Rob McCarthy looks back at another disappointing sci-fi show, Gene Roddenberry's Andromeda.
I realise I'm probably going to upset a few people by including this in my collection of the most disappointing sci-fi and fantasy TV shows, after all it is the longest running show I've featured and anything that produces 110 episodes over 5 seasons can't be bad, right?
It also has legendary Star Trek creator Gene Roddenberry's name in the title, claiming it is his Andromeda. He passed away 9 years before this show made it to television, and so you can't help but wonder just how much of his vision actually made it to the screen.
Andromeda started with serious potential. We have Kevin Sorbo as ship’s captain Dylan Hunt, a Buck Rogers-esque character, in that he, his sentient battleship Andromeda and its
crew were frozen 300 years in time. After discovering the Commonwealth has been wiped from existence they embark on a quest to rebuild the
civilized universe and restore peace. Not so easy when you're in the middle of an intergalactic war.
The first season played out quite well, there was the occasional cringe-worthy comedy instalment and some that seemed to defy logic, but overall it was a good introduction to the show's
universe. The special effects were very good too, all in all I was quite enjoying it.
However from Season 2 onwards it became more and more Hunt-centric with the ships crew fading into the background. I've nothing against Kevin Sorbo but his Capatin Hunt was no Kirk, Picard or even Archer. His character was just too perfect, he was actually quite dull and could sometimes come across as unlikeable.
Andromeda started to become confused, disjointed, and lacking any
shreds of logic. Routinely; Andromeda's small crew of 6 would take
out an entire army of killer aliens; find a single missing person on a large
planet within seconds while other people have looked for them for
ages; infiltrate and then fight their way back out of an impossible to penetrate garrison, etc etc etc.
After a while it just became too difficult to suspend disbelief. Every year I'd think 'this will be the last', but the show kept getting renewed.
By season 4 all hope of delivering a single, coherent, and
believable story was thrown out the window by the writing team. There is no one single interesting
or well written episode in that year. Yet somehow it still wasn't cancelled.
The stories were so cringe worthy. In one episode five people managed to stand in exactly the right place along a 36 by 8 mile long arc-ship to fend off invaders
that could've just boarded anywhere. In another a signal is sent
through space and travels faster than light by way of ultrasonic
burst - yet sonic is a sound wave and there is no sound in the vacuum of space, I mean kids know that, right? One more example, and one of the very worst, was when the Captain was dying from a debilitating fever, people had searched generations for a cure yet somehow, without any prior knowledge, he managed
to deduce that if he mixed two different bloods it would work.
Andromeda was a total (space)ship wreck, an idiotic science fiction show with stupid story lines that made absolutely no sense. The only consistent thing about the series was the writer's contempt
for the audience. They got me hooked in the early days and so I had to watch to see where it was going. I begged for cancellation but none came.
If Gene Roddenberry had been alive in the early 2000s I think he'd have asked to have his name removed from the title.
Birds of Prey
The Prisoner (2009)