Review – Andromeda
Andromeda, starring Kevin Sorbo and Lexa Doig, is an interesting show. It lasted for five seasons, had some really great episodes, but mostly it failed to execute the premise of the show.
The show’s premise is a captain, and his ship (a sentient AI) are living in a golden age, near utopian society. An attack from zealots leaves them in stasis for 300 years. When they finally reawaken the galaxy is not the same. Utopia has fallen, and they find themselves in a space dark age. Once a united Commonwealth, now systems have fallen into factional chaos. Can Captain Dylan Hunt and his faithful warship Andromeda rebuild what was lost? As the last remnant of the old Commonwealth, can they reignite the better angels of human and alien nature?
Sounds great, doesn’t it? One man and his trusty AI, against the chaos. A cross between “The Sleeper Wakes” and “Don Quixote.”
Unfortunately, the show never hits that mark. Episodes deal with a lot more monsters of the week than expanding on the overall storyline, a few episodes have significant moments, the first planet to sign up, the fiftieth planet and so on, but most of the overarching story is done with small single lines about things that happen off-screen. And the last series goes full off the rails by spending the majority of the season with the Andromeda broken, and Dylan and crew having changed after a time jump. Basically, it went full weird.
That’s not to say that there are not some great episodes. Angel Dark, Demon Bright; The Mathematics of Tears; Star-Crossed; Pitiless as the Sun; The Prince; The Fair Unknown; The Knight, Death and the Devil. All of these episodes are fantastic, and not all for the same reason; some are love stories, some are epic battles of good versus evil, there’s a couple of excellent time machine stories, and one is even an adaption of Machiavelli’s ‘The Prince’. Andromeda at its best can rival any scifi franchise.
I have re-watched Andromeda several times. While the show can come off corny at times, there is great character building, universe building, and the little nuggets of the premise keep bringing me back to it. Kevin Sorbo’s Dylan Hunt is a hopeful ideologue that refuses to sacrifice his ideals in the face of an uncaring universe. The other main characters of the show make up an excellent cast for character exploration. Bekka, the first officer who grew up grifting and learns from Dylan that there’s a better way. Trance, the enigmatic purple girl. Tyr, the mercenary warrior poet. Harper, the engineer who grew up in the slums. Rev Bem, the priest who comes from a race of cannibal horrors. And Rommie, the AI who controls a warship and can fall in love.
Had Andromeda not been a Gene Roddenberry property I don’t think it would have got five seasons, and arguably that last season is a disaster. Still, the show has enough good elements that it keeps bringing me back again and again.