Andromeda-2.4 (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 Allan Kroeker
Michael Robison
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 Full Screen, not known whether Pan & Scan or Full Frame 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 watch a lot of sci-fi and my personal credibility meter goes a long way before hitting the red zone. This series has managed to skirt along just below the danger zone for quite a while, but now the needle is well and truly pegged. Somewhere in these two episodes there is a corridor, and at one end of the corridor is a Gatling gun. A computer controlled Gatling gun. Machine guns of this design even today are designed to spray a very large amount of lead (or depleted uranium) and I have to assume that the military would have improved the design between now and when Andromeda is set in the far future. At the other end of this long and narrow corridor are two of our intrepid crew. They both go racing up this corridor with the Gatling gun firing full bore... and survive! They could at least have tried to justify the situation with a super-duper non-elastic body shield or similar, but no, they just keep on barrelling along. I know it is easy to sit and criticise when you are not there with a show to write and get filmed but this is not even an issue with the consistency of the universe and toys that they populate it with. This technology exists today and its capabilities are well known.

    The above is just an example of a issue that this show is having some problems with, both in its technology and in its characters. Consistency and credibility is extremely important in any show and probably even more so in sci-fi. I know that the show is going through a bit of an upheaval as they try and plot a new course for the second season but as I have mentioned before, you must not risk alienating your loyal audience.

207: UNA SALUS VICTUS

UNA : unus -a -um genit. unius , dat, uni, one; only one; one and the same; any one; 'ad unum omnes', all to a man; 'in unum', into one place; 'uno tempore', at the same time. Adv. una, in one, together.

SALUS -utis f. health , soundness; safety, welfare, well-being, salvation; a wish for a person's welfare, salutation, greeting.

VICTUS -us m. living; manner of life; nourishment , food.

    Latin and I never really did understand each other so I will leave the translation to the reader.

    The Andromeda is escorting a convoy though space. The convoy is carrying urgent medical supplies to the planet Rodina. There is a terrible plague on Rodina, one that gives the convoy some very specific time constraints. Unfortunately, the quickest way to get to Rodina is through Drago-Kazov territory. As we know, the Drago-Kazov have a very personal vendetta against Tyr and this complicates things considerably. While Tyr and Dylan drop onto a planet to try and neutralise the command centre of the Nietzchean's, the rest of the crew, with Harper in charge (!), try to get the convoy through.

208: Home Fires

    After receiving a video email from his long dead fiancée, Dylan is led to a planet called Tarazed. On this particular planet are all the descendants of the original Andromeda crew. They have been waiting for generations for the return of Dylan and the Andromeda. The crew are a little sceptical about the rousing welcome they receive, as they have been caught in this trap before. On the planet is the direct descendant of Gaheris Rhadem, Dylan's first officer and best friend who betrayed him all those years ago. This descendant is physically identical to his ancestor, something that apparently happens occasionally with Nietzcheans due to the small gene pool. The people of Tarazed are not united in their welcome of the Andromeda crew, as they have survived the fall of the Commonwealth by staying isolated, and to join the new Commonwealth may put them all at risk. Just who is on which side and the struggle between Dylan and Gaheris Rhadem's descendant make for a reasonably interesting episode.

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

Transfer Quality

Video

     Our video transfer remains consistently good. Presented at 1.33:1 and not 16x9 enhanced, the preponderance of the evidence points to a panned and scanned transfer.

    I continue to be impressed with the sharpness of this transfer, as with the shadow detail. There is no low-level noise.

    Colours are good and free of noise.

    The transfer remains free of any MPEG artefacts and other transfer artefacts other than some minor aliasing and film artefacts.

    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

    Just when I thought they had finally found the button marked 'surround speakers' they lost it again.

    There is a single English Dolby Digital 2.0 soundtrack 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.

    A fairly bland surround atmosphere is on offer here, where the music is the main element present in the surrounds. Some ambience also leaks in occasionally but nothing spectacular.

    A couple of extra explosions made it into the subwoofer this time but nothing that would annoy the neighbours.

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

Extras

     The disc remains devoid of extras.

Menu

    If this was a boxed set then there would only be one review for all these discs and only a single mention of the menus. As these discs are arriving individually I see each disc as a separate review. This means that the menu does become a little boring after the first few discs due to it being basically identical every time. It is 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 although they still lag far behind in release dates.

Summary

    I always find it a problem when one particular thing sticks in my mind - it then makes it hard to separate the remaining content. I am in two minds about the Dylan/Tyr interaction. I am very pleased that they have not taken the easy way out and continue Tyr as an interesting character with his own code of honour, but they are not always consistent in their portrayal of this code.

    The video is good.

    The audio is acceptable but below par for a new series.

    There are no extras on this disc.

Ratings (out of 5)

Video
Audio
Extras
Plot
Overall

© Terry McCracken (read my bio)
Thursday, January 30, 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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