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Gene Roddenberry's Andromeda: Season 2 Collection

ADV Films // Unrated // July 27, 2004
List Price: $69.98 [Buy now and save at Amazon]

Review by Jeffrey Robinson | posted October 11, 2006 | E-mail the Author
Please note significant portions of this review are directly from my review of Andromeda: The Slipstream Collection.

The Second Season

Andromeda starred Kevin Sorbo (Hercules: The Legendary Journey's) in a science fiction series created by Gene Roddenberry (Star Trek) with a variety of executive producers Robert Hewitt Wolfe (The 4400, Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, Majel Rodenberry (Earth: Final Conflict), Allan Eastman (Star Trek: Voyager), Robert Engels (seaQuest DSV), Jay Firestone (Mutant X, La Femme Nikita), and Adam Haight (Mutant X, Highlander: The Raven). With its diverse crew of producers with extensive experience in science fiction and drama productions, Andromeda put in five solid seasons from 2000 to 2005 and totaled one-hundred and ten episodes. The premise of Andromeda is about the adventures of the crew the Andromeda and their efforts to rebuild a massive civilization that spanned the universe

For more details about the series, refer my reviews of Andromeda: Season 1 Collection, Andromeda: Season 2 Collection, Andromeda: Season 3 Collection, Andromeda: Season 4 Collection, Andromeda: Season 5 Collection, and Andromeda: The Slipstream Collection

In season two, Dylan's quest becomes more of a reality. The Renewed Systems Commonwealth represents more than just the unity and peace Dylan envisions; it is, as Dylan hunt says, a necessity. In the season one finale "It's Hour Come 'Round at Last", Harper took a look around inside Andromeda's code and found a backup copy of Andromeda's core. He accidentally restored the backup. Andromeda went out of control and took the crew on a top secret mission. To make matters worse, the mission takes the crew deep into Magog territory, where the Andromeda runs into a Magog Worldship. The Worldship is a transportable solar system, with multiple planets and an artificial sun. The Worldship houses trillions of Magog and gives them the power to destroy stars. The Magog are traveling towards the known worlds with plans of conquest and destruction. In the close of the episode, the Magog have overrun the Andromeda and the crew's fate is desperate: Trance, Beka, and Dylan are unconscious and near death, Tyr and Harper are being held by the Magog, Rommie had a pike shoved in her stomach, Rev Bem is being converted to the Magog cause, and the Andromeda Ascendant is in critical condition.

The second season premiere episode "The Widening Gyre" continues where season one left off. Despite the direness of the situation, they overcome their individual situations and manage to free themselves of capture. The real excitement introduced in this story is the notion of the Magog and the Worldship. The Spirit of the Abyss, a being that acts as the Magog's God, is leading the Magog on a quest of utter destruction. This threat becomes a staple for the Andromeda crew to fight off. A Renewed Systems Commonwealth is a necessity. Fortunately for the crew, they have some time until the Worldship reaches space of the known world--two or three years. In the fourth and fifth seasons, the Spirit of the Abyss and the Magog are a major port of the season story arcs. In the meantime, season two has an episode "Into the Labyrinth" with another assassin sent by the Abyss that runs into the crew.

The Magog still are at the front of the stories and a key reason for the new Commonwealth. And Dylan works feverishly to recruit planets to his cause. In the episode "Home Fires", Dylan receives a message from his long dead fiance. After the initial fall of the Commonwealth, a group sought refuge on a planet called Tarazed and for three hundred years, they have survived as the last remnants of the old way of life. Dylan learns that the people of Tarazed and goes to the planet to get them to join the new Commonwealth. They, however, do not. When he arrives at the planet, he finds a familiar face, that of his former first officer Gaheris. But it is a genetic clone named Telemachus Rhade. Dylan and Rhade are hesitant to trust each other. The story takes an interesting turn in the development of the relationship Dylan had with Gaheris, as well as introduces Rhade, who joins the cast in season four.

The episodes "Into the Labyrinth", "Bunker Hill", and "The Prince" are more episodes focused on the restoration of the Commonwealth with the cast in diplomatic missions, facing with spies, political corruption, and other such things. "Into the Labyrinth" sees a Nietzschean clan Saber-Jaguar joining the Commonwealth. In "Bunker Hill" the Saber-Jaguar clan invokes the Mutual Defense Pact, which requires the Andromeda join their side in combat against the Dragan clan. At the same time, Dylan sends Harper and Rommie to Earth to join the resistance movement to free human slaves under Dragan control. In "The Prince", the crew travel to Ne'Holland to save what is left the royal family from being slaughtered. Dylan wants the planet to join the Commonwealth because it is in a key position to defend against the upcoming Magog onslaught. However, in order to get them to join, he has to save its leaders from its own people. But what Dylan did not know was that the royal family's actions have not always been just.

"Ouroboros" is a major episode in the series. It is the first major cast and crew changes. Rev Bem leaves the series as a regular cast member. He apparently went away to find himself. Stait, who plays Rev Bem, talks about the reason he left in his interview featurette. Another change deals with Trance. Harper builds a machine he hopes will help rid him of the Magog larvae that was implanted in him in the season premiere. The machine works, but it also does a little more and bends space and time. The crew is able to glimpse into future versions of themselves. Trance, in particular, meets her future self, who proclaims the future unfolded very badly. The present and future Trance's switch places in hope future Trance can set the timeline in the right direction. The new Trance is physically different, without a tail and has golden skin. The other major change is in the crew. Robert Hewitt Wolfe was released because the direction he envisioned for the series was much different than wanted.

In "Knight, Death, and the Devil", the crew are on the verge of completing the first stage in restoring the Commonwealth. Beka and Harper negotiate with the fiftieth planetary world to join the cause. Dylan, Tyr, and Rommie also find a decommissioned high guard ship. When they interact with the ship's AI Ryan (Michael Hurst), they find out there is a solar system with over fifty other relic ships in hiding. Dylan goes to the solar to convince the ships to rejoin the Commonwealth (remember some AI's have emotions and they were abandoned long ago). Christopher Judge guest stars as one of the AI's.

The season finale "Tunnel at the End of the Light" is a literally explosive episode. Representatives from fifty worlds come to the Andromeda to sign the Commonwealth charter. It is an exciting time to see the Commonwealth officially come back into power. Unfortunately, there are forces that would rather not see the chartered signed. Sabotage hits the Andromeda and the charter signing goes up in flames. It is up to the crew to make necessary sacrifices to see it through.

Overall, I was pretty happy with the second season of Andromeda. Like the first season, I was not in love with this season. The fact remains the show has a cast who over-performs and spouts cheesy dialogue. The storylines from episode to episode offer some enjoyable content, but nothing you should think too hard about. In addition, the story arcs that span the episodes offer intriguing aspects with the formation of the Commonwealth, the Magog, and the Spirit of the Abyss. In the end, I think season two makes for a good watch if you enjoy science-fiction/fantasy oriented shows.

Episode Guide

1. The Widening Gyre: With the ship severely damaged, Dylan (Kevin Sorbo) leads the crew of the Andromeda Ascendant in a battle against the largest and deadliest enemy they have ever encountered.
2. Exit Strategies: Dylan (Kevin Sorbo), Beka (Lisa Ryder), Rev Bem (Brent Stait) and Tyr (Keith Hamilton Cobb), pursued by a gang of Nietzscheans, are forced to make a crash landing on an icy planet.
3. Heart for Falsehood Framed: The crew of the Andromeda replaces a sacred relic with a fake, attempting to negotiate peace between two battling parties.
4. Pitiless as the Sun: Trance (Laura Bertram) is held captive, while Dylan (Kevin Sorbo) and the rest of the crew try to uncover the source behind mysterious attacks on cargo ships. Guest starring William B. Davis.
5. Last Call at the Broken Hammer: Dylan (Kevin Sorbo) leads members of the crew to a desert wasteland in search of a former government leader.
6. All Too Human: Rommie (Lexa Doig) discovers prejudices toward A.I.s while attempting to expose the nefarious plots of the Machenites.
7. Una Salus Victus: The crew of the Andromeda battles with the Neitzchean Drago-Kazov pride in an attempt to deliver medical supplies to an ailing colony.
8. Home Fires: A stranger with a message from Dylan's (Kevin Sorbo) long-dead fiancée arrives onboard Andromeda, leading the crew on a diplomatic mission.
9. Into the Labyrinth: The Andromeda hosts a conference of allies to the Commonwealth, while Harper (Gordon Michael Woolvett) is lured by unknown evil forces.
10. The Prince: Dylan (Kevin Sorbo) and the crew of the Andromeda assist the sole survivor (Steve Grayhm) of a massacred royal family in his quest to regain the throne.
11. Bunker Hill: Captain Dylan Hunt (Kevin Sorbo) allies with the Sabra-Jaguar Pride to wage war against the Dragans, while Harper (Gordon Michael Woolvett) launches a revolution on Earth.
12. Ouroboros: The crew of the Andromeda faces a sudden distortion of space and time.
13. Lava and Rockets: Dylan (Kevin Sorbo) hijacks a tourist ship to escape the evil Ogami, a culture of mercenary killers.
14. Be All My Sins Remembered: Beka (Lisa Ryder) is forced to face her past when an old friend (Costas Mandylor) resurfaces.
15. Dance of the Mayflies: The Andromeda is invaded by a mutant species.
16. In Heaven Now Are Three: Beka (Lisa Ryder) leads a mission to find a legendary artifact.
17. The Things We Cannot Change: Dylan (Kevin Sorbo) hovers near death in an alternate reality.
18. Fair Unknown: The Andromeda crew discovers a species that existed during the time of the Commonwealth.
19. Belly of the Beast: The crew of Andromeda encounters a creature once thought to be mythological.
20. Knight, Death, and the Devil: Dylan (Kevin Sorbo) attempts to save a group of captured High Guard ships.
21. Immaculate Perception: When Tyr (Keith Hamilton Cobb) races to save his wife (Dylan Bierk) and her colony from attack, he discovers he is a father.
22. Tunnel at the End of the Light: Aliens from an alternate universe attack the crew of Andromeda.


The video in this release is given in an anamorphic 1.78:1 ratio widescreen color format. The picture quality is quite good. It suffers from a slight grain, but detail remains to be sharp and clear. The grain is most noticeable during the darker scenes. In addition, there is noticeable ghosting/aliasing during high-motion action sequences. The series incorporates a lot of visual effects with computer graphics and green screen, which sometimes look real, but most of the time feel slightly out of place.

The audio track in this release is in English 2.0 Dolby digital stereo sound. In general, the sound quality is very good and it provides an audible and clean track. The dialogue is usually a little flat while music and sound effects come fairly off rich and vibrant. The stereo capability is put to the limit with lots of scenes taking advantage of the left and right channels.

There are no subtitles included, but there is support for closed captioning.

Each disc is packed with extras from readable text information (cast & crew biographies, information about the series) to image galleries to audio commentaries to behind the scenes featurettes to interview featurettes to bloopers. Each disc also contains other extras like TV spots, TV teasers, and trailers for other ADV Films releases. Note: the TV spots/teasers and trailers are not listed in the disc-by-disc extras breakdown.

Commentary is an audio commentary for the episode "A Heart For Falsehood Framed" with Lisa Ryder and Richard Lewis. Alternate Takes & Deleted Scenes is a collection of alternative and deleted scenes: "The Widening Grye, Scene 14", with the rest of the crew missing or unconscious, a frightened Trance tries to figure out what to do, "The Widening Grye, Scene 21", Dylan and Beka discuss who should go to the Magog Worldship to rescue Tyr and Harper, and "A Heart for Falsehood Framed, Scene 18 (partial)", Dylan, Miskich, and clarion of Loss tour the Chichin museum, almost foiling Harper and Trace's theft of the Hegemon's Heart. Behind the Scenes with Gordon Michael Woolvett runs for five minutes. In it, Woolvett gives a tour of the set. Design Gallery is a video clip of stills of matte paintings.

Season 2, Collection 1, Disc 2

Alternate Takes & Deleted Scenes is a collection of alternative and deleted scenes: "Pitiless as the Sun, Scene 29", in the final version of this episode, Gadell, the Pyrian informant, enters Machine Shop 5, but what he discovers there is not revealed until later--this deleted scene explicitly shows his discovery, reducing the suspense, and "Last Call at the Broken Hammer, Scene 11", inside the Broken Hammer bar, Hsigo whispers to another patron as Tyr lurks nearby. Bloopers is three minutes of goofs and outtakes. Conceptual Drawings is a video clip of concept artwork stills: "Pre-Viz New Bridge", "Hegemon's Hearts", Binoculars", "Flashlight", and "Exotic Matter Lens".

Season 2, Collection 2, Disc 1

Commentary is an audio commentary for the episode "All Too Human" with T.J. Scott, Richard Lewwis, Ashley Edward Miller, and Zack Stentz. Behind the Scenes Interview with Allan Eastman runs for twenty-four minutes. It is a long interview with Eastman. Behind the Scenes with Gordon Michael Woolvett is another twelve minutes of Woolvett talking about more aspects of the set. Alternate & Deleted Scenes is a collection of alternative and deleted scenes: "All Too Human, Scene 8", in this very brief scene, Tyr interrupts Rev Bem's meditation.

Season 2, Collection 2, Disc 2

Behind the Scenes Interview with Richard B. Lewis runs for twelve minutes and features Lewis talking about various production related topics. Behind the Scenes Interview with Toni Rutter runs for eight minutes. In it, Rutter focuses on costume design. Alternate Takes & Deleted Scenes is a collection of alternative and deleted scenes: "Home Fries, Scene 75", Dylan is questioned by Tyr and Beka about his decision to leave Tarazed after the failed election, "Into the Labyrinth, Scene 7", Harper's search for the All Systems University database is interrupted by Rommie, and "Into the Labyrinth, Scenes 24 & 25", Tyr refuses a job offer from the sexy spy, Satrina. Design Gallery is an animation for episode "Home Fries" of a spaceship battle. There are also concept artwork stills: "Nova Bomb", "Nova Bomb detail" (multiple), and "Suit Concept".

Season 2, Collection 3, Disc 1

Commentary is an audio commentary for the episode "Ouroboros" with Laura Bertram and Gordon Michael Woolvett. Behind the Scenes Interview with Kevin Sorbo features Sorbo in giving a nine minute interview about casting, filming, and storylines of season two. Behind the Scenes Interview with Gordon Verheul runs for seven and a half minutes. Verheul, director of photography, talks about filming. Alternate Takes & Deleted Scenes is a collection of alternative and deleted scenes: "The Prince, Scenes 5 & 6", in this scene onboard Andromeda, Trance tries to stabilize the severely injured Yanos, the royal family's retainer, "The Prince, Scene 24", Tyr chides Prince Erik for revealing his anger to Archduke Constantijn, and "The Prince, Scene 34", Beka and Harper prepare the technology that will prevent Prince Erik's assassination. Design Gallery is a video clip for concept animations: "The Prince" animatic, "Bunker Hill" matte painting, "Bunker Hill" animatic, and "Ouroboros" character concept designs.

Season 2, Collection 3, Disc 2

Behind the Scenes Interview with Laura Bertram features Bertram talking about her role in the show, the character, make-up, and so on. The runtime is eleven minutes. Behind the Scenes Interview with Anji Bemben runs for five minutes and contains details about character hairstyles. Behind the Scenes Trance's Make-Up is four minutes that focus on Bertram's character Trance and putting on her make-up. Design Gallery is a video clip for concept animations: "Lava and Rockets" animatic. Bloopers is two minutes of goofs and outtakes.

Season 2, Collection 4, Disc 1

Behind the Scenes Interview with Lisa Ryder runs for fifteen minutes and it features Ryder talking about her character and the show. Behind the Scenes Interview with Jim Finn is twelve minutes with Finn, the visual effects supervisor discussing season two visual effects. Design Gallery is a video clip of concept artwork stills: "Nova bomb", "Nova bomb - detail" (multiple), "EVA suit", and "EVA suit - detail" (multiple).

Season 2, Collection 4, Disc 2

Commentary is an audio commentary for the episode "The Fair Unknown" with Kevin Sorbo and Richard B. Lewis. Behind the Scenes Interview with Karen Wookey runs for eleven minutes. Wookey, the supervising producer for fireworks entertainment talks her role on the show and how she got there. Behind the Scenes Interview with Lexa Doig has Doig talking about her character Andromeda/Rommie. It runs for eight and a half minutes. Alternate Takes & Deleted Scenes is a collection of alternative and deleted scenes: "The Fair Unknown, Scene 5", after seeing a recording of a Vedran fighting on the Kalderan ship, Dylan and Beka discuss Vedran history and culture. Design Gallery is a video clip for concept animations: "The Things We Cannot Change" matte painting, and stills "Suit concept" and "Spear". Bloopers is under two minutes of goofs and outtakes.

Season 2, Collection 5, Disc 1

Behind the Scenes Interview with Gordon Michael Woolvett runs for seventeen and a half minutes. It contains a detailed interview with Woolvett and he talks about his character, role on the show, and other related items. Behind the Scenes Interview with Don Buchannan has Buchannan, the props master, talking about Andromeda's props. It runs for five and a half minutes. Alternate Takes & Deleted Scenes is a collection of alternative and deleted scenes: "The Kneasoight, Death, and the Devil, Scene 12 (end)", Dylan and Ryan, the former avatar of a missing High Guard troopship called the Clarion's Call, discuss why Ryan allied himself with the Nightsiders, and "The Knight, Death, and the Devil, Scene 19", Dylan prepares to board the Nietzschean-controlled warship The Wrath of Achilles. Design Gallery is a video clip for concept animations: "Bely of the Beast" animatics (multiple), and stills "Cetus concept" (multiple).

Season 2, Collection 5, Disc 2

Commentary is an audio commentary for the episode "The Tunnel at the End of the Light" with Lisa Ryder and Gordon Michael Woolvett. Behind the Scenes Interview with Keith Ham "Thilton Cobb stars Cobb talking about his character Tyr. It runs for fourteen minutes. Alternate Takes & Deleted Scenes is a collection of alternative and deleted scenes: "The Tunnel at the End of the Light, Scene 14" , Beka and Tyr search the corridors for the mysterious Severin, a Nietzchean disguised as a human, who they believe has sabotaged the ratifying ceremony of the Commonwealth Charter. Design Gallery is a video clip for concept animations: "Immaculate Perception" animatic, "Tunnel at the End of the Light" animatic, and stills: "Genite Concept" (multiple), "Alien ship", and "Charter Signing Sushi Platters". Bloopers is one and a half minutes of goofs and outtakes.

Final Thoughts:
After season one, I was pretty excited to dive into season two (especially with the cliff hanger). I found the second season to also be an exciting twenty-two episodes with the crew getting deeper into the series story arc, as well as going through significant character development. There was a lot of material to grab your attention and keep it.







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