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I wish you would stop looking for beauty in things that want to kill us.
December 4, 2013 8:42 AM   Subscribe

"The long night has come. The Systems Commonwealth, the greatest civilization in history, has fallen. Now, one ship, one crew have vowed to drive back the night and rekindle the light of civilization. On the starship Andromeda hope lives again"

Background
Gene Roddenberry's Andromeda premiered in 2000, three years after the premiere of Earth: Final Conflict. The show, set 3000 years in the future, follows the adventures of an idealistic Systems Commonwealth Captain, Dylan Hunt (Kevin Sorbo), his ship the Andromeda Ascendant (anthropomorphized in the ship's holographic and robot AI avatar "Rommie," played by Lexa Doig,) and the crew of a salvage ship that rescued him from the event horizon of a black hole, where he had been trapped for 300 years.

While Captain Hunt was "frozen in time," his civilization fell to an uprising, launching an era known as "The Long Night." The show revolves around his attempt to restore the Systems Commonwealth and "rekindle the light of civilization." Wikipedia has additional plot and series details.

* TV Tropes has a page on the show. Contains lots of spoilers for the series.
* The Andromeda Wiki
* Jammer's Reviews covered the first two seasons

There were 110 episodes of Andromeda produced (22 per season). The show, which ran for five seasons, was based on notes and story ideas left behind by the late Gene Roddenberry, best known for developing Star Trek. It was developed by Robert Hewitt Wolfe (who had previously worked on Star Trek: Deep Space Nine) and produced by Majel Barret, Roddenberry's widow. But the show was plagued by executive meddling. Wolfe only remained with the show as Executive Producer for two seasons -- network executives reportedly found it too cerebral and requested less complexity, "more aliens, more space battles, and less internal conflict" to make the series more palatable for syndication. Wolfe has since posted a coda online: "Andromeda's Intended Five Year Arc" explaining where he had planned to take story if he had continued as show-runner.

The show is essentially three-in-one. The first two seasons are Wolfe's, with tighter storylines and arcs. The third and fourth season are mostly stand-alone, action-oriented shows. The fifth and final season, when the show was picked up by the SciFi Channel, features a season-long arc that bears little resemblance to any of the previous seasons.

The Episodes
Links to the whole show's run on YouTube are listed below. Links are included to playlists for each season, however, they are backwards. Each playlist starts with a season finale and works its way back to a premiere.

Season 1 (2000 - 2001)
* Playlist
1) Under the Night
2) An Affirming Flame
3) To Loose the Fateful Lightning
4) D Minus Zero
5) Double Helix
6) Angel Dark, Demon Bright
7) The Ties that Blind
8) The Banks of the Lethe
9) A Rose in the Ashes
10) All Great Neptune’s Ocean
11) The Pearls That Were His Eyes
12) The Mathematics of Tears
13) Music of a Distant Drum
14) Harper 2.0
15) Forced Perspective
16) The Sum of its Parts
17) Fear and Loathing in the Milky Way
18) The Devil Take the Hindmost
19) The Honey Offering
20) Star-Crossed
21) It Makes a Lovely Light
22) Its Hour Come ‘Round At Last

Season 2 (2001-2002)
* Playlist
1) The Widening Gyre
2) Exit Strategies
3) Heart for Falsehood
4) Pitiless as the Sun
5) Last Call at the Broken Hammer
6) All Too Human
7) Una Salus Victus
8) Home Fires
9) Into the Labyrinth
10) The Prince
11) Bunker Hill
12) Ouroboros
13) Lava and Rockets
14) Be All My Sins Remembered
15) Dance of the Mayflies
16) In Heaven Now Are Three
17) The Things We Cannot Change
18) The Fair Unknown
19) Belly of the Beast
20) The Knight, Death and the Devil
21) Immaculate Perception
22) Tunnel at the End of the Light

Season 3 (2002-2003)
* Playlist
1) If the Wheel is Fixed
2) The Shards of Rimni
3) Mad to be Saved
4) Cui Bono
5) The Lone and Level Sands
6) Slipfighter the Dogs of War
7) The Leper's Kiss
8) For Whom the Bell Tolls
9) And Your Heart Will Fly Away
10) The Unconquerable Man
11) Delenda Est
12) The Dark Backward
13) The Risk-All Point
14) The Right Horse
15) What Happens to a Rev Deferred?
16) Point of the Spear
17) Vault of the Heavens
18) Deep Midnight's Voice
19) The Illusion of Majesty
20) Twilight of the Idols
21) Day of Judgment, Day of Wrath
22) Shadows Cast by a Final Salute

Season 4 (2003-2004)
* Playlist
1) Answers Given to Questions Never Asked
2) Pieces of Eight
3) Waking the Tyrant's Device
4) Double or Nothingness
5) Harper/Delete
6) Soon the Nearing Vortex
7) The World Turns All Around Her
8) Conduit to Destiny
9) Machinery of the Mind
10) Exalted Reason, Resplendent Daughter
11) The Torment, The Release
12) The Spider's Stratagem
13) The Warmth of an Invisible Light
14) The Others
15) Fear Burns Down to Ashes
16) Lost in a Space That Isn't There
17) Abridging the Devil's Divide
18) Trusting the Gordian Maze
19) A Symmetry of Imperfection
20) Time Out of Mind
21) The Dissonant Interval (Part One)
22) The Dissonant Interval (Part Two)

Season 5 (2004-2005)
* Playlist (backwards)
1) The Weight (Part One)
2) The Weight (Part Two)
3) Phear Phactor Phenom
4) Decay of the Angel
5) The Eschatology of Our Present
6) When Goes Around…
7) Attempting Screed
8) So Burn the Untamed Lands
9) What Will be Was Not
10) The Test
11) Through a Glass Darkly
12) Pride Before the Fall
13) Moonlight Becomes You
14) Past is Prolix
15) The Opposites of Attraction
16) Saving Light From a Black Sun
17) Totaled Recall
18) Quantum Tractate Delirium
19) One More Day's Light
20) Chaos and the Stillness of It
21) The Heart of the Journey (Part One)
22) The Heart of the Journey (Part Two)

Title Cards
Each episode begins with a fake quote on a title card, such as:
REQUESTED: One Mark V ECM Unit, 100 km of Fullerene cable, one low-yield nuclear warhead

PURPOSE: Surprise party for foreign dignitary

Argosy Special Operations Requisition Form, CY 9512
A full list can be seen in this thread
posted by zarq (43 comments total) 40 users marked this as a favorite

 
The only thing I remember about Andromeda was that one of the episodes was an entirely ham-fisted allegory/recommendation for ousting Saddam Hussein. Or seemed it to me at the time, anyway.
posted by spinn at 8:47 AM on December 4, 2013


Kevin Sorbo is not doing any cartwheels! I smell a meme!
posted by Nanukthedog at 8:58 AM on December 4, 2013


That was on for five seasons?
posted by Mister_A at 9:08 AM on December 4, 2013 [8 favorites]


The first several seasons were really quite good; I remember being impressed by the quality of the episodes, and my wife and I watched it religiously. Then the quality dropped off, they started making inexplicable changes, and several of the episodes just struck me as... dumb. We stopped trying to follow it sometime in season three or four. It was only later that I heard about Wolfe being ousted for being too "cerebral," and the change suddenly made perfect sense.
posted by kikaider01 at 9:11 AM on December 4, 2013 [4 favorites]


The only thing I remember about Andromeda was that one of the episodes was an entirely ham-fisted allegory/recommendation for ousting Saddam Hussein. Or seemed it to me at the time, anyway.

Heavy banded allegory? In a Roddenberry show?
posted by Artw at 9:14 AM on December 4, 2013 [9 favorites]


I've never heard of this! What network did it run on?
posted by Chocolate Pickle at 9:15 AM on December 4, 2013


The only thing I remember about this show was that there was an episode where the badass black dude was meditating and some character asked where he got his meditation candles from and he said he rendered them from the fat of his enemies.
posted by Diablevert at 9:17 AM on December 4, 2013 [5 favorites]


This sounds a bit like what happened to Sliders. I wish that meddling network executives were smart enough to just kill a show they didn't understand.

A smart, good, unpopular show cannot be made popular by making it dumb and bad.
posted by General Tonic at 9:17 AM on December 4, 2013 [12 favorites]


That was on for five seasons?
I was surprised by that, too. I remember watching and really liking the show, but didn't realize it ran for five seasons.

I may have not seen it all, though, owing to the craptastic nature of syndication in my area. Shows (like this and Babylon 5) would run for awhile, then get dropped by whatever local station had the rights to air it, or get moved to various time slots, so you couldn't find it. So, it's really possible I missed a huge chink of it because it may not have been aired completely here.
posted by Thorzdad at 9:17 AM on December 4, 2013


CP...It was syndicated. No network, except for the final season, when SciFi picked it up.
posted by Thorzdad at 9:21 AM on December 4, 2013


Chocolate Pickle: "I've never heard of this! What network did it run on?"

It was produced by Tribune, and syndicated through them. Usually, it ran on either UPN or the WB, or on Fox.
posted by zarq at 9:25 AM on December 4, 2013 [1 favorite]


I remember watching from the series premier with tempered hopes (given the experience of E: FC). Too bad it went in the direction(s) it did, as Wolfe's original ideas had potential. I especially enjoyed Brent Stait's character Rev Bem. Perhaps it was for the best that the costume prosthesis was too taxing for him, as I doubt his character would have fared better than any of the others in later seasons.
posted by audi alteram partem at 9:25 AM on December 4, 2013


Roddenbury tried to use this premise shortly after Star Trek to get a series off the ground.
Dylan Hunt was also the character in 'Genesis II' and 'Planet Earth' two different attempts to have a hero trying to restore civilization to a post-apocalyptic society.

They even tried a third attempt on the same premise with 'Strange New World'

I recall a very young very hot Mariette Hartley in a man-hating matriarchal society encountered by one of the stunning Hunts.
posted by exparrot at 9:31 AM on December 4, 2013 [1 favorite]


The show was terrible. For the first couple of seasons it kinda seemed like it could rise above it, Tyr Anasazi was a cool character.
But the real flush of the toilet was, Kevin Sorbo had creative control.

Any character who competed with Sorbo's character kinda got dumbed/eviled out (eg Tyr). The Captain was always right in a way that made him seem like a schizophrenic or a psychopath.
Oh, you were right in this episode because you knew your skeezy crew would never betray you, despite that seeming likely? And you were right in this episode because you knew your crew WERE going to try a doublecross, despite that seeming unlikely?

WotEVER.

But, y'know, it's probably not as bad as Teen Wolf in some ways (now there is a show with dick wolves).
posted by Elysum at 9:35 AM on December 4, 2013 [4 favorites]


This show was often cheesy, but still made for remarkably decent scifi. Better than 80-90% of syfy offerings anyway.
posted by BrotherCaine at 9:37 AM on December 4, 2013 [4 favorites]


zarq, your alternative to paying for Netflix streaming or Hulu or whatnot. Try zarq, it's free!
posted by filthy light thief at 10:01 AM on December 4, 2013 [5 favorites]


Kevin Sorbo was not a very interesting lead actor, but the first couple of years of the series were reasonably entertaining, in a low-budget syndicated sort of way. Also, Lexa Doig is a very attractive woman, so watching her was always at least pleasant, even when the show used the character of Romy in dumb or inconsistent ways.

Subsequently, it seemed to go downhill rather quickly, though I never saw any of the episodes that aired on SciFi. Good to know they're on YouTube, perhaps I'll check out a couple just to see what they're like.
posted by Nat "King" Cole Porter Wagoner at 10:03 AM on December 4, 2013


I was totally hooked on this show as a teenager, at least until some point in season 3 when it started going off the rails. Despite the frequent cheesiness, it somehow seemed more mature and sophisticated than TNG, which was my other introduction to SF.
posted by teraflop at 10:11 AM on December 4, 2013


This series premiered during my formative late-teenage years and taught me that Nietzscheans were selfish jerks who had no problem torching all of galactic civilization and plunging the entire cosmos into barbaric darkness just so that they could get theirs.

It's amazing to speculate on how influential this terrible show may have been on me.
posted by RonButNotStupid at 10:13 AM on December 4, 2013 [2 favorites]


filthy light thief: "zarq, your alternative to paying for Netflix streaming or Hulu or whatnot. Try zarq, it's free!"

HA! :)
posted by zarq at 10:14 AM on December 4, 2013


I sort of liked it to start but stopped watching it because I find Kevin Sorbo pretty generally unwatchable. And he seems now to believe that he's being excluded from Hollywood because of his politics, not because of the significant problem of not actually being much of an actor. But it felt like there was a lot of potential there--might go back and at least try the first couple seasons again.
posted by Sequence at 10:15 AM on December 4, 2013


Any character who competed with Sorbo's character kinda got dumbed/eviled out (eg Tyr). The Captain was always right in a way that made him seem like a schizophrenic or a psychopath.
Oh, you were right in this episode because you knew your skeezy crew would never betray you, despite that seeming likely? And you were right in this episode because you knew your crew WERE going to try a doublecross, despite that seeming unlikely?


So basically not being very good at being Farscape.
posted by Artw at 10:31 AM on December 4, 2013 [1 favorite]


Mister_A: "That was on for five seasons?"

Frustratingly, yes. :)

The first season was decent. Diverse characters. Alien aliens. Everyone has their own agenda, and it's a pretty dark show. Not like TNG. The ship has a believable, sentient AI. Episode 6 Angel Dark, Demon Bright stands out as a pretty great scifi story.

But the show peaked way too early, and one of the reasons was they fired Wolfe before he had fully developed the characters.

Season two was okay. Some decent eps and some clunkers. Seasons three and four were... not particularly good. As was mentioned upthread, Sorbo became the action hero, and continuity and logic went out the window. Brent Stait left and then they Keith Hamilton Cobb did too. Their characters lent depth and complexity to the show. Cobb's Tyr in particular was a fun character. Scheming, obsessed, funny. He was a great foil for the Captain and when he left the show's quality suffered badly.

When you see Sorbo in interviews today, if asked about the show he says Hunt's greatest quality was that he was human, fallible and vulnerable. Yet that's exactly what they removed from the character in season's 3 and 4.

Season five was different. Same characters. Different setting and goals. More thoughtful episodes. I didn't particularly like that last season, but other people might.
posted by zarq at 10:35 AM on December 4, 2013


he seems now to believe that he's being excluded from Hollywood because of his politics

I don't know what his politics are, but I think I'd be willing to get behind any movement seeking to oppress Kevin Sorbo.
posted by justsomebodythatyouusedtoknow at 10:35 AM on December 4, 2013 [2 favorites]


I watched about three episodes of Andromeda before finding something else to check out of the library.The premise was interesting, but damn the incredibly bad acting and writing made it pretty much unwatchable.
posted by happyroach at 10:41 AM on December 4, 2013


Oh, I just re-found the BEST thing:
(ok, it's not the best thing)

The actor who played meditative 'badass black dude' aka Tyr aka Keith Hamilton Cobb...
Wrote his own fanfiction.
https://web.archive.org/web/20030406231114/http://www.keithhamiltoncobb.com/ancestors/framesetblack.htm

From what I understand, I think he wanted some background for his character from the writers, and they just LOL'd, so he wrote his own.

But c'mon. Isn't that adorable?

You were a Shakespearean stage actor in a crappy TV show, following in the mold of many (hey Patrick Stewart!) before you, but dammit, you cared, and you tried.
posted by Elysum at 10:59 AM on December 4, 2013 [15 favorites]


Andromeda got five seasons.

Firefly got one.

I'm not sure where I'm going with this.
posted by xqwzts at 11:00 AM on December 4, 2013 [7 favorites]


I am a sci-fi fan who has never heard of this before. I guess having kids and never having cable puts a guy in some sort of cultural cave. I sometimes feel like when my youngest hits 18 years old, I will walk outside my door and all of civilization will have collapsed around me while I was busy parenting.
posted by BearClaw6 at 11:05 AM on December 4, 2013


I remember I was on some Andromeda forum when this show was on, and everyone was freaking out because Wolfe was leaving and the show was going to suck. My response was now now, let's not be hasty, just because they've got different people working on it doesn't mean it will automatically be terrible.

I was wrong.
posted by ckape at 11:12 AM on December 4, 2013 [3 favorites]


Looking for this on Netflix. Lets see "Andromeda: Playing Off the Board: Progressive rock act Andromeda -- a Swedish quintet formed in the late 1990s" no, that's not it, "The Andromeda Strain. When a satellite crashes in New Mexico" Nope, not that either. "Andromina: The Pleasure Planet. At the spaceport of Andromina, three astronauts show up in hopes of scoring some action at a whorehouse run by Mabel " Oh what the heck.
posted by shothotbot at 11:17 AM on December 4, 2013 [2 favorites]


You were a Shakespearean stage actor in a crappy TV show, following in the mold of many (hey Patrick Stewart!) before you, but dammit, you cared, and you tried.

BY GRABTHARS HAMMER

YOU WILL

BE AVENGED
posted by Sebmojo at 11:31 AM on December 4, 2013 [8 favorites]


It was all downhill after that blue girl stopped being blue. I wonder whether that was when Wolfe's grip started slipping. Like that god-awful white horse in West Wing that so clearly marked Sorkin's departure.
posted by chortly at 11:53 AM on December 4, 2013


I imagine that Wolfe's grip started slipping when Kevin Sorbo expanded his involvement with the production side.
posted by ZeusHumms at 12:37 PM on December 4, 2013


Andromeda got five seasons.
Firefly got one.
I'm not sure where I'm going with this.


How about "And a Blind Man Shall Lead Them".

"He killed me Mal. He killed me with a sword."

"It's astounding, time is fleeting, Madness takes its toll ..."

Nope. You're right ... there are no words.
posted by Twang at 1:09 PM on December 4, 2013


Andromeda got five seasons.

Firefly got one.

I'm not sure where I'm going with this.


I doubt you could get a big spaceship show to go to even 1 season now, it seems to have died as a genre.
posted by Artw at 1:12 PM on December 4, 2013


EDIT: DAMN YOU, Sebmojo!!! DAMN YOU TO HELL!

Mine was funnier, grumble...
posted by IAmBroom at 1:16 PM on December 4, 2013


snooze::lose, buddy

I must get a copy of Galaxy Quest, it's the Groundhog Day of sci fi movies. Every home is enriched by its presence.
posted by Sebmojo at 4:38 PM on December 4, 2013 [2 favorites]


Thanks for this. I was so sad when I watched the premiere of season 3 and I knew it was going to suck forevermore.

It seemed that it was pretty clearly a masked Star Trek universe and it was fun to play 'match the species'.
posted by bq at 5:11 PM on December 4, 2013 [1 favorite]


I doubt you could get a big spaceship show to go to even 1 season now, it seems to have died as a genre.

Don't worry. Westerns died as a genre decades ago but we still get a great one every few years.
posted by justsomebodythatyouusedtoknow at 10:39 PM on December 4, 2013


EDIT:

[I know it sucks balls to get beaten to a joke, but please don't use the edit feature like this. Just post a followup comment to wear your joke shame like we've always done around here.]
posted by cortex at 10:50 AM on December 6, 2013


It was all downhill after that blue girl stopped being blue.

Dude she was purple. And yeah, things got weird when Purple Tailed Trance got replaced by Gold TaillessTrance From The Future. But I do think I liked Gold Trance better. I liked Andromeda, but it stopped holding my interest around the middle of season 2 and then I stopped watching entirely when Robert left.
posted by nooneyouknow at 10:55 AM on December 6, 2013


I loved this show. I totally had the hots for the grape girl.

I also loved Earth: Final Conflict (but not after they killed Boone).

I think I've watched all the Hercules and all the Xenas. I'm not sure if I saw all of Andromeda or not.

Most say Kevin Sorbo is not a good actor, but I can honestly say he always entertains me.
posted by cjorgensen at 4:43 PM on December 12, 2013


Aww… All the videos seem to have been taken down at some point today.
posted by JiBB at 12:25 AM on December 20, 2013


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