I’ve recently been watching Andromeda. I know I’m a little behind the times as the series finished in 2005. I don’t even know what channel it was on when it was first shown in the UK. I had seen some of it on Virgin catch-up – then it seemed to disappear or my parents got rid of it – I’m not sure which.
In any event I am now able to watch the series again through the Tesco dvd list.
Andromeda was created from material written by Gene Roddenberry. It is set in the far future. The year, in terms of the Gregorian calendar, is never stated. However it is reckoned, by looking at various web sites, that it is several thousand years in the future.
Andromeda is naturally in the shadow of Star Trek. This is partly because its science fiction, and fairly or not this sort of comparison will always be made, but also because it was created by Gene Roddenberry. I think it had the potential to be better than Star Trek but they didn’t make good use of what they had.
I have to say that Kevin Sorbo, who plays the captain, doesn’t quite work. I don’t know what it is, and this is just my opinion, but he wasn’t that believable. The Captains in Star Trek, yes even Archer, are all believable. It may be the hair. Its longer than is usual for a man but not long enough to be tied back. I know that that’s a helluva statement for me, I have long hair, but there it is. The other characters are well developed and interesting. To me Beka Valentine comes across far more as a captain.
The Andromeda Ascendant, the titular ship, is a High Guard vessel. It belongs to the Systems Commonwealth. This is basically the United Federation of Planets. Unlike Star Trek it wasn’t founded by humans. This means that the ship and the uniforms have a wonderful alien feel to them.
The ship has a lot of sophistication, auto repair systems and a AI for instance, but still seems to be a little behind in other areas. There is the implication that sometimes the AI controls robots to operate the consoles rather than doing the job itself.
The ship also has a massive crew, over four thousand, which seems a little incongruous when put against the high technology. I would think that by that time robots could perform most ship functions. In fact the whole premise of the series is that the crew is only seven people. They seem to be able to manage the functions of the ship and I find myself wondering why the ship originally had such a large crew.
Over all Andromeda is a fun series. It is bright and colourful with some interesting, if somewhat archetypal, characters. There are certainly better series out their but this is certainly worth a watch.