Shiny Shelf

Andromeda A1.3

By Mark Clapham on 08 November 2002

Another month, another batch of episodes of Kevin Sorbo’s space opera. We’re in the middle of the first season now, and the show is really hitting its stride. These episodes showcase the ensemble cast very well, giving the secondary characters more screen time.

First up is The Pearls That Were His Eyes, another exploration of Beka’s dubious gene pool. When she finds out exactly what a ruthless operator her Uncle Sid really is, Beka is faced with the possibility that her own late father might have been even worse. It’s a more down to Earth chunk of SF than we’re used to on this show, dealing with the worst and most practical of instincts. Even John De Lancie’s typically fruity turn as Uncle Sid doesn’t distract too much from the downbeat tone. The Mathematics Of Tears is also a bit grim, but less impressively so. Yet again Dylan and co encounter a fragment of the Commonwealth – remember, the one that was supposed to be obliterated? – this time in the form of the Andromeda’s sister ship, the Pax Magellanic. This Flying Dutchmen retread shows its roots a bit too obviously.

Music Of A Distant Drum is more impressive, as Tyr loses his memory when he crash lands on a planet that – hey! – looks just like Canada. Series boss-man Robert Hewitt Wolfe turns out a script that expands more on Tyr’s Nietzchean back-story, as well as setting up some intriguing story possibilities involving the religious relic Tyr gains possession of. Tyr is one of the most interesting characters in the show, and this episode – in many ways Die Hard in a Canadian forest – demonstrates both his more sympathetic side and the depths of his Nietzchean motivations. Harper 2.0 also has the advantage of showcasing one of the more interesting characters, as a dying alien downloads the wisdom of a civilisation into Harper’s brain. There’s something funny about Harper at the best of times, and as he speaks faster and faster, sliding into hysteria as his mind gets gradually overloaded, the episode just gets funnier.

This is one of the better batches of Andromeda to be released by Contender, and is rounded off by the usual words of wisdom from Kevin Sorbo (the guy makes his own furniture, you know). Extras aside, Music Of A Distant Drum and Harper 2.0 make this is a worthwhile purchase for floating voters and a must for Andromeda fans.

Buy this DVD at Blackstar.

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By Mark Clapham

Mark Clapham is a Devon-based writer and editor. You can find out more about him at the egotistically named

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