|Category||Science Fiction||Main Menu Audio & Animation|
|Year Of Production||2001|
|RSDL / Flipper||No/No||Cast & Crew|
|Region Coding||1,2,3,4,5,6||Directed By||
Beyond Home Entertainment
Keith Hamilton Cobb
|Pan & Scan/Full Frame||Pan & Scan||English Dolby Digital 2.0 (448Kb/s)|
|Widescreen Aspect Ratio||None|
|Video Format||576i (PAL)|
|Original Aspect Ratio||1.78:1||Miscellaneous|
|Annoying Product Placement||No|
|Action In or After Credits||No|
On the last Andromeda disc we reviewed (Andromeda-2.1), we had on offer the opening episode for this season and the second episode. Almost undoubtedly, the first episode (the resolution of the cliff-hanger from the end of the last season) was filmed at the same time as the cliff-hanger. I suspect that the second episode was filmed then as well. There appear to be a number of changes for this season, such as Beka's new sexy look, but they do not appear until the third episode (the first on this disc). The cover artwork changed with the last disc and included shots of the crew with their new looks but they did not look like this in the two episodes on that disc.
Not only is the crew getting a make-over, but the Andromeda is getting a face lift as well - this is covered in the story as repairs from the Magog attack. Sneaking ahead a few episodes from this disc, it appears that the storylines are also being revamped somewhat. There is a definite shoot 'em up feel to the episodes that I have seen so far.
Another change, or a change back, is that this disc is back to an aspect ratio of 1.33:1. If you read the last review you will know that that disc was released in the rather strange aspect ratio of 1.49:1. Why they went to this ratio is a mystery and further why they went back to 1.33:1 and not on to the correct 1.78:1 I will leave as an exercise for the reader, because I am stumped.
I said at the end of the last review that the storylines seem to have improved - I think I spoke too soon. The two episodes on this disc are not particularly good. Both stories lack depth and both contain material that is out of character for both the Captain and for Trance. For Heart of Falsehood Framed all I will say is "the ends do not justify the means" and for Pitiless As The Sun.... huh, what was that?
203: Heart For Falsehood Framed.
Dylan is heading up another negotiation, this time between the Chichin and the Than. The Chichin seem to be a society of thieves and appear to have stolen something that the Than want back, and they want it back now...or else. While the negotiations are going on, the rest of the crew are out to swap the stolen 'heart' with a fake. Just about everyone in this episode has their own little agenda and the twists and turns are amusing, if a little predictable.
204: Pitiless As The Sun.
The Andromeda and crew minus Trance are off on a mission to protect the shipments of the latest members of the New Commonwealth, the Inari. Trance is invited down to the Inari home world to act as an ambassador. This is actually a ruse to capture her and hand her over to a 'mad professor' for experimentation. That is what the back cover says, anyway. The professor is not actually 'mad' in the sense of loony but more in the sense of being really upset. Trance's big secret is revealed a little more in this episode though just what is revealed is a little confusing. Meanwhile, the Andromeda's mission, as expected, does not go exactly to plan.
Presented at 1.33:1 and not 16x9 enhanced, this is not the original 1.78:1 aspect ratio of this series.
Sharpness is good throughout as is the shadow detail. There is no low-level noise.
There are some nice bright colours in this transfer and they appear without problems.
There are no MPEG related artefacts in this transfer but there are sometimes problems with the computer generated material. The ship that pans across the screen at 5:39 has detail and highlights that strobe on and off during the pan. There is no aliasing but there is some edge enhancement present such as on Beka's left side at 22:18. Grain has almost completely disappeared, bringing us a much improved image.
There are no subtitles and this is a single layered disc.
Space battles and gun battles abound and unfortunately not once did the soundtrack transport me to the location. I still feel like I'm watching this on a remote screen.
There is a single English Dolby Digital 2.0 sound track on this disc with the surround flag set.
There are no problems with the dialogue quality nor with the audio sync.
The music remains good, adding the correct atmosphere to the scenes.
Surround usage remains disappointing - there are so many missed opportunities!
I have a big subwoofer and it is always disappointing to watch something like a Sci-Fi series where it gets little to do.
|Surround Channel Use|
NOTE: To view non-R4 releases, your equipment needs to be multi-zone compatible and usually also NTSC compatible.
We remain way out in front on release dates, making the comparison difficult in detail but easy in the overall sense. While we continue to get pan and scanned transfers at 1.33:1 (non-16x9) and both Europe and America receive 1.78:1 (16x9 enhanced) widescreen transfers the R1 will remain the region of choice.
Is that 'smoking man' (from The X-Files) in the second episode? This series remains a good bit of clean fun, although there are a couple of storm clouds on the horizon if the storylines do not pick up a little bit.
The video is back to very good.
The audio still needs work.
There are no extras.
|DVD||Skyworth 1050p progressive scan, using RGB output|
|Display||Sony 1252q CRT Projector, Screen Technics matte white screen 16:9 (223cm). Calibrated with AVIA Guide To Home Theatre. This display device is 16x9 capable.|
|Audio Decoder||Built in to amplifier/receiver. Calibrated with AVIA Guide To Home Theatre.|
|Speakers||B&W DM305 (mains); CC3 (centre); S100 (surrounds); custom Adire Audio Tempest with Redgum plate amp (subwoofer)|