New 'Andromeda' Details Revealed

By Christian
April 12, 2000 - 5:04 PM

Jeff Bond at the Mothership has put up the first of a two-part report about the Gallifrey One convention, where Robert Hewitt Wolfe was one of the featured guests. At the con, Wolfe, who is lead writer for the new 'Andromeda' television series, provided lots of new details about the series.

As was already previously announced, 'Andromeda' focuses on Dylan Hunt, captain of the Andromeda Ascendant, a spacecraft of the Systems Commonwealth. The series starts when Hunt and his crew, through a series of dire events, are frozen and awaken several centuries later, finding the Commonwealth disrupted and fragmented after thousands of years of peace.

At the con, Wolfe revealed that the Systems Commonwealth was actually founded 10,000 years ago in the Andromeda galaxy by a race called the Vedrans. If the budget allows it, they will have four legs, looking remarkably like centaurs, and they might even have visited Earth about 2 millennia ago to scare some locals in Greece - a concept, incidentally, which was also explored by the Original Series' 'Who Mourns For Adonais?' Here's how Wolfe describes the Vedrans:

"But the Vedrans have grown a lot in the last 10,000 years. Ten thousand years ago, when the Vedrans developed slipstream drive, which is the way we move between the stars, they were not nice people. They were aggressive people. For every Vedran female, there are 15 males, and the result is that Vedran males are kind of aggressive. They act a lot like horses or lions on Earth - the male comes in and tries to drive off or kill the other males and get mating rights, but the female runs the herd."

"So when they got hold of slipstream drive this was not a good thing for the galaxy because they basically went around and kicked everybody else's heads in for a couple hundred years, but at the end of that they founded the Vedran Empire. The Vedran Empire, while founded with a kind of militaristic bent, did establish first contact with a number of other races, and after running the empire for a few hundred years and having all sorts of bad things happen and realizing that this idea of making everybody follow all their rules wasn't working out too well, reforms came to town in the form of the Systems Commonwealth."

As the story of 'Andromeda' starts, the Commonwealth has just gone through twelve centuries of peace and stability, until a downright evil race called the Magog attacks the Commonwealth. The task of defending the Commonwealth falls to its High Guard, a group Dylan Hunt is also a member of:

"Dylan himself is a veteran of these wars. He has some combat experience, he's a good man, a moral man, a man who always tries to do the right thing, a man who always tries to take the middle road, the good course. He has a good crew. Humans have been in the Commonwealth for about two thousand years, and humans are really good at something that most beings in the galaxy aren't good at. What we're good at is genetic engineering. Before we had interstellar space flight we were already producing sheep that had genetic twins."

Evidence of humankind's expertise in genetical engineering will be clearly visible in the series, as Hunt's first officer, named Gaharris Raday, will actually be a Nietzschean - part of a sub-branch of mankind genetically engineered to be really good survivors. These Nietzscheans should prove to be a very interesting addition to the series, as concepts such as honour, courage and truth don't seem to matter to them at all - fighting to survive is the only thing that matters for them. It'll be interesting to see how someone like that can function as the ship's first officer.

Anyway, lots more info about 'Andromeda' (including descriptions of races such as the Perseids, who introduced humankind to the Commonwealth, or the Than, bug-like creatures with a strong caste system), can be found in the full report. Part Two should be up soon.

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