Andromeda - Five & CountingBy Fred Shedian
Posted at November 8, 2000 - 7:01 PM GMT
We are fast coming up on an important anniversary...the two month birthday of Gene Roddenberry's "Andromeda." We have seen quite a few episodes, giving us a vision of this very interesting universe. Today, I would like to take a few moments to comment on the last two episodes of this show and give several remarks on some problems I am beginning to see develop.
First, I want to take a moment to look at "D Minus Zero" and "Double Helix." Being perfectly honest, I found "D Minus Zero" a very well written character developing episode. However, in some ways, I did have to question some of the dialogue...which in some cases got a bit too predictable. Although this isn't that big of an issue, and I may be getting a bit nit picky, but I would have thought the conflict between Hunt and Tyr could have been handled a little better. Looking at this, I saw a conflict similar to the one Star Trek had between Captain Janeway and Lieutenant Torres during the initial seasons. The predictable conflict didn't hold any real surprises, something I was a bit saddened by.
What I was a little confused about was the conflict between Dylan Hunt and Beka. Previous to this episode, her loyalty really hadn't been firmly established one way or the other. The problem with this is that the audience didn't know who she was relating to. By end of the episode this had indeed changed, but the conflict of changing sides didn't hold the impact the writers wanted because no knew what side she was on initially. The final conflict between Beka and her crew didn't hold the "betrayal" factor which I believe everyone was aiming for. This, in part, gets back to the fact no one knew who Beka was relating to. The attempted establishment towards the beginning of the episode between Beka and Rommie didn't do enough. I hope the writers will try harder next time.
Looking to last week's adventure, "Double Heelix," I have to say I liked what I saw. The continuing conflict between Hunt and Tyr came to a very good "half time" conclusion. Overall, I believe this was an excellent episode detailing the conflict Hunt is facing by being 300 years old and Tyr is facing sticking aboard the Andromeda. Looking at the good old Captain Dylan, the scenes taking place in his "quarters/office" were simply wonderful. The flashbacks are something I sincerely hope the writers will continue to use so that we can gain further information about the Andromeda's past, former crew and their relationship to their Captain. Beyond noticing a very "familiar" looking chess board, the scene between Hunt and his now deceased First Officer was perfect. The conflict between Tyr did also accomplish it's goal, although I was a bit disappointed we didn't learn more about Tyr's history. One can only hope future adventures will further develop this aspect of the show.
There are two issues I would like raise at this point, looking at five episodes of the show. First, I have to say that some of the specials effects are lacking a "serious" tone to them. I really want to say they are beginning to look bland. For example, instead of looking at a "tactical display," perhaps it would be better to actually see a picture of the torpedoes hitting their target. In addition, the "in battle" scenes aboard the bridge honestly disappoint me. These "Matrix" type scenes, being perfectly honest, look ridiculous. Having the crew shift left, shift right, do this in slow motion and put in a yellow haze to show a battle just doesn't work for me. I am not sure if this being done because there is not enough time in the hour to show the actual battle or by design itself. In any event, I hope Andromeda will stay away from this in the future.
My second issue has to do with Dylan Hunt himself. We have yet to see any real emotional impact regarding his situation. We are sitting aboard a ship designed to hold a crew of 4,000 people. Right now, we have perhaps seven aboard...not counting drones. Most of this ship isn't being used. Although Andromeda is maintaining it, there is an excellent potential for some serious flashback material, character development or interesting story lines. For example, if Dylan Hunt did a "tour" of the lower decks of the ship...perhaps areas not accessed since the time change...there would excellent potential for him to finally come to terms with the fact his crew is dead. In addition, there is another side to this story.
If, out of some miracle, another time travel episode comes up...why not take on some people and raise the crew size to fifty? These people wouldn't do too much, but might help establish more "routine" aboard the Andromeda, make it more realistic to maintain the ship (ie: damage control) and help solidify the main characters as "senior people" aboard the vessel...instead of the "only people" aboard the vessel. I still have problems thinking Rommie is able to repair a ship single handedly when the High Guard probably had several hundred engineers aboard. Although I seriously doubt this will happen, the potential for story lines and development is simply astounding. I hope the writers are looking in to this avenue, as I think it one that would be very beneficial to the show.
Once again, I always wish to hear from the readers. Please feel free to give your remarks, sending them to firstname.lastname@example.org. I do ask you make sure to include your name, return e-mail address and the column are you are writing about.
Until next time...
Fred Shedian writes a weekly 'A Take On Trek' column for the Trek Nation.