The narration makes clear what this 11-part Discovery Channel series wants to be: An adventurous romp with “a dream team that tracks unsolved mysteries of the deep ocean.” But the opener to “Treasure Quest” is most likely to inspire deep sleep, following the for-profit Odyssey Marine Exploration gang as they seek to unearth sunken treasure using state-of-the-art equipment, including a robot sub named ZEUS. According to the show, unspecified “critics” have derided the Odyssey crew as “careless treasure hunters.” To this critic, they’re simply boring ballast.
Discovery was doubtless hoping that the computer graphics, promise of ocean buccaneering and prospect of dredging up long-buried loot would elicit memories of movies like “Titanic” or “The Deep,” but the highlight of this first hour involves staring at what resembles a rusty horseshoe. Along the way, the Odyssey crew is buzzed by a hostile French military plane and must avoid colliding with other ships, which seems like a good idea whether you’re hunting treasures or not.
The season’s arc involves the search for a 17th-century shipwreck, the Merchant Royal, and it’s pointed out (presumably to build their sea cred) that Odyssey has scored major finds before — including one reportedly worth close to a half-billion dollars.
Good for them, but strictly as a TV series, “Treasure Quest” merely reminds us that all that glitters is not gold.