Gene Roddenberry's Andromeda -- 1 Season
Articles

 

17.08.99
Aint-it-cool-news.com
Varying degrees of info on the new "Roddenberry" series

by Glen Oliver

"Gene Roddenberry's Phoenix Rising" is being developed by Robert Hewitt Wolfe. - A Federation Starship... an 'Enterprise' from a bit further down the ship's lineage... is discovered drifting in space, it's Captain (and maybe a few crew) are frozen in stasis. Ship and crew are revived, and are horrified by the galaxy to which they awaken. Using their 'Enterprise' as an icon for the cohesion and strength that used to be, 'Enterprise' and her rag-tag crew set out to restore the Federation to what it once was, and restore peace and balance to the galaxy. <...> One significant question sticks out: this "galaxy in decay" notion would have worked magnificently on "Star Trek" - as viewers would already have a general frame of reference for what Trek history looks like and feels like. Thus, we can understand what has actually been lost, and are able to visualize what our heroes are trying to resurrect. But "Phoenix" does not have the benefit of dealing with such solid and established notions of what has come before, because its back history has never been seen or experienced by the audience. As such, one concern regarding "Phoenix" is that our heroes will be struggling towards a "new order" / "golden age" which has no resonance or point of association to the viewer. Thus, the "goal" of the series might seem tenuous or abstract. <...>

 

10.99
Dreamwatch
(UK)

Tribune Entertainment has given approval for production to begin on "Gene Roddenberry's Andromeda". Set to star H:TLJ' Kevin Sorbo, the show has already been cleared to air in 60% of syndication in the US, with a two-year commitment from Tribune. However, some confusion has arisen over the premise behind Sorbo's new show, which was one of two projects being guided into production by Roddenberry's widow, Majel Barrett. Produced by Robert Hewitt Wolfe, Sorbo's show was initially called "Phoenix Rising", before adopting the title "Andromeda".
To add to the confusion, "Andromeda" was originally said to focus on the adventures of Alexander Grange, a scientist on the planet Korkyra, who is thrown five-hundred years into the future. Finding that a giant war on Korkyra has left it an uncivilised, warring planet, Grange sets out to restore peace and order to his world. However, Sorbo has now suggested that his character in the series will be a spaceship captain called Dylan Hunt. Hunt was previously reported as the lead character in "Starship", which was to have been an entirely computer generated series developed by Reboot's Mainframe. <...> Robert Hewitt Wolfe is said to have independently developed the premise for a new "Star Trek" series, set in a future where the Federation has crumbled, and chaos reigns in the Alpha Quadrant. Wolfe's idea now seemingly forms the basis of the reworked "Andromeda".

 

18.11.99
Beaver County Times

Kevin Sorbo: I think what made "Star Trek" great was the relationships. And that's what we're going to do with this show... we going to make this a more dramatically human-driven vehicle than a technical one.

 

12.99/01.00
Official advertising poster

300 years after the Systems Commonwealth shattered into chaos, the last High Guard emerges from a Black Hole to begin rebuilding

Starring Kevin Sorbo as Captain Dylan Jericho

Stretching across a million worlds, the Systems Commonwealth was the greatest civilization history had ever seen. Protected by the High Guard, its citizens believed their prosperity would last forever. They were wrong. Betrayed from within, it shattered into chaos Dylan Jericho, a Captain in the High Guard, saw the devastating attack unfold. But ambushed by a member of his crew, he was unable to warn the Commonwealth in time. Instead, he and his ship were left for dead, caught in the Event Horizon of a Black Hole.
Now 300 years later, as the Commonwealth lies in ruins, a wildcat mining ship, captained by the alluring Beka Valentine, comes across Dylan's trapped ship. Seeing a priceless salvage, she frees it, fully expecting to take it over. But two things stand in her way The first is the newly revived Dylan, determined to fulfill his duty as an officer in the High Guard. The second is the ship itself. Incredibly, it's alive with an artificial intelligence that thinks, plans, feels and fights - and it's only allegiance is to Dylan!
Once control of the ship is regained, Dylan turns the tables and recruits Valentine's crew - comprising the roguish and sexy Beka; resident Scientist Rev Bem, a reformed member of a fearsome race; Tyr, a Nietzschean who is the ultimate survivor; irascible Earth born Engineer Keith Harper and mysterious Alien Life Support Officer and Biologist, Trance Gemini. Together they set forth on an heroic journey to restore order to the Systems Commonwealth. In an ambitious and inspiring adventure, they encounter a myriad of amazing worlds and fascinating people as they forge a united civilization across the vastness of space

Created by: Gene Roddenberry. Executive producer: Jay Firestone, Adam Haight, Allan Eastman. Co-executive producer: Robert Hewitt Wolfe.

 

26.02.00
TV Guide

"It's actually a combination of two ideas - Andromeda and Starship - that were buried deep down in the Roddenberry vaults," says Sorbo. Kevin Sorbo, who will play a soulful starship captain Dylan Hunt, reports that the series, set in the very distant future, "concerns the Commonwealth, a government based on Earth and consisting of thousands of planets, that has been ruined by civil war. It will be more in the spirit of the original Trek, with Hunt and his crew visiting all these wild worlds as they try to restore peace."

 

26.02.00
Slipstream News

On Usenet, Wolfe just posted: "... As for the 'arc', personally I have no idea how this show is going to end. I don't even want to know at this stage. I want to see how it evolves. Follow the characters and the premise and see where it takes us."

 

04.00
Xena Magazine #4
Sorbo's New Legendary Journeys

<...> Sorbo was excited by the role of Dylan Hunt himself, a character he felt offered him the chance to really stretch his acting muscles. "Here's a guy who has been in suspended animation for over 300 years. He's lost his family, his friends, his way of life. He's lost everything. He's lost the civilisation he lived in. He is a no-nonsense guy, which is interesting. But he doesn't win all the time. It's not like Hercules, where you know he's going to win every battle. This is a guy that's a mortal man. And even though he's 342 years old, he still has issues to deal with. It's a far more conflicted character. So he's more interesting to play." <...>

Kevin Sorbo is extremely grateful to fans of Hercules for the support they have shown him over the years, and acknowledges that the recognition he is receiving now for his role in "Andromeda" is in no small part due to the devotion of those fans. <...> Sorbo: "And they're already writing to me and showing me that they're putting [Andromeda] on their web pages. So it's kind of neat to have this sort of push before the show even hits the air, and to see the interest and loyalty of the fans. I'm hoping the Hercules audience follows us over here, and I'm hoping the Star Trek and Gene Roddenberry fans follow us over here as well. If that happens, we'll have a hit. I think we've got a great crew put together; we've got a great cast put together. I grew up being a big, big fan of Gene Roddenberry's work. To be part of something that he envisioned 30 years ago is well, my brothers think it's pretty cool! So I'm very happy with the way the show is going right now. I'm very happy with the way I've seen special effects being put together now, and the music is great. And I'm just very excited. I think potentially this could be a groundbreaking series."

 

4.05.00
Hollywod Reporter
'Andromeda' strains to liftoff

"Andromeda" swings into production next week in Toronto. Executive producer Allan Eastman was still casting supporting roles late Wednesday for the Kevin Sorbo series, but, he insisted, "we are ready to go. We have scripts for the first eight episodes and have completed casting on the ensemble cast." The set is equipped with two versions of the new starship 'Andromeda', and initial animation work has begun as part of the heavy special effects back-up for the live-action series. "With my background in science fiction and head writer and co-executive Robert Hewitt Wolfe's background with 'Deep Space 9', we feel that science fiction on television has taken itself very seriously in the past. We want to make it a much more swashbuckling, adventure type of show."

 

19.05.00
Space.com

Robert Hewitt Wolfe (head writer): The dailies are looking really, really good. Kevin's been terrific. He totally inhabits the role and the rest of the cast is doing great work too. <...> Once an actor inhabits a role they bring a certain amount of themselves or their own persona or their own take on the character. You examine what they're doing and you see what's working and you try to enhance the things that are working and move away from things are not working. <...> In series television you have to be flexible so that you don't get wedded to something if it's not working. And you can spot something nice, even if it doesn't fit in to your original game plan. You have to surf a little bit.

 

9.06.00
E! Weekend (TV)
Interview direct from the se
t

Kevin Sorbo (giving a tour): The reference won't be anything to what Star Trek was. Theirs was sick bay. Ours is medical bay. <...> This is our lance. (Laughs). See, you're making me laugh about this now, because have been a few jokes on the set about what they actually look like. But see, I personally think they'd be a great toy. (Laughs) So just... batteries aren't included.

 

14.08.00
Broadcasting & Cable

Tribune Entertainment President Dick Askin: "Kevin Sorbo is an international star who is helping us sell this show both domestically and abroad. But I think, most importantly, he is really stepping into this role perfectly." Andromeda is cleared in 180 markets covering 97% of the country, Askin says.

 

24.08.00
Live Yahoo! Chat & Space.com

Q: Will there be a story arc or mainly stand alone episodes?
Robert Hewitt Wolfe (head writer): So yes and no, I guess, would be the brief answer. The goal here is have a show that if you watch it every week you will see a story developing a beginning, middle and end. You will see growth in the characters, you will see continuity. But if you miss an episode or two, or you never watched an episode before, you should be able to tune in most episodes and enjoy them on their own right and not need a program or score card to know what it going on. Every episode all the way to the finale will be somebody's first episode of "Andromeda", and they'll still be able to enjoy it even if they haven't seen everything that has come before. Of course, if they have seen everything that has come before, they should enjoy it even more.

Q: Please tell me this is not going to be a Kevin Sorbo take off the shirt and show your pecks at every chance type of science fiction series.
Wolfe: It is not going to be a "Kevin Sorbo takes his shirt off at every chance he gets" science fiction series. He will take his shirt off occasionally, just like normal people. However, you will be able to see Keith Hamilton Cobb's chest on a constant basis to make up for that. (laughs)
Q: How did you come up with the current cast?
Wolfe: It was a long and extensive process, aside from Kevin (the show is basically built around Kevin). We have a very, very talented cast. Kevin, himself is very talented. I think people who are not familiar with his work will be blown away by how good he is.

 

18.09.00
Sci-Fi Wire

Robert Hewitt Wolfe (head writer): The show itself is basically about Kevin Sorbo's character, Dylan Hunt, captain of the last surviving ship of a great civilization. And the High Guard was the military arm of the civilization, to which Hunt is loyal even after bad things happen to him.

 

28.09.00
TrekWeb.com - Live chat

Robert Hewitt Wolfe (head writer): "Andromeda" will have a nice dollop of humor in every episode of chunky tv goodness. Dylan Hunt likes a good joke as much as anyone. He especially likes the ones that make the bad guys explode. Those ones are frigging hilarious.

 

29.09.00
About.com - Star Trek Fans
Andromeda Premieres

by Julia Houston

It's not a Star Trek series, but that's kind of hard to tell from the way it's being promoted. It's not even "Andromeda", really, but "Gene Roddenberry's Andromeda". It's all based on ideas Roddenberry had, but couldn't coalesce into a series before his death. The main character is from one series idea, the ship from another, and so on. Just how much is Roddenberry-original and how much is fiddling around is something only Tribune Entertainment knows. But the show has a definite Star Trek feel.
<...> The artificial intelligence is played by Lexa Doig (who is almost as beautiful as Sorbo, so we might get some interesting competition there).
<...> Now, if the Trekker crowd isn't enough to jump-start the show, Hercules fans will doubtlessly be tuning in to see Kevin Sorbo in the lead role. In fact, Tribune Entertainment has been throwing Sorbo's name around almost as much as Roddenberry's. <...>

 

(30).09.00
TheColumnists.com
Watch the Skies, America!

by Ron Miller

Early in the premiere episode, Capt. Dylan Hunt of the Starship 'Andromeda Ascendant' answers a distress call that turns out to be an enemy trap. Before you can say "Holy Spock!," the Andromeda is being fired upon. <...> Now my irreverent tone means I can't really take any of this too seriously. People who take things like this seriously usually wind up getting obsessed and spend the rest of their lives dressing up in geeky costumes and going to conventions with other geeks.
However, I must say I think "Andromeda", which premieres in first run syndication next week on a staggeringly large lineup of stations, has all the makings of a long-lasting guilty pleasure, even for people like me who are immune to the "fever" that so often comes over sci-fi freaks. For one thing, it stars the ultra-cool Kevin Sorbo, who left "The Legendary Journeys," or whatever they called his long-running syndicated muscleman series, to play Capt. Dylan Hunt. Sorbo is handsome, well-built and, best of all, has that look in his eye that says, "Can you believe they're paying me all this money just to keep a straight face?"
And I'm sure we can thank Sorbo for having it put in his contract that Capt. Hunt has to be totally surrounded by beautiful babes in every scene. At least those of us who can appreciate gloriously configured young women will be thankful to whomever is responsible. To everybody's credit, the women of "Andromeda" aren't the "Baywatch" variety. These are real accomplished actors who just happen to be very attractive. They're also deeply important to the storylines, so they're not just window dressing. Still, I'm sure the producers know that part of the appeal of Kevin Sorbo is the way he operates when you put him in with good-looking women.
<...> Ultimately, though, my test for any new TV show always has been: would I watch another episode without putting in for overtime? When it comes to "Andromeda", I don't think I'll be able to resist. It's clear the makers of this eye-catching and actionful one-hour series are having way too much fun to be taking this real seriously. If that's their attitude and they can keep it up, I think the future of the universe - not to mention the TV season - is in good hands.

 

30.09.00
TV Guide.com
Oh Captain, my Captain

by Damian J. Holbrook

<...> Since his death in 1991, Roddenberry has never been busier. The first non-Trek creation we saw (posthumously) was the dull piece of carbon called "Earth: Final Conflic". I expected the same from "Andromeda". Upon closer inspection, though, the future may be a bit brighter for this one. This incarnation stars Kevin Sorbo and how can you not love a guy who is a German music career away from being the next David Hasselhoff? Shedding his Hercules leather pants, Sorbo slips stoically into the role of Dylan Hunt, captain of the peacekeeping starship in a galaxy far, far away. In the opener, Hunt runs into some trouble while patrolling a particularly bad nebular neighborhood and ends up getting trapped on the edge of a black hole. It's all very colorful and exciting, with Sorbo's heroic style effectively making one forget that just a year ago, he was getting medieval with a half-horse hottie on "Hercules". Later, Hunt and his stranded ship (which comes equipped with a holographic humanoid that is the ship) are saved by a salvage team who plan to put 'Andromeda' up on some sort of futuristic eBay. After much laser tag and exposition, we find out why the ship is worth so much, and let me tell you, it's a doozy that sets up an intriguing concept to carry the series (which already has a two-season order). Is it like "Star Trek: Voyager"? Sure. Is the supporting cast (including Lisa Ryder and Keith Hamilton Cobb) straight out of "Deep Space Nine"? You betcha. Does it work? Of course! They are all mutations of the same formula.
So "Andromeda" may just be predictably going where others have gone before, but it's fun, it's got great effects and has a nice pedigree. And who's to say that the final frontier doesn't have room for one more Enterprising vehicle?

 

30.09.00
Entertainment Weekly

<...> Hercules' Kevin Sorbo basically plays Hercules in a space suit as captain of the starship. After surviving a hilariously bad slow-motion fight sequence and travelling three centuries into the future, Sorbo meets up with a band of misfit scavengers who may not be as bad as they seem, but make up for it by being twice as annoying.

 

10.00
Starlog #279

Robert Hewitt Wolfe (head writer): "This series will be action-packed, full of great characters, lots of humor. This is a show that has some serious things to say but doesn't take itself too seriously. In some ways it's a return to what made SF fun, and I promise: turn on "Andromeda" and you will not be bored, you will have a good time. It will stimulate your brain, but also make you laugh. <...> Kevin's character, Captain Dylan Hunt, definitely has a mission. He's trying to restore this great civilization. Every character has different motives for why they're helping Hunt on this adventure. It's not like there's one simple explanation why they're there. Every single person has a different reason for being there. It's a family but a family of varying races who have differences of opinion. It's not, 'We're all on the same page from the word go' type of situation, but it's also not everybody against Kevin."
In addition to his Hunt role, Sorbo is one of the show's producers, and he takes an active part in the overall decision-making process for the series. "<...> He was involved from the very beginning with the idea of doing a Roddenberry series with Tribune, so he has definitely been part of the development process from the word 'go'."

 

10.00
TV Highlights #68 (Germ.)
A man and his crew against a universe of cannibals

<...> In contrast to many short-living new TV-shows there are 44 episodes of "Andromeda" reserved in advance. The production company as well as the one responsible for the development of the series are confident that they have started up a big hit. <...> Other reasons for the upbeat mood of the doers are the multi-layered main character and its famous actor. Kevin Sorbo is an international star since "Hercules" and with the lonely guy Dylan Hunt he has chosen a part he was made for. Writer Ashley Miller describes the Captain of the Andromeda as follows: "Dylan Hunt is a tragic hero. All he ever knew and loved have been dead for hundreds of years. Despite of this fact he is trying to restore the lost paradise in the form of the Commonwealth like a modern Don Quixote." A lonesome hero fighting against a wicked empire - Sorbo as Hercules has made enough experiences with that. While however the funny elements have been characteristic with the ancient saga of the gods, the darker side will be predominant with "Andromeda". Atypical for Roddenberry who attached great importance to harmony and peaceful living together with "Star Trek". But how can this work with an enemy like the Magog? <...>

 

10.00
The Zealot
Sci-Fi Like It's 1979

by Shane Ivey

<...> Anyway, now I've seen the pilot for "Andromeda", and I can say without a doubt that it is the best new science fiction program to hit the airwaves in years! Well, it would be, anyway. If this was 1979. <...> I like the concepts. Sure, the science gets fuzzy (if the ship is caught in the event horizon such that time is slowed to a crawl, how the heck do the salvage ship's ordinary grappling hooks grab it without also getting slowed to a crawl?), but you're expected to overlook that sort of thing once in a while in science fiction television. The premise of the show, and the way they planned to address the details of the technology of the show and the cultures presented, intrigued me. Unfortunately, the concept is not the execution. And the execution is where "Andromeda" runs into trouble, fast and hard.

The thickest brick wall of a problem for "Andromeda" is the look of it. The set design and costuming are cheap. And I mean that in the most pejorative possible sense. Whatever money they had for sets and costumes, they spent it poorly. The aliens' body suits are unconvincing, at best. The gold chain and sports-coat look of the shifty rodent-nosed alien that hired the salvage crew was bad enough, but the thick green plastic praying mantis outfit worn by Hunt's spunky alien pilot at the beginning of the episode was so cheesy they shouldn't have even bothered. I mean, if you're about to film something that's going to be MST3K bad, why not just rewrite it for a human actor? Then there were the uniforms of the Andromeda crew, which appeared to be flight suits straight out of Battlestar Galactica (complete with the low-slung holster)... and the walking robots (with cleavage, because you want your heavy silver mandroids to look sexy) straight out of Buck Rogers in the 25th Century or Metropolis... and the flashing banks of lights on the starship, straight out of Space: 1999 or The Six Million Dollar Man (it's a computer - see the flashy lights?)... and the loose silk jumpsuit and plastic bubble-helmet that salvage captain Beka Valentine wore when exploring the Andromeda, straight out of a Flash Gordon serial... and the embarassingly phallic laser pistol that Ethan [wrong in the article] carries (I called it a DildoBlaster, but that's just because it also grows to a prodigious length when he wants to whack people with it like a staff.... can we say "dildo" on this site?)... I could go on, but I don't want to.

Then there's the writing. I'm a writer. I love good writing, good plotting, good dialog. I can excuse a lot if I like the characters. "Andromeda"'s first episode was penned by Robert Hewitt Wolfe, the "Deep Space 9" veteran who created "Andromeda" based on a few notes by Gene Roddenberry. The plotting isn't bad, but the characterization and dialog are mediocre. Most of the supporting cast are painted in broad strokes; it's meant to establish their personalities as quickly as possible, but it seems a little clumsy and stilted.
Hunt, the hero, is given the most depth and subtlety, but that runs into another big problem: the character is played by Kevin Sorbo, and Kevin Sorbo doesn't do subtlety very well. He can do well within his range, but his range doesn't go far beyond his own breezy, grinning personality. That works great in a campy action-comedy, but it doesn't fly when he's called on to convincingly absorb the sudden loss of every loved one and the entire society to which he had dedicated his life. He works at it, but Sorbo lacks the gravitas (can I say "gravitas" on this site?) to pull it off.

Still, Sorbo may grow into the role, and the writing may well get tighter. <...> But the costuming and sets are so poor that they would ruin the show no matter how solid the writing or acting or special effects might be. <...>

 

3.10.00
NY Post
Hercules is lost in space

by A.Buckman

If you loved "Star Trek" and "Star Wars," you'll hate "Andromeda". It's the latest sci-fi series to be adapted from the scribblings left behind by the late Gene Roddenberry, who's been dead nine years, but who somehow remains as prolific as ever. <...> "Andromeda" is yet another sci-fi show about the epic struggle between farflung intergalactic empires, each representing either Good or Evil.
In the Good corner is Capt. Dylan Hunt (Kevin Sorbo), commander of the Starship Ascendant [sic!] of the Systems Commonwealth. Cap'n Hunt was suspended in time for 300 years after his ship became locked within a black hole. Recently rescued by a salvage ship, he learns that the Commonwealth was conquered long ago by a race known as Nietzscheans, who represent the Evil side of the conflict. And, naturally, they're fierce, merciless warriors who look stern all the time and bristle with weaponry. Against this entire empire of millions of super-beings, skipper Hunt arrays his new "team" of basically six members salvaged from the salvage vessel, including a wide-eyed girl with sparkly purple skin and a fur-faced Christian wolfman.
With a starship chock full of blinking-light panels and silent sliding doors, "Andromeda" is a cheap, shameless rip-off of "Star Wars" and "Star Trek." The wolfman looks like a Wookie and Commander Hunt uses an extend-o weapon reminiscent of the light swords in "Star Wars." <...>
In one scene, salvage-ship crew member Harper, modeled after Scotty from "Star Trek," describes his meeting with the captain in a conversation with the salvage-ship captain, Beka Valentine. "I'm telling ya, the guy is huge!" exclaims Seamus. "He's like some kinda Greek god or something!" And that was the one note of humor in the entire first two hours of "Andromeda". Sorry, Hercules, your new sci-fi show's a weakling.

 

fall 2000
Blueshift Studios Reviews

by David Hines

<...> Sorbo-mocking may be a staple of early "Andromeda" reviews, but the truth is that he's quite decent with what he's been given. The problem with respect to Kevin Sorbo is that what he's given isn't much. He's at his best and most charming when he's playing off (and with) other actors, and look at what he's got to work with in "Under the Night:" scenes with Steve Bacic, who's painfully lifeless as Rhade; scenes with an unconvincing bug who keeps spouting lines that begin with "As you humans say"; and one-on-one scenes with Andromeda, which means scenes without another actor physically present. The only scene in which he actually interacts in person with an actor who's really capable is the one with Gordon Michael Woolvett -- and that one's short. Sorbo does quite decently, all things considered. <...>

 

6.10.00
Slipstream News

by Heather Jarman

Kevin Sorbo approaches Dylan Hunt with wry optimism. His confident stride (or flight) through Andromeda's decks leaves no question about who captains this vessel. His rakish charisma and the hint of teasing in his eye soften some of the speech-ier dialogue without compromising Hunt's idealism. Sorbo never takes himself too seriously, but endows Hunt with enough sincerity that the audience can respect the character. He's part Don Quixote, part Rip Van Winkle and part Indiana Jones. <...>

 

10.00
AnotherUniverse.com
{After "An Affirming Flame"}

by Michelle Erica Green

In general, the action had excellent pacing and the characters get more interesting as we get to know them. But I suspect humor will be the saving grace of the series. <...> I think Sorbo's previous series makes a better point of comparison than any of the "Trek" shows, though Sorbo shows himself to be a master of the Shatner School of Acting ("You... keep... SAYING that!" he blurts at one point).
<...> Andromeda is striking even if she doesn't seem clever enough to be the artificial intelligence controlling a vessel.
The question is whether the plots of upcoming stories can maintain the balance of action, humor, and pathos Andromeda needs.

 

7.10.00
www.post-gazette.com
TV Reviews: Bad dialogue impairs two new Saturday series

by Rob Owen

From the ancient past to the distant future, Kevin Sorbo trades playing Hercules for a new role as Capt. Hunt on "Andromeda". But his past haunts him in at least one weak joke. "The guy is huge," another character says in describing Hunt. "He's like some kind of Greek god or something." That's illustrative of the kind of obvious humor and not-so-great dialogue that abounds in the first two episodes. It's kiddie-minded science-fiction with average special effects, costumes that look like they're leftovers from J. Michael Straczynski's "Crusade" and a set that was clearly built on a lower budget than the "Star Trek" shows.
<...> By episode two, Hunt has convinced the salvage crew to join him. They include a purple-skinned girl (who looks like Brittany from CBS's "Big Brother"), a Terminator with his hair in dreadlocks, a priest who spouts current cliches that evidently will survive hundreds of years into the future ("Nothing worth doing is easy," he preaches) and the requisite tough woman first officer. Other recycled sci-fi concepts include "the slipstream" (a.k.a. warp speed) and a "living" ship with artificial intelligence, similar to Sci-Fi Channel's "Farscape." Actually, there are a lot of incidentals in "Andromeda" that bring to mind "Farscape." But the differences are more important. "Farscape" benefits from superior writing, production design and story telling. "Andromeda" does not.

 

9.10.00
Slipstream Web
Live chat with staff writers

Q: Do you have any favourite characters to write for?
Ashley Edward Miller: Yep. All of them. But Dylan and Harper are near and dear to my heart, because I identify with them on some level.
Zack Stentz: I'm a huge Dylan fan, because he lets us examine the heart of a hero. I also love Rev because of his internal conflicts.
Q: Which regulars will we be seeing full grins and even belly laughs from during season one?
Miller: Hmm... no fun when you see it coming. But we have lots of laughs. "Andromeda" - it's all about the love, baby.
Q: Is Kevin Sorbo as giant as "Andromeda" portrays him to be?
Miller: Yes. Only gianter.

 

11.10.00
WB56 Boston
Transcript from AndromedaTV.com's chat

Q: How much is Kevin Sorbo involved with the production?
Wolfe: Kevin is very involved. In addition to being a tremendous actor and complete professional on the set. He reads all the scripts very thoroughly and gives notes on both scripts and cuts. He is very smart and gives excellent notes. Kevin really knows the medium. Like I said, he is a consummate professional.
Q: How collaborative is the writing process?
Wolfe: Everyone writes their own scripts. But we all give each other notes, both during the story stage and in the scriptwriting stage. So everyone gets plenty of support. It's a terrific staff and everyone has lots of great ideas on each other's stories.
<...>
Q: Is there anything you can tell us about the show coming up this week?
Wolfe: Things explode. People are moved to new possibilities. More things explode. Sad and tragic deaths happen. Some more things explode. And in the end, all are happier and wiser. Except those that explode. How was that?

 

(15).10.00
StarDate #6 - 11.00
(Newsletter of the Star Trek Science Fiction fan organization)

According the Hollywood Reporter, "Andromeda" easily became the leading new syndicated action series during its first two weeks, posting ratings that were more than 50% higher than those of its nearest competitors. 'Under The Night', the first part of the premiere, got a 2.6 rating. This is probably good news for the series, as it means most people who tuned in for the first part of the pilot were also interested enough to watch the second part a week later. Compared to other first-run syndicated action shows, "Andromeda" also performed fairly well. "Xena" still remained the top-rated series, achieving an average rating of 2.8. Other shows did not perform nearly as well. <...>

Unfortunately, the Hollywood Reporter also notes that compared with the ratings the top-rated syndicated action shows were able to achieve a couple of seasons ago, these ratings are not extremely impressive. Three years ago shows like Kevin Sorbo's own "Hercules" still achieved an average rating of 5.1. However, much of this drop in ratings can be explained by looking at the fragmentation in the television market. 8 years ago, networks like the WB or UPN did not yet exist, and cable television was also not as prominent as it is today. Due to this fragmentation, it is very difficult for syndicated shows to obtain good time slots, as is evidenced by the many television stations running "Andromeda" on Sundays early in the morning or at midnight, or similarly bad time slots. In markets where "Andromeda" does air in a good time slot, the show was able to achieve much higher ratings, such as in New York, where it the pilot achieved a 6.1 rating.

 

10.00
Slipstream News

by Heather Jarman

{After "D Minus Zero"} I like the rakish quality Sorbo brings to an otherwise earnest, idealistic character. We sense there's enough of a 'wild card' side to Dylan's personality that he never falls into the sanctimonious trap some heroes fall into.

 

31.10.00
Fandom.com (+ 6.11.00 Cinescape)
From Greek God to Starship Captain

by Frank Garcia

In the week of Oct. 9, 2000 the ratings for "Andromeda"'s debut episode garnered a 4.3 rating (about four and a half million viewers), landing at the number nine ranking in the overall list. It was the number one genre show ahead of "Xena", "X-Files" and "Stargate SG-1". Months of pre-publicity and word of mouth about the series on the Internet, generating a built-in audience anxious to see the series, has paid off. "We're all pretty happy with that," says Sorbo. <...> "I'm not listed as one of the producers, but I will be in second season. I had hands-on with Robert [Wolfe] from the very beginning. A major reason I'm working on this project is that it gives me a better working environment in terms of hours. I wasn't going to be working 100 hour weeks as I did in "Hercules". I talk to the writers on a daily basis. Every script I read, I put in my two cents. I write extensive notes on what I believe doesn't work. I told Robert, 'When I send you the notes, I only say what I think doesn't work.' I love the scripts, but when things aren't working, I have to understand why they don't work."

After spending years on a fantasy TV series that primarily focused on him, Sorbo was anxious to assemble an ensemble cast. "My mantra to Robert, as the show was being put together, was 'Share the wealth!' I want everyone to be important in their own way," says Sorbo. "Make it interesting to watch each characters for different reasons. I want a viewer that tunes in - if they're not turned on by me, maybe they're turned on by Tyr. That's what we watch TV for. We watch for characters. 'I like him or her. There's something that attracts me to this person.' And here, we have seven times the opportunity which I think will be good for the show." But Sorbo laughs and cringes recalling that when it came time to put this into practice. It wasn't quite what he had expected. "You've got seven egos and seven insecurities! You've got seven people wanting the camera. It's weird to share the spotlight at all."

Although only a handful of episodes have aired at press time, final episodes will be shot by December. Sorbo is very candid in assessing the series' progress. "I still think we're going through teething pains. Season two will be great. I think all of us actors on the show are still trying to find our feet. We've come a long way. I think shows have gotten better. I think there's a couple here that didn't turn out as expected. It's interesting when you're reading scripts and you say, 'This is going to be awesome!' but when you shoot it and look at it, you go, 'Oh my god!' Of the 17 [filmed] we have three right now that I'm not crazy about. I think we can save one of them. I'm happy with about 70 percent. That's pretty good odds." <...>
"Right now we're still trying to figure out where the characters are going," Sorbo continues. "The writing is excellent. I think we need to get back to some of the basics of what Capt. Hunt is trying to do. What he's trying to reestablish with the Commonwealth. I think we need to go out there and explore strange new worlds and not stay on the ship so much. The writers are trying to lighten the view on who's Capt. Hunt. Who's Trance? Who's Harper? Give them back stories. That will come in time. I really believe this series will go five or seven years. We've created a very interesting, logical SF series
that not only the "Star Trek" people will like but those who have never seen before. You've got seven very interesting characters who all bring something different to the table. If someone doesn't like Capt. Hunt maybe they'll like Beka. Or Tyr. There's something for everyone." <...>

 

1.11.00
Slipstream BBS

Ashley Edward Miller (writer): We are in a process of exploring these characters and letting the actors participate in the discovery of them. And I think when you look back at the end of the season, you'll be pleasantly surprised at the smooth but (hopefully) surprising evolution of all our regulars since "Under the Night". Some of them will have come a longer way than others, but then we have a couple years worth of stories to tell.
As for getting Dylan back to his original mission, I'd say he's never fallen off of that track. But we've spent a lot of time shaking him up, kicking his butt and preparing him for the many un-nice things that are to come. We look at this as something akin to forging a sword -- and the sword required to restore the Systems Commonwealth needs to be very freaking sharp. Believe me, we never let you forget for one minute that Dylan is fighting a constant battle to keep his crew and his mission on task. But without that battle, how worthwhile could the mission be?
Dylan once said, "Pessimism is not a survival trait." Nice thought -- now he gets to prove it.

 

11.00
Science Fiction Weekly #194 (scifi.com)
Andromeda's Kevin Sorbo has been crowned king of the syndicated universe

by Kathie Huddlestone

Kevin Sorbo may not be a Greek god, but he certainly is the king of syndication. After a successful run on "Hercules", he has now led "Andromeda" to become an instant hit as the number-one new first-run weekly syndicated program on television this fall. <...>
Kevin Sorbo: The series is popular for a number of reasons. I think initially people watched the series because of the fact that it's a Gene Roddenberry show. The number-two reason is because "Hercules" had a huge following. So we had the curiosity factor from all our Hercules fans and the curiosity factor from all the Gene Roddenberry fans. Had the show not been good, we wouldn't have stayed at number one. I think the reason we're staying at number one now is the fantastic writing and the combination of actors that are on the series.

Q: Why did the role of Dylan Hunt appeal to you?
Kevin Sorbo: Dylan Hunt appealed to me because of his vulnerability and his human qualities. It was very appealing to play a character that is so different from Hercules. Here's a character who is fallible. He can get hurt, die and do things that people can relate to.

Q: Now that the characters and the setting have been established, what will we have to look forward to during the rest of the season?
Kevin Sorbo: We, the actors, are all just starting to feel like we're getting our legs underneath us and we're getting an idea of who our characters are. Seasons two and three are going to be fantastic. I think season one is still an introduction period for the people who are watching the series. We're letting you know who we are and what our backgrounds are. I think once you get past that, which is necessary, you start getting more of the interesting story and plot lines. I'm not going to give away the rest of the season. ...Do you think I'm crazy? <...>
I think Dylan's already got half of the crew with him. Certainly you've got Beka and you've got Tyr who seem to have their own agendas. But that will change through the course of the season and it will definitely change with the season's cliffhanger. It's a pretty phenomenal episode! <...>

 

6.11.00
Cinescape
A look at the late Gene Roddenberry's latest space series

by Frederick C. Szebin

<...> "Andromeda" begins well enough for any space-adventure show. There is plenty of pre-requisite action, with generous promises of much hair-raising adventure to come. <...> "Andromeda" is old fashioned stuff with a contemporary visual edge, with Sorbo quite capable and handsome as the manly starship captain in danger of losing the only thing he has left. It may not be groundbreaking in any way, and it sure won't make us forget favorite space opera shows of the past, but it is moderately suspenseful and earnest in its desire to entertain. Much of the dialogue can be fixed, however. Sorbo's Hunt has a habit of spewing rather uninteresting one-liners just before or after he's kicked the crap out of a bad guy. Cure him of that problem, give him dialogue worthy of a soldier who reads Nietzsche, and you've got a much more interesting leading man in the classic sense.

 

8.11.00
Seattle Times
Xena's hanging it up, but there's a new guy in town

by Melanie McFarland

Fall 2000 is buffing up as the season of the prodigal beefcake's return. Not in a loincloth, mind you, but at the helm of a starship. "Andromeda", starring former "Hercules" star Kevin Sorbo, kicked off with a blast in the ratings. Its debut attracted more than 4.5 million viewers, leaving "Xena", its closest first-run syndicated competitor, in the dust with a mere 2 million-plus viewers. "Andromeda" meets us halfway between "Beastmaster" and "Voyager"; where "Star Trek's" bald, paunchy leading men had sexy brains, "Andromeda" gives us space-age intelligence and barbaric, hubba-hubba brawn. <...>

 

11.12.00
TeeVee
Oh Sorbo, My Sorbo

by Lisa Schmeiser

<...> There's a smart-assed cyberpunk, a thickly furred alien sage, a space savant in a spandex catsuit, a philosophy-spouting badass in chain mail and the frowsy would-be captain of the 'Andromeda'. There's also our man Sorbo as the moral and tactical captain of the craft, and a woman who plays an avatar of the sentient ship herself; the two of them enjoy the kind of relationship normally seen only in computer labs when the sysadmin hasn't been outside in a while. The folks studying pop culture at Bowling Green could wring a doctoral dissertation out of all the post-human themes in the series, especially since the chain-mail badass was weaned on "Thus Spake Zarathustra".
But we're not here to write a dissertation on the pursuit of an intergalactic representative democracy as engendered by a group of humanoid freaks. We're here to talk about Sorbo's infinite capacity for playing ideologues who stepped from the pages of a Silver Age comic. Some actors inhabit their characters by adopting new accents and adjusting their body language. Sorbo shuns that extreme work ethic and sticks with what he knows: two all-purpose facial expressions.
When Captain Ethan Hunt [wrong in the article] firms his jaw and fixes his eyes on some point in the middle distance, you begin cheering for him. You miscreants he's addressing -- drop your anarchic agenda and heed his words! Bekka [wrong in the article]: get a hot-oil treatment for that mess on your head, and shape up or learn first-hand the hard caress of space's cruel vacuum! You there, you galactic wormholes! Can't you just stop giving our boy such a hard time with that whole space-time continuum thing? Whatever the dire situation, all Sorbo really has to do is clench his jaw and train his eyes on some landmark in the distance. It works wonderfully.
When the gravity of the weekly plot gets to be too much, Sorbo busts out trademark look #2: the self-deprecating smirk. It's an expression that's as ambiguous as the Mona Lisa's smile. Watch him smirk in any situation - well, actually any situation where someone is expressing an epistemological conviction - and you will wonder, "Is he smiling because he agrees? Because he's moved by the fervor of their nihilistic doctrine? Because he's a big fan of deontological ethics? Or because he really can't process big words?" It could be because every once in a while Sorbo looks down at a script and thinks, "I'm supposed to be eating a kibble casserole while holding forth on the evils of a harsh penal system. Few people will pick up on the modern-day parallels, so I might as well suck it up and wait for the paycheck." You can't very well draw a paycheck while laughing hysterically over whatever the writers have cooked up for the week, so perhaps smirking is his way of letting go. <...>

 

18.12.00
Cinescape Online
The actor on playing the Nietzschean warrior Tyr Anasazi

by Michelle Erica Green

Keith Hamilton Cobb: "I don't look average, I don't act average, I don't speak average. And I don't want to have to anymore. Kevin was the inception of this whole show, and he's not average either. <...> Dylan and his newfound crew seem to be the next vehicle. But now that we are together in this situation, human emotions and ethics and ideals will force Tyr to adapt or leave... and leaving isn't really an option right now. Better to be inside an attack-ready starship."
Oddly enough, Tyr is one of the few crewmembers who calls Dylan Hunt 'Captain' from time to time, as a sign of respect when Hunt takes an action of which the Nietzschean approves. "Tyr would be the one you'd think would be furthest away from falling in line with any particular status or course of conduct. It speaks to the relationship that's growing between them. A lot of really nice stuff could come out of that, if they choose to pursue it."

 

01.01
TV Zone #134 (UK)
The Andromeda Ascendant
- smart, sexy, saucy and a legend among the Commonwealth's High Guard fleet
by Steven Eramo

"Andromeda will do anything for Hunt," says Lexa Doig. "I think it's safe to say that she has a little crush on him. However, she understands that Commonwealth protocol prohibits any sort of personal relationship between an AI and an organic sentient. So it's that sort of sad, unrequited situation where she's always wishing and hoping but never realizing. It's going to be interesting to see how their relationship develops because they are two working professionals. He is the last remaining human officer in Commonwealth's High Guard, but she's also an officer and took the same vows and oaths Hunt did. They both stand for what the Commonwealth stood for, so their mission is the same."
Behind the cameras, Doig confirms her relationships with fellow castmembers could not be better. "Lisa [Ryder] and I got on like a house on fire while we were filming "Jason X". In that movie she played the android and I was the butt-kicking human, so at the end of the production we did the, 'Tag, your turn now,' bit. It's funny, but in one way or another everybody sort of suits their roles. Brent Stait is very spiritual and, like his character of Rev Bem, has this gentle perspective on life and towards people. Laura Bertram is just amazing. Not only is she a marvelous actress, but also a perceptive person and very wise for her age. Keith Hamilton Cobb is Tyr, that's all I can say," laughs Doig, "and I just adore him. As for Kevin, he's the captain of our team. He keeps our spirits up and our minds focused. It's a great working environment, it truly is."

 

01.01
Slipstream News

by Heather Jarman

"Andromeda's" strength is in the cast. Every episode, the cast's chemistry improves. Harper and Beka, Beka and Rommie, Harper and Rommie, Tyr and Dylan, Rommie and Dylan - no matter how you match them up, they're working. The more the writers utilize the ensemble, the better the episode. <...> Until "Andromeda" breaks out of the box and starts pushing the scripts to new creative levels, the show will remain average. It isn't unwatchable dreck, but it isn't breathtakingly original either. A show can be fun, entertaining and still well written.

 

02.01
TrekWeb.com

by O.Deus

{After "The Mathematics Of Tears"} <> Hunt's behavior in this episode is still foolish and his failure to delete the Pax's AI which is trying to kill him dooms his mission to a failure but it's a foolishness that reflects a human failing, rather than the noble act of a principled man which is how "Andromeda" usually tries to pass off Dylan's stupidity.
<...> Beka defends her crew with a self-righteous speech about how tough life is in the future, but their exact transgressions prove life isn't at all tough in the future. The crew aren't fighting to stay alive, they're entering surfing tournaments, going off sightseeing, looking for relatives and going to meditate at retreats. And they do these things on their own. That is not the way people behave in a dangerous universe in which they're fighting to stay alive. This is the way people behave when they're working at a job with a good natured boss who never enforces the rules.

 

Spring 2001
Parsec magazine (Canada)

Lisa Ryder: "Robert Wolfe and Allan Eastman had an idea of the way they wanted things and then there's other producers who wanted whole different things and then there's the reality of the actors who show up and interpret those suggestions. So, you have to reconcile all of those elements." [Interview was done not later then middle August, 2000]

 

2.03.01
tv.zap2it.com
Mr. Fix-It

by Kate O'Hare

Anyone listening in to phone conversations between Woolvett and Wolfe about Harper, might be confused. Unless, of course, that listener was a fan of role-playing games. "We've reduced talking about the character to terms of 'Dungeons & Dragons,' like, 'Am I a chaotic neutral here? Am I chaotic good? I thought I was chaotic good, but I'm being kind of selfish here. I'm definitely not lawful anything.' We haven't explored that as much as we originally intended," says Woolvett. "Originally, I was supposed to have this big infatuation with Andromeda. It hasn't gone by the wayside, but we more play the lighter aspect of it. It's not as if my character is truly infatuated with her, it's like he's come to terms with the fact that he's never going to get anywhere with her, but he'll try." <...>

 

03.01
Dreamwatch #78 (UK)
"A" for Andromeda

by Joe Nazzaro

<...> As a producer as well as the star of "Andromeda", Sorbo has a great deal of input into the series, his character in particular. He breaks down every script, providing copious notes for the writing staff, many of which are incorporated into subsequent rewrites. So far it's been a productive relationship, although the actor would be first to admit that writers can be very protective about their work. "No question, and rigthtfully so, but Robert has actually said to me more than once, 'If you ever want to qult this gig, I can hire you on my writing staff!' I do look at things and will question them to death <until> I get an answer that makes some to me, and Robert has been very good about being honest with me. Actually it's not honesty; he has the balls to say 'You know what? We were wrong, and you were right,' and I think that's great because I have the same kind of balls."
Does Sorbo believe there are any similarities between Dylan Hunt and his archetypal predecessor James T. Kirk? "Cheap answer: in some ways they're similar and in some ways they're not. Captain Kirk and Captain Hunt are both very strong captains. I think Gene Roddenberry liked his captains to be strong, to be fair, and a commanding presence on screen. They're the people that maybe he would have liked to be himself." The most important difference between the two captains? "We're shooting episode 17 and I haven't laid anybody yet, so he does have one up on that!" laughs Sorbo. <...>

 

(first week).04.01
Jigsaw Magazine

by Jeanne Jackson

If you were expecting a big Star Trek rip-off or Hercules in space, [writer] Ashley Miller warns you that is a big misconception. "What we've got is this really cool show about this lone hero, a Don Quixote figure, and Kevin is perfect for it. He can pull off the action hero, but at the same time when Kevin acts, you can see, hear, and feel the human being. And that's what makes "Andromeda" unique. At the end of the day, it's about this Dylan Hunt guy. It's not as simple as it seems at the end of 'An Affirming Flame'."
<...> Despite consistently finishing as the highest rated syndicated action show each week, Miller insists the staff, crew, and actors are not resting on their laurels. "We don't want to be watchable, we want to be interesting. ...when we do an action scene, it is motivated by something important in the story." Miller asserts action should reveal more about the characters through their reactions in the situation, how they make decisions, how fast they make them, what they prioritize and value. "Action should be as revealing as the dialogue. I'm very proud of the whole body of work for the show. We've gone some places you don't expect a show to go its first season."

 

(05-06).01
The Leisure Hive (Canada)
Andromeda Scores One for the Good Guys

by Kathleen Spoon

Ah, "Andromeda". You either love this show - or you hate it. I haven't met anyone yet who didn't consider it either pure genius or pure crap. If you're a longtime Trekker, "Andromeda" is not what you're used to. Trek main characters are usually part of an established structure (Star Fleet) within, for the most part, a civilized universe (the Federation). Conflict in Trek stories arises from characters and cultures that are outside of, or rebelling against, this structure. In other words, Trek stories attempt to introduce chaos into order - with story resolutions being the restoration of order.
"Andromeda" stories, on the other hand, attempt to introduce order into chaos. <...> Dylan Hunt faces overwhelming greed, distrust and chaos in this universe as he attempts to restore the order, ethics and compassionate values of the Commonwealth he knew. But where most "Trek" main characters would hold similar philosophies and fight for common goals, the practicality of restoring the Commonwealth is often lost on the five other main characters who have been too busy just surviving.
Faithful to Roddenberry's vision, "Andromeda"'s strength is its character relationships.
It has a definite visual style - dark and muted with sparse sets and tight framing reflecting the barren nature of the post-Commonwealth universe. Its CGI space and battle scenes are quite well done, though used sparingly due to budget restrictions. And most of its alien worlds don't look too outrageously different from 21st century Earth. But head writer Robert Hewitt Wolfe has made "Andromeda" more about how people with widely conflicting values and agendas can be affected and changed by each other - particularly by one who is trying to change things for the better.
In a universe where right and wrong are no longer black and white, Dylan has to fight to keep his ideals intact. He gets his first taste of the post-Commonwealth universe in "To Loose the Fateful Lightning." He sees how a group of children descended from High Guard officers and living on an abandoned space station have perverted High Guard teachings in their need to survive against Magog attacks and Nietzschean slavers. He begins to see moral shades of grey, even from his own past when he faces the modern consequences of a mission he once carried out in "Forced Perspective." Should he adopt the self-serving cynicism of the rest of the universe? Should he think and act more like the Nietzschean first officer who betrayed him at the fall of the Commonwealth? Kevin Sorbo uses his more subtle acting skills to show Dylan's inner struggles through his eyes, expressions and body language.
Dylan does see some small victories, however, as he helps change the perspective of some of the people he encounters. In "A Rose in the Ashes," he helps a young girl on a forgotten automated prison planet see herself as a potential leader and use her genius for positive change. In "The Honey Offering," he convinces a Nietzschean, bent on using her arranged marriage to destroy an entire rival pride, to see the alliance as a better solution. Even among his crew, he finds that, in spite of their lack of military discipline and dedication to his mission, they are becoming friends and colleagues he can trust and depend on. Ultimately, this brings him back into balance and his own values win out.

Dylan's acting first officer, Beka Valentine, a former salvage ship captain, is learning to trust Dylan as a friend and mentor, but also harbors some hopes of using 'Andromeda' to make "the big score" - something her father was always seeking. Beka gets herself out of tough situations as well or better than the men and is, in fact, often the rescuer of some of the male characters. Lisa Ryder pulls this off beautifully, without coming across like the soulless female admirals we often saw in "Trek". Yet she gives Beka an edge of vulnerability, stemming from self-acceptance issues and a dysfunctional relationship with her deceased father. <...>
Tyr Anasazi, the Nietzschean mercenary, sees the 'Andromeda' as a way of advancing his own goals, primarily revenge against other Nietzschean prides that helped destroy his own Kodiak pride twenty years earlier. As genetically engineered offshoots of the human race, the Nietzscheans' highest values are survival and the perpetuation of their genes through reproduction. There is even a somewhat humorous undercurrent of attraction between Beka and Tyr, which he staunchly tries to deny, considering interspecies breeding "a ridiculous concept." Nietzscheans in general have been portrayed by as many 6'6" actors as the casting department can find. As a post-Commonwealth culture, they practice slavery, brutal occupation of weaker cultures, and seem to waste a lot of their energy in never-ending clan wars. Keith Hamilton Cobb gives us a stoic Tyr, whose outlook is being changed little by little by his relationship with Dylan and the rest of the crew. The timbre in his voice betrays his hesitation to turn on his crewmates when it would be to his advantage, or reveals an unexpected note of compassion. Tyr often seems surprised himself, as he learns that what's best for Tyr alone isn't always the best choice in the end.

One of the most fascinating characters is Andromeda, the ship's Artificial Intelligence. She appeared in Dylan's time only as a holo-projection or a flat computer view-screen image. Harper, the ship's engineer, finds old Commonwealth specifications and builds the "ship made flesh," an android avatar. Lexa Doig has managed to create different personas for each of the three versions of Andromeda. The computer image is bluntly factual and commanding. The holo-projection still talks like a computer geek, though she is a bit more personable, presumably because she interacts more closely with the crew. And the new avatar, referred to as Rommie, is a different character altogether. Andromeda has always been a bit protective of her captain, but Rommie is now discovering the whole gamut of emotions.
<...> Rev Bem is a Magog who has rejected the violent ways of his race and joined a movement founded by a Magog who felt pity for one of his victims. Rev provides a spiritual perspective, acknowledging a divine Creator of the Universe. He is often relegated to the position of offering counsel to other characters in times of crucial decisions. <...> Behind all the fur and latex, Brent Stait is able to convey incredible emotion through his startling blue eyes (the actor refused to wear alien-looking contacts), his tone of voice and his body movements. He even uses those immense Magog claws to caress as gently as any human fingers.

Trance Gemini, the purple girl with the tail, is one of the other mysteries of "Andromeda". Laura Bertram's ditzy schoolgirl act can fool you. Look more closely and you'll see that she is actually manipulating situations and guiding characters to make certain choices. <...>
Seamus Harper, the ship's engineer, is also more than just "Andromeda"'s resident comedian and frenetic boy genius. <...> Harper's manic wisecracking covers up a savagery born of growing up on Earth and surviving both Magog attacks and Nietzschean torture.

In an age when doing good has fallen out of fashion, "Andromeda"'s message seems to be that doing good is still a good thing. It shows us a hero is someone who is willing to try, even if they only occasionally score one for the good guys. By the end of the first season, Dylan has convinced five planets (out of the original million) to sign the new Commonwealth charter. But the threads of a major mystery, hinting at covert causes behind the fall of the Commonwealth, have also been skillfully woven through the first season stories. <...> Tune in next season, same time, same slipstream route!

 

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