Andromeda was a science fiction TV show based upon leftover material from Gene Roddenberry, creator of Star Trek. It ran on American and Canadian television networks from October 2000 to May 2005.
Andromeda followed the Systems Commonwealth High Guard warship Andromeda Ascendant and its captain, Dylan Hunt, as Hunt attempted to revive the Commonwealth from its destruction 300 years previously in order to defend its old territories from invasion by the Magog.
- Dylan Hunt (Kevin Sorbo) - Captain of the Andromeda Ascendant and the show's main protagonist.
- Beka Valentine (Lisa Ryder) - Captain of the Eureka Maru and first officer of the Andromeda Ascendant.
- Tyr Anasazi (Keith Hamilton Cobb) - A Nietzschean mercenary who serves as Weapons Officer aboard the Andromeda Ascendant. (Seasons 1-4)
- Seamus Harper (Gorden Michael Woolvett) - Chief Engineer of the Andromeda Ascendant.
- Trance Gemini (Laura Bertram) - An enigmatic character who possesses substantial superpowers but deploys them only when absolutely necessary. Serves as Chief Medical Officer aboard the Andromeda Ascendant.
- Rev Bem (Brent Stait) - A Magog who has rejected his race's violent nature and has accepted Wayism, a religion that is very similar to modern Buddhism. (Seasons 1-2)
- Andromeda (Lexa Doig) - The artificial intelligence controlling the Andromeda Ascendant.
- Rommie (Lexa Doig) - An android avatar of Andromeda which possesses a distinct personality from the ship and is capable of functioning for prolonged periods of time out of contact with the Andromeda Ascendant.
- Telemachus Rhade (Steve Bacic) - A Nietzschean who possesses identical DNA to Dylan's traitorous first officer, Gaheris Rhade. Serves as Weapons Officer aboard the Andromeda Ascendant. (Seasons 4-5)
- Doyle (Brandy Ledford) - An android built by Harper to replace Rommie after she was destroyed in the Battle of the Arkology. Initially believed herself to be human. (Season 5)
Like Roddenberry's Star Trek, Andromeda's core cast stayed remarkably consistent throughout the series' production. The notable exceptions to this were Lexa Doig's maternity leave during the first part of Season Five and Brent Stait's departure midway through Season Two due to a developing allergy to his character's makeup.
begins with the Andromeda Ascendant
ambushed by a large fleet of Nietzschean warships after being lured into a rescue mission near a black hole. The ship is unable to withstand the assault, and Captain Dylan Hunt orders his crew to their escape pods, then attempts a slingshot maneuver
around the black hole so that he can warn the Systems Commonwealth of the Nietzscheans' rebellion. However, due to sabotage by his First Officer, Gaheris Rhade
, the Andromeda is unable to complete the maneuver and is sucked into the black hole. As the time dilation begins to lock Dylan in time, he fights and kills Gaheris, who had intended to steal the ship and use it to fight the Commonwealth.
300 years later, Beka Valentine uses her salvage ship, the Eureka Maru to pull the Andromeda Ascendant free of the black hole, intending to sell it. Dylan awakens and manages to convince the salvage crew to join him in his bid to restore order to the galaxies that the Commonwealth used to control; however, Andromeda's strategic weapons are depleted in order to boost the ship back out of a declining orbit into the black hole.
Season One consists mainly of continued exposition, fleshing out the characters and the setting from the pilot. Dylan experiences very minor successes in forming his New Systems Commonwealth, but makes many enemies among the major factions in the galaxies. The season closes with the Andromeda Ascendant coming into contact with the Magog World Ship and the crew's collective realization that the New Commonwealth is desperately needed to combat the Magog threat.
During Season Two, Dylan experiences much more success with the formation of his New Systems Commonwealth, largely due to the looming Magog threat. By season's end, the Hunt achieved his goal of fifty signatory worlds and was able to bring the Commonwealth into existence. A ceremony marking the government's inception is held aboard the Andromeda Ascendant in the season finale, but it is attacked by mysterious aliens from an extradimensional rift.
The season's midpoint, "Ouroboros", introduces several changes into the show. Trance is replaced by a more serious version of herself from the future, Rev Bem leaves the Andromeda Ascendant in search of enlightenment, and the series' creator, Robert Hewitt Wolfe, left the show's production team.
Near the end of the season, it is also revealed that Tyr has a son whose genetic code is identical to that of Drago Museveni, the progenitor of the Nietzschean race. The Nietzscheans believe that this "reincarnation" will become a powerful messiah for their people and will unite them in triumph over their enemies. For unclear reasons, Tyr does not make the results of the genetic test public.
The plot and characterization in Season Three are much less coherent than in the previous seasons, lead to some unpleasant continuity errors, possibly as a result of the writing team adjusting to Wolfe's departure. Nonetheless, the season focuses primarily on threats to the New Systems Commonwealth, both internal and external. It concludes with Tyr's decision to implant himself with his son's DNA and claim rulership of the Nietzscheans, breaking them away from the Commonwealth.
In Season Four, the Commonwealth's government is manipulated by the Abyss, which is revealed to be an entity controlling the Collectors, the Nietzscheans, and the Magog, in a bid to consume the entire universe. Dylan finds himself at odds with the Commonwealth itself, and is attacked by Nietzschean rebels as well as Commonwealth agents.
The Season takes many looks at the results of a manipulated and crumbling Commonwealth, and pushes Dylan even more to maintain its unity and defeat the Magog. He discovers the Route of Ages, a portal that connects many parallel universes, and that it can be used to travel to the Abyss. In the realm of the Abyss, Dylan kills Tyr after he offers the Abyss Dylan's life in exchange for the safety of the Nietzscheans in during the Abyss's invasion.
As Season Four closes, the Andromeda Ascendant defends the Arkology, a pacifistic space station, from the Magog worldship. Its leader, Marlowe, informs Dylan that both he and Dylan are Paradines, members of an extremely powerful race of beings that may have had a hand in the creation of the universe. Despite this, Dylan is unable to access the Paradine powers and his defense of the Arkology fails. As the episode closes, most of the main characters are killed, Dylan flies a slipfighter into the Route of Ages, and Trance tranforms herself into a star and crashes into the World Ship.
Season Five begins with the crew of the Andromeda Ascendant having arrived at different times in the Seefra System. Shortly after arriving, Dylan discovers that his ship has been transported to the system as well, but it is powerless. It is revealed that Trance brought all of them to Seefra after the battle ended, but she has lost most of her memories and is in a severely weakened state.
The Seefra System is actually the system of Tarn Vedra, the old capital of the Commonwealth. Its star has been moved out of the system, and eight duplicate planets and two false suns were constructed to enable the star's eventual return into the system and the reunification of Tarn Vedra and the main universe, which are currently only connected by the Route of Ages. However, one of the suns is malfunctioning, and the real star threatens to destroy the entire system as a result. As the real star returns to the system, Trance recovers all of her memories and discovers that she is the avatar of the Tarn Vedran sun.
Trance contacts the Lambent Kith Nebula, an alliance of fifty solar avatars, and learns that they plan to destroy the Abyss by annihilating all of the universe, saving only the Seefra System. Trance was originally the eldest member of the Nebula, but left because of differences between their views on lesser life forms. Dylan soon realizes that Maura, the leader of the Nebula, is in fact the avatar of the Abyss and has brought the Nebula under its control; she is destroyed by Trance soon after. Upon the Andromeda Ascendant's return to Seefra, Trance is able to ram her sun into the Abyss through the Route of Ages, destroying the Abyss and linking Tarn Vedra back to the normal universe.
I found Andromeda to be a very enjoyable show to watch. Though its third season was rather lackluster, the series was able to recover and conclude itself with a very satisfying finale two years later. The show's parallels to the fall of Rome are quite stimulating, and in terms of its ability to avoid the cookie-cutter episodes that many long-running series have fallen into, it produced an excellent viewing experience.
I was also impressed with the show's exploration of a very different technology style from the "mainstream" Star Trek/Star Wars themes (hyperdrive/warp drive, laser guns, many kinds of aliens, etc.). After having seen so much of that style, it was refreshing to see what I saw as something different. Others who had a wider exposure to science fiction may contest my opinion of Andromeda's technology as "different", but coming from a more mainstream perspective, it was something new.
I would have liked to see another exploration of the Andromeda universe, and can hardly contain my desire to have seen the "real" Andromeda as expressed in Robert Hewitt Wolfe's "Coda". Nonetheless, I am satisfied by the series as is.