Andromeda-Season 1 (Remastered) (2000) (NTSC)
|Year Of Production||2000|
|Running Time||943:48 (Case: 984)|
|RSDL / Flipper||Dual Layered||Cast & Crew|
|Region Coding||1,2,3,4,5,6||Directed By||
Beyond Home Entertainment
|Pan & Scan/Full Frame||None||English Dolby Digital 5.1 (448Kb/s)|
|Widescreen Aspect Ratio||1.78:1|
|Video Format||480i (NTSC)|
|Original Aspect Ratio||1.78:1||Miscellaneous|
|Annoying Product Placement||No|
|Action In or After Credits||No|
Caught in an ambush that marks the beginning of a galactic war, the flagship of the Commonwealth of Planets, the Andromeda Ascendant, is frozen in time for 300 years when it is caught in the corona of a black hole. Captain Dylan Hunt (Kevin Sorbo) had evacuated the ship shortly before this event, leaving him alone with the ship when a space salvage crew rescue the Andromeda. After driving off the profit-mad crook that financed the salvage, Dylan takes the salvage crew as his own. With his hodge-podge crew he sets about a mission to restore the ideals of the Commonwealth to the galaxy, which has fallen into a state of anarchy over the course of the previous three centuries.
The crew are a diverse bunch of humans and aliens with a stereotypical set of skills; Tyr the genetically engineered warrior, Beka the fiery captain of the salvage crew, Seamus the human mechanic, Rev the furry monk creature, and Trance the purple medic with a tail. The ship itself is a self-aware artificial intelligence with a very attractive avatar.
In terms of style, Andromeda is a bit like a broad mash up of Star Trek: TOS/Next Gen/Voyager, Farscape and Hercules. Each week sees a new self-contained adventure with a slow progression of ongoing story-arc and continuity. Why Hercules? The show keeps a very similar playful sense of humour and shares similar production values to Kevin Sorbo's previous cult series.
Andromeda is not particularly original. Nor does it have exceptional writing or production values. The acting is decent without being particularly great. Nothing about the show particularly stands out, but it manages to succeed to a commendable level by never pretending to be more than the broad, generic science fiction that it is. Andromeda is entertaining filler for the sci-fi crowd.
Further detail about the individual episodes in the series can be found in our reviews of the original Region 4 release of the series.
The show is presented in its original 1.78:1 aspect ratio and is 16x9 enhanced. The video format for each episode is NTSC, which may cause playback issues on older televisions and DVD players.
The video is sharp and clear. A handful of darker scenes light levels of grain, but there is otherwise no sign of grain or low level noise. There is an excellent level of detail in shadows and dark scenes.
The colour levels are quite bright and vivid. Skin tones appear to be well balanced.
Occasional small white film artefacts are visible throughout the episodes, but never in any significant number. Interlacing artefacts are occasionally noticeable when the camera cuts from one shot to another. Each of these frames is a single frame in length and consequently quite ignorable. No MPEG compression related artefacts are visible.
There are no subtitles provided for the show.
One English Dolby Digital 5.1 (448 Kbps) audio track is provided.
The dialogue is clearly audible and well synchronized throughout.
Beyond the rather memorable opening theme, the backing music is a fairly generic orchestral affair that is fairly heavily influenced by the style of other recent sci-fi fodder (particularly Star Trek: The Next Generation and its successors).
The surround channels are put to good use throughout the episodes, particularly during action sequences. The subwoofer is put to reasonable use.
|Surround Channel Use|
A handful of extras are included but none are particularly memorable.
A mish-mash of excised scenes from a variety of episodes. Each is placed in context as to where it was deleted from, but not why.
An assortment of alternate versions of scenes. These range from scenes featuring different aliens in the background to scenes where the actions of characters are changed significantly.
These outtakes are pretty funny, although they make it pretty clear that this is a Kevin Sorbo vehicle. Sorbo is pretty proud of his Herculean strength, destroying several of the flimsily glued sets, and even more proud of his "force lance".
NOTE: To view non-R4 releases, your equipment needs to be multi-zone compatible and usually also NTSC compatible.
This remastered release of Andromeda is, technically, a significant improvement on the previous Region 4 release. The show is presented in its original aspect ratio, with 5.1 surround sound and a modest assortment of extras. It is also much more reasonably priced that the 11 individual discs that made up the previous release and the 12-disc box set version.
This particular season of Andromeda is available in both Region 1 and Region 2 in a 10 disc set that features a handful of extras that are missed from this Region 4 release (although the Region 4 set has much nicer packaging). The missing extras include:
In terms of economics, the Region 1 version of this season works out a bit more expensive than the local remastered release. Most of the missing extras are text-based information and advertising materials that probably wouldn't warrant the extra cost of importing. If, however, you are looking to purchase the full five seasons a 50 disc box-set is available in Region 1 for about the cost of 2 remastered seasons in Region 4.
Andromeda is a bit of a hit and miss affair, but is entertaining generic sci-fi.
The video is presented in NTSC, which may pose a problem for some Region 4 viewers, but is otherwise pretty good. The audio is very good. There is a small and rather forgettable assortment of extras.
This set presents both better value and a better technical presentation than the previous pan and scan Region 4 release, but is not quite as impressive a set as is available in other regions.
|DVD||Sony Playstation 3, using HDMI output|
|Display||Samsung 116cm LA46M81BD. Calibrated with THX Optimizer. This display device is 16x9 capable. This display device has a maximum native resolution of 576i (PAL).|
|Audio Decoder||Pioneer VSX-D512. Calibrated with Video Essentials/Digital Video Essentials.|
|Speakers||150W DTX front speakers, and a 100W centre and 2 surrounds, 12 inch PSB Image 6i powered sub|