SpongeBob SquarePants

All hands on deck! A week of new SpongeBob episodes kicks off tonight with the special SpongeBob SquarePants: The Clash of Triton (8/7c on Nickelodeon). While the little yellow guy is, as usual, central to the plot, the story actually revolves around King Neptune and his damaged relationship with his son.

"We liked the idea of gods and of Triton as an angry teenager dealing with his father," says head writer Steven Banks. "It all goes back to Greek tragedy." For the special, Seinfeld's John O'Hurley reprises his role as the voice of Neptune, but two new characters—Neptune's wife, Queen Amphitrite, and the rebellious Triton—required casting. Enter pop star Victoria Beckham and ex-Skid Row metalhead Sebastian Bach.

"Victoria really hit the part," Banks says of the onetime Spice Girl's work as Amphitrite. "But the harder part was for Sebastian. I was so pleased that he really could sound like a pimple-faced, snotty teenager." Beckham and Bach join a long list of celebs who have visited Bikini Bottom. But, Banks swears, "It's not just stunt casting to get publicity. Although, sometimes you do want to meet them—I mean, Posh was my favorite Spice Girl."

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