Andromeda-1.9 (2000)

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Released 19-Aug-2002

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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
Allan Eastman
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 ? 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

    Both episodes on this disc follow a 'split story line' template. A couple of the members of the crew head one way and the rest the other. This seems to have become the norm for the last few episodes. This is a fairly standard plot device and allows us to focus on a couple of the characters and with a crew of seven allows for a fair number of combinations.

117: Fear And Loathing In The Milky Way

    Our favourite rat Gerentex makes a reappearance in this episode. While Trance and Harper are off on their own they encounter their old friend who insists on kidnapping both of them. To complicate matters, Gerentex is being pursued by a large bounty hunter who doesn't mind a high body count during retrieval. Gerentex is on the trail of a very valuable artefact, and after putting Trance's unusual ability to the most obvious use, in a casino, they head off, pursued by a host of beings that want to reduce them to their component atoms. Meanwhile, back on the Andromeda, Beka takes over the negotiations with an existing member of the new Commonwealth that is talking about withdrawing, and applies her own unique solution to the problem.

118: The Devil Take The Hindmost

    Yet again this show approaches a quite original science fiction concept and explores it in a worthwhile fashion. Science fiction can (in some cases) be defined as taking a concept, or a series of concepts, and exploring the implications and impacts. Unfortunately, many of the so-called science fiction series we see on TV are simply adventure series with a futuristic backdrop, Westerns with blasters instead of six-guns. In this episode they propose a civilisation that has genetic memory and expand on this - my compliments to the writers. In this episode Rev Bem and Captain Hunt are called to help a planet where the inhabitants are slowly being wiped out by slavers. They are all Wayists (the same as Rev BEM) and have a human leader who is also a follower of the Way. Rev Bem and Captain Hunt become caught between the tenets of the Way and the realities of the situation: the violence required to defend the inhabitants from the slavers.

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 same bad.

    Presented at 1.33:1 and not 16x9 enhanced.

    Sharpness of the live footage is excellent and the computer generated material appears to be on the improve just about matching the live footage. Depth of field remains good in these episodes. Shadow detail is also good and there is no low level noise.

    Colours are excellent in the live footage and pretty good for the computer generated.

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

    This is a single layer disc.

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

Audio

    We have taken a small step backwards in the audio department - there is little in the way of surround or bass material. It is disappointing to hear better surround material used in the menus than in the feature.

    There is a single Dolby Digital 2.0 soundtrack, which 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 sound stage, though not great.

    The surrounds were quite disappointing

    The subwoofer barely registered.

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 but simply contains scrolling text. This means that you cannot directly select the second episode but must go through the chapter selection menu. Thank goodness you can skip the long intro section with the chapter next button.

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 next set of episodes have not yet been released in R1, I am still going to include the information for the first five episodes as they probably give a good indication of what will be coming, but be aware that the specifics here only apply to the first five episodes, not the episodes on this disc.

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 wide screen formatting makes the region 1 version the hands down winner. Even though we can't directly compare what extras will be included with the particular episodes reviewed here, R1 still wins on the wide screen formatting.

Summary

    I enjoyed Trance's little speech at the end of Fear and Loathing in the Milky Way and Rev Bem's character continues to expand in interesting directions. If this series can continue to move out towards the boundaries of what we normally see in this type of series, then it will garner a loyal following.

    Video remains solid.

    Audio is a barely acceptable surround encoded effort.

    Still no extras.

Ratings (out of 5)

Video
Audio
Extras
Plot
Overall

© Terry McCracken (read my bio)
Thursday, September 12, 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)

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