January 23, 2017
Finished my re-watch today of Andromeda and I have to say that I have mixed feelings about the series. It certainly had some good stories, it's hard not to start liking all the characters, even Dylan Hunt himself, although he's more a womanizer than Kirk, he also brings with him a lot of humour. But as many good stories there are, there's almost equal as much mediocre stories, most of them in season 3 and of course in season 5.
Season 3 is mediocre but season 5 is even worse, with really annoying episodes on that stinking planet. Only in the last few episodes of season 5 it gets interesting, actually quite entertaining episodes.
I have to admit, I skipped most of season 5 this time because I remembered from my last watch I was really annoyed by the stories on the planet. Did not want to watch 16 hours of Andromeda knowing upfront I would not enjoy myself. So I watched the first 3 episodes and then skipped 4-17 and finished it with the last 5 episodes.
What is the best thing about Andromeda, the characters, absolutely the characters. Although the stories often were mediocre, IMO, the characters always made me smile, I really started to care for them, laughed with them. If it was Dylan, Beka or Harper, each character was enriched with a lot of humor.
Beka, Harper are my favourite characters I think, but Rommie, Tyr, Trance, Rhade, Rev, Doyle and even Dylan have earned a place in my sci-fi loving heart.
Andromeda also was a stage for a lot of well known (sci-fi) TV actors. To name a few: Michael Shanks (Daniel Jackson in Stargate SG1), Christopher Judge (Teal'c in Stargate SG1), Michael Ironside (Original V, Smallville, SeaQuest), Tony Todd (various Star Trek shows), Christopher Heyerdahl (Sanctuary, Stargate Atlantis) and many more I am forgetting now, it is an impressive list of (sci-fi) actors.
Of course the ship itself was a beauty also, a character in itsef, the CGI evolved from season to season but although Andromeda was created in the same period as Farscape, Stargate and even Battlestar Galactica, the CGI was of far less quality, of course of budget reasons but it was pity nonetheless.
When I started my re-watch back in November 2016, I remember I really was enjoying it, the first season was fun, enjoyable, had a story arc whole through the season, same with season 2, some great episodes, story arcs but then Robert Hewitt Wolfe, who developed Andromeda, left the series.
According to the Andromeda wiki page: During the production of the second season, Wolfe claims that he and the studio quarrelled over the non-episodic nature of the show and the studio's requests for "more aliens, more space battles, and less internal conflict," eventually resulting in his departure. Actor Kevin Sorbo confirmed the statements, saying that Wolfe, "is a genius, but was developing stories that were too complicated."
Well I liked the complicated stories, I wanted to see more internal conflict and a huge arc, well most of that was gone in season 3.
Season 3 was a disjointed season, really was bored with it real quick, the only good thing I remember about season 3 was that Tyr smiled a lot more than in the first two seasons, he got different a sense of humour which I really liked.
I was sorry to see him go at the end of season3, he returned in season 4 for 2 episodes but that was it. His replacement, Telemachus Rhade, was of course a familiar face, a descendant and genetic reincarnation from Gaheris Rhade, who betrays Dylan in the pilot episode (but he redeems himself in a season 3 episode which was, imo, one the best episodes of that season (3x10 The Unconquerable Man). Season 4 was definitely a step up from season 3, better stories, some really good episodes with a great season ending the Magog arc.
Well season 5 is really an awful season for the most part, it mostly takes place on a planet called Seefra-1 which actually turns out to be the long lost planet Tarn-Vedra.
I really did not like this season, except for the last five episodes where they finally get the Andromeda flying again.
The series ends in a satisfying way, two good solid episodes with some nice space battles. I've read somewhere that there
even was a possibility of a spin-off back then, with part of the cast but without Dylan Hunt, but this apparently never got a chance. I have to say I would like to have seen that happening back
So as I said, first 2 seasons are the best, most enjoyable to re-watch, season 4 is enjoyable also for the most part, but for me, seasons 3 and 5 really are disappointing. I'm not sure if I will ever do another re-watch of Andromeda, just glad I stuck with the DVD's instead of purchasing the blu-rays.
If you've never seen Andromeda, and if you are a sci-fi fan, I recommend you go and watch it at least once, it's certainly an enjoyable ride, especially when you watch it for the first time. for the ones who already are familiar with Andromeda, a re-watch will appreciate the characters even more than before.