Production 7
Direction 7
Characterisation 8
Storyline 9
Acting 8
Fun/Sexy/Cool 8

The new opening title sequence set the scene for an episode filled with action and intrigue, especially concerning Tyr and the Nietzschean’s

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Andromeda: S01E05: Double Helix

Wadda cracker! The new opening title sequence set the scene for an episode filled with action and intrigue, especially concerning Tyr and the Nietzschean’s.  The graphics were slick and the lovely Rommie was in solid form throughout as was Tyr (comment from female partner).

MACHIAVELLI’S IDEAS ARE
BASICALLY SOUND onES FOR
THE NIETZSCHEAN PEOPLE.

UNFORTUNATELY,
HE WAS AN OPTIMIST.

Cerebus Khmer
“Aphorisms” C.Y. 8969

The crew were going about their normal business, Dylan was on the bridge with Rev Bem and Beka; Tyr was exercising and Rommie had managed to confront Harper about the development of her solid avatar. She pointed out to him that she has certain ‘parts‘ that, “strictly speaking aren’t necessary for my normal operations.” she accused. Most SadGeezers paused to consider this carefully.  But Harper could only mumble. “I guess I’m wondering Harper,” continued Rommie, “when you made this body, who did you do it for?

What a silly question!  Harper mumbled something about wanting her to enjoy the FULL benefits of being human (how considerate) and the perfectionism inside him striving to do the best job, blah blah blah.  We all looked at his slightly reddened face and said, ‘We know what you were doing, you dirty ol’ sadgeezer!’  Rommie pressed her point home, “So, when you handled certain parts of me….. did"Or ANY form of protection?" you wear gloves? (Or at least some sort of protection!?)  Harper looked at her with an ambivalent air of awkwardness (like a wolf trying to chew toffee).  But alas, he didn’t answer.

This interesting exchange answered many of the questions that we were all thinking, namely ‘can she erm…. do it’  (yes you were, don’t deny it). Remember, Rommie has exhibited more than a little interest in Dylan. She almost blushed when seeing him naked (which she has done many times – !) and was seen pawing his picture etc.  Could she be experiencing a mild sexual awakening?  Suddenly (now she has all the right bits), Rommie finds herself able to experience many of the erm… feelings that a normal human woman could experience…. And yes, I’m sure many of us wondered if this would include an orgasm.

Unfortunately, such questions wouldn’t be answered in this episode; suddenly the ship’s alarm was activated and the Andromeda crew find themselves in the middle of a battle between a group of Nietzschean’s and Than.  The Nietzschean’s were winning.

On the Bridge, the lovely Beka Valentine watched the battle develop.  She was frustrated as the Than vessels are destroyed one by one by Nietzschean missiles.  Dylan targeted one of the disabled Than vessels and managed to pull it into the cargo hold before the Nietzschean’s could finish it off.  Tyr Anasazi was flabbergasted!  He accused Dylan of putting their lives in danger (again) with his idealism. Beka is loathed to agree with Tyr but Dylan pointed out that he had a clear opportunity to negotiate peaceful settlement between the two forces and help put the Commonwealth ‘back on the map’.

Tyr is not impressed with DylanDylan rather arrogantly orders that both sides cease hostility.  The Than respond with a ‘who the hell are you to ask for a ceasefire?’ communication and the Nietzschean’s respond by blowing up one of the Than ships.  Tyr points out that such actions constitute a definite ‘No.

Beka agreed, “Yeah, that was very bad.

They learn that the Nietzschean’s have a colony on a nearby asteroid protected by a very powerful Plasma Cannon. As the Andromeda moves to save the Than ship, it is fired upon.  The Andromeda is hit pretty badly, sparks fly and people rock about violently (reminiscent of Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea).  Dylan orders Tyr Anasazi to return fire and lots of those pretty green missiles are dispatched.

The firing stops, Beka goes to check on the Than and a slightly perspiring Rommie reports that she is unable to take another Plasma blast.  The Nietzschean leader hails the Andromeda.  He introduces himself as Gudarian, Alpha of the Orka Pride (Gudarian is his name, Alpha is his designation (a sort of head chef geezer who not only leads but has the best choice of female partners – Nietzschean women tend to love a winner), Orka is the name of his family settlement rather like a Clan).

Dylan explains that he fired in self-defense and that his goal is to help restore peace.  The Nietzschean laughs at first, but gradually becomes interested.  Tyr whispers in Dylan’s ear that they would be foolish to drop their guard.  Gudarian notices Tyr and Dylan puts a hand on Tyr’s shoulder pointing out that theirs is an example of the re-established Commonwealth.. of how Nietzschean’s and humans working in peaceful co-existence. Tyr glanced sideways, obviously embarrassed.

Gudarian invites Dylan to come to the asteroid to talk further.  Dylan acknowledges.  Tyr advises against it, he tells him that during the war, it was a common Nietzschean tactic to capture human commanders and use them as hostage shields against their own ships.  Tyr volunteers to go in his place.

I don’t think Tyr was acting in a benevolent capacity, I wondered what Nietzschean treachery was afoot.  I guess Dylan had the same feelings, but he was in no position to ignore the advice of the Nietzschean.  Provided he was no threat to Tyr, he probably felt like trusting him.

Tyr departs for the asteroid with a huge array of weapons and gadgets (there’s nothing like being well prepared ….. for a peaceful settlement) However Tyr’s concerns are more than justified.  As his transport ship landed and its doors opened in the Asteroids cargo bay, a Nietzschean welcome party opened fire.  But the ship was empty.  one of the Guderian’s crew report that another five transport ships had landed and they all rush off to find them.  As the last Nietzschean left, Tyr slides quietly down a rope from the ceiling (neat trick!).

The lucky Than!On the Andromeda, Beka is with Trance Gemini in the Medical Centre attending to the Than visitor.  They are joined by Harper who has managed to extract the Than’s flight plan and mission objectives.  Beka reviews the information and reports to Dylan.  She tells him that the Than were looking for the Nietzschean’s who had been attacking the Than ships as pirates!  Dylan is convinced that they should still try and look for a peaceful resolution.

On the asteroid, Tyr manages to capture a hostage (the brother of Gudarian).   A whole bunch of Nietzschean men and women enter.  one in particular is an attractive tall blonde woman who looks on Tyr in the same way you or I would look at a sandwich at lunchtime.

Gudarian tries to tell Tyr that the hostage (his brother, Dimitri) is infertile and therefore worthless (not a particularly brotherly thing to say).  Tyr calls his bluff and Gudarian is about to kill them both when the lovely (and available) Freya steps in and declares her interest in Tyr.  Dimitri tries to argue the point (apparently she was previously betrothed to him), “But Freya, I AM fertile.” He insists (still at knifepoint).  But Freya’s mind is made up.

At this point an attractive older lady enters the room and debates the Tyr/Freya pairing.  She asks Tyr for his lineage.  Tyr tells of the Codiac Pride and how it was betrayed (by, among others, the Orka Pride).  Gudarian looks mildly embarrassed but all the others listen intently.  Listening to each other’s lineage is an important part of introducing oneself in Nietzschean society .  Tyr concludes by announcing that he is Tyr Anasazi, out of Victoria by Barberosa (Tyr Anasazi is his name and Victoria and Barberosa are his parents – I think?!).

The firtile but impotent DimitryMost of us would have said, “good for you asshole!  Now put down the knife.”  The Nietzschean’s however were engrossed.  Freya asks, “Barberosa son of Hannibal or Barberosa son of Hemogen.”  Tyr confirms, “Hemogen.”  The older lady announces, “He has good lineage!Wadda crazy situation, can you imagine some jerk pulling a knife on you in the pub, the last thing you are gonna say is, “Bill son of Dave?  Is that Dave son of Bob or Dave son of Fred? Freya however was gravely serious, she was checking out the father of her children to be.

Tyr Anasazi is not in a position to refuse the idea.  The old lady points out that Freya is an eligible Nietzschean woman with a good lineage and what warm blooded geezer could pass up the chance of becoming a good father and husband in an established Pride!? Tyr’s future seems well set – mind you, he still has a knife in his hand.  The whole deal is subject to a DNA test to make sure that his story is true. The whole confrontation is diffused while Tyr’s his blood sample is checked.

Freya figures  Tyr for a fatherFreya takes Tyr on a tour of the Asteroid settlement.  She points out some of the history of the Pride and explains that Gudarian is the most successful Alpha in the Pride’s history, he has twelve wives and 23 children (now THAT’s successful!).  Freya however, feels that she can do better than become Guderian’s thirteenth wife.

Tyr Anasazi seems to become more and more fond of Freya and he tells her the story of his Pride, the Codiac.  They were entrusted with the remains of the original Progeny, Drago Mussovenye.  He actually saw the mummified remains when he was younghow exciting.  He told how other Nietzschean’s would make pilgrimages from all over the galaxy to see it.  Unfortunately the Drago Katzoff Pride claimed that they were the rightful guardians and conspired with The Codiac allies to overthrow them.

The Nietzschean courting ritual.He told her of how, on the day of battle, the allies abandoned the Codiac to face the full force of the Katzoff on their own.  He saw his mother murdered and those of his Pride that weren’t killed were scattered and faded into obscurity.  Tyr became a mercenary and gave up the idea of finding a home (something that is vital to the well-being of any Nietzschean).

The older lady entered the room and told Freya that Tyr’s blood test proved that he was not only eligible, but that he had good genes.  Freya gazed at Tyr as though she wanted to rip off his jeans (yes ok, the leather ones) and begin working on the family thing as soon as possible.

On the Andromeda, Dylan goes to see Rev Bem.  He is fearful that his feelings for the Nietzschean’s may disrupt the peace process.  He tells the story of Rhada, the first officer and friend that betrayed him 300 years earlier.  His loathing for Nietzschean’s brings out in him, the opinion that they are all treacherous, paranoid and selfish (a pretty accurate description).  But Rev points out that Magog  instincts are to slaughter his enemies and eat them – also to lay eggs in other sentient beings.  And yet he is the most peaceful person Dylan knows.  Rev points out that in any species, there is always room for improvement. Yoda, oops I mean Rev Bem continues, “You don’t have to forget, you don’t even have to forgive.  But you must look for the good in the beings that you encounter. Otherwise your restored Commonwealth will be founded on distrust and it will be over even before it begins.”  He bows and leaves.

Tyr Anasazi returns to the Andromeda and is met by Harper.  He explains that he has now gained the trust of the Nietzschean pirates.   They know of the Andromeda and it’s power and think that Tyr will help them capture it.  Harper nervously asks if he will do that for them.  Tyr growls at Harper (who tries to run of), but calls him back laughing and invites him to look at a data disk from the Asteroid.

They report the results of the analysis to Beka and Dylan.  They learn that the Plasma Canon can most certainly destroy the Andromeda. It turns out that the only form of defense (besides running away) is to modify the shields in some way, which would leave the sensors disabled.  Harper is mortified that they should even consider such an option, but Beka and The Captain listen further.  Beka politely accuses the Nietzschean of erm… being a Nietzschean, but Tyr pointedly insists that he is not nor will he ever be, a member of the Orka Pride.  He leaves them to make a decision.

When Tyr leaves to return to the asteroid, Dylan joins him and tells him how important it is that the Nietzschean’s don’t learn that the Andromeda only has 5 crewmembers.  He tries to instill on him the importance of telling them that they have a full complement of 4000 crew and a full Lancer regiment on board.  Tyr looks at him but leaves without saying anything.

On the Asteroid, Gudarian greets Tyr warmly and Tyr brings the leader a present, one of those handy High Guard Force Lances that look like big bronze vibrators.  Gudarian is pleased.  He extends it and then points it to Tyr and fires. Gudarian accuses Tyr of downloading the schematics of the Plasma Cannon and betraying them to Dylan Hunt.

The Lance weapon however was only set to stun (rather like my spellchecker) and a fast talking Tyr explained that he did what he did to gain the trust of the Captain and persuade him to lower the ships sensors and enable the Nietzschean’s to board and take-over the Andromeda.  He then tells them that the Andromeda Ascendant only has 5 crewmembers.

At this point its difficult to tell who is betraying whom.  Most of us considered that Tyr was absolutely on the side of his new buddies and that Dylan Hunt and the rest of his crew were doomed.  But Tyr’s hatred for the people who betrayed his Pride was obvious and believable.  The decider (from Tyr’s point of view) must therefore be Freya.  The Nietzschean’s feel that he is worthy of their trust but surely this is because can only confirm his place in their society by betraying Dylan Hunt! Tyr does however, disable the Plasma Cannon so that it will not destroy the Andromeda when he and The Nietzschean’s attack. Who would you trust?!

The cheating NietzscheanDylan too is having a similar debate in his mind.  He reminisces the relationship with his ex-friend and colleague.  He remembers playing a board game (a sort of 10th millennia chess) in which Rhada explained the Nietzschean attitude to winning.  It is vital that a Nietzschean wins at everything they do as this is the only way of determining the value or power of their abilities.  The more able the Nietzschean, the more they are likely to succeed and therefore the more eligible they appear to lady Nietzschean’s and therefore, the more likely they are to pass on their ability to their offspring which is what Nietzscheans are erm.. there for.  Later, he tries to beat Dylan by stealing a one of the pieces.  Nietzschean’s will win even if it means cheating.  Dylan arranges for the AP Power converter to be fully charged (?!?)

On the asteroid, Tyr is coupled with Freya and they bonk.  They were married it seems, in a very simple ceremony which involved the wearing of ‘his and hers’ arm bracelets.  This was the first time that Tyr took a wife. So, one might suppose that given the importance of Nietzschean family values (ie. ‘bonking only when it means little Nietzscheans’), Tyr, up until this point, may have been a virgin?

They are interrupted (erm… after the act) by Gudarian who tells him that they are now ready to attack the Andromeda.

On the Andromeda, Rommie (dressed in a very nice blue low cut dress) is talking with the Captain on the Bridge. Suddenly a Plasma blast hits them broadside.  Rommie points out that the blast did little damage but that the airlocks have been compromised and they are now being boarded.

Guderian’s men make short work of capturing Beka (who puts up a creditable fight), Trance and Harper (who don’t), Rev Bem (who does a lot of very cool spitting) and eventually Dylan (who is captured by Tyr).  Gudarian politely asks Hunt to hand over the ship. But an unruffled Dylan first asks Rommie to provide the status of the AP Power converter.  She tells him that it is almost at a critical level.

who's a silly boy then?This apparently means that the ship will effectively self-destruct unless Dylan oders Andromeda to halt the process.  Dylan tells Gudarian that he is not inclined to give such an order and that he would never turn the ship over to pirates.  His backup plan may be feeble (you can say that again – ‘don’t kill me or I’ll blow myself up!’), but at least he had a contingency.  It turns out that the venerable Gudarian didn’t.  Dylan looks over to Tyr and asks, “I’m betting that you have a contingency plan?

Tyr looks shocked and saddened by this turn of events and sees that Dylan now has the upper hand.  He takes out a remote control device and says, “Always.” (ie. he always ahs a contingency), as he presses the button and blows up the Plasma Cannon.    Gudarian is horrified, despite Dylan’s consiliatory offer of joining him in the negotiations with the Than, Gudarian tells him that he would sooner die.  The Nietzschean’s hurriedly make their escape in earshot of A job well doneTyr who reminds them that, just as his Pride was betrayed by the Orka, now revenge has been served.  Gudarian (predictably) vows to seek revenge on Tyr.

Later, the Than arrive to collect their comrade.  They are pleased at their efforts and confirm that they now respect the Andromeda as a Commonwealth entity striving to achieve peace.  Dylan is pleased but it’s not exactly what he wanted.

On an observation deck Tyr is joined by his captain and he two discuss the days events.  Dylan is not as grateful to Tyr as you might imagine.  He believes (quite rightly) that Tyr acted in his own best interests and that his actual objective was to win the Andromeda for himself.  If it wasn’t for Dylan fouling his plans with the AP Converter overload, Tyr would have watched as Dylan was killed by Gudarian then he would have killed Gudarian and formed his own Pride on the Andromeda with Freya.  Tyr looks pointedly at Dylan Hunt.

I’m proud of you.” He says. “For thinking like a Nietzschean.
If I were thinking like a Nietzschean I would have killed you.” Responds Dylan who then goes on to re-affirm his commitment to developing a new Commonwealth.
Tyr Anasazi laughs and dismisses his goal. “So, do you trust me now?
I trust Tyr…. to be Tyr.”  Replies Hunt walking away.

What will she do now?On one of the Nietzschean ships a tearful Freya is listening to the older woman.  Freya must decide what to do about a supposed pregnancy. The older woman holds in her hand two small bottles.  The first contains a clear liquid which when imbibed, could force her to ovulate and become pregnant (if she isn’t already), the second contains a red liquid, which presumably would kill the egg.  Freya must decide if the child is worthy of being born based on the activities of its father.  on the one hand, Tyr Anasazi defeated Guderian and therefore he is a worthy father and husband, on the other hand Tyr betrayed them all, clearly demonstrating that he was unworthy. What a dilemma! We weren’t able to see the decision – and on that sour note, this terrific show ended.

I’d have to rate this a conservative 39,771 out of 10 (an extra 300 points for Trance Gemini’s wonderful purple outfit, and Newkate insisted I add a few more for the half dressed Tyr in leather trousers). 

What did you think?

The “Double Helix” episode review is © 2000 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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