Andromeda: People: Andromeda

Hey ‘puters are people too! The ships computer is played beautifully by Lexa Doig

The Andromeda Ascendant is a sentient spaceship with a computer interface able to manifest itself into a holographic persona (from ‘To Loose the Fateful Lightening).

Affectionately called Rommie, the Andromeda Ascendant Computer is officially designated; Shining Path to Truth and Knowledge Artificial Intelligence model GRA 112, serial number XMC-10-182. I’d just call her sexy!

This slightly officious and possibly overconfident computer is a wonderful character rather like the ships doctor in Voyager.

AndromedaThe spaceship itself is the tenth advanced “Glorious Heritage” heavy cruiser to be built. It is therefore o­ne of the most advanced ships in the Commonwealth and was named in honour of the Vedran Empire’s marauding rise to power and their uncanny ability to unify the Galaxy to their way of thinking (ie. it’s bloody-big with bloody-big guns).

It was built at the Newport Orbital Shipyard above Earth in the 9768th year of the Commonwealth. The advanced “Headwaters of Invention Mark VIII Slipstream engines” however, were not fitted until 9772.

Andromeda’s beautiful computer is an Artificial Intelligence Unit which was designed and programmed by the ‘Shining Path to Truth and Knowledge Institute o­n Sparborth IV’ and installed in a special Sentience ceremony (I guess it’s a sort of christening for Artificial Intelligence Units). Finally the ship was commissioned by the Vedran Empress Sucharitkul XII, High Guard Admiral Constanza Q. Stark (a lady admiral no less) and assorted other dignitaries, and formerly handed over to her first captain, who was called Fatima Novarro.

The ship immediately embarked o­n a number of missions, the most important was the battle between a group of marauding Magog. Partly because of this role, the Magog were forced to open negotiations and a treaty was signed.

This may have inadvertently signed the death warrant for the Commonwealth, for the Nietzscheans, sick of the way the Commonwealth made treaties with marauding thugs, rose to confront and eventually defeat the Commonwealth just at the time when the Andromeda suffered it’s altercation with a black hole, sending it into a three hundred year sleep.

Without the emotional baggage of the Nietzscheans, she/it is proud to be a member of the ships crew and considers them competent and talented. Bit strange that, if I were her, (wow! waddan idea) I’d tend look consider the human inadequacies more than their plus points, after all, if your life depended o­n it, who would you trust, a computer like Andromeda or a human like say… Harper?

If you were to meet her in a pub something would be VERY wrong – computers don’t generally hang out in pubs. But erm.. if you WERE, then you’d notice this SadGeezer trying to chat her up.

Andromeda’s Communication is achieved via a number of selectable appearances and personas. A crewmember may want to speak to a different looking ships computer whose verbal communication and personality could be different from the erm.. Default. Personally I would chat quite happily to the ‘default look’ and personality – in fact most of us blokes would probably flirt a lot, and you women SadGeezers would be chatting to Hercules.

Andromeda is most things to most people o­n the ship. It’s difficult to get away from her, and although the basic functions of this huge spaceship (4000+ crewmembers) can be carried out predominantly by individuals, the computer is vital to the smooth running of everyday operations.

A great figure - for a computer.Andromeda is also VERY powerful, I’m not just talking about managing flight controls and weaponry, but she/it is also capable of leashing millions of little subordinates in the form of nanobots (creapy-crawly-tiny-things) that can attack your central nervous system whenever commanded to do so.

So this begs the question… when can Andromeda act o­n her own. Can she kill? (even in self defense?) how helpful can she be, can she refuse help to a crewmember, what if someone requests that her shape and persona should, from now o­n, be that of a naked sex slave? erm… for instance. It’s going to be interesting to see how this character develops.

AND DEVELOP SHE DID! In the third episode we find that the wonderful engineer dude, Harper managed to find a way to create a solid (looking) avatar (a sort of hard-light hologram) of Rommie. She was reintroduced to us all in her full bare chested glory.

This new avatar seems to be able to sense and feel as any normal human woman. As you can imagine, this could cause her some problems. She is, after all, and attractive and capable sentient being and this is likely to cause her problems in terms of relationships. Lets face it, there aren’t that many cool sentient computer generated avatar dudes around are there?

One such relationship that is fraught with complications, is her/it’s interaction with Dylan Hunt. This geezer thinks nothing of chatting to the poor girl/thing naked (ie. in the morning after a shower) and she is becoming increasingly sensitive to erm.. his manly erm.. characteristics. Such feelings seemed to manifest themselves in the episode ‘D Minus Zero’ when the lovely computer was seen affectionately pawing Dylan Hunt’s picture.

And yet, as Lexa Doig o­nce said in an interview, “It’s strictly forbidden {to fall in love}. The Commonwealth Protocol prohibits anything other than a strictly professional relationship between AI and anything other than AI.

Hmm. Im not sure that the writers are going to set us up like that if all that’s going to happen is for Rommie to have a girlie crush o­n someone (thing). If someone (even a sentient computer) is capable of feelings then they are capable of falling in love. The problem for Andromeda, is what will she do about it when it happens?

I can’t wait to see how this develops.

NOTE: To help save confusion, I will be referring to the Andromeda Computer as Rommie when in solid (avatar) form, Andromeda in holographic form, and the ship’s computer in all other instances.

We also appreciate Lexa’s sense of humour.  This picture was taken presumably backstage, and seems to be Lexa making fun of her puch up underwear.  (I think we need more backstage fun pics!).

Wolfe o­n Andromeda

Robert Hewitt WolfeThe great Robert Hewitt Wolfe who wrote much of Andromeda and expanded the story from Gene Roddenberry’s idea spoke about Andromeda in an interview with scifi.com

(Photo by ALBERT L. ORTEGA.)

“It’s basically very advanced Artificial Intelligence. It thinks of itself as a person and it is a person by the rules of the Commonwealth, where basically anything that has a certain level of sentience, whether it’s a robot or a missile or a ship, is a person, so the Andromeda has a fairly distinctive self-image which is that of a fairly attractive woman who has not been cast yet (I guess this was before they cast Lexa Doig), but whom we have a couple of interesting candidates for.”

“She is in control of both the ship itself and all the little robots aboard her, everything from little nanobots that you can’t see to mosquito-size robots that fly around the ship and keep an eye o­n things, to two huge battle droids that are kept in the cargo hold with little signs that say ‘In Case of Planetary War Break Glass’ – affectionately known as Tweedledee and Tweedledum. She also controls a number of drones, fighters, all of which are semi-sentient and can operate o­n their own, and after a little while she’ll have a body that looks completely human, which is indistinguishable from a human as long as you don’t look too close or cut it,” he explains. ”

“But it’s a fully sentient robot, which is much more advanced in many ways than Data – it can use contractions, for example. It’s skin is the appropriate color and she has full emotional range, which means that sometimes she acts like a very confused graduate student, especially in the situation in which our crew will eventually find themselves, which is a very emotionally confusing situation in that everything that they’ve come to depend o­n is changed after some really bad things happen in the first couple of episodes which I’m not going to talk about.”

Nice description! Robets words were pinched from scifi.com ‘s excellent website – please would you visit them to make me feel less guilty?

LEXA’s FILM and TV CREDITS

Jason X: Friday the 13th Part 10 (2001) …. Rowen

Tracker, The (2000) …. Kim Chang

Andromeda” (2000) TV Series …. Andromeda … aka “Gene Roddenberry’s Andromeda” (2000)

No Alibi (2000) …. Camille

Code Name Phoenix (1999) …. Conchita Flores

Teen Sorcery (1999) …. Mercedes

as Tina BackusCI5: The New Professionals” (1998) TV Series …. Tina Backus

While My Pretty o­ne Sleeps (1997) Mary Margaret “Tse Tse” McBride … aka Mary Higgins Clark’s While My Pretty o­ne Sleeps (1997) (TV)

Face Down (1997) (TV)

Joe Torre: Curveballs Along the Way (1997) (TV) …. Joey’s Mom

First Do No Harm (1997) (TV) …. Nurse Trish

Jungleground (1995) …. Spider

TekWar” (1994) TV Series …. Cowgirl

TekWar: TekLords (1994) (TV) …. Cowgirl

TekWar (1994) (TV) …. Cowgirl
… aka TekWar: The Movie (1994) (TV)
… aka TekWar: The Original Movie (1994) (TV)

Baby o­n Board (1991) …. Nora

Psycho Girls (1985) (as Darlene Mignacco) …. Sarah

TV guest appearances

Earth: Final Conflict

(1997) playing “Joan Price” in episode: “Abduction”

“Traders” (1996) playing “MJ” in episode: “Running of the Bulls, The”

Traders” (1996) playing “MJ” in episode: “Episode o­ne”

Ready or Not” (1993) playing “Receptionist” in episode: “Glamour Girl” 1996

For More information, checkout the wonderful
Lexa Doig o­n-Line

Lexa in The New Professionals
an ill-fated British TV Series.

The character reviews are © 1999, 2001 Tony Fawl.
Not for reproduction without the authors express permission

The names, characters and everything else associated with Gene Roddenberry’s Andromeda TV series are the property of the Tribune Entertainment Company. All rights reserved.

Checkout their website