Andromeda-1.02 (2000)

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Released 11-Apr-2002

Cover Art

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Science Fiction Main Menu Introduction
Menu Animation & Audio
Rating Rated M
Year Of Production 2000
Running Time 82:22
RSDL / Flipper No/No Cast & Crew
Start Up Menu
Region Coding 1,2,3,4,5,6 Directed By Allan Eastman
Brenton Spencer
Studio
Distributor

Beyond Home Entertainment
Starring Kevin Sorbo
Lisa Ryder
Keith Hamilton Cobb
Laura Bertram
Brent Stait
Gordon Michael Woolvett
Lexa Doig
Case Amaray-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

    On this disc of Andromeda are the first two 'regular' episodes; "To Loose the Fateful Lightning" and "D Minus Zero".

    The first of the two episodes is quite good and the second not too bad albeit with a few problems. The character bible for the show is obviously a little skimpy at this point and I found some of the characters a little inconsistent. The humour thankfully continues with some quite funny one-liners, though there are a couple of points where the characters take themselves a little too seriously for this type of show.

To Loose the Fateful Lightning:

    I was going to try very hard and not do comparisons with other shows whilst reviewing Andromeda, but this one is just too much. Without revealing too much, any fan of the original Star Trek series will recognise half the storyline, and fans of the Mad Max movies will recognise the other half. There is just enough extra plot to make this a different story and make it worthwhile. While searching for spare parts for the somewhat depleted Starship Andromeda, the crew approach an old High Guard Station. What they find on board is not quite what they expected. During this episode, our intrepid engineer decides to make a 'human' body for the ship's personality, who usually appears as a hologram. Why she has to appear 'in the flesh' literally is not really explained but is appreciated. From here on, we are treated to her presence both live and on-screen which, when she is doing both in the same room is a little disconcerting.

D Minus Zero:

    This episode combines a reasonable battle with an unknown enemy with a little character expansion. The Andromeda receives a 'code black' signal that appears to have come from another High Guard ship, but turns out to be an ambush. While battling for survival, the crew of the Andromeda come under pressure and some cracks start to appear. Captain Dylan is used to a trained and disciplined crew, the crew a somewhat more relaxed atmosphere. I hope as the writers gain experience with the characters that they gain some depth and consistency. I found the very last scene of this episode completely out of character. There is also a sniff of a long-term storyline here with an unknown antagonist.

    The back cover blurbs continue to give away too much of the plot but at the same time are becoming more and more inaccurate - bizarre.

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

Transfer Quality

Video

    The transfers are basically identical to the first disc with the same good and bad points.

    The transfers are presented in an aspect ratio of 1.33:1 and are not 16x9 enhanced.

    Sharpness of the live footage is excellent while the computer generated footage is still a little lacking. Shadow detail remains good and there is no low level noise.

    Colours are excellent in the live footage and pretty good for the computer generated footage. The silver of the ship was sometimes a little off.

    There are no MPEG artefacts present nor are there any film to video artefacts present. The problem with the shimmering on horizontal lines remains. I actually spotted my first film artefact (a tiny white spot). Besides this, the film masters are perfect.

    There are no subtitles and this is a single layered disc.

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

Audio

    The audio is slightly improved on this disc when compared with the first disc in the series. The subwoofer had greater presence and the surrounds had more material to work with, although there is one audio dropout in the second episode at 30:53.

    There is a single English Dolby Digital 2.0 soundtrack that appears to be surround encoded despite not being flagged as such.

    Dialogue quality is very good as is the audio sync.

    The music supports the script well and has a reasonable, though not great, soundstage.

    The surrounds are being used and in these episodes we start to see some fly-bys and other effects, although not consistently. Sometimes a ship goes past with a sound effect and sometimes without.

    The subwoofer made its presence felt on a few occasions. Even though the earth did not move, this is an improvement over the previous disc.

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

Extras

   

Menu

    The excellent animated entry to the menus is here again, as is the varying background and voice-overs. The menus are 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.

     While this series has not yet been released in Region 1, it has been released in Germany. I don't speak German and the results of the web translators out there are more funny than informative but they appear to have received a German Dolby Digital 5.1 soundtrack along with more episodes per disc. I am not entirely sure but it looks like there are 6 episodes on the first disc and 5 on the second. They seem to have treated the first two episodes as a single 80 minute pilot movie. This is only speculation until there is an English review or some kind person that reads German interprets the reviews for us.

Summary

    Now that we are into the regular episodes, we are starting to get a feel for the show. I still think the show has promise, particularly once they have bedded down the characterisations.

    The video quality is good

    The audio is a reasonable surround-encoded effort

    There are no extras.

Ratings (out of 5)

Video
Audio
Extras
Plot
Overall

© Terry McCracken (read my bio)
Friday, May 17, 2002
Review Equipment
DVDSkyworth 1050p progressive scan, using RGB output
DisplaySony 1252Q CRT Projector, 254cm custom built 1.0 gain screen. 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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