Andromeda-2.3 (2001)

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Released 16-Dec-2002

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Science Fiction Booklet
Main Menu Audio & Animation
Rating Rated M
Year Of Production 2001
Running Time 82:18
RSDL / Flipper No/No Cast & Crew
Start Up Menu
Region Coding 1,2,3,4,5,6 Directed By David Winning
T.J. Scott
Studio
Distributor

Beyond Home Entertainment
Starring Kevin Sorbo
Lisa Ryder
Keith Hamilton Cobb
Laura Bertram
Brent Stait
Lexa Doig
Case C-Button-Version 2-Opaque
RPI $29.95 Music Alex Lifeson
Matthew McCauley


Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame Pan & Scan English Dolby Digital 2.0 (448Kb/s)
Widescreen Aspect Ratio None
16x9 Enhancement No
Video Format 576i (PAL)
Original Aspect Ratio Unknown Miscellaneous
Jacket Pictures No
Subtitles None Smoking No
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits No

NOTE: The Profanity Filter is ON. Turn it off here.

Plot Synopsis

    I really don't know what to think about the first episode on this disc. Parts do not gel with my personal code of honour, so I will refrain from comment. The second episode is a hoot! If I was to be kind I would call it a tribute to The Matrix. If I were to be unkind, I would brand it a copy of the same. To be fair, just about everyone has lifted pieces from that film so I shouldn't be too harsh. The similarity to The Matrix, and in places the corniness of the material, makes it one of the best episodes this season.

    The makeover of the characters continues in these two episodes, particularly in the first episode. Without including a spoiler, I was quite upset at the change in one particular character, as the change removed what I thought of as one of their most appealing features. I get the feeling that they are trying to change or at least broaden the appeal of this show with these changes, always a dangerous task as you risk upsetting your existing audience. I also wonder just who they think their new target audience is.

    We have had the new look Andromeda for a few episodes now and again the changes leave me a little confused. Why remove the driver's seat and make the pilot stand up? They keep saying how hard it is to pilot in the slipstream - at least let the poor person sit down! The new control stations are not too bad but why are all the controls marked in some strange language instead of English? The computer graphics of the exterior of the Andromeda and other ships has definitely improved this season but they still look computer generated, and would someone please improve the graphics when a ship enters or leaves the hanger deck?

205: Last Call At The Broken Hammer.

    Dylan, Tyr, Beka and Trance are out searching for a great leader, one who is is hiding because her homeworld came second in a battle with the Halderan. This is a race that seems to have no idea at all about standard military tactics. That aside, there are a lot of them and they trap the crew in a bar. For some reason the crew is unhappy about this, probably because they are shooting at them. Dylan ends up battling the creatures outside and a group of not-so-innocent bystanders while trying to convince Isabella Ortiz to come out of hiding and join the restored Commonwealth.

206: All Too Human.

    This episode is enjoyable both in and of itself and because of its Matrix references. Rommie is off on a planetary assignment and has dressed appropriately (in black leather) and she has also been practising her Matrix-style fighting. Her mission is to recover a scientist that has information that Dylan needs. The story splits in two here, one part following Rommie as she tries to complete her mission and the other puts Rev Bem, Tyr and Harper in a rather unusual situation - in a spaceship that is sinking to the bottom of an ocean!

Don't wish to see plot synopses in the future? Change your configuration.

Transfer Quality

Video

     With this disc we seem to have settled back down to a good transfer free from almost all artefacts, except of course that the sides of the picture are still missing.

    The transfer is presented at a panned and scanned aspect ratio of 1.33:1 and is not 16x9 enhanced.

    Sharpness really is very good throughout as is the shadow detail. There is no low-level noise.

    Colours are good and free of noise.

    There are no MPEG artefacts to speak of, and other than some minor edge enhancement this is a nice image to watch.

    There are no subtitles on this single layered disc.

Video Ratings Summary
Sharpness
Shadow Detail
Colour
Grain/Pixelization
Film-To-Video Artefacts
Film Artefacts
Overall

Audio

    Somebody discovered the surround speakers! At least in one scene in the first episode there is nice use of the surround speakers to add echo and ambience to an underground tunnel. This just places the lack of surround material for the rest of the episodes in sharper relief.

    There is a single English Dolby Digital 2.0 soundtrack on this disc with the surround bit set.

    There are no problems with the dialogue quality nor with the audio sync.

    The music remains good, adding the appropriate atmosphere to the scenes.

    Readers are probably tired of my comments on missed opportunities for surround material for this series so I will try to refrain in future.

    Some explosions made it into the subwoofer, but nothing earth-shattering.

Audio Ratings Summary
Dialogue
Audio Sync
Clicks/Pops/Dropouts
Surround Channel Use
Subwoofer
Overall

Extras

     The disc remains empty of extras.

Menu

    A nice computer type interface with audio backing. I still miss the video that used to appear along with the audio. Presented at 1.33:1 and accompanied by a Dolby Digital 2.0 soundtrack.

R4 vs R1

NOTE: To view non-R4 releases, your equipment needs to be multi-zone compatible and usually also NTSC compatible.

    The comparison remains the same for this disc - R1 winning with the correct aspect ratio and additional extras.

Summary

    I actually enjoyed the Matrix episode quite a bit but am missing some of the humour that used to leaven the episodes. Hopefully, the character changes will settle down and our characters will start to act a little more consistently. The tension between Dylan and Tyr that used to be an interesting subplot also seems to have gotten a little confused in recent episodes.

    The video is good.

    The audio continues to need work.

    There are no extras...again.

Ratings (out of 5)

Video
Audio
Extras
Plot
Overall

© Terry McCracken (read my bio)
Tuesday, January 07, 2003
Review Equipment
DVDSkyworth 1050p progressive scan, using RGB output
DisplaySony 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 DecoderBuilt in to amplifier/receiver. Calibrated with AVIA Guide To Home Theatre.
AmplificationSony STR-DB1070
SpeakersB&W DM305 (mains); CC3 (centre); S100 (surrounds); custom Adire Audio Tempest with Redgum plate amp (subwoofer)

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