Andromeda: People: Beka Valentine
Beka Valentine is played stunningly by the lovely Lisa Ryder.
Beka was the commander of the salvage ship Eureka Maru and then became the First Officer of the Andromeda Ascendant.
She is a very efficient officer with a particularly good attitude to her crewmembers. She is not the officious “I gave you a command… DO IT!” leader. She prefers to work with rather that order about.
If you were to meet her in a pub she would have lots of gentlemen SadGeezers trying desperately to win her attentions, If you were a Lady SadGeezer you would probably complement her on her outfit (but secretly you would think it hung a little loosely off the shoulders).
Beka’s Brother, Rafael is a complete and utter git! He’s a confidence trickster with seemingly no qualities whatsoever. He probably got it from his father, a low-life get rich quick type, always looking to make a fast buck and taking the easy money. He and his best mate, a geezer called Sid, would often run drugs to planets that paid the highest price. He eventually died after many years taking the narcotic, ‘flash’.
Despite this, Beka can only say nice things about him. She always considered him reliable and ‘there’ for her and is seemingly unconcerned about his drug running escapades. She also becomes very upset if his drug problem is mentioned.
Her fathers pal, ‘Uncle Sid’ wasn’t much better, in fact you could say he was worse (Sid would murder to get what he wanted – something Ignatious, her father, wouldn’t). Beka found out about Sid’s shady past and Sid would have her killed if it wasn’t for Beka’s insistence that her evidence is in the safe hands of a number of people who would release it upon news of her death. With friends like that, who needs enemies!?
You need a LOT of trust when working with someone like Hunter! but Beka manages her crewmembers admirably, she is just as able to laugh and joke with them as she is issue commands and for the most part, they treat her with the respect she deserves.
Behind this beautiful exterior however is someone who does have a driving will and is quite able to take care of herself in difficult situations. She doesn’t like to be threatened and being a female commander of her own ship (the Eureka Maru) taught her when and how to be aggressive with enemies.
Beka is not a natural blonde, her real hair colour is red. In Beka’s early teams her father made her the present of some Nanobot hair. It allows her to change haircolour at will, almost immediately – cool huh?!
Her relationship with Dylan Hunt can be awkward. She has a wit and guile that can sometimes be over his head. It strikes me that Dylan is a bit stayed and Beka is most certainly not. If he does something that will put her or her crew in jeopardy (without checking with her first), she’s kick-off about it – BIGTIME.
Early in the series she even considered mutiny (with Tyr) because of Dylan’s actions. I think it’s safe to say however, that Beka is a loyal officer provided he stand up to her high standards – I’m sure Dylan is aware of this and their relationship is therefore a little tenuous. He is used to commanding a large ship with thousands of crew and having his commands obeyed without question. But although he appreciates the change in circumstances, Beka’s unstinting refusal to act as his subordinate, causes friction between them.
This is an interesting and pretty realistic relationship, and it is very difficult for Lisa Ryder to pull it off. – How can you be a second in command without taking orders? – It’s as though she is watching over Dylan to make sure that he doesn’t cross some imaginary line, if he does, then she’ll either correct him or chop his head off! It’s difficult to put all your trust in the hands of a 342 year old geezer who isn’t street/space-wize, but she does an effective job.
I think that Beka’s is the hardest character to set up in the series, all the others are pretty two dimensional and their development is a simple progression. Beka’s however is very complicated and it will take a lot more time (which is unfortunate, I’m sure we are all far too impatient).
A good example of this was in the episode Ties that Blind. To a large extent this was Beka’s show, but it concentrated too much on her brother, there were some excellent scenes with Beka (such as the scene near the end just before the Restor ships were blown up). But on the whole it was really disappointing. Lisa Ryder is a very experienced actress and we just haven’t seen her character develop enough ….. yet.
I really hope that I have to change the above couple of paragraphs soon.
Lisa’s FILM and TV CREDITS
Lisa Ryder is an impressive actress and has appeared in a number of film and TV series before before joining the cast of Andromeda. An extremely gifted actress, she graduated from the University of Toronto in 1992 and has also studied ballet at the Edmonton School of Ballet, and jazz dance at Toronto’s Metro Movement and the Improv at Second City in addition to her drama degree.
Jason X (2001) …. Kay-Em 14
“Andromeda” (2000) TV Series …. Beka Valentine
Blackheart (1998) …. Sam
Stolen Heart (1998) …. Joey
City of Dark (1997) …. Kim
“Forever Knight” (1992) TV Series ….
Detective Tracy Vetter (season 3)
“Earth: Final Conflict” (1997) playing “Kate Boone” in episode: “Truth”
“Earth: Final Conflict” (1997) playing “Kate Boone” in episode: “Decision”
“The Newsroom” (1996) playing “Kris” in episode: “The Walking Shoe Incident”
“Psi Factor: Chronicles of the Paranormal” (1996) playing “Mary Callwood” in episode: “Devolution”
“Forever Knight” (1994) playing “Angela Mosler” in episode: “Beyond the Law
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.
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