Andromeda (TV series)

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Andromeda
Andromeda title card.jpg
Format Science fiction
Created by Gene Roddenberry
Developed by Robert Hewitt Wolfe
Starring Kevin Sorbo
Lisa Ryder
Keith Hamilton Cobb
Lexa Doig
Laura Bertram
Gordon Michael Woolvett
Brent Stait
Steve Bacic
Brandy Ledford
Composer(s) Alex Lifeson
Matthew McCauley
Country of origin Canada
United States
No. of seasons 5
No. of episodes 110 (List of episodes)
Production
Running time 45 minutes
Production company(s) Tribune Entertainment
MBR Productions, Inc.
Fireworks Entertainment
Broadcast
Original channel Global
Sci-Fi Channel
Original run October 2, 2000 (2000-10-02) – May 13, 2005 (2005-05-13)

Andromeda (formally titled Gene Roddenberry's Andromeda) is a Canadian/American science fiction television series, based on unused material by the late Star Trek creator Gene Roddenberry, developed by Robert Hewitt Wolfe, and produced by Roddenberry's widow, Majel Barrett.[1] It starred Kevin Sorbo as High Guard Captain Dylan Hunt. The series premiered on October 2, 2000 and ended on May 13, 2005.

Andromeda was filmed in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, and produced by Tribune Entertainment and Fireworks Entertainment. It was distributed by Global TV (Fireworks' parent company) in Canada and syndicated in the United States on WGN and other channels.[2][3] It was picked up by the Sci-Fi Channel in the U.S. halfway through season four.[3] Andromeda is one of two TV series (to date) based upon concepts Roddenberry had created as early as the 1960s and 1970s. The name Dylan Hunt had also been used for the hero of two TV movie pilots Roddenberry had produced in the mid-1970s, Genesis II and Planet Earth, which had a similar premise. The other series posthumously created from Roddenberry's notes is Earth: Final Conflict.

Plot and production[edit]

The series is set thousands of years in the future, and revolves around the Systems Commonwealth, a constitutional monarchy based in a distant star system called Tarn-Vedra. Humankind is a part of The Commonwealth, having been discovered by its members thousands of years prior. The Commonwealth is based in three galaxies; The Milky Way, Triangulum Galaxy, and the Andromeda Galaxy, located 2.7 million light-years from the Milky Way Galaxy. Ships travel from one end of the Commonwealth to the other through slipstreams, following pre-guided roller coaster-like pathways through the cosmos to and from their destination.

The Commonwealth claims to be a utopian society, but it is actually in a state of war with the Magog, a humanoid species with bat-like faces that are dedicated to war. A few years earlier, to show good faith as a result of peace talks, the Commonwealth ceded to the Magog a key home world. This home world is a key planet of one of the Commonwealth's member species, the genetically engineered Nietzscheans. The Nietzscheans, displeased with this peace agreement with the Magog, secretly attempt to usurp control of the Commonwealth. This is also the embodiment of their basic beliefs, as they see themselves as the race described as the "Übermensch" by German philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche.

The Commonwealth is defended by the High Guard, an armada of many ships. The protagonist of the series, Dylan Hunt, is the captain of a Commonwealth ship, the Andromeda Ascendant. The ship's computer, a powerful AI (Artificial Intelligence), is a key character in the series.

The entire High Guard, including Captain Hunt, is caught by surprise in the first engagement of the Nietzschean uprising. He is forced to evacuate his crew, but Andromeda gets caught on the edge of an event horizon of a black hole, freezing him in time.

303 years later, the crew of the salvage ship Eureka Maru locates Hunt's ship. The Systems Commonwealth and the High Guard have fallen in the centuries since he was frozen in time, beginning an era known as The Long Night. Hunt recruits the salvage crew to join him in an attempt to restore the Systems Commonwealth and "rekindle the light of civilization."

The salvage crew comprises its leader, Beka Valentine, a con-artist and expert pilot; a super-genius engineer named Seamus Harper (rescued from Nietzschean-enslaved Earth by Beka) who can plug his mind directly into computer systems; Trance Gemini, and Rev Bem. "Rev" is short for Reverend; although he is a Magog and thus violent by nature, he has discovered a non-violent, Taoist-like religious order called The Way and become a Wayist priest. As for Trance, little is known at first about this pixie-like purple female alien other than that she has a tail and seems somewhat distant. The salvage crew's beneficiary also brought along an insurance policy in the form of a Nietzschean mercenary named Tyr Anasazi ("out of Victoria by Barbarossa", of the nearly extinct Kodiak pride). Tyr is the leader of a group of mercenaries, of which he is the only one to be left on board after the opening episodes. Tyr's propensity for self-preservation leads him to also join Dylan's crew until better opportunities arise.

Cast[edit]

Season One cast

Andromeda universe[edit]

Slipstream[edit]

Slipstream is the primary mode of travel for ships in the Andromeda universe, and the only known method of traveling faster than the speed of light. The Vedran discovery of the Slipstream was instrumental in the formation of their intergalactic empire, which became the precursor of the Systems Commonwealth.

Curiously, slipstream cannot be navigated by AIs (they have a 50% chance of choosing the correct path). Only organic pilots can "sense" a way to their destination (they have a 99% chance to choose the correct path), and although AIs are fitted on all large ships, they always require an organic pilot for interstellar travel. It is thought to be the process of choosing a path that makes the chosen path the correct one.

A function of slipstream is that apparent objective velocities are extremely variable, as it enables travel across millions of lightyears seemingly as swiftly as traveling between neighboring stars only tens of lightyears apart. Further, slipstream is a non-linear method of travel; the best and swiftest way to get from Point A to Point B (though they might be in the same galaxy) may very well involve hopping to another galaxy entirely. Also, the more frequently used routes are often easier, faster and more predictable.

Systems Commonwealth[edit]

The Systems Commonwealth was a huge Utopian civilization, spanning three major galaxies of the Local Group. It was founded by Vedrans, the first race to discover slipstream. Initially the Vedran Empire lasted for over 10,000 years until the Nietzschean revolt.

Dylan eventually managed to restore the Commonwealth (though not to its former glory; initially it had only 50 members while the Old Commonwealth had included more than a million worlds). However, the New Commonwealth soon fell victim to internal corruption masterminded by the group known as the Collectors, allied with the Abyss.

Major star systems[edit]

  • Arkology, a huge space station with pacifist population and the site of the Andromeda's final confrontation with Magog Worldship. The Andromeda lost and the Arkology was destroyed, but Trance still managed to cripple the Worldship with her powers.
  • Earth was ravaged by Nietzschean occupation and Magog assaults during the Long Night. Harper was born and acquired his notable survival skills there.
  • Hephaistos, a system with significant Nietzschean population devastated by a rogue black hole in the pilot episode and the place of Dylan's frozen imprisonment in time for 300 years. It turned out in season five that the Andromeda still somehow retained a connection to this black hole.
  • Mobius, a barren world with underground cities. Mobius was ruled by ruthless dictators for many centuries but joined the New Commonwealth when its leader, the "Great Compass" Venetri resigned.
  • San-Ska-Re, a Than homeworld and a major power in post-Fall Known Worlds. Did not actually appear on screen.
  • Seefra, a mysterious artificial system of nine planets and two suns where Dylan and his crew were transported after the Battle of Arkology. Seefra-One is revealed to actually be Tarn-Vedra.
  • Tarazed, a world with significant human and loyalist Nietzschean populations which survived the Long Night largely unscathed. It became the first capital of the New Commonwealth. Birthplace of Telemachus Rhade. Tarazed was described in the series as being located in another galaxy and therefore is not intended to be equivalent to Tarazed, a non-fictional star of the same name.
  • Tarn-Vedra, the capital of the Old Systems Commonwealth and Vedran homeworld. All slipstream routes to Tarn-Vedra vanished soon after the Nietzschean rebellion, contributing to the ensuing chaos. Dylan was born on Tarn-Vedra. One of his motivations for restoring the Commonwealth is the search for his own lost home.

Major races[edit]

  • Avatars of the Suns, humanoid forms of stars with great powers. They are immortal and can travel through time and space, affecting events and people as they wish.
  • Humans make up about 70% of the Known Worlds population. Subspecies with minor genetic enhancements (like the Inari) are common.
  • Kalderans, a xenophobic reptilian race which once rivaled the Vedrans. They managed to reverse engineer their own Slipstream drive.
  • Magog, a race of savage semi-intelligent alien killers, feared throughout the Known Worlds. The Magog have to kill and eat fresh meat to sustain themselves and to lay eggs into sentient beings to procreate. Magog Worldship is a structure of 20 planets and an artificial sun, home to trillions of Magog and a grave threat to the Known Worlds.
  • Nietzscheans, a group of superior humans who believed in self-improvement via genetic engineering and intense competition. They left the planet Earth thousands of years ago and evolved into a separate subspecies (Homo sapiens invictus) which colonized many worlds throughout the galaxies. Nietzscheans are responsible for the Fall of the Systems Commonwealth; however, they failed to replace it with the Nietzschean Empire (as they had originally planned) because of constant betrayals and conflicts between different Nietzschean Prides.
  • Nightsiders, rat-like humanoids with poor vision, but highly developed hearing. Their reproductive cycle is very damaging to the environment, as their early larval stage is an aquatic creature which eats anything it comes across.
  • Paradine, a highly evolved form of the Vedrans, which looks like ordinary humans. The Paradine apparently had a special role in dealing with the Avatars of the Suns and the Route of Ages, but they are all but extinct now. Dylan Hunt is the last.
  • Perseids, a highly intelligent race of alien scientists and bureaucrats.
  • Pyrian, a grotesque, tentacled orb like species who are one of the most powerful enemies of the Commonwealth.
  • Than-Thre-Kull (Than), a tough and highly intelligent and civilized insectoid race divided into various function-specific castes.
  • Vedrans, the first intelligent race to discover slipstream that connects the entire universe. The Vedrans went on to conquer the Known Worlds, building the Vedran Empire. The Empire was plagued by internal conflicts and eventually was peacefully transformed into the Systems Commonwealth.

Other races[edit]

  • Bokor, dangerous parasites that possess other species in order to survive, spreading through physical contact. Inside their shells, the Bokor are practically invulnerable to any type of weapon, ranging to energy, melee or bullets. However, they are vulnerable to electricity. Their existence in the Known Worlds is abhorred by the Than who attack any vessel carrying them. For normal humanoids, it takes a while for the Bokor to destroy their neural functions and take over. But for Trance Gemini, it just took a few seconds.
  • Ogami, a race of brutish pirates and mercenaries.

Organizations[edit]

  • Collectors, The Commonwealth's keepers of secret history. The collectors who took over power of the new Commonwealth are agents of the Abyss, but the true collectors remain hidden and are on the side of the light.
  • Genites, a high-tech, numerous and well-organized intergalactic group whose aim is to rid the Universe of genetically engineered beings, especially the Nietzschean Prides, who brought about the downfall of humanity.
  • High Guard, Main military force of the Systems Commonwealth.
  • Tech Police, The brutish anti-tech enforcement on Seefra-1.
  • Templar, a group of men and women who sought to restore order after the Fall. They were founded by High Guard Admiral Constanza Stark.

Home media[edit]

ADV Films released the entire series on DVD in Region 1 between 2003-2006. On October 3, 2006, they released a complete series DVD box set known as Andromeda: The Slipstream Collection.

Alliance Home Entertainment has released all five seasons on DVD in Canada only.

In Region 2, Revelation Films will release the first season on DVD in the UK on June 24, 2013.[4] Seasons 2 will be released on October 14, 2013,[5] followed by season 3 on February 17, 2014.[6]

In Region 4, Beyond Home Entertainment has released all 5 seasons on DVD in Australia. In 2007/2008 they re-released all 5 seasons in new collector's editions that featured new packaging and all episodes were digitally re-mastered in wide screen format.[7]

A region B blu-ray release of series one will be released on June 24, 2013 in the UK, with the next two series following by the end of the year.[8]

Awards[edit]

Andromeda was nominated for awards five organizational events spanning the years 2001 to 2006. It was nominated for six Academy of Science Fiction, Fantasy & Horror Films, USA awards, five Chicago International Film Festival awards, eight Gemini Awards, fifteen Leo Awards, and five WorldFest Houston awards. The show won 18 awards, of the total 39 nominations.

Awards
Year Awards Category Nominee Episode Result
2001 Academy of Science Fiction, Fantasy & Horror Films, USA Best Syndicated/Cable Television Series Andromeda [9] Nominated
2001 Academy of Science Fiction, Fantasy & Horror Films, USA Best Actor on Television Kevin Sorbo Nominated
2001 Gemini Awards Best Performance by an Actress in a Featured Supporting Role in a Dramatic Series Lisa Ryder Nominated
2001 Gemini Awards Best Visual Effects Bruce MacDougall, James Kawano, Geoff Anderson, Tom Tennisco, Joe Farrell, Jim Finn, Darren Marcoux, Roberto Biagi Nominated
2001 Leo Awards Best Musical Score of a Dramatic Series JefMatthew McCauley Music Of A Distant Drum Won
2001 Leo Awards Best Visual Effects in a Dramatic Series Todd Liddiard Won
2001 Leo Awards Best Visual Effects of Dramatic Series Jim Finn, Roberto Biagi, Tom Tennisco, Geoff Anderson, Jamie Kawano, Paul Cox, Joe Farrell, Peter Mastalyr, Bruce MacDougall, Mladen Miholjcic, Noel Wright, Jean-Paul Ledoux Mathematics of Tears Won
2001 Leo Awards Best Picture Editing of Dramatic Series Gordon Rempel Angel Dark, Demon Bright Nominated
2001 Leo Awards Editing, Dramatic Series Eric Hill Music of a Distant Drum Won
2001 WorldFest Houston Television and Cable Production - Directing - Television David Winning Attempting Screed Won
2002 Academy of Science Fiction, Fantasy & Horror Films, USA Best Syndicated/Cable Television Series Andromeda Nominated
2002 Academy of Science Fiction, Fantasy & Horror Films, USA Best Actress on Television Lexa Doig Nominated
2002 Gemini Awards Best Achievement in Make-Up Ryan Nicholson, Francesca von Zimmermann Won
2002 Gemini Awards Best Performance by an Actress in a Guest Role in a Dramatic Series Kristin Lehman Nominated
2002 Gemini Awards Best Photography in a Dramatic Program or Series Gordon Verheul Nominated
2002 Gemini Awards Best Visual Effects Geoff Anderson, Jim Finn, Roberto Biagi, Tom Tennisco Nominated
2002 Leo Awards Dramatic Series: Best Visual Effects Jim Finn It's Hour Come Round At Last Nominated
2002 WorldFest Houston Television and Cable Production - Directing - Television David Winning Double or Nothingness Won
2002 WorldFest Houston Television and Cable Production - Directing - Television David Winning Machinery of The Mind Won
2003 Academy of Science Fiction, Fantasy & Horror Films, USA Best Syndicated/Cable Television Series Andromeda Nominated
2003 Chicago International Film Festival awards Special Achievement in Direction David Winning A Heart for Falsehood Framed Won
2003 Gemini Awards Best Achievement in Make-Up Ryan Nicholson, Francesca von Zimmermann Nominated
2003 Leo Awards Dramatic Series: Best Visual Effects Jim Finn, Paul Cox, Todd Liddiard, Peter Mastalyr, Robert Appleby The Tunnel at the End of the Light Won
2003 Leo Awards Dramatic Series: Best Supporting Performance - Female Laura Bertram The Dark Backward Nominated
2004 Academy of Science Fiction, Fantasy & Horror Films, USA Best Syndicated/Cable Television Series Andromeda Nominated
2004 Chicago International Film Festival awards Best Dramatic Series David Winning Double or Nothingness Won
2004 Chicago International Film Festival awards Best Dramatic Series David Winning Machinery of The Mind Won
2004 Chicago International Film Festival awards Special Achievement in Direction David Winning Double or Nothingness Won
2004 Gemini Awards Best Visual Effects Bruce Turner, Peter Hunt, Simon Lacey, Grant Lindsay A Symmetry of Imperfection Won
2004 WorldFest Houston Television and Cable Production - TV Series-Dramatic David Winning A Heart For Falsehood Frame Won
2005 Chicago International Film Festival awards Special Achievement in Direction David Winning Double or Nothingness Won
2005 Leo Awards Dramatic Series: Best Make-Up Francesca von Zimmermann Moonlight Becomes You Nominated
2005 Leo Awards Dramatic Series: Best Overall Sound Jeff Jackman, Michael Thomas, Roger Morris, Gordon Anderson Dissonant Interval Nominated
2005 Leo Awards Dramatic Series: Best Sound Editing Jeff Jackman, Chester Biolowas, Roger Morris Dissonant Interval Nominated
2005 Leo Awards Dramatic Series: Best Visual Effects Bruce Turner, Simon Lacey, Lindsay Grant, Ben Funk, Nick Michaeleski Dissonant Interval Nominated
2005 Leo Awards Dramatic Series: Best Visual Effects Bruce Turner, Simon Lacey, Lindsay Grant, Ben Funk, Nick Michaeleski Through a Glass Darkly Nominated
2005 WorldFest Houston Television and Cable Production - TV Series-Dramatic David Winning The Banks of The Lethe Won
2006 Leo Awards Best Sound Editing in a Dramatic Series Jeff Jackman, Chester Biolowas, Rick Senechal, Ian Mackie, Don Harrison Won
2006 Leo Awards Best Overall Sound in a Dramatic Series Paul Michael Thomas, Ken Biehl, Jeff Jackman, Gordon Anderson Nominated

References[edit]

External links[edit]