Dr. Kristin Westphalen
|First Appearance||To Be Or Not To Be|
|Last Appearance||Higher Power|
|Creator||Rockne S. O'Bannon|
|Portrayed by||Stephanie Beacham|
|Family||Cynthia Westphalen (daughter)|
Before joining seaQuest, Dr. Westphalen had attempted to contact Nathan Bridger in the name of scientific research, however, she was informed that he was incommunicado. The two of them did not meet on the best of terms as Bridger, still in civilian clothing, snickered at her diatribe against Commander Ford, leading her to accuse him of being a stowaway. The two gradually formed a working relationship as Bridger assumed command of the vessel and put emphasis on the scientific mission of the seaQuest over the military one.
Dr. Westphalen faced her first big medical emergency aboard the seaQuest when Darwin, the ship's resident dolphin, was stricken with a mysterious ailment during an investigative mission near a black smoker. She was unable to cure Darwin, despite assistance from Bridger's old friend and marine biologist, Malcolm Lansdowne. Lansdowne was able to determine that it was bacteria from the black smoker that had infected Darwin, and would have infected Bridger as well had she not frantically contacted the sea deck imploring Bridger not to touch the sample containers from the smoker.
An accomplished biochemist, Dr. Westphalen threatened the life of mass-murderer and fellow biochemist, Dr. Rubin Zellar, when the good doctor unwittingly was taken aboard seaQuest from an Arctic prison. Zellar had previously murdered Westphalen's brother, James Westphalen, with one of his chemical warfare weapons. Ultimately, however, Westphalen duped Zellar and forced him to beg for his life, much as he had done to seaQuest crew after tricking them into thinking he would release a toxin encased in ice throughout the ship.
Dr. Westphalen underwent what some may call a possession by a haunted spirit when seaQuest encountered a sunken ship from a century prior; her mind being controlled by the "spirit" of a jilted lover who had cheated on the ship's captain with the engineer and the captain's tortured soul having imprisoned them within the sunken hull all those years. It was not until the crew of seaQuest was able to convince the ship's captain to forgive Lillian (who had inhabited Dr. Westphalen) that all three were able to finally find peace and for Dr. Westphalen to return to normal.
A mother and formerly a wife, Dr. Westphalen had left her own family behind in the passing years, leading to her forming a deep rapport with both Lucas Wolenczak and Captain Bridger. Her maternal instincts proved invaluable as Bridger was all but forced to serve as surrogate father for Lucas after his own father had left him on the seaQuest to tend to his own career. She and Bridger began a relationship as the seaQuest's tour of duty came to an end. Unfortunately, following the destruction of the seaQuest, Dr. Westphalen elected not to sign aboard the seaQuest II and the relationship between her and Bridger fell apart.
Dr. Westphalen was portrayed by actress Stephanie Beacham during the first season of seaQuest DSV. The character was part of the main trio of the show's cast (consisting also of Nathan Bridger, and Lucas Wolenczak). During the hiatus between season one and season two, NBC and the show's producers began to change the show's format, including the introduction and exit of several characters from the first season. Originally, Dr. Westphalen was to remain a character on the show during the second season, however, Beacham opted not to remain with the show after it was determined that the show would change filming locations from Los Angeles to Florida. Beacham also has cited conflict between herself and the show's producers during the first season as primary reasons why she did not return.