Andromeda: S01E02: An Affirming Flame
Welp! I waited all week to see this episode resolve, like a lot of us. I’d already read the spoilers and other articles from sci fi reviewers and the press, but as the show began and I listened to the opening theme tune (Lifeson of Rush wrote and recorded it, my expectation rose again. I sat back, took a sip of beer from the can and let the show wash over me – All was right with the world.
SOME SAY THE COMMONWEALTH WOULD HAVE FALLEN EVEN WITHOUT NIETZSCHEAN TREACHERY.
THEY UNDERESTIMATE BOTH THE COMMONWEALTH AND THE NIETZSCHEANS
The pace quickly picks up as the big Nietzschean dude with the big gun blasts his way through all the little defenseless robots with breasts. He issues commands to a couple of his subordinates to secure the area (decks 8 and 9) and reports back to Gerentex, the Nightsider, with a bunch of robot heads, “I’ve taken out every android and robot from here to deck 9” he reports (somewhat smugly – the big bully!).
The beautiful Beka arrives with Trance and Rev Bem to report that the ships sensors have been disrupted. Dylan Hunt (and Andromeda) are now completely blinded. Trance suggests that since Dylan is now without ship sensors, he might be persuaded to surrender. The Nightsider wants him dead. Hmm, a little obvious who is going to win out huh?
I mean, Dylan (Sorbo) is contracted to play the part for at least a series! From this point on, we probably wondered not if Hunt was going to win, but how the rat faced Nightsider was going to ‘get his’.
Meanwhile, Andromeda is informing her Captain that the ships sensors have been disrupted, Dylan looks mildly miffed, but her instructions don’t seem to distract him from what he is doing. Surely her outfit did though! I wonder if he had special training on how to keep your mind on the crisis at hand while your computer hologram talks to you looking like that! – I couldn’t do it. And another thing – NOBODY’S boobs look like that without ‘gadgets’. (Irritated lady SadGeezers may feel miffed at my drawing this to male SadGeezers attention but erm… I think it’s my duty – unless I’m completely wrong of course).
The illustration clearly shows the type of bra used to get such an effect; the strings are used to pull one erm.. cup … erm … closer to the other cup. Wonderful though this gadget may be, I can’t help wondering how and why the Commonwealth programmers decided to put this feature on the Andromeda other than to drive the Andromeda male Geezer officers wild. What did Rommie look like when the ship was first captained (as it was) by a female officer? Was Rommie a he?, and did he have skin tight clothes… maybe it even looked like a sort of Hercules with a sock rolled up and shoved down the trousers? .. erm…
Dylan Hunt decides that he should change tactics, that the fight should be taken to them! And just as he musters the courage to go, a poor defenseless robot with breasts is thrown through the doorway by the mercenary Nietzschean and brutally disassembled with his laser. Hunt spots this and immediately does a runner. He is chased by the Nietzschean (guns blazing) but manages to escape. The others arrive moments later, “Nothing like a Nietzschean when you need to clean a house.” Says Beka.
“He got away.” The mercenary replies quietly, “He’s a survivor, he wont be easy to kill.” He ads. Gerentex is not impressed. He wants the Captain dead quickly.
The Nietzschean is called Tyr Anasazi, he wonders off to meet up with Harper and the Magog, Rev Bem. When he arrives, he tries to hurry them up and tells them that the longer the ship is incapacitated, the longer it is likely to face a counter attack.
Rev Bem tries non-too diplomatically to get Anasazi to ‘give them some space’. He later tells Harper that he did some digging and found that Tyr was a Nietzschean from the Codiac Pride, one of the best and highest priced mercenaries, The Codiac Pride was destroyed in a Nietzschean clan war and Rev Bem thinks that Tyr is now trying to prove his worth (genetically speaking) so that he can join a new Nietzschean family). Harper comments, quite poignantly, “Great, not just a Nietzschean, but a Nietzschean with a chip on his shoulder.”
“One of the Universes little jokes.” Says the Magog. “At our expense.”
Hunt has managed to work his way to the armory where he ‘tools up’ with a number of handy erm.. vibrator shaped … laser firing, expandable hand…. weapons (disgusting!).
In another part of the ship, one of Tyr Anasazi’s mercenary characters (a female) is being hounded by the lovely Trance Gemini. Trance tries to calm the tenseness of the situation with some friendly chatter. The mercenary (who has a really ugly grimace) is far too concerned with finding Hunt to listen and she makes a number of threats to Trance to get her to shut up.
They are both interrupted by the well-armed Dylan Hunt, and after a wonderful battle sequence (where we learn that the lady mercenary with the unattractive smirk is an android), Hunt wins and begins to chase after Trance. Trance Gemini however, can take care of herself, she is nimble and quick and manages to evade capture (in one instance by using her tail to grip onto a stairwell as she jumped down).
In fact, judging from the caption, she seems to be teasing him to follow her.
Hunt returns to the Armory and blows up the rest of the weapons. Just as the whole place is about to blow, Beka arrives and is told to ‘duck’. She jumps away from the door just as the whole room explodes (managing to save one of the mercenaries at the same time).
Later, she points out to the others that Hunt went out of his way to save her. (I’m not sure that is strictly true, most geezers faced with watching a beautiful blonde woman dressed in black leather would suggest that they ‘duck’ in such a situation. Blokes are chivalrous that way).
Rev Bem suggests that they are on the wrong side. Trance is all for packing it in and telling the rat faced Gerentex to go stuff his job, actually she said, “I’m done, I quit.”
The Nightsider accepts her resignation and viciously shoots the lovely purple girl with his laser weapon in lieu of severance pay. (oh no! – no more tail!). Harper attempts to shoot the furry baddie, but Beka intelligently, stops him. Tyr Anasazi orders his mercenary comrades to stand at the ready.
The situation is tense, and things could certainly have gotten worse for Beka and her crew. Tyr looked distinctly tense during the exchange, you got the impression that he wasn’t happy with the way things were turning out for Beka and her crew. I am sure that this has nothing to do with compassion, more likely that he was concerned that the rat dude might turn on him!
Hunt was able to monitor the situation remotely. He is surprisingly upset by the fate of Trance Gemini and resolves to end this confrontation now. Beka too is upset at Trances death, “I trained her and she trusted me… and now she’s dead.”
She turns to Rev Bem and asks if she had family or friends that could be contacted. “She was very private.” He replied. Harper added that whenever he asked her what her name was in her native language, she would tell him that he couldn’t pronounce it. He also added that she was in some way secretive about her race and past.
Rev Bem was clearly upset, “In all my travels, I have never met a species quite like hers, and now, I’m sure I never will again.”
The conversation then degrades into a ‘how are we gonna kill Gerentex’. Strangely, the Magog is philosophical and tries to dissuade Harper form using a ‘big bomb’. “If you murder Tyr and the other mercenaries, you will be no better that Gerentex“.
“Of course I will, he’ll be dead” was Harpers snappy answer. But Beka resolves that if they are going to get back at Gerentex, the are going to do it, “smart“.
Near a bulkhead, Tyr and two very bulky mercenary dudes, attempt to lay a number of charges – the ships computer arrays are located just behind the wall. one of them points to a basketball hoop and asks what it’s for (the barbarian!).
Hunt walks in and tells them, “It’s called a basketball hoops and if you ask nicely, I’ll sow you how to play.”
Without a moments thought to consider the merits of Hunts offer, Tyr Anasazi orders his men to open fire. Hunt turns out to be projecting a holographic image of himself. The laser bolts pass straight through and just as the mercenaries work out what is happening, the fleshy Hunt jumps out from behind and manages to subdue two of them.
Tyr throws a couple of motorized killer frizzbees at Hunt (I guess they are some sort of intelligent weapon) but they are immediately intercepted by other killer frizzbees (presumably Andromeda’s internal defenses). In a very cool fight sequence, he manages to subdue Tyr and make off with one of the unconscious mercenaries. He places him in a cryogenic chamber with the other (captured previously).
Tyr informs an irritated Gerentex of Hunts activities. “All Hunt wanted was to prevent us from setting those charges….” The Nightsider was not impressed. Harper interrupts. He has managed to work out a way of interfacing directly with the computers central processor. It involves Harper entering a virtual reality and interfacing with the computer directly.
Harper enters a sort of ‘Tron’ space and is quickly met by the lovely Andromeda a giant Andromeda. In She holds him in the palm of her hand and tells him in no uncertain terms, to ‘go home‘. Harper violently and painfully returned to normality.
The next mercenary to meet with Hunts hospitality is the big fat one with the abnormally deep voice. Tyr runs to his assistance but is too late, Hunt throws the mercenary dude in a life pod and launches it.
Gerentex is clearly fighting a losing battle and Harper informs him that things are getting worse. Andromeda is managing to regain systems on the ship and is now controlling the communications, the airlock controls etc. Gerentex decides that he and his other Nightsider buddies should do a runner (taking Harper with them) and escape before Andromeda kills them off.
Harper is not happy with leaving Beka and Rev Bem, but Gerentex threatens the same fate as Trance Gemini. To make things worse, Gerentex pilots the escape ship and pushes the Andromeda towards the Black Hole, building up enough momentum so as to send it into a speedy end.
Andromeda has not managed to recover full control of its engines yet ad Beka, Rev Bem , Tyr and Andromeda and Hunt soon realize that they are doomed. The two mercenaries kept in cryo sleep are revived and they decide to try to make an escape in one of the escape pods. Unfortunately it heads straight for the black hole where they meet a crushing end.
Hunt approaches Beka, Rev Bem and Tyr Anasazi and suggests that the only way of getting out of trouble is if they all do as he says. To back him up (in the nick of time) Trance arrives and tells them that Hunt and his ship attempted to revive her when everyone else had given up hope. She encourages them to listen to Hunt. He tells them that he has 40 Nova Bombs. I’m not sure of the destructive capacity of the Nova Bombs, but I do know that Try Anasazi was hugely impressed.
It seems that these bombs are only used as a last resort and that a number of safety features are in place to make sure that they are used correctly. The crew has to ask permission before the bombs will deploy. Each of Beka’s crew and Tyr are made members of the senior command so that they can authorize the use of the weapons.
Beka Valentine is the Acting First Officer, Trance is the Acting Arms Officer, and Tyr Anasazi is the Fire control officer. Rev Bem is the only one not to issue a command. He deploys four lots of ten Nova Bombs straight into the Black Hole. Gerentex and Harper watch the bombs launch from a distance. Gerentex, realizing what is happening, orders Harper to pilot their ship out of the area as quickly as possible.
The bombs work their charm and the Black Hole’s gravitational field is disabled just long enough for the Andromeda (and the Eureka Maru) to escape into Slipstream. Harper was able to leave a whole bunch of ionized particles lying around. Therefore the Andromeda could pick up the path and location of the Eureka Maru.
There are big sighs of relief all around. Beka however is still livid with the rat faced Gerentex for making off with her ship without permission. She asks Hunt if he will help her retrieve it. Hunt is mildly taken aback by the nerve of the woman, but agrees provided they do him a favor once they are successful. He refuses to tell them what that favor is until they are successful.
The wonderfully fast and advanced Andromeda Ascendant makes short work of catching up to the Eureka Maru and Gerentex and his other Nightsider compatriots are quickly captured. Hunt, asks that Trance, Rev Bem, Beka and Tyr all meet him on the bridge of the Andromeda one hour later. H wants to have a chat with them.
One hour later, Hunt asks them to become permanent members of the crew and fly the galaxies trying to restore the Commonwealth. “….. It’s an adventure, maybe the greatest adventure anyone has ever seen. And if we’re successful, maybe we will go down in history…” Harper and Trance Gemini are in without much persuasion. The Magog is also impressed (as is Tyr ) with Hunt’s goals. Beka reluctantly agrees to become the First Officer provided that they don’t have to call him sir or salute him.
“Dylan will be fine” replies Hunt with a smile.
And there the show ended.
I’d rate this 17,457 out of 10. What did you think.
The “An Afirming Flame” episode review is © 2000 Tony Fawl.
Not for reproduction without the authors express permission
Screen captures were provided by BeccaG at andromeda-ccn.com and
Shauna’s Andromeda Dominion. (All images from the show are © Tribune Entertainment. All rights reserved)
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