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Blu-ray Review

DVD cover

Season One


Starring: Kevin Sorbo, Lisa Ryder, Keith Hamilton Cobb, Lexa Doig, Laura Bertram, Gordon Michael Woolvett and Brent Stait
Distributor: Revelation Films
RRP: £59.99
Certificate: 15
Release Date: 24 June 2013

Dylan Hunt, captain of the Andromeda Ascendant, is betrayed by his first officer on the eve of a major battle. Stuck in the cusp of a black hole for three hundred years, the ship is finally rescued. Dylan discovers that the Commonwealth, which he served, has been destroyed heralding a time of darkness. With the help of the salvage crew and his powerful ship, Dylan sets out to restore the Commonwealth and bring civilisation back to the three galaxies...

Andromeda (2000) is a science fiction show, which ran for five seasons. The show was based upon materials left behind by Gene Roddenberry, which was developed into a show by Robert Hewitt Wolfe.

Season one had the most integrated narrative as the show developed the idea of Dylan and his crew slowly stitching back together a version of the Commonwealth from a galaxy at war with itself, a task he eventually succeed at, creating a loose federation of fifty worlds, rather than the original millions.

Although Dylan would meet many strange and usually belligerent races, the main antagonists of the show remained the Nietzscheans, a race of genetically enhanced humans who base their whole outlook on life on the philosophies of the Friedrich Nietzsche. By the time Dylan is unfrozen they have broken up into Prides, at war with themselves and the rest of the universe. Their brutal outlook means that they have become a scourge, killing and enslaving all they meet.

Their initial rebellion was in response to the Commonwealth's attempts to appease the Magog, a species of bat like creature who were at war with the Commonwealth, by giving away strategically placed planets, planets inhabited by the Nietzscheans, sowing the seeds of their own destruction.

Dylan is played uber serious by Kevin Sorbo, who had previously found success in Hercules: The Legendary Journeys, playing the lead character. Often finding himself faced with difficult decisions, as the captain he has to wrestle with his own sense of morality, which few now share.

His crew is made up of the salvagers, who originally drew the ship away from the black hole. Beka Valentine (Lisa Ryder), becomes his first officer, with Seamus Zelazny Harper (Gordon Michael Woolvett) taking the role of engineer. Conflict is supplied by Tyr Anasazi (Keith Hamilton Cobb), a Nietzschean, who does not always agree with Dylan’s more pacifistic outlook. The remaining crew consists of an enigmatic alien Trance Gemini (Laura Bertram) whose origins and abilities are unknown, Rev Bem (Brent Stait), Magog and committed pacifist. The ship is represented as an avatar played by Lexa Doig.

The series starts off strong with a good premise and enough differences in the crew to maintain some tension in the stories. Over the course of the first twenty-two episodes the show explores the universe and the fractured alliances which only just hold it together. The acting is a bit stilted at first, but the cast settle into their characters pretty quickly, finding a good rhythm.

Season one is presented on a five disc Blu-ray set with a number of extras on the fifth disc, including some Alternative Takes (12 min, 24 sec), a Blooper Reel (7 min, 30 sec) and Deleted Scenes (12 min, 46 sec). You get a choice of either a 5.1 surround sound or 2.0 stereo audio mix.

Given that the show is thirteen years old, it still holds up pretty well. The original aspect ratio: 1.78:1 1080p picture is a little soft and has been digitally enhanced for this release. It’s a show of its time, so the CGI, although no longer spectacular, is passable as are the prosthetics for the aliens.

If you didn’t catch the show the first time around then this is a perfect chance to check it out.


Charles Packer

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