Andromeda-2.10 (2001)

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Released 26-Mar-2003

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Science Fiction Main Menu Audio & Animation
Booklet
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 Richard Flowers
Allan Harmon
Studio
Distributor
Force Video
Beyond Home Entertainment
Starring Kevin Sorbo
Lisa Ryder
Keith Hamilton Cobb
Laura Bertram
Brent Stait
Lexa Doig
Case Brackley-Opaque-No Lip
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 1.78:1 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

    This series is still unsure of itself, and in particular its characters. The first episode especially seems to attempt yet again to remake or restate the personalities that the characters are supposed to have.

219: Belly of the Beast (41:09)

    A planet is calling for help, They have a legend that a very large space-faring beast comes along about once every 6000-odd years and takes a bite out of their planet. Dylan and Trance head off to the planet to calm the population while Beka and the rest of the crew head off in the Andromeda to see if there is any truth to the rumour. Unfortunately for the Andromeda, the beast is real and promptly swallows the Andromeda whole. Receiving a distress call that is delayed by light lag, Dylan heads out to find the beast. When he discovers that it has eaten his ship, he is less than impressed. While trapped inside the beast, Beka and Tyr clash over the best solution to the situation. The discussion centres around whether to take on the extra risk of attempting to destroy the beast as opposed to just escaping. This discussion and its result is supposed to show whether the crew is truly dedicated to the overall mission of reforming the Commonwealth, or just out for their own gain.

220: The Knight, Death and the Devil (41:09)

    There is a secret cache of High Guard ships that were captured by the Nietzscheans at the end of the war. They have spent the last three hundred years trying to break the hold of the ships' artificial intelligences so that they can use the ships. Dylan discovers the location from an avatar of an old troopship that has been converted into a space casino. He goes to where the ships are being held and expects to just power them up and get himself an instant fleet. Things do not go as planned, as in the intervening three hundred years, the AIs have been thinking long and hard about being second class citizens and treated as simply some hardware running some fancy software. Dylan's standard speech about being High Guard ships sworn to protect the weak and so on seems to be having little effect on the AIs. Time becomes short when the Nietzscheans arrive in force with the ultimate virus that will wipe all the AIs out.

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Transfer Quality

Video

     Other than the incorrect aspect ratio of 1.33:1 (not 16x9 enhanced), this remains a very nice transfer.

    At a guess, I would say that the image is panned and scanned from its original aspect ratio of 1.78:1. The irony of this page will not be lost on fans of this show http://www.andromedatv.com/features/feature_S4photos-2.html#letterbox in view of the format of these discs.

    The image is sharp, shadow detail is good, and there is no low level noise.

    There are plenty of colours and all remain free of any noise or distortion.

    There are no MPEG artefacts to mar the image. Some of the interior battle scenes in the second episode (22:56) contain many flashes and even complete frames that are white, where the quality of the encoding shows up as these effects often cause problems. The only problem is some very minor aliasing on some of the CGI work. There are no film artefacts to be seen.

    There are no subtitles on this disc.

    This is a single layered disc.

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

Audio

     I have noted in past reviews that the soundtrack on these discs is not great. The fact that a series is being made today without a 5.1 soundtrack is disappointing. The surround encoded track that we do have has not really impressed me at all. That is, until I upgraded my equipment to include Dolby ProLogic II. The change has been from night to day. While this audio track (and previous ones that I checked) did not respond well to Pro-Logic I decoding, it really shines under Pro-Logic II. There is a solid surround presence and the decoder even managed to create some split surround effects that worked extremely well.

    There is a single Dolby Digital 2.0 soundtrack on this disc.

    Dialogue quality is good as is the audio sync.

    The music is of the military march style and is appropriate for the material.

    The surround activity on this disc is very good. If you have Pro-Logic II decoding then you will be hearing a soundtrack that is close to a discrete 5.1 effort.

    Unfortunately, the subwoofer is still somewhat lacking. There is some depth, but just not enough.

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

Extras

Menu

    A nice computer-themed menu with selections to play each episode or to select a sub-menu with the chapter selections available. 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.

     Comparison remains difficult for this series. These episodes do not appear to have been released in R1 yet (funnily enough, season four appears to be being released). Based on the previous releases, R1 gets the correct aspect ratio and usually some special features as well, leaving us with a continuing R1 winner.

Summary

    I am not particularly enamoured with Trance's new look nor where her character is heading so far. The sub-plot in the second episode is just plain silly as well as being a repeat of a previous sub-plot. The saving grace was some of the action and a guest appearance by Christopher Judge (Teal'c from SG1).

    The video quality is good.

    The audio was a surprise.

    The extras are still missing.

Ratings (out of 5)

Video
Audio
Extras
Plot
Overall

© Terry McCracken (read my bio)
Monday, October 20, 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.
AmplificationOnkyo TX-SR800
SpeakersB&W DM305 (mains); CC3 (centre); S100 (surrounds); custom Adire Audio Tempest with Redgum plate amp (subwoofer)

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