Andromeda-Season 2 (Remastered) (2000) (NTSC)

If you create a user account, you can add your own review of this DVD

Released 22-Oct-2007

Cover Art

This review is sponsored by
BUY IT

Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Science Fiction Deleted Scenes
Outtakes
Rating Rated M
Year Of Production 2000
Running Time 857:00 (Case: 913)
RSDL / Flipper Dual Layered
Multi Disc Set (6)
Cast & Crew
Start Up Menu
Region Coding 4 Directed By Jorge Montesi
Allan Eastman
Richard Flower
David Winning
Studio
Distributor

Beyond Home Entertainment
Starring None Given
Case Custom Packaging
RPI $59.95 Music Matthew McCauley


Video (NTSC) Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame None English Dolby Digital 5.1 (448Kb/s)
Widescreen Aspect Ratio 1.78:1
16x9 Enhancement
16x9 Enhanced
Video Format 480i (NTSC)
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 second series of Andromeda picks up immediately from the cliffhanger that ended the first series (for a wrap up of that series, check out our review here). The known universe is poised to be ravaged by an attack from a swarm of trillions of Magog (furry people-eating monsters) aboard a "world ship" (a ship that is made up of ten planets stuck together and powered by a sun), doing the bidding of a mysterious entity know as the Spirit of the Abyss. Dylan Hunt (Kevin Sorbo) now has a more quantifiable argument for his mission to reunite the fallen Commonwealth.

    Series two saw quite a number of changes to the show, both at the start of the series and throughout its course. There are no prizes for guessing that the changes arose from a classic disagreement between the money and the creative talent, a disagreement that would ultimately lead to the sacking of executive producer Robert Hewitt Wolfe (who was primarily responsible for the show's development up to that point) halfway through the series. In essence, the money wanted to simplify the characters and cut back the ongoing plot arcs to make a broader show that would appeal more readily to occasional viewers and allow the episodes to be shown out of order (making the show more appealing for syndication). Wolfe was not willing to change the formula that much and was shown the door. Needless to say, fan reactions were mixed but not so dissatisfied as to stop the show running for three more seasons. Wolfe's dissatisfaction was enough that after the show wrapped up, three series later, he published a fan-fiction script to wrap up his intentions for the show.

    The most immediately noticeable changes (aside from the cheesy new intro speech and theme music) are made to the characters of the show. Dylan Hunt is shaped into a tougher character, as opposed to the occasionally painful "mr nice guy" routine seen in the first series. The playful purple Trance Gemini (Laura Bertram) is transformed into a much more mature, and yellow, character. Tyr (Keith Hamilton Cobb) is given a more amicable side. Rev Bem is written out altogether (though apparently due to actor Brent Stait developing an allergy to the extensive makeup the character required).

    As a result of the production changes, the first twelve episodes of this series churn through the overarching plot at lightspeed while the final eight pull the handbrake on this momentum as the show settles into its new formula. For my money, the first twelve episodes of this series are great (significantly better than the first series) whilst the latter eight are all quite entertaining (save for the one dreaded clip show) but become gradually less engaging as the series progresses. All up, Andromeda continues to be entertaining, though not essential, viewing for space opera fans.

    The episodes in this series are as follows:

  1. The Widening Gyre (2) - The crew endeavour to rescue their missing companions and destroy the Magog world ship, but barely escape with their lives. Harper and Tyr are infested with Magog larvae.
  2. Exit Strategies - The crew pursued by a gang of Nietzscheans and forced to make a crash landing on an icy planet.
  3. A Heart for Falsehood Framed - The crew must steal a jewel being fought over by a greedy Drift (space station) owner and the insectoid Than race.
  4. Pitiless as the Sun - Dylan helps a xenophobic mining planet investigate an unknown enemy who are ambushing their transport shipments, while Trance is unwittingly experimented upon by the planet's scientists.
  5. Last Call at the Broken Hammer - The crew head to a dusty mining planet in search of a political leader who had attempted to unify a number of neighbouring planets. In the process, the crew fall under seige in a bar by Kalderans - a pack-hunting race determined to capture the political leader for their own nefarious ends.
  6. All Too Human - Harper, Tyr and Rev are trapped underwater in the freighter Eureka Maru as it sinks to the bottom of an ocean of a planet armed with Magog weapons. Dylan holds off several attacks from the planet while Rommie attempts to extract an informant who can tell the Andromeda crew more about the weapons.
  7. Una Salus Victus - The Andromeda crew attempt to protect a group of medical transports through enemy-controlled space. Harper is left in charge of the Andromeda while Dylan and Tyr undertake a ground mission to prevent the transports being detected.
  8. Home Fires - The Andromeda crew are led to a planet comprising the descendants of Commonwealth survivors who were gathered together by Dylan's former fiance after fall of the Commonwealth to prepare for its restoration hundreds of years later.
  9. Into the Labyrinth - The Andromeda is infiltrated by a group of alien assassins, using tesseract technology to pass through walls, during an official engagement with diplomats from potential Commonwealth planets. Guest starring James Masters.
  10. The Prince - Dylan and Tyr become co-regents of a feudal planet and are forced to protect the planet's crown prince until he can be coronated.
  11. Bunker Hill - Harper attempts to start an insurrection among the human slave population of Earth, while the Andromeda and the Nietzschean Sabra-Jaguar pride battle the Nietzschean Drago-Kazov pride.
  12. Ouroboros - After the unexpected departure of Rev Bem, Harper attempts to re-create the tesseract technology captured from alien assassins in a previous episode, in order to remove the Magog larvae from his body. This causes ripples in the space-time continuum where future and past events conincide. During one of these events Trance trades places with her future self.
  13. Lava and Rockets - Dylan hijacks a tourist barge to escape a deal gone bad on a trading drift, only to have the ships pilot steadily become infatuated with him.
  14. Be All My Sins Remembered - Beka is called to identify the body of an old friend but, along with Dylan and Harper, is in fact lured into a trap by the now revolutionary and cyborg friend.
  15. Dance of the Mayflies - The Andromeda is infested with space-zombies and pursued by the Than, who mean to eliminate the threat.
  16. In Heaven Now Are Three - Dylan, Beka, and Trance go on a treasure hunt for a device known as the "Engine of Creation", which is alleged to have the power to change reality. Trance encounters another of her mysterious species, who is leading a pair of rival treasure hunters.
  17. The Things We Cannot Change - Dylan is trapped in the gravitational pull of a black hole and has a series of flashbacks, led by a woman claiming to be his wife in an alternate reality. A forgettable clip-show episode.
  18. The Fair Unknown - The crew encounter a Vederan, the race that the founded the original Commonwealth, who claims to be on a secret mission that conflicts with Dylan's beliefs.
  19. Belly of the Beast - A planet-eating space creature turns attempts to eat the Andromeda.
  20. The Knight, Death, and the Devil - The Andromeda rescues two battle fleets of Commonwealth ships who have been imprisoned in a barren area of space by the Drago-Kazof pride, who have been unable to contend with the ships' AIs.
  21. Immaculate Perception - Tyr attempts to rescue his wife from her pride, who are under attack by Genites (the space-Klu Klux Klan), only to discover he has a son who may be the genetic reincarnation of Drago Mussevni - an ancient Nietzschean leader whom, legend foretells, will return to unite the Nietzschean prides and conquer the galaxy.
  22. Tunnel at the End of the Light - An unknown enemy attacks the Andromeda as the ship is full of diplomats who are intending to sign the new Commonwealth charter.

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

Transfer Quality

Video

    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 contain 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.

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

Audio

    One English Dolby Digital 5.1 (448 Kbps) audio track is provided.

    The dialogue is clearly audible and reasonably well synchronized throughout (although occasional ADR mismatches are occasionally noticeable).

    The producers have dropped the catchy opening theme of the first series and replaced it with a dire orchestral reprise of the show's closing credits theme. The background score music varies between episodes, from generic orchestral music to synth driven scores.

    The surround channels are put to good use throughout the episodes, particularly during action sequences. The subwoofer is put to reasonable use.

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

Extras

Alternate & Deleted Scenes (14:33)

    A mish-mash of excised and extended scenes from a variety of episodes. Each is placed in context as to where it was deleted from, but not why.

Outtakes (12:24)

    A reasonably amusing series of outtakes. The best of the outtakes tend to be set "malfunctions" and ad-libbed responses to some of the show's sillier dialogue.

R4 vs R1

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 of that release.

    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. The full 5 seasons were available in Region 1 in a reasonably cheaply in a 50 disc set, but that has been discontinued.

Summary

    Andromeda is a bit of a hit and miss affair, but is entertaining generic sci-fi. This second season is a definite improvement on the first.

    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.

Ratings (out of 5)

Video
Audio
Extras
Plot
Overall

© Adam Gould (Totally Biolicious!)
Thursday, January 10, 2008
Review Equipment
DVDSony 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 DecoderPioneer VSX-D512. Calibrated with Video Essentials/Digital Video Essentials.
AmplificationPioneer VSX2016AVS
Speakers150W DTX front speakers, and a 100W centre and 2 surrounds, 12 inch PSB Image 6i powered sub

Other Reviews NONE
Comments (Add) NONE