Andromeda-Season 2 (Remastered) (2000) (NTSC)
|Year Of Production||2000|
|Running Time||857:00 (Case: 913)|
|RSDL / Flipper||
Multi Disc Set (6)
|Cast & Crew|
|Region Coding||4||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|
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:
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.
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.
|Surround Channel Use|
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.
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.
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.
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.
|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|