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Category:    Home > Reviews > Science Fiction > Fantasy > TV > Gene Roddenberry’s Andromeda – Season Three/Set Four (A.D.V. Video/DVD)

Gene Roddenberry’s Andromeda – Season Three/Set Four


Picture: B-     Sound: B-     Extras: B-     Episodes: C



Back when Star Trek was a series to be taken seriously enough, all the projects outside of it by Roddenberry’s name were on were sold as something to be taken seriously.  The telefilm The Questor Tapes may not have been a commercial success, but it was at least ambitious and about something, but this or none of his other efforts never took off.  Of course, Star Trek continued until it lost Roddenberry, then lost its soul.  Now, the series Andromeda surfaces and is enough of a hit that it has made it to the third season represented by this Season Three/Set Four double DVD package is how far the show has gone.


Unfortunately, it is a direction that is sillier and more intentionally comic than the worst of the dreadful Star Trek spin-offs that make the animated series form the 1970s look like Akira.  Commercial move #1 was to hire Kevin Sorbo for the lead Captain role, taken before it could be landed by a Scott Bakula.  He is joined by a crew that looks like a cleaned-up version of the space pirates from Alien Resurrection, but they crack more jokes then Henny Youngman and have enough attempts at wit to show up as regulars on The Tonight Show.


Also, it does not have the history to pull on that Star Trek did, but whatever Roddenberry created, it is being buried by a silly and almost infantile attitude that makes it into a safe candy-colored space opera that thinks it is more.  Fans will tell you that this all fits together, but only those who leave their brain at the door will really care.  It leans much more towards the bad syndicated TV of Xena (reviewed elsewhere on this site) and Sorbo’s almost-as-annoying Hercules incarnation, which is a shame.  The sets are not bad, though the predomination of digital visuals is almost as redundant as the bad jokes.  They do shoot actual laser guns, so think of it as if Rodenberry sold out his name to a Gil Gerard Buck Rogers or Battlestar Galactica, then walked away and saw it in the digital era.  It gives me new respect for the older 1970s shows.


Being on DVD, this certainly looks and sounds better than on TV with its anamorphically enhanced 16 X 9/1.78 X 1 image and Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo has Pro Logic surrounds that are more limited than expected, but still just better enough than regular 2.0 without it.  Unfortunately, it is just a clearer version of something that ultimately does not click, hit or not.  It is not as phony as Babylon 5, but it comes close.  Extras include TV promos, trailers, design/conceptual art and ADV DVD previews on both DVDs, plus DVD 1 has a segment on co-star Lexa Doig and director Alan Harmon.  DVD 2 adds bloopers and two segments on stunt work.  They actually take themselves more seriously than the show itself.


So for fans, it is obviously a high-quality set, but others should at least start with the early shows before investing their time and money into this emersion of digital space opera with little point, entertainment, and a look we have seen to death by now.  As you may know, Andromeda in real life is one of the galaxies closest to ours.  It would take forever to travel there, and this series feels like that trip, long and dragged out.  At least Sorbo gets to cut down his gym schedule.



-   Nicholas Sheffo


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