The Cynics Corner

Gene Roddenberry's Andromeda

"Fear and Loathing in the Milky Way"

by David E. Sluss

1 May 2001

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: It's supposed to be a fun, gonzo adventure, I guess, but instead it's a profoundly annoying mess.


DEMOGRAPHIC TARGET OF THE WEEK: Are Andromeda's Powers That Be going after the WWF crowd? If so, you can count me out. If I wanted to see kiddie schoolyard insults, inane posturing, and pointless, contrived, unconvincing violence, I'd watch Smackdown. This episode may yet serve a purpose in the Grand Scheme of Things, assuming anyone ever follows up on the diary, but it just wasn't worth it.

CONTRIVANCES OF THE WEEK: I guess you have to make allowances for coincidences and Small World Stories in this sort of script, but we'll run them down anyway. First, you have the "Of all the gin joints in all the galaxies" effect of Harper and Trance happening to run into Gerentex. And let's consider for a moment Gerentex, who hasn't a pot to piss in, and whose lack of said pot has apparently made the Con Person Newsletter, but who is able to convince the silver-haired acquisitions expert to kill someone and obtain the location of the diary... on consignment? And is Gerentex really dumb enough to believe Harper's B.S. about the Maru's self-destruct being keyed to his lifesigns? I don't know, maybe he is; after all, this is the villain who thought he could hide from the bounty hunter by shooting out a viewscreen.

LAUGH LINE OF THE WEEK: "Show, don't tell." Nice to know that writers' mantra has made the rounds at Andromeda Central, but the filler B-story suggests that the message hasn't really been taken to heart. In that subplot, we are told Dylan is bummed out without really seeing it. We are told that a group of Perseids are balking at Commonwealth membership without even seeing or hearing a single Perseid (the chins were at the laundry, I guess. We get to see very little of what Beka actually said to get them back on board. About the only thing positive about the B-story is that the few scenes devoted to it were a welcome respite from the main event...

MOONIE OF THE WEEK: This series has at times gone out of its way to make Hunt out to be a bungler and a goof, to the point where I've sometimes wondered if Hunt's failure to resurrect the Commonwealth is the ultimate goal of this series. Hunt's idea of passing out flowers at spaceports to foster good will and draw people to the Commonwealth seems pretty foolish even by the standards set in previous episodes. I'm starting to get an image of Hunt as the Wile E. Coyote of the Galaxies; perhaps someone will give one of the flowers back, only it will be a stick of Acme TNT in disguise...

TIME-WARPED PROP OF THE WEEK: Andromeda collects Harper's soda cans in an Umbra brand designer wastebasket, just like the one I have, only blue...

BUDGET-CUTTING OF THE WEEK: The make-up budget for this episode seems to have run out at an inopportune moment. At one point, Harper and friends are running through the asteroid, being chased by the bounty hunter. They turn down a corridor and are confronted by the crew from the casino, but we never see them! We only hear Harper and Gerentex blathering at them, and see an Andromeda Shower of Sparks (TM). Show, don't tell, indeed...

Cheryl M. Capezzuti contributed to this review.

Previous: "The Sum
of Its Parts
Next: "The Devil Take
the Hindmost
NEXT WEEK: A test of faith, or a test of patience? We'll see.



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This review is copyright 2001 David E. Sluss
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