Showcase TV Series – Gene Roddenberry’s Andromeda

“Gene Roddenberry’s Andromeda” is a science fiction TV series that ran for five seasons from 2000-2005, and “Andromeda” currently airs on the SciFi Channel weekdays at 11pm with repeats during the following day. “Andromeda” was developed from the notes for an unproduced TV series left behind by the late Gene Roddenberry, who’s famous for having created the popular science fiction series “Star Trek” and “Star Trek: The Next Generation”.
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Set approximately three thousand years in the future, there exists a vast intergalactic alliance called the All Systems Commonwealth, and Dylan Hunt is the captain of the Commonwealth starship Andromeda Ascendant. The Nietzscheans, supposed allies of the Commonwealth, launch a surprise attack on the Commonwealth, and in the initial battle, the Andromeda gets trapped in the event horizon of a black hole and becomes frozen in time. Three hundred years later, a salvage ship rescues the Andromeda, and Captain Hunt finds out that the Commonwealth has been overthrown, civilization everywhere has collapsed. The Nietzschean factions are fighting among themselves, and have enslaved countless worlds. A parasitic species, the Magog, has also swept through known space, leaving devastation everywhere.
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Dylan Hunt decides to bring order to the chaos by restoring the Commonwealth, and the first thing he do is recruit the crew of the salvage ship to join his cause. And thus, “Andromeda” showcases the starship Andromeda’s effort to set up alliances between alien worlds, convincing the worlds that by cooperating, together they are stronger and better off. Dylan’s mission becomes all the more important when the Andromeda discovers an impending Magog invasion, and that only a unified front could defend against them.
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Season 1 cast of Andromeda
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And right from the start, Captain Dylan Hunt faces enormous challenges as he tries to adjust to this brave new world. In this time of no authority, his rag-tag crew has no concept of chain of command or proper military procedures, with various members occasionally going off on field trips or taking leave of absence without giving proper notice, or by just leaving a note saying so. And Dylan is also a man out of his time. Whenever the Andromeda encounters a hostile situation, the trigger-happy crew would immediately advocate striking at the enemy, whereas Dylan would prefer diplomacy over confrontation, trying to establish communications with the hostiles, usually with enemy torpedoes already flying towards the Andromeda. Dylan steadfastly believes in the ideals of the long-gone Commonwealth, using force only as a last resort, which brings him into conflict with his crew, who thinks that Dylan is simply unable to comprehend that the universe is now a seriously dangerous place, different from the one that he came from.
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Furthermore, Dylan also has to contend that some of his crew members may have agendas of their own. His Nietzschean weapons officer has on numerous occasions carried out actions that come dangerously close to betray Dylan, he seems to have joined the Andromeda’s crew only to serve some unknown self-interest, using his duty as a cover. Andromeda’s purple-skinned medical officer has a mysterious background, she has often made many vital decisions or guesses that turn out to be the right choice, and is even able to come back to life after being seemingly killed. However, she has been reluctant to explain her abilities, often changing the subject when asked about it.
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Showcase TV Series - Gene Roddenberry's Andromeda
Commonwealth starship Andromeda Ascendant, a sentient warship
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“Andromeda” started off with a promising first season, but the quality of stories took a nosedive ever since the second half of season two, when the lead writer was replaced by the studio executives, who had come to assume that the stories were getting too complicated to understand with its expanding story arc, and had hoped to further improve the ratings by making “Andromeda” a more loving and action-packed show. The studio executives interference in the creative process is quite common in many TV series, more often resulting in the opposite effect of driving viewers away. While Andromeda indeed lost many fans who complain that they could no longer recognise the show for what it stood for, I personally feel that Andromeda remains as exciting as ever, with lots of explosions and mind-boggling fighting action in nearly every episodes.
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So, enjoy “Andromeda” for what it’s worth. SciFi Channel has shown seasons 1 and 2, and hopefully, seasons 3, 4, and 5 would see the light of day here soon.
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