The Cynics Corner

Gene Roddenberry's Andromeda

"Una Salus Victus"

by David E. Sluss

21 November 2001

 
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THE BOTTOM LINE
: Pretty good juggling of solid A-, B-, and C-stories, but I've got some of the usual concerns, and the ultra-violence in this series is on the verge of becoming comical.

CYNICS CORNER RATING: 8.25 (B)

CONTRIVANCES OF THE WEEK: The biggest problem for Andromeda during this mission, irrespective of the Nietzschean ambush, was that she had to guide and protect a fleet of Wayist relief ships. But did you see how tiny they were compared to the Andromeda? Is there any reason that all of the medical supplies and all of the people on those ships couldn't have simply been loaded onto the Andromeda, a gigantic vessel that was built to hold thousands of people?

After "Exit Strategies," how can it be that Hunt still didn't know what Tyr had stashed on his ship? It apparently didn't take him long to find it in Closet 15 once he put his mind, such as it is, to it. But what took him so long?

And why were Nez Perce and his men standing around like spare pricks at a wedding as Hunt brought weapons fire down on the mountain rather than simply shooting Hunt dead in his tracks?!

SPLIT PERSONALITY OF THE WEEK: The great Hunt mystery has once again reared its head. Is Hunt brilliant, almost Nietzschean in his tactics, or a madman who gets lucky despite his reckless, self-destructive stunts? There's only one forum in which we can get to the bottom of this...

[in from commercial]

Jerry Springer: Welcome back. If you're just joining us, we're talking today about starship captains dealing with mental illness. Our guests include short-skirted psychiatrist Dr. Georgia Witkin...

[whistles, catcalls from the audience]

Springer: ...Whitewater special prosecutor Kenneth Starr, who just likes to be on TV, and Captain Kathryn Janeway of the Starship Voyager.

[boos, hisses from the crowd. Janeway gets out of her seat and flips them off; her middle finger is pixellated for broadcast]

Janeway: Go [bleep] yourselves! Like you could have done any better!

[crowd boos; Janeway is escorted back to her chair by one of Jerry's Goons]

Springer: Now please welcome, from the Starship Andromeda Ascendant, Tyr Anasazi and Captain Dylan Hunt.

[Anasazi and Hunt walk out and take their seats. Camera pans the audience, about half are clapping, half are sitting with arms crossed]

Springer: So, Tyr, you think that your captain is unstable.

Anasazi: Indeed he is, sir.

Hunt (muttering): Shut up, Tyr, I'll reshape you, I'll reshape you!

[leg shot of Witkin, for no particular reason]

Anasazi: Our mission aboard the Andromeda has been a fool's errand since the beginning. And now, my captain is openly talking about reshaping the universe to his image. And he is behaving in an increasingly self-destructive fashion, cowing his enemies by firing upon his own position and acting as if sunglasses will protect him from weapons. You can see the madness in his eyes. His eyes...

Springer: Is this true, Captain Hunt?

Hunt: Certainly not. People who try to change the world for the better aren't insane. They're heroes. I'm a hero. That voiceover guy says so. And could an insane man have thought to get a loose cannon like Tyr under his control by keeping the remains of Drago Moosa -- Mussy -- whatever -- away from him? I think not. Ha! I've got this Nietzschean wrapped around my finger now. How is that insane?

Anasazi: Listen to yourself! Everything and everyone revolves around you. You are a megalomaniac.

Hunt: You leave my mother out of this!

[Hunt jumps up and charges Anasazi, force lance in hand. Jerry's goons step in to break up the fight, as the audience cheers. In the scuffle, the force lance falls to the floor and rolls under Dr. Witkin's chair. She picks it up and fondles it provocatively]

Witkin: Sometimes a force lance is just a force lance.

Springer (laughing): We'll be back right after this!

[cue commercial]

 

ANDROMEDA CLICHES OF THE WEEK: Break it on down!

  • Caves.
  • Super-Slo-Mo.
  • Yet another use for the force lance. And as loud as the spike was when it hit the mountain, echoing all the way across to Hunt and Tyr's position, everyone in the woods would have heard.
  • Ineffective automated defense system. I'll admit it looked and sounded better than Andromeda's sparky defense system from last season, but it was certainly no more useful.
  • Mindless attack by the enemy, entering a corridor one after another and getting slaughtered in a turkey shoot (c.f. "Its Hour Come 'Round at Last," "Last Call at the Broken Hammer"). It's particularly galling in this case, given the supposed superior cunning of the Nietzscheans. But look at them, coming around the corner one by one and getting shot in super-slo-mo, no better really than the Magog or the Kalderans. Andromeda is, of course, an Action Hour and breaking body count records every other week, but I have to say it's getting dangerously close to self-parody as well.

LAUGH LINE OF THE WEEK: Hunt, as he and Tyr face down the defense system: "OK, backup plan," the plan apparently consisting of Hunt and Tyr putting on Cool Shades in tandem.

BUDGET-CUTTING OF THE WEEK: Rev and his expensive makeup missing in action yet again (for the fourth episode out of seven so far this season), but his voice remains. I suppose this series could be turned into Rev's Angels, with Rev only heard through the speakerphone ("This is Lady Ellsbett, Angels. She's convinced that someone is out to sabotage her wedding").

MISSED CONTINUITY OF THE WEEK: With the return of Nez Perce and the first "Nietzschean episode" since "The Honey Offering," it would have been nice to hear how the war between the Drago-Kazov and the Jaguar-Sabra is going (or went); at the time it seemed like it was going to be an important conflict, but Dominionism may have sunk in. I also found it a little strange that Nez Perce apparently didn't hold anything against Hunt before now, considering it was Hunt who manipulated the prides into the war in the first place.

MYSTERY OF THE WEEK: I got your progenitor right here! But seriously, this notion that the Nietzscheans expect Drago Museveni, he whose name must be pronounced differently ever time it is spoken, to return and unify the prides opens the floodgates of speculation. It also sounds a lot like that bunkum on Star Trek: The Next Generation in which the legendary Kahless was resurrected in order to unite the Klingon Empire (sixth season's "Rightful Heir").

On the other hand, the progenitor could be someone we know:

  • Tyr Anasazi: Too obvious.
  • Tyr Anasazi's child, apparently conceived in "Double Helix": Maybe...
  • Dylan Hunt: A Nietzschean not born of Nietzschean? Nah, it's been done...
  • Gaheris Rhade: Resurrected from the dead? "Cha-ching!" says Steve Bacic...

Especially given the (so far) superficial similarity to the Kahless Krapola, the Nietzschean belief in Museveni's return begs the question: With the advanced science we see even in the post-Fall Known Worlds, couldn't cloning be used to bring him back at any time (assuming such scams haven't been attempted in the past)? And if so, how could any resurrection of Museveni ever be viewed as legitimate, particularly now that his remains are in the hands of megalomaniac Hunt and schemer Tyr Anasazi?
  

Previous: "All Too Human"
Next: "Home Fires"
NEXT WEEK: Is there a plot device that can't be used to bring back Rhade? Apparently not...

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This review is copyright 2001 David E. Sluss
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