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Deadliest Catch: Season 1

4.6 out of 5 stars 112 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

It's the deadliest job on earth: crab fishing off the Alaska coast on the icy Bering Sea, home of the most violent waters on earth. During the five-day "season" a handful of adventurers will battle Arctic weather, brutal waves, and a ticking clock for a chance at big money in this modern day gold rush. Working around the clock, and often going days without sleep, this unique breed of men, part adventurer part fisherman, will set out upon an unforgettable odyssey. Sadly, all of them may not return. The world's last gold rush is coming to an end after this season. Starting in 2005 the Department of Fish and Game will give each boat a quota that they may catch at their leisure. This will be the last time King Crab will ever be fished in a frantic derby style. In Crabs 2005, ten one hour episodes will chronicle the struggle and adventure of six boats and their crews as they race against time to catch all the crab they can.


Green Horns - It's the first day of work at the world's most deadliest job. 1500 fishermen have converged on Dutch Harbor Alaska for the beginning of the 2005 Alaskan King Crab season. Each man is here to stake his claim on the fourteen million, two hundred and sixty-seven-thousand pounds of Alaskan King Crab and the chance at earning a years wages in just one week. There are 251 boats and 251 Captains with their own strategies for success in the high seas, high stakes business of crab fishing. Old Salts and novices known as greenhorns, make up the crews. One greenhorn is Bradford Davis, a 19-year old college kid proving that he is ready to take on any challenge, while another, is Eric Abrahamson, a 42-year old man looking for the challenge of a lifetime. Fisherman Kevin Davis is just happy for the chance to return. He survived falling overboard last season and now he is back to face his demons and the unrelenting Bering Sea.With a radio countdown, the season begins and the first pots are dumped into the sea. It will be many hours before all the pots are set and even longer before anyone rests. But soon after the start, for The Lucky Lady¹s stabilizer breaks forcing them to fish with a potentially deadly problem. For the other crews, its fish guts and crab pots as they desperately grasp for their piece of the 80 million dollar King Crab pie.

Sleepless Nights - After a long sleepless night of baiting and setting crab pots, the fisherman anxiously await the captain's call to begin fishing. Each captain has a different theory on what is the optimal soak time for maximum crab. The first pot pulled of the season sets the mood. Some boats are on the crab, while others are pulling blanks. The early losers, like the Fierce Allegiance, agonize over strategy hoping to make up for a lost catch. Who's got crab and where are they is the question? Winners, like the Northwestern, try to figure out how to keep the crab coming. But for the Western Viking. Its still not time to fish. The Viking has broken bin boards in the storage tank and this present a dangerous environment for the crabs. It has to be fixed, before they can pull in their first pot. Time spent fixing costs this crew serious money. The greenhorns learn quickly, that there's no sympathy.

Lady Luck - Its hour 42 of the 2005 Alaskan king crab season and all of the boats in the fleet have dropped their pots. Every captain feels the pressure. They either find crab today or give up their chance at a profitable season. Captain Sig Hansen of the Northwestern is nervous about the spot he's chosen to fish and decides to gamble on a new location. Captain Tony Larussa and the crew of the Fierce Allegiance are feeling the effects of over 40 hours of continuous work, with no crab. On Captain Vince Shavender boat, the Lucky Lady, finding crab is not the problem; his Greenhorn, Kevin Davis, injured his ankle and can't work the deck which forces Captain Vince to make some tough decisions. No one has problems like Captain Coleman Anderson and the Western Viking. They've spent more time fixing the boat, then catching crab and now Captain Coleman's crew are questioning their leadership. As each boat faces their individual challenges, the Alaskan Department of Fish and Game announces an early closure to the season. Each boat has 24 hours to pull the pots they have in the water out. Every one of the final pots counts. The last strings can affect these men and their families for the entire next year.

Beat the Clock - With less than half a day left in the Alaskan King Crab Season, all of the crews are racing the clock to get as much crab into the holding tank before the season closes at midnight. The Fierce Allegiance has finally landed their pots on some crab, but it will take a lot of crab to cover the operating expenses of the largest boat in the fleet. On the Northwestern, Captain Sig's gamble to move his gear has paid off and they'll finish the season with a solid performance. Greenhorn Bradford Davis completes his first King Crab season with the respect of his crew, including the hard-driving Deck boss, Edgar Hansen. The challenges of heavy seas and inexperience make fishing difficult for The Lucky Lady. Kevin Davis's ankle injury and inexperience on the hydraulics make it difficult to fish in the rough seas. On the Western Viking, Captain Coleman Anderson's luck never turns. He can't keep his boat fishing long enough to fill the tanks, and mechanical malfunctions cost him and his crew the season. His troubles continue all the way until after the crab is unloaded. As the midnight deadline closes the Alaskan Crab Fishing season, the race to unload begins. Boats are unloaded at the processing plants on a first come first serve basis. A couple minutes can mean the difference between unloading immediately, and waiting at anchor in the harbor for days to unload.

Dead of Winter - It is the dead of winter in Dutch Harbor, Alaska where the days are a mere 6 hours long. The forecast for crab fishing is cold and dangerous. Opilio crab season is just about to begin. On a cold rainy January day, 171 boats begin the long journey up to 450 miles Northwest of Dutch Harbor, Alaska. Shortly after leaving port, smoke and heat are discovered on the Lady Alaska. Captain Peter Liske is forced to surrender valuable time to turn around and fix it. They solve their electrical problem, but their troubles are far from over. An EPIRB, or emergency signal, rings out from Peter's partner boat the Big Valley. The Coast Guard immediately respond despite the unsafe flight conditions, but Peter and his crew are too far away to help--All they can do is pray. Six good Samaritan boats, including the husband and wife team of the Maverick, join the Coast Guard and launch themselves into search mode hoping to find any sign of the Big Valley and its crew. Outside the search grid, danger is on the horizon. Gale warnings buzz over the radio alerting captains of treacherous ice conditions. Captain Sig Hansen, of the Northwestern, has to protect the crab pots

Man Overboard - The 2005 Opilio season didn't start it stumbled! The Big Valley sunk and its crew are still missing. "Good Samaritan" boats like the Maverick, and its' Captain Rick Quashnick, continue to postpone their season as they search the frigid waters of the Bering Sea for survivors. Captain Peter Liske of the Lady Alaska continue to try and comprehend the tragedy. In a heartfelt prayer, Peter dedicates the season to their memory and asks God to bless his crew as they set their pots. Over 400 miles to the North, near the Russian border, Captain Jim Stone of the Retriever and Captain Sig Hansen of the Northwestern are too far to help with the search and rescue. On the own, each captain decides that it is best to keep the tragic news from their crews so their minds will stay on baiting and setting pots. Farther South, Captain Jeff Weeks of the Billikin sees the tragedy as a reminder of how dangerous this job can. On the Vixen, rookie Captain, Shaun Miles, feels the pressure and responsibility for his own crew. Shaun also has the added stress of working under the watchful eye of the boat's owner, Mike Wahl, who is onboard working as a deckhand. As the remaining 170 boats in the fleet turn their attention to fishing, tragedy strikes again. A frantic call comes in over the radio from a boat whose deckhand has fallen overboard. The reality of another death strikes a nervous chord throughout the fleet and keeps everyone on the edge as the continue to chase America's deadliest c...

High Hopes - It is a little over 12 hours since the Opilio Crab Season opened, and the Bering Sea has already claimed 6 lives. Despite these losses, the rest of the fleet begins to pull the pots they set 12 hours before. Their hopes are high as they approach the first strings of pots. Captain Sig Hansen of the Northwestern is betting on an area far North, near the Russian border that records show yield crab. His nerves are tested as their first pots show no sign of life, but his concern is quickly erased as the pots start coming up full of crab. Captain Jeff Weeks of the Billikin, a top producer for the last 3 Opilio seasons, feels the pressure when the only sign of life in his first pots is cod fish. Jeff and his co-captain Jim Hilt haggle over which of them has better luck finding the crab, but the arguing ends when the crab starts pulling aboard. Captain Peter Liske, a devoutly religious man, prays for the souls of his lost friends, and for the lives of his crew, before pulling his pots. His religious conviction keeps his crew focused on the task at hand; crab fishing. Though the quality of the crab they catch is mixed, The Lady Alaska is grateful for their bounty. After spending 6 hours in the search and rescue effort for the Big Valley, The Maverick's Captain Rick Quashnick took a big risk by setting his pots much farther south than the rest of the fleet. The Maverick's sacrifice during the rescue effort is repaid when Captain Rick's southern fishing ground produces full pots of crab...

Good Fishing - It's the third day of the 2005 Opilio crab season on the Bering Sea. Unseasonably warm weather and calm seas have contributed to record catches for the fleet. Captain Sig Hansen and the crew of the Northwestern landed on the crab early and cranked through their gear at a feverish pace filling two of the boats three holds. The 92-foot Maverick also hit pay dirt right from the start. Skipper Rick Quashnick's decision to fish Southern waters pays off big and he fills his boat early enough to off load his tanks and go out for more. On the Retriever, it's not all smooth sailing. An Electrical fire breaks out in the engine room and everyone's safety is jeopardized. They shut down work and scramble to fix the problem so they can safely get back to fishing. As the fourth day of fishing gets under weigh, high numbers of crab throughout the fleet spur rumors of an early closure and every captain speculates on when the quota will be met.

The Clock's Ticking - The 2005 Opelio crab season has been open for 84hrs and the hunt for crab is intensifying. Rumors of a possible closure prompt the men to push even harder. After many blank pots, Captain Jim Stone of the Retriever decides, to give up on the Northern fishing grounds and join the successful boats in the South. Prayers are answered for Captain Peter Liske and the men of the Lady Alaska as they start to pull in hefty pots of snow crab. Peter hopes to fill his tanks before time runs out as the closure announcement looms in the air. The Billikin crew has finally found their honey hole and Captain Jeff Weeks hopes that the season will last at least two more days to make up for their slow start. On the Maverick, Captain Rick Quashnick's good fortune continuce, but fatigue amongst his crew is a major concern. Far to the North, the Northwestern is high on crab as they fill their tanks beyond capacity and begin wondering where they can put excess crab. They decide to construct a tank on deck to satisfy the crew's greed. The pending season closure keeps the men driving forward. This is the last time they will fish in a derby-style competiton and everyone wants to make their final run a memorable one.

The Final Run - With the deaths of the Big Valley crew, this January Opelio crab season has been a rough one. On every boat, crewmembers are reaching their limit, but the pressure to catch a years wages in the next 24 hours keeps them going. On The Billikin, Captain Jeff Week's reputation of being a top boat is in jeopardy and his crew will be lucky to get half their usual paycheck. Captain Jim Stone of the Retriever is not fairing much better and he hopes this last 24 hours will save him from a rotten season. A few miles away from the Retriever is the Northwestern under the command of Captain Sig Hansen. Captain Sig. has a very good problem-too much crab for his boat. Instead of calling it a day, Sig and his crew build a contraption on deck to hold more crab. Its risky work, but the crew decide that fifty extra grand from a deck load is worth it. Fishing near St. Paul island is the Maverick. Captain Rick has already offloaded once and now has a full boat again. Captain Pete Liske of the Lady Alaska is still praying to finish his season above average and to do so, he needs these final pots to pull up a miracle. As the last hours of the season tick down, a new race begins-the race back to port. Captains strategize once again to figure out when and where to offload. Since offloading is done on a first-come-first-serve basis captains are competing for the best spot in line at the processor. Crab can't last forever in a boat, so a few days waiting could mean tens of thousands of dollars.

Special Features


Product Details

  • Actors: Mike Rowe, Sam Venable, Sig Hansen, Phil Harris, Pete Liske
  • Writers: Ethan Prochnik
  • Producers: Brian Catalina, Brian Lovett, Cherie Silvera, Chris Nee, Chris Smith
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Box set, Color, Dolby, Full Screen, NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Number of discs: 5
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: Discovery Channel
  • DVD Release Date: May 8, 2007
  • Run Time: 150 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (112 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00187FPCW
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #24,455 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Deadliest Catch: Season 1" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: DVD
As someone who worked in the Alaska commerical fisheries for years, and on crab boats in the Bering Sea out of Dutch Harbor during the early 90s, I really appreciate this series which has given this worthy, but dangerous, occupation the notoriety it deserves. This was the hardest, most dangerous work I ever did, inclusive of my period of military service, in which several of my friends lost their lives; it is an occupation that all who have participated in can have great pride in. One point needs to be made, however, which is that conditions are a little safer than they were before with the advent of the quota system which lets boats choose their weather some (although I think the TV producers may be goading fishers to push the limit more than they otherwise would). Previously it was a free for fall that started on January 15th. A good book to read in conjunction with viewing this series is Spike Walker's "Working on the Edge."
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Format: DVD
This is a must see DVD set, especially for thos that are considering going to work in Alaska on a commercial fishing vessel. I worked on such vessels for almost 3 years in Alaska, and yes it is truly like how this movie shows it is. Glad to see that TDC was able to get this live and on DVD. Not for the fainthearted.
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Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Deadliest Catch - Season 1 (5 Disc Set)

The dvd set has 7 hours running time. The content is excellent. The quality of picture (4:3) is average. There are no extras. I bought it for $16 after price drop. Hopefully, I will see new seasons for similar prices. If you are newbee like me about crab fishing world in Alaska, this is an excellent ride to get as close as real experience. The dvd set is oversized, I wish they make it 3-dvd slim pack that could save storage space for us.
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Format: DVD
I laugh at all these shows called reality tv, especially the ones like fear factor or even Man vs. Wild. Safety and backup plans abound with them, and they are subject to extreme editing. Most of the people on those shows seem pretty fake anyways, extremely plastic style drones with no substance that create petty drama for the camera.

With this series, it is all in your face and very, very real. People die out here, and people get injured often. Simply a great film in a documentary style that shows Crab Fishing on Alaska's high seas in all its guts and glory. Get real, and then get this because the plastic drones you root for on fear factor are nothing more than pre-fab drama queens that would not even begin to know what it takes to work on one of these boats. A long tradition of fishing the high seas is seen here in the present day, with a good coverage of all the captains, their boats and crews and their will to survive while still finding some fun in their adventurous jobs.
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By isis on November 29, 2008
this has quickly become one of my favorite shows
the amazing shots will not leave you unsatisfied but they will leave you wanting more the camera men push the envelop to get great shots of anything they can
being narrated by mike rowe adds to the effect
watch it and you wont be unsatisfied
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By Frank on January 28, 2007
Format: DVD
The show that Discovery Channel has produced is one of the most "can't miss" shows ever, in my opinion. The drama that has unfolded shows that all reality tv is not rich kids in California, or people "surviving" on some island.

Discovery has mad a winner, no doubt. I'm already waiting for the 3rd season to start. It seems it's April debut cannot get here soon enough!
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Format: DVD
This first season of DC caught my attention, with nothing like it on TV. It's informative and full of suspense. I highly recommend Seasons 2 & 3 for 4 & 5 star ratings - the cast (crab fishermen) are more used to cameras around & show more of their personalities and insight to the strategies, pranks and sailing superstitions.
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Format: DVD Verified Purchase
DEADLIEST CATCH is one of the most riveting series on TV.

The work alone is incrediblly dangerous and difficult on heaving decks in freezing seas with wind and weather assailing every footstep. The evidence of this lies in the 90 lost souls over the past twenty years of those who ventured to challenge Alaska's Bering Sea.

But the real drama of the series lies in the characters themselves; the Wizard's captain Keith, Jonathan of Time Bandit, the damaged Phil aboard Cornelia Marie (and his sons), Sig and his family on the Northwestern and so many other brave and hearty souls. They become like part of the family as we cheer their victories, grieve their losses and laugh with them in the joy of their work and play. You come to love Jacob, the great-hearted kid on the Cornelia Marie and to see through Jonathan's quirkiness to his heart for his men and his ship. Sig's toughness metls as he reveals the depth of his pain in losing friends and comrades to the Bering Sea.

This series is a brilliant, vivid, dramatic testimony to the "men who go down to the sea in ships." May God bless and keep them.
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