I'm doing a rewatch of Gene Roddenberry's Andromeda.

Discussion in 'Science Fiction & Fantasy' started by Gingerbread Demon, Nov 18, 2021.

  1. Gingerbread Demon

    Gingerbread Demon Admiral Premium Member

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    It's so odd first time around for me I loved season 1, 2, and 3 but now I have mixed feelings.

    I actually am right in the middle of season 3 with my rewatch, the aforementioned "vault of the heavens" was the last episode I watched.

    Later in the series Beka becomes the godmother of all the Nietzscheans which I find hilarious..... But time travel. Also plot hole isn't it, if she was their prime matriarch why didn't Tyr or anyone recognize her?
     
  2. Starscream2112

    Starscream2112 Commander Red Shirt

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    So I have seen season 1 and a few episodes of season 2 when it first aired. Is it worth checking out the rest of the seasons?
     
  3. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    After season 2, I feel the only episodes worth checking out are the season 3 episodes written by Zack Stentz & Ashley Edward Miller (who have since gone on to greater fame as screenwriters, first as a team and now separately). They were still basically writing the smart, well-written, hard-SF Andromeda of seasons 1-2 while the other writers were churning out inane space-fantasy nonsense.
     
  4. Samurai8472

    Samurai8472 Vice Admiral Admiral

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    IMO. The more power/control he had over the show the more it became "Hercules in space" complete with bloopers and outtakes tacked on at the end of some episodes.
     
  5. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    I think that comparison is unfair to Hercules.

    And what's wrong with tacking bloopers and outtakes to the end? It's a grand tradition of Hong Kong cinema, for one thing.
     
  6. Saul

    Saul Vice Admiral Admiral

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    I watched all episodes of Andromeda when it was on TV but and it was something of a struggle in the last few seasons. I could never bring myself to rewatch it. Seasons 1 & 2 were good. There was a good series in there somewhere.
     
  7. Farscape One

    Farscape One Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    I lean toward what Christopher said about which episodes to watch, though you should some of the others so you get a better feel for the comparison and what he's saying.

    Also, there was only one episode that actually used bloopers and outtakes at the end of the episode. It was their 100th episode, and I can't fault a show for doing that. That's a true landmark to reach in any era of television, so it's worth celebrating. It's like a gift to fans. Even harder for shows to reach that landmark now that seasons are so much shorter.
     
  8. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    Not really. In the cases of Earth: Final Conflict and Andromeda, it was something that happened strictly for commercial reasons. Both shows had plummeting ratings and under normal circumstances would've been cancelled after their fourth seasons at most. But 100 episodes is the traditional "magic number" for second-run syndication, the only shot Tribune had at making any kind of profit from the shows (since IIRC no show ever turns a profit in its first run, only in later syndication or home video). So despite the ratings failures of both shows due to their plummeting quality, Tribune renewed them both for fifth seasons with slashed budgets and smaller, cheaper casts and situations, based purely on financial calculations -- the investment of the minimum feasible amount of money to maximize their chances of recouping at least some of their losses in the long run.

    So those shows making it to 100 episodes wasn't any kind of achievement to be celebrated. It wasn't earned through the quality of the stories or the loyalty of the audience. It was a wholly artificial achievement that was calculated and dictated by business considerations alone. "A gift to fans?" No. We didn't want those "gifts." The fifth season of E:FC was pretty much universally reviled. The fifth season of DROM told a vaguely interesting new arc in some ways, but it was still cheap as hell and would only qualify as "good" when graded against the utter awfulness of the previous two seasons.
     
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  9. Sketcher

    Sketcher Commander Red Shirt

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    What's sad is I felt both fifth seasons had the potential to be great. Andromeda's premise of reducing the idea of rebuilding civilization to one star system was interesting, as was EFC's idea of Earth having to deal with a new species that was technically of their own making. But I guess the writers didn't care, or Tribune had too many restrictions in place for any creativity to spring up.

    Surprised neither EFC or Andromeda has been rebooted yet. Both shows had great concepts, and it's been twenty years since they stopped airing.
     
  10. Farscape One

    Farscape One Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    I understand that, and know about all those issues with Tribune for both shows and others they produced.

    I was making a general statement about shows reaching that number. And who cares if they add some outtakes at the end of their 100th episode? Or do a meta episode like STARGATE SG-1 with "WORMHOLE X-TREME", or their 200th with "200"? Getting to that point is still difficult for most shows. And while I agree the quality for both went downhill over the seasons and a 5th season was done purely to try to recoup money, the show still got there. And for those viewers who stuck it out with the series to that point, I see nothing wrong with the producers doing a celebration of that at the end of a 100th episode.
     
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  11. Gingerbread Demon

    Gingerbread Demon Admiral Premium Member

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    I like some of the initial concepts that the fifth season introduced to us, like the artificial Sun that had to be restarted. The very idea that you could even build something like that. Does anyone have any idea how the calendar works in Andromeda? I'm pretty sure the actual Earth year they are in is 5167 or something which puts the first Nietzscheans around the year 2190 or something similar.. They don't address the issues of Earth and its first contact with aliens or give any actual proper dates for things, much like Star Trek and the use of Stardates.
     
  12. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    Like I said, both seasons only existed for monetary reasons. Tribune never cared about the quality of the writing or production, or about loyalty to their producers, only about the bottom line. Majel Roddenberry wanted to make smart, sophisticated science fiction, but Tribune wanted lowest-common-denominator dumbed-down action because they believed that made the show more marketable overseas, and they wanted it to be made as cheaply as possible.


    Well, 19 years for E:FC, 16 for DROM. Still makes me feel old, though.

    I don't think either show really left a big enough footprint on fandom or the culture to attract much interest in a reboot. They both deteriorated so quickly. I'd love to see them both redone properly, but I don't think the interest is there.


    But that's the point, that the general rule doesn't apply in these cases, because neither E:FC nor DROM earned that milestone; it was an artificial achievement that came about for the most cynical, shallow, and mercenary reasons and deserves no praise. It's like, say, the difference between a runner crossing the finish line under their own power and a runner being carried across the finish line by their sponsors so that they don't lose money from their failure. Although in the case of these shows, it's more like the runners had died long before and their corpses were reanimated to shamble across the finish line.


    I never said there was anything wrong with that. What was wrong was... well, everything about Tribune's policies and the way they consistently sabotaged and dumbed down their own shows.


    http://www.saveandromeda.com/allsystems/history/timeline.htm

    The Commonwealth Year is the Common Era Earth year plus 4920. The timeline gives 6811 CY as the publication date of the final volume of Nietzsche's Also Sprach Zarathustra, which was actually 1885, but per my old notes, Zack Stentz (who wrote the timeline) clarified online that he was going by its English publication in 1891.

    Per my notes, first contact (with the Perseids) is in 2135 (CY 7055), and Earth joins the Commonwealth 30 years later. By the time of the series, humans have been Commonwealth members for a few thousand years, which is why they're so widespread. The Andromeda is frozen in the black hole in 4864 (CY 9784) and revived in 5167 (CY 10087).

    Oh, and Paul Museveni founded the Nietzscheans in 3480 (CY 8400), not 2190.
     
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  13. Gingerbread Demon

    Gingerbread Demon Admiral Premium Member

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    Oh but on the show if the series is set in 5167 I think they make mention that Nietzscheans have been around for some 3000 years so how is that 3480, unless I heard wrong. I think Tyr mentions it several times in the series.

    Thanks for the reply though.
     
    Last edited: Nov 20, 2021
  14. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    Maybe he's counting from Nietzsche's lifetime, the founding of his people's philosophy, and rounding off. Either that or the later seasons just ignored and contradicted the original timeline, as they did with so much of the original worldbuilding and physics.
     
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  15. Gingerbread Demon

    Gingerbread Demon Admiral Premium Member

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    Maybe.
    I'm determined to finish this rewatch and not miss anything this time around. Tri-Gemma is a bitch
     
  16. diankra

    diankra Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Only successes get redone.
    If you pitch "This failure could have been good" the money men will say no. If you want to remake a success they'll say yes, though the chances are that the remake will not be as well-received.
     
  17. Sketcher

    Sketcher Commander Red Shirt

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    Were they failures, though? Both ran for five seasons and completed their runs without being cancelled leaving storylines dangling. That's already better than what the original Battlestar Galactica managed to do. Successful as having any cultural impact is another story....
     
  18. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    That's far too generous. Their original storylines were tossed out or changed beyond recognition when their original showrunners were kicked out. E:FC was setting up an arc about the Taelons' great enemy that was apparently going to be extremely different and far subtler than what we got with the Jaridians. And there were a number of arcs in DROM that were forcibly reworked or abandoned, as you can see in Robert Wolfe's "Coda" document giving a sense of how he'd intended the show to unfold. Creatively, they absolutely were failures -- or rather, they were aggressively sabotaged and torn down by a studio that cared only about money and costcutting and had no regard for quality or intelligence. They both started out as two of the smartest SFTV shows ever but ended up spending the majority of their runs as two of the dumbest ever. Should success be defined merely by quantity, or by quality?

    And as I said, they only really made it to five seasons because Tribune believed they'd lose less money in the long run if they dragged the shows out to over 100 episodes so they could recoup their losses in later syndication and home video. If not for that, I'm not sure either show would've even gotten a fourth season, let alone a fifth.
     
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  19. publiusr

    publiusr Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Outside of the Messiah on DEEP IMPACT, it was the only nuclear pulse ship ever seen on screen.
     
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  20. Gingerbread Demon

    Gingerbread Demon Admiral Premium Member

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    Bonus points that you can use your engine as a gun.

    I did that in a short story with a gravity drive the ship turns to face its adversary and they fire up the drive in holding position it just eviscerates the other ships to shreds
     
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