Andromeda-1.5 (2000)

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Released 28-Jun-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 David Warry Smith
Alan Harmon
Studio
Distributor

Beyond Home Entertainment
Starring Kevin Sorbo
Lisa Ryder
Keith Hamilton Cobb
Laura Bertram
Brent Stait
Gordon Michael Woolvett
Lexa Doig
Case C-Button-Version 2-Opaque
RPI $29.95 Music Alex Lifeson
Matthew McCauley


Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame Full Frame English Dolby Digital 2.0 (448Kb/s)
Widescreen Aspect Ratio None
16x9 Enhancement No
Video Format 576i (PAL)
Original Aspect Ratio 1.33:1 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

    Andromeda seems to have taken a small turn for the worse with these two episodes. Neither really grabbed me as earlier ones have. The video quality remains constant but the audio on these two was particularly disappointing, although there were not many opportunities for the surrounds or sub to shine.

109 A Rose In The Ashes

    Captain Dylan and Rommie, in her android form, visit the Planet Arazia. They are supposed to be signing up the planet for their renewed Commonwealth. Instead, they are charged with plotting against the existing order and shipped off to a prison planet. As with all prison planets, the inmates have taken over and we have a division between the real bad apples and the suppressed masses. Not only is Dylan upset about being thrown in the clanger, but he discovers that the society that placed the prisoners on the planet believe that criminal tendencies reside in the genes. Thus, not only are the original offenders imprisoned, but their children are left on the planet because they come from bad stock. The rest of the crew debate whether to open fire on the recalcitrant government that refuses to return their calls. They finally track Dylan to the prison planet by a newly discovered talent of Trance's that we are sure to explore further in future episodes. While the crew is on its way, Dylan tries to foster a little healthy mutiny amongst the prisoners which is not appreciated by the artificial intelligence that runs the prison. Rommie's batteries start to run down before the rescue as the episode rides towards a small climax.

110: All Great Neptune's Ocean

    The world in this episode has genetically engineered humans that live under the oceans. There are also air breathers on this planet, but they are in the minority. Originally under the thumb of a group of Nietzcheans, there was a war that freed the planet, but during this war there may have been some war crimes perpetrated. The show opens with the final stages of the negotiations going well, with everyone getting ready to sign the treaty. Things go wrong when the president of the planet and Tyr are left alone for a moment. The result: one dead president and one unconscious Tyr. The rest of the episode is a rather predictable whodunit with only a mild surprise at the end. I couldn't help but wonder about something in this episode - (SPOILER ALERT: highlight with mouse to read) just what sort of warship does not have extensive virus protection for its AI systems? Is it running Windows 20,000 or something with the bug in the audio player still there after all these years?

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Transfer Quality

Video

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

    The transfers are presented at 1.33:1 and are not 16x9 enhanced.

    The sharpness of the live footage is excellent while the computer generated footage is still a little lacking. The depth of field is also very shallow in places, though this may be intentional. 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.

    There are no MPEG artefacts present nor are there any film to video artefacts. 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

    As both of these episodes are dialogue-driven, the soundtracks are fairly basic. It's a little hard not to be disappointed, particularly after having just having reviewed Farscape.

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

    The dialogue quality is very good as is the audio sync.

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

    The surrounds were quiescent for the majority of these two episodes.

    The subwoofer was almost completely silent.

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. Previously, 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 but 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.

    The first 5 episodes have finally been released in R1 allowing us to do a full comparison, and a very sad one it is.

    The Region 1 version is two discs with five episodes and...

    The Region 4 version of this disc misses out on;

    and that's just on the first disc. We continue with;

    and to really top off the list;

    The Region 1 version of this disc misses out on;

    Even without the extras, the widescreen formatting makes the Region 1 version the hands-down winner.

Summary

    I am hoping that these two episodes do not indicate that we are heading on a downward spiral. The characters should be getting bedded down and expanded instead of limping along. As I finished the synopses I realised that there was little humour in these episodes which was also disappointing.

    The video transfer remains solid.

    The audio is getting worse, not better.

    There are still no extras.

Ratings (out of 5)

Video
Audio
Extras
Plot
Overall

© Terry McCracken (read my bio)
Saturday, August 24, 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)
"taking a turn for the worse" - orangecat (my kingdom for a decent bio)