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ANDROMEDA (2000-2005)

 
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Gord Green
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PostPosted: Sun Oct 16, 2016 7:58 pm    Post subject: ANDROMEDA (2000-2005) Reply with quote

I wasn't sure which category to put this in, since it started in 2000 and ran to 2005; and since it was based on a story proposal from Gene Roddenberry it was kind of Star Trek future tense.

I never saw any of this first run because it appeared only in Canada except for the fourth and fifth season which made it to the (then) fledgling Sci-Fi Channel.

Recently I downloaded the whole series from Youtube and rather enjoyed what I've seen so far.

This is what a site online had to say:



The long night has come. The systems commonwealth - the greatest civilization in History - has fallen. But now, one ship, one crew has vowed to drive back the night and rekindle the light. On the starship Andromeda, hope lives again.

Opening Narration —

There are some people who view the sci-fi show Gene Roddenberry's Andromeda as, essentially, an unbranded Star Trek spinoff. It is perhaps more accurate to describe it as Star Trek in reverse. The show lasted from October 2000 to May 2005.

The story opens aboard the titular starship, the Andromeda Ascendant, a "warship of the line" for the Systems Commonwealth, a government founded by a race of Sufficiently Advanced Aliens called the Vedrans, which kept the peace among their worlds spanning three galaxies — emphasis on the past-tense. Though their technology was vast and their captains were noble and compassionate, they ran into a mess of problems all at once.

First a race of cannibalistic savages known as the Magog invaded by the billions, wiping out entire Commonwealth worlds. And just after fighting the Magog to a standstill and making a peace treaty with them, one of the Commonwealth's member races rebels, the fractious Nietzscheans, genetically engineered humans obsessed with eugenics and following the chilly philosophy of Friedrich Nietzsche.

The first battle of the Nietzschean Rebellion ends up with the Andromeda evacuating its crew and trying a slingshot around a black hole to escape, freezing ship and captain in time.

Three hundred years later, the Commonwealth is a distant memory, and a dark age has fallen over the known worlds. The Eureka Maru, a salvage ship crewed by a rag-tag team of minor-league criminals, happens upon the Andromeda and tows it to safety, thinking this will be the score of a lifetime. Mostly through his own strength of character, the revived Captain Hunt convinces the crew of the Maru to join him and try to re-unite the Commonwealth (or, at least, try to be of marginal assistance to his quest as they mooch off the Andromeda's resources).



The show has its origins in a combination of two separate Roddenberry story ideas from the 1970s, one about a sentient starship and a second about a man from the past trying to piece the remnants of civilization back together after it has crumbled. The former never made it to the air prior to Andromeda (except a sci-fi parody, LEXX, that aired only a little earlier in the US) but Roddenberry (who died in 1991) used the latter concept in no fewer than three separate unsuccessful pilots — two of which actually included a main character named "Dylan Hunt" — before giving up on it. Undoubtedly these ideas were further developed by the Andromeda creative team.

As a consequence, it's difficult to see Roddenberry's hand in this hard-boiled, dystopian future. Andromeda also had a heavy spiritual bent radically unlike anything seen in Trek, except perhaps in the God Guise aliens of Star Trek: Deep Space Nine.

Midway through the second season, the showrunner has a falling out with the male lead and is replaced. Rev Bem leaves the ship when his actor develops an allergy to the Magog makeup. This is when things start to get a little zany. After the third season, Tyr Anasazi is replaced by Telemachus Rhade, the Identical Grandson of Hunt's original first officer. This is when things get more zany.

In the universe of Andromeda, every celestial body has an "avatar", a humanoid counterpart of vast power. Such beings crop up from time, including the moon of Tarn Vedra, the black hole (who turns out to be the universe's greatest clingy ex-girlfriend), and, most importantly, Trance, who, it is eventually revealed, despite her youthful appearance and character, is the wayward sun of Tarn Vedra, the oldest star in the universe. Halfway through the second season, Trance is replaced by an older and moodier version of herself (not an other Darrin; it's the same actress in different makeup).

Subverting the Failure Is the Only Option trope, Dylan and his crew actually do restore the Systems Commonwealth, though internal politics promptly gets Dylan and his crew kicked out of it.

For most of the series, an approaching Magog worldship serves as an impending Dragon, guided by The Man Behind the Man, a shadow-cloaked avatar known as "The Spirit of the Abyss", a powerful chaotic force. When this comes to a head in the fourth season finale, Dylan is forced to escape through a Negative Space Wedgie to the timeless, isolated Seefra system, really the massively transformed Tarn Vedra system.

Andromeda was inordinately fond of the Negative Space Wedgie, depicting a universe rife with temporal anomalies — in fact, the Andromeda Ascendant itself incorporated dimensional anomalies into its very construction. For a starship crew the cast also spent a great deal of time underground, presumably because somebody in the first season invested money in a tunnel set that had to be re-used over and over again.

In addition to the obvious Star Trek parallels, Andromeda clearly owes a lot to Blake's 7.

Technically set approximately 3 millennia into the future (Figure from ep. Harper^2), though effectively A Long Time Ago, in a Galaxy Far Far Away...: Earth exists, but is hardly ever mentioned, except to say that it's not a very nice place to hang out these days.
Sometimes described as "Herc meets Kirk", because Kevin Sorbo, best known for his role as Hercules in Hercules: The Legendary Journeys, is playing the role of a kind, wise and mysteriously super-strong character in the role that Captain Kirk filled in the original series of Star Trek, which this show so closely resembles.



It seems to have a "GALAXYQUEST" feel to it. The showrunner wrote for Star TreK TNG , and it felt like a thousand years after the Federation era.
Your thoughts?
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Pow
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PostPosted: Sun Oct 16, 2016 11:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Stunning looking starship, never warmed up to the show.
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Bud Brewster
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 17, 2016 10:04 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

________________________________

Wikipedia and IMDB state that it ran from October 2000 to May 2005. Since most of the series ran beyond 2000, you're right that this is the best category for it.

Great post, Gord. Thanks! Very Happy

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Bud Brewster
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 01, 2021 10:49 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

________________________________

IMDB has several interesting trivia items for this production. Very Happy
________________________________

~ After Gene Roddenberry's death, Majel Barrett took material from his archives to bring two of his ideas into production. This series was one of them while the other was "Earth: Final Conflict (1997)."

Note from me: What a great thing for Mrs. Roddenberry to do! Very Happy

~ The basic premise of the series - a man from an earlier era piecing civilization back together - was the subject of three earlier Gene Roddenberry pilots: "Genesis II (1973)" starring Alex Cord and "Planet Earth (1974)" and "Strange New World (1975)" starring John Saxon. None of the three pilots became a series.

Note from me: Not having watched Andromeda, I didn't know about that aspect of the premise. I should give it a chance.

~ The reason for writer/executive producer Robert Hewitt Wolfe leaving the show was due to the network wanting a "less complex" story line and heavily focusing the series on Kevin Sorbo over the supporting characters.

Note from me: Here's another reason for me to give this show a chance. A complex plot is good . . . if it isn't TOO complex. Confused

~ In the pilot episode, Kevin Sorbo is described as a "Greek God", a reference to his earlier role as the star of the TV series Hercules: The Legendary Journeys (1995).

Note from me: Well, I guess sooner or later somebody would have said it, eh?

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PostPosted: Wed Sep 01, 2021 2:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Watched this show for a few seasons when it was originally broadcast.

Likable cast; stunning design for the Andromeda Ascendant star ship.

The show seemed routine and by-the-numbers with their scripting. I lost interest.
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Krel
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 08, 2021 8:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The actor playing the furry character in the first season, is another actor that had to quit a show because he developed an allergy to the adhesives used to apply his character appliances.

David.
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