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Andromeda 1.1 (2000) – DVD Review

Andromeda 1.1 DVD cover art


Written by: Robert Hewitt Wolfe, Joe Reinkemeyer, Zack Stentz, Matt Kiene
Directed by: Allan Kroeker, Brenton Spencer, Allan Eastman, Mike Rohl
Starring: Kevin Sorbo, Lisa Ryder, Keith Hamilton Cobb, Laura Bertram, Brent Stait, Gordon Michael Woolvett, Lexa Doig


  1. Two disc set, five episodes in set
  2. Running audio commentary on part of the first episode by actor Sorbo and director Eastman
  3. Character profiles
  4. Alternate takes
  5. Costume, prop & set concept designs
  6. Creation of Andromeda Ascendant
  7. TV spots & teasers
  8. Timeline of the Commonwealth
  9. Glossary of the High Guard

Released by: A.D. Vision
Region: 1
Rating: NR
Anamorphic: Yes

My Advice: Wait for cable.

(Ed. note – This is ScottC’s 50th DVD review–give that man a hug)

[ad#longpost]After being trapped in time at the edge of a black hole, Captain Dylan Hunt (Sorbo) finds that over three hundred years have gone by and everything he has known is gone. The Systems Commonwealth, which preserved law and order over three galaxies, has fallen to civil war and all that is left is chaos. So Hunt is determined to restore the Commonwealth and civilization with the help of his sentient warship Andromeda Ascendant (Doig) and a small crew of misfits who all have their own agendas and secrets. And if Hunt can get this ragtag bunch to work together; he may have a chance to end the Long Night.

Since these are the first five episodes of Andromeda, a certain amount of plot is sacrificed for character and universe building. These stories focus exclusively on how the new crew adjusts to their mission, surroundings, and each other. But I have seen other episodes that have been broadcast and I’ve developed an opinion about the show in general. The acting and special effects are pretty good, but the show doesn’t draw you in. The characters are a little too stereotypical: the ruthless mercenary, the shady smuggler, the junior mad scientist, etc. The plots (the double-double cross, the one-on-one space battle with an unknown adversary, a cargo cult culture with garbled traditions) have been recycled without sharp dialogue to freshen them up. And the whole premise is obviously based on the Fall of the Roman Empire. The elements never seem to come together to make you want to watch the way they due in Star Trek, The X-Files, or Farscape. The show’s watchable, but there is a definite lack of innovation.

There is a quantity of features on the two discs, but this unfortunately doesn’t equal quality. There are short bios for the characters of Dylan Hunt and Andromeda and the actors who play them, Kevin Sorbo and Lexa Doig. Also, you can watch interviews of them discussing how they became involved with the project, their characters and how they relate with other characters. There are plenty of set, prop and costume design shots, but unless you are a draftsperson, they aren’t all that interesting.

They are several features that give detail to the Andromeda universe, but only partially. For example, The Glossary of the High Guard only goes from A to D. This is done to subtly encourage the viewer to buy the rest of the season, which is slightly irritating. This is made worse by the fact that all the information can be obtained free on the show’s website. So why should I pay more for some details when I can get all of it for free via my ISP?

There is a commentary by Kevin Sorbo and Allan Eastman for the first hour of the premiere episode. I’m assuming there’s a good reason they couldn’t do both. And they spend too much of their limited time telling the viewers what is going on in the story. I think we can figure that out on our own. They talk a little about the process of hiring the cast members and filming techniques, but there’s not enough to be illuminating. Frankly, if you’re interested in Andromeda, I’d wait until it shows up on the Sci-Fi Channel. You know it’s going to end up there.

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