applegate was a fun guy and a fellow writer and I was sad to hear of his death. Stacy had beautiful eyes and was very kind and Stephanie Beccham was a delight. I still stay in touch with Don Franklin and Marco Sanchez who are great. Ted’s funny. Of course I love John D’Aquino and we talk often. Peter and Michael Deluise are like family to me. Tommy Thompson has done extremely well for himself and I love him and his family very much! After the show Tommy cast me as the villain in another show called FIRE BEACH. Tommy will go down as one of the most helpful people to me in this business by far. He has always looked out for me and every person I have touched in this business needs to know about Tommy! I stayed around in the business because of him and I love him and will be forever grateful to him!