Andromeda-1.4 (2000)

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

Released 22-May-2002

Cover Art

This review is sponsored by
BUY IT

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 David Warry Smith
David Winning
Studio
Distributor

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

    We seem to be getting Andromeda episodes in pairs, one good and one reasonable. This is of course referring to the storyline, which is purely a personal opinion. They also seem to be paired in terms of one original story and one with similarities to other series. One thing I particularly like about this series is that a lot of the stories are about the people, and not technological or boilerplate action material.

107: The Ties That Bind

    In this episode, Beka's brother turns up in the least likely of disguises, a monk of 'The Way', which is the same belief system that our ex-human eater Rev Bem follows. Beka's brother, Rafe, is accompanying a Great Wayist holy man, Khalsa. Part of the episode explores the relationship between Beka and her brother and we learn a little of their family history. Apparently Rafe has a very bad history and Beka is very reluctant to believe that he is on the level even if he has found religion. Of course, nobody turns out to be who they seem or this would have been one short episode. Due to a reasonably interesting turn of events, the Andromeda is under attack (again) and it is up to our intrepid Captain to come up with a way out. I like it when a plan comes together.

108: The Banks Of The Lethe

    OK, lets get the corny stuff out of the way first. One of the scriptwriters has obliviously just finished reading one of those general science primers for the general masses on quantum physics - you know, the ones with no formulas involved. They have included not only the concepts but have lifted almost verbatim the text and used it as dialogue for the characters so the audience doesn't get lost on the way back in time. That's right, another time travel episode. If I am counting correctly, there are now three Dylans back 300 years ago; the original stuck in a black hole, the second at the big battle from episode 106 and now a third in this episode. It must be getting crowded back there...

    While helping a new race study the very same black hole that trapped the Andromeda, some strange signals from the past start emanating from the black hole. Back in the past, about a year after the Andromeda was first trapped, Dylan's fiancé has organised a rescue party to try and pull Dylan and the Andromeda out. Suddenly, Dylan and his fiancé are talking via video phone and then hologram. Our story is further complicated by Seamus working out a somewhat unreliable transporter. Suddenly, Dylan is back in the past physically. When things start to go wrong at both ends, he is faced with a heart-wrenching decision - stay in the past or continue his mission?

    I found the acting of both main participants quite good in this episode and found myself caught up in what was happening, though I thought the reasons given for Dylan's final decision somewhat lame.

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

Transfer Quality

Video

    The transfers are basically identical to the previous discs with the same good points and bad.

    The transfers are presented at 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 material.

    There are no MPEG artefacts present, nor are there any film to video artefacts of note. The problem with the shimmering on horizontal lines can be seen on a couple of the exterior shots of the Andromeda but only on a big screen and when you are looking closely. The tradition of excellent film masters continues with only a couple of spots present.

    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 continues its roller coaster ride, at times with quite a good surround effort and at other times (in these episodes the majority of the time), at best stereo and worst almost mono.

    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 offers up a reasonable, although not great soundstage.

    The surrounds were quiescent for quite a portion of these episodes but occasionally put in an appearance.

    The subwoofer continues to make its presence felt giving some depth to explosions and other effects.

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

Extras

Menu

    The animated menus are basically the same as the last disc, with the new navigation remaining . Before there were two selections at the top of the screen, one to start each of the two episodes on the disc. On this disc, the top left selection is still there to start the first episode but the box on the right is no longer a selection and simply contains scrolling text. This means that you cannot directly select the second episode but must go through the chapter selection menu.

R4 vs R1

NOTE: To view non-R4 releases, your equipment needs to be multi-zone compatible and usually also NTSC compatible.

    This series is yet to be released in R1 but has been released in England. It would appear for about 24 pounds that you get five episodes and a range of special features including:

    None of these extras are present on the R4 discs. This seems to give us an R2 winner until the R1 discs are available for comparison. There are hints of a widescreen release in the US, but we will have to wait and see.

Summary

    I continue to look forward to the release of each of these discs, which is a good sign. These are both good solid character development episodes even if you disagree with the direction the characters take. If you had not picked up that Andromeda (the ship's computer) was in love with the Captain (which is hard to miss), then one of these episodes will leave you in no doubt. I wonder where that particular storyline will end up?

    The video remains solid.

    The audio really needs a little work.

    There are still no extras.

Ratings (out of 5)

Video
Audio
Extras
Plot
Overall

© Terry McCracken (read my bio)
Thursday, July 11, 2002
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.
AmplificationSony STR-DB1070
SpeakersB&W DM305 (mains); CC3 (centre); S100 (surrounds); custom Adire Audio Tempest with Redgum plate amp (subwoofer)

Other Reviews NONE
Comments (Add)
Region 1 version of Andromeda is due out at the end of July -