The Cynics Corner

Gene Roddenberry's Andromeda

"Exit Strategies"

by David E. Sluss

17 October 2001

 
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THE BOTTOM LINE
: A respectable followup to the catastrophic events of the season opener, even if cartoonish, "action hour" violence remains the order of the day.

CYNICS CORNER RATING: 7.75 (C+)

CONTINUITY OF THE WEEK: Continuity came by the barrel (of a gun) this week. Seeing the after-effects of one of these "soul-shattering cliffhangers" is refreshing to say the least, after years of Voyager reset buttons. And it's nice to see some follow-up to "Music of a Distant Drum," though you have to wonder how it can be that Hunt never determined what Tyr had really been doing in that episode, and what contraband he brought back with him. A little more subtle was Hunt and Tyr playing that M&M game at the end of the show, a nice reminder that the treacherous Rhade liked to play the game as well. Amid the characterization this week, I thought one opportunity for character continuity was missed; during the "confessional" scene with Beka and Rev, I was hoping that Beka would remind Rev (and us) that she's fighting her own hunger as well, namely Flash addiction. Oh, well...

WEIRD SCIENCE OF THE WEEK: We got a self-congratulatory lesson in the physics of momentum this week, but we were also told that the Maru's gravity field generator would reduce the mass of the vessel. Not likely - more like the weight of the vessel, which isn't the same thing. Another problem, though probably a post-production issue rather than a science gaffe, is Beka's claim that the Maru would be harder to for Nietzschean sensors to detect because of the snow. If the ship were buried, maybe, but it looked to be almost completely exposed; if anything it seems the ship would be easier to detect.

WEIRD TECHNOLOGY OF THE WEEK: Pretty kewl binoculars. As Hunt makes his way through the terraforming pines toward the building where the Nietzscheans are hanging out, he changes direction and checks the view a number of times. But every time until the last one, the binoculars show the exact same image of the building, at the same angle, and at the same range. Ni!

POOR F/X OF THE WEEK: The rendering of the cracks forming in the ice just before a sinkhole opened up in front of Hunt was pretty laughable, like something out of an old Roadrunner cartoon. I half-expected to see Hunt hold up a "Help!" sign as his feet fell from under him...

ANDROMEDA CLICHES OF THE WEEK: For the love of God, enough with the Super-Slo-Mo! Can they be saving that much in the cost of film by doing this? I'll also note the new sub-cliche: "Close-up of Hunt hitting the deck in Super-Slo-Mo," seen for the third week in a row. Additionally, amid all the Action in the recycled Magog worldship set and elsewhere on the planet, we see plenty of Imperial Stormtrooper Marksmanship from the Thugs of the Week. Apparently, the Nietzscheans haven't found the "good shootin'" gene yet. And then there's the shuttle crash -- excuse me - Maru crash; that ship is a little more resilient than can be believed, I think.

EYE-ROLLING EXPOSITION OF THE WEEK: As usual, Tyr gets the good lines, but he also gets a very bad one. When Rev reveals that he has been fasting and that he keeps live food on the Andromeda, Tyr helpfully points out, "But you aren't aboard the Andromeda." Sounds more like something Captain of Exposition Hunt would say, and most viewers probably got that. And speaking of our Fearless Leader...

BRAIN DAMAGE OF THE WEEK: I know I was hard on the show for having so many pompous, sometimes delusional, speeches coming out of Hunt's mouth, but I'm not sure I like the alternative. So far this season, it seems Hunt can barely string a sentence together, spouting Action Hero dialog like "Magog suck," and "Hi! Found Tyr. We can go!" Could it be that the next batch of Andromeda merchandise will include a Hunt doll with a string in its back and a dozen recorded phrases?

WELFARE RECIPIENT OF THE WEEK: Well, not officially, because this is a character and not a performer, but let's talk about Harper. It's really moving and everything that Andromeda needs Harper, but - why? Is there a reason that the "Rommie" android couldn't do whatever rewiring Harper did to keep the engine core from blowing? Or a lot of other things Harper does for her? Just a thought...
  

Previous: "The Widening Gyre"
Next: "A Heart for
Falsehood Framed
"
NEXT WEEK: An alien artifact is stolen in slow motion. With action and stuff.

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This review is copyright 2001 David E. Sluss
Gene Roddenberry's Andromeda is a trademark of Tribune Entertainment