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

On a prison planet and Dylan is introduced to the warden, a humourless geezer who looked like a cross between Uncle Fester and Herman Munster

Summary 7.7 great
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Acting 0
Fun/Sexy/Cool 0
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Andromeda: S01E09: A Rose in the Ashes

This episode opened with a slouching Harper verbally filling in the the blanks of a copy of the New Commonwealth Constitution. “I, Seamus Zelezny Harper the exalted love machine of the planet Earth, do hereby ordain that when 50 planets have agreed to join the Systems Commonwealth …”  He stops abruptly when Trance Gemini enters the room.

She asks him what he’s reading.  He tries to tell her, and justify his disrespectful personal amendments, that the Commonwealth Constitution document lacks the poetry of the ‘Founding Fathers’.  Trance launches into a typical Trancism “If they found it then it was already there, so how could they be it’s father.”

Harper fobs-her-off with some comment about it being difficult to explain.  He tries to get ‘the sparkly purple babe’ to fill in her own blanks.  But, with a polite swish of her tail, Trance typically refuses to let him know anything about her or her people.   She’s been very mysterious about her background and people right from the start.

She asks Harper if Dylan Hunt and Rommie’s mission to enroll the Erasians into the Systems Commonwealth will be successful.  Harper doesn’t know, and he doesn’t particularly seem interested.

I can't see a thing!On the planet however Dylan is on a platform in front of three Erasian Councilors (who are wearing ominous looking red sheets) extolling the virtues of the Commonwealth.  Rommie chips in a couple of comments to help Dylan’s argument for admission.  But it quickly becomes apparent that the Erasians have no interest in the Commonwealth and actually bear the Systems Commonwealth a grudge for the invasions of the Nietzschean’s and Magog and the famines and the suffering and the general drop in living standards. The head dude with the big red sheet accuses them of sedition and then, all in one sentence, tries and convicts Dylan and Rommie to life imprisonment. What's a Sedition?Now that’s tough justice! The Erasians clearly wanted to erase any memory of the Commonwealth and they weren’t going to entertain Dylan and his ideals, however eloquent.  Which is a bit bloody stupid really. It’s not like he arrived on a push bike for goodness sake, surely they know he has a big kick ass battleship, the flagship of the High Guard, circling the planet.

I guess Dylan was just as stunned as we were, he looked on, speechless as another Erasian (also wrapped in a red sheet) aimed a pistol at him and fired.  Dylan fell to the ground unconscious.  The same courtesy was also extended to Rommie What a dastardly dead – shooting someone’s computer .

Back on the Andromeda Ascendant, Beka and Tyr become worried when Andromeda reports that she has lost contact with Rommie and Dylan. The usual ‘lets kick the crap outa them’ comments are made by Tyr and the usual indecisiveness is demonstrated by Beka, then they are both quieted with a patronising comment from Andromeda. “In my day, we had a way of dealing with situations like this, we used to talk to people.”

How do they kiss?And they did try!  Tyr and Beka attempt to speak to a Councilor called ‘Min’, but all they got was a polite but officious Erasian lady with another big red sheet on her head.  She was fobbing them off with, “He’s not here right now, he’ll be back in a min.”  No, she didn’t say that unfortunately, she rather boringly told them that they needed an appointment.  Beka was adamant.  She puffed out her chest and with hands on hips, positively glared at the poor red sheeted lady on the monitor, “I am standing at the helm of a High Guard Battleship,You tell ’em luv!Two words from me and a barrage of kinetic warheads will blast you, Councilor Min and three generations of Erasians back to the stone age.”  She said commandingly.  It convinced me!  Doesn’t she look lovely when she’s miffed?

Unfortunately, the red sheeted Erasian lady wasn’t impressed, “You’ll still need an appointment.” She said dispassionately.   Then the video screen went blank.  Perhaps Beka should have threatened, a strategic strike on the local red dye factory.

"Can I borrow your lipstick?"Dylan wasn’t having much luck either.  He (and presumably Rommie) were whisked away to a prison planet and Dylan was introduced to the warden.  This humourless geezer looked like a cross between Uncle Fester and Herman Munster and his personality was much less amenable.  He gave Dylan a food disk (a mini compact disc which could be used to get a small supply of food from a dispenser).  Should he lose the disk, he would lose his only source of food while on the planet.  Dylan seemed unconcerned and asked where Rommie was being kept.  The big officious, gray fat ugly dude told him that he she was being processed separately.  Dylan pressed his luck by asking how he could lodge an appeal. The warden assumed Dylan was joking and made it very clear that Dylan could expect to enjoy their hospitality for life.

When Dylan walked into the prison compound he was greeted with a large group of prisoners chanting ‘new meat‘ but things got a little better when their leader (a drop dead gorgeous lady prisoner), told them to ‘Cork it’.  Unfortunately she has little respect for Dylan’s ideals or predicament (or age) and manages to take his food disk.  He suggests that he fight to get it back and is introduced to a big brown hairy monster called Zax.  It is too early in the series for Dylan to be killed off so we all knew he would win the altercation – which he did.  The big brown hairy monster was tricked into stumbling on some food pellets and Dylan then banged his head against a wall {sigh}.  Meanwhile a young blonde teen girl was watching with interest from a distance using what looked like a portable pc.

You can play with my disk if I can play with yoursDylan is congratulated by the leading lady (called Kalee) and she makes it fairly obvious that she fancies the dude.  Dylan of course is not interested and asks her about the prison planet.  Moments later Rommie is wheeled into the compound in a cage – why a cage, is she considered more dangerous that the others and needs to be confined in case she does them harm? – and if so, why?  Erm.. you also couldn’t help but notice her rather fetching, skimpy little prison uniform.  Come to think of it, Kalee’s costume wasn’t exactly frumpy either?  These Erasians sure know how to dress their lady Wadda great prison uniform!prisoners, or maybe that’s the reason they are in prison.  Maybe all the Erasians are, in actual fact, hideously ugly – is this why they wear the red sheets?  Are all the good looking ones sent to prison?  Unfortunately such important questions would not be answered in this episode.  Rommie covertly tells Dylan that her avatar only has a few days of power left.

The blonde teen girl is trying to get some food from Zax (who seems to be the person/hairy-thing that controls the food dispenser), she’s being hassled by the hairy dude with mathematics questions (?!?!)   Most of us wondered why the hairy dude would be concerned about her education (There was a reason, but it was really obscure and not fully explained in the episode, instead we were left to work it out for ourselves near the end – which is a shame, the scene was quite interesting).  Dylan’s gallant attempt to force the hairy geezer to give her the food was wasted, she snatched it from his hand and made it clear to Dylan that she neither wanted nor needed his help (teens are so bloody ungrateful!).

The floor showLater, Dylan learns from Kalee that the prisoners and their offspring are prisoners for life.  They watch the floor show together (which was really good by the way!) and Dylan tries to persuade her that keeping people prisoner when they haven’t committed a crime is wrong.  It seems obvious to us, but I guess it’s a difficult concept for someone who was born in prison.  Kalee justifies her prison existence by telling herself that she has a bad gene passed down from her parents, a sort of criminal gene.  The floor show is really beginning to heat up and the two drop dead gorgeous fighting ladies (nearly wearing their skimpy prison uniforms) are just about to scratch each other eyes out when guns open fire.  Everyone scatters (and the two fighting ladies help each other up – how sweet).  The ungrateful blonde teen rushes over and pulls Dylan to safety.  She then runs to help free Rommie from the cage. Eeeek!The three of them escape the compound.

On the ship, Trance approaches a video console for a quiet chat with Andromeda.  She leans forward in the same way we might peer inside someone’s front window.  Except with Trance, we see the full glory of her yellow eyes, purple face and technicolour features – up close! If I were Andromeda, I’d have stayed inside – I don’t know about you, but I though she looked bloody-scary and without wanting to upset any of the Trance fans out there (particularly enTranced) she almost put me off my beer! 

Don't look at me like that!Trance is concerned that the ship not only misses Dylan, but that it also misses Rommie.  As she talks into the view screen, a miniature hologram of the Andromeda computer appears and joins the conversation. Andromeda, the ships computer and the scary purple girl with a tail discuss how much they miss Rommie….

…..  I’m afraid the rest of the review was chopped following a server crash, there were no copies.

This episode review is © 2000 Tony Fawl.
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