Andromeda: Season 1-10: The Pearls that Were His Eyes
And about time! Finally, an episode that shows off Beka’s talents (and I’m not just talking about her boxer shorts). It was great to see John DeLancie as her loving Uncle and Trance too was a little less Ditzy and a little more interesting – There was lots of Tail in this episode. I’ll tell you one thing though, I think Beka’s dad was a complete tosser! (but don’t tell her I said that).
The episode opened with the customary quotation from some dead person….
WEALTH IS TOO PRECIOUS
Anonymous Kalderan Proverb
He mentions to Rommie that it’s a little late to restore some of the military protocols and we learn from Rommie’s apology, that some of her systems have reverted to their defaults. Harper mentions that with all the battering that Andromeda has taken over the past few weeks, the ship is in a bad way and needs more than a few spare parts. They are headed for Eldorado Drift and Dylan assures Rommie that they will pick up the bits she needs.
As they near the spaceport, Beka and Trance are exited about getting news, weather and mail, the breaking story is about some powerful geezer called Sam Profit (of Trans Galactic Corporation) who is about to make a big deal with another shipping conglomerate called Quantum Express. Beka is singularly miffed, as the owner of a small transporter she doesn’t appreciate the fat cats getting together to get fatter and more powerful and at the same time, pushing the little people out of the way.
Tyr is also not happy, he finds that there is a class seven solar storm (big blue swirly thing) headed straight for the Andromeda and they resolve to make repairs as quickly as possible.
The final message is a personal one for the lovely Beka. It’s her Uncle, Sid Barry – I’m not sure if he was her actual blood uncle (unlikely) or a long time ol’ pal of her dad’s. The message seemed pretty desperate and he asked Beka to come quickly, he was calling in a favour owed by her father. Unfortunately (for him at least) the message was over three years old .
Later, Dylan is on the Bridge of the Maru trying to persuade Beka not to go and help Uncle Sid. He explains that the geezer is either dead or his problem is, by this time, solved.
“If you don’t want me to go,” Says Beka, “Why don’t you just tell me.”
“I don’t want you to go.” Says Dylan surprising Beka with his directness. Then he comes up with some cock-and-bull story about needing the Eureka Maru for transporting supplies (but we all know that he was worried about his first officer – I guess it’s always hard to say goodbye to a tall sexy first officer dressed in tight fitting black PVC.
But Beka is adamant, her father never asked her for anything and she feels obliged to posthumously help her ol’ man by paying a debt to her Uncle Sid.
Dylan realises he’s not getting anywhere, “The solar storm hit’s in five days. Can you be back by then?” He asks irritably.
“I’d better be. I can’t trust you to fly us out of a class seven storm.” She replied with only a half smile.
Dylan wished her well and the Eureka Maru left the hangar. Beka was supposed to be alone, but as she walks down the corridor of the Maru, she sees a purple tail hanging from the ceiling. She gives it a sharp tug (as you do) and out pops Trance. Dylan thought it would be good for Beka to have a companion.
On the Andromeda, Tyr and Harper are arguing about which supplies take priority. Rev Bem pointed out that the argument was academic – they had no money! Dylan resolves to solve the problem by having a Garage Sale (it’d need to be a bloody-big garage!).
On the Space Station (Eldorado Drift), Beka and Trance get to a seedy looking space bar. Inside, they see a number of thugs and vagabonds and in particular, a geezer with white eyes. He is stoned on a drug called ‘flash’ which is taken rather like eye drops. They look for the place where Sid is supposed to be and find it deserted.
Then these two beautiful women dressed in skin tight clothing turn to the nearest ugly group of thugs and say, “I’m looking for a guy.” Predictably the guys get nasty and one of them makes a pass at Trance; he moves round behind her menacingly, “Watch the Tail!” says Trance (which is probably exactly what he was doing). Beka was forced to draw out her expandable laser firing staff … thingy. The resultant altercation leaves three of the thugs with severe bruising and one big ugly thug who wants tell her the whereabouts of Sid (rather than be beaten up by an angry blonde with a big bronze vibrator).
They leave to see meet up with her uncle in the unlikely surroundings of the penthouse of the Trans Galactic Corporation. They find that the Chief Executive is non-other than Uncle Sid, who has changed his name to Sam Profit!
“Rebecca! Look at you with your blonde hair?” Says Sam/Sid warmly (I knew she wasn’t a natural blonde), “I hardly recognised you“. They hug warmly and for a moment, Beka displays all the girlish innocence of a loving niece. Then Sam invites them to stay at his home for the next few days.
As they enter the palatial apartment, Trance is awestruck, “It’s even better tan the Andromeda!” But Beka is still shocked at finding her impoverished uncle head of a large corporation after such a desperate message. His reversal of fortunes may be comforting, but she remembered the times when he and her father used to moan about how the big shipping corporations made life difficult for the little guys.
They have a friendly argument about how he has suddenly grown into a big fish and he tactfully decides that he should leave and let her get used to her surroundings. He gives her a money disk with unlimited credit and also leaves a handsome masseur to help her……. unwind. But it is Trance who decides to take advantage of the free massage, “Lets start with the tail.” She says – ooooooh!
Back on the Andromeda, a rather slimy character (a Cheechen) is welcomed aboard. Dylan begins bartering. Cheechen’s have a bad reputation for being unscrupulous and steeling whatever they can’t get leally. Dylan has his work cut out bartering for the much needed supplies.
Next morning, Uncle Sid enters Trance and Beka’s quarters while they are enjoying a sumptuous breakfast. Trance is in her element and is really enjoying the hospitality. Beka is in a tight black top and what looks like her fathers old boxer shorts. “Wow! You look great.” He says to the half dressed Beka (he should have been called Uncle Ernie).
Trance senses that the two would want to be left alone to talk and she leaves the room making a polite excuse that there are still some bubbles left in the bathwater that need to be used up. After a brief exchange of pleasantries, Sid asks Beka why she’s here. Beka answers showing surprise and then Sid steers the conversation to the fact that she has come at a bad time and asks if her father had mentioned anything about him just before he died. Beka rightly becomes suspicious, “You’re fishing Sid?”
Sid then goes on to explain how Beka’s father had some data that belonged to him. He reminds her of the Valentine thurst for money and then asks her if she has come across any personal files, records or data that related to him. He seemed quietly desperate and eventually offered Beka 10 million credits if she could find the information in the Maru’s data banks.
“10 million!” exclaims Beka with surprise.
“I see your memory being jogged already.” Says Uncle Sid. I think Beka was less interested in memory jogging and more concerned about her chain being yanked. He added that the files should be un-opened. Then he left giving Beka a credit disk with unlimited spending power and tells her that she needs to relax. Beka watched him go with a frown.
On the Andromeda, the re-fit is going badly. one of the parts fizzles and explodes and Rommie goes offline. The Cheechen had apparently sold them a duff cargo. With an approaching class seven storm, Tyr begins to get worried.
Beka and Trance however are having the time of their lives shopping and drinking – well Trance was more interested in the drinking. They begin to head for the Maru, Beka is sure that Uncle Sid is up to something and she wants to get to the bottom of it quickly. Trance follows on sluggishly, “Exactly where on the body is the Money Maker.” She says. I guess she met up with a little friend who was more than a little interested in her ….. money making area. (I guess that would be Trance’s tail).
When they get to the Eureka Maru, Trance wonders off and finds a picture of Beka as a little girl – with RED HAIR! Beka tells Trance that her father was worried about her hair turning orange as she grew older and made some special hair nanobots as a present. Beka then demonstrates that she can change the colour of her hair whenever she wants – in this case purple. Wadda cool idea!
Suddenly Beka realises that someone else has been through the Eureka Maru files. She asks Trance to go and seal the airlock doors, but unfortunately she is too late. In walk two of the thugs encountered earlier and this time, without the bronze handy laser gadget, Beka and Trance are next to helpless.
To make things even worse, Uncle Sid enters and Beka learns that the thugs are employed by him and their actions are fully endorsed by the loving Uncle!
“You should have just taken the money Rebecca,” Says Uncle Sid, “It would have been a lot easier for both of us.” Then one of Sid’s thugs use a sort of Tazer on Trance and Beka, rendering them unconscious.
Later, when they recover, Beka and Trance find themselves tied up yet still on the Maru. Uncle Sid accuses Beka of returning because she wanted to blackmail him. Beka still doesn’t know why and insists that she only came there to help him. Sid is having non of it! He becomes a little frustrated by Beka’s intransigence and decides to make a personal attack on her father. He tells Trance in very unflattering terms, how her father was a space junkie (or in this case a flash junkie) and a drug runner.
Strangely, Beka is more concerned with Sid calling her father a junkie than the seemingly more defamatory remark about him being a drug runner. An unusual perspective, a druggie you can feel sorry for, but a drug runner is someone most people think of as bottom dwelling, scum sucking puss-buckets. “That’s not true!” Beka exclaims indignantly, “My father never used flash.”
They are then whisked away to the Trans Galactic Corporation where Beka is beaten up. Afterwards, Trance attempts to fix her wounds with some neat Vodka. Beka still doesn’t know what Sid is after. Later, she is take back and strapped into a chair. The decidedly ugly Uncle Sid becomes even uglier when he resolves to weaken Beka’s will by trying to turn her against her father. He says lots of awful things about her fathers feelings towards her – he makes his words seem very plausible indeed and you can see Beka’s winces. Things get even worse for the nanobot haired lady when Sid decides to use flash on her to help with the interrogation process. Beka is tea-total and has never used drugs, so this is particularly hard on her. Of course she doesn’t know what data Sid is after and can’t tell him what he wants to hear, even if she wanted to.
Beka is returned to her palatial prison cell soon after. In a wonderful scene where we finally see how good an actress Lisa Ryder really is, we see Beka completely hyper and paranoid. It was strong stuff and the markup was great! But flash does have it’s qualities, it’s supposed to help you focus and improve your intelligence in some way and sure enough, Beka suddenly realises where the information that Sid is after, is stored. She visibly calms and tells Trance that they “have to leave – now!” Yeah right, what are they gonna do, fly out of the window of a penthouse?
On the Andromeda Ascendant, Tyr is mortified to learn that as the force seven storm approaches, Dylan and Rev Bem seem to have done a runner. Poor Harper gets the brunt of his anger and harsh words. Which is a shame, since he is the only one trying to put everything back together.
As the drugs wear off, Trance discovers a way of raising the metal bars on the windows and just as they are about to jump out (?!?!?) Three ugly thugs enter the room. The first is dispatched by Beka with a couple of hefty kicks, the second by Trance who strangles one of them with her tail. As he falls to the ground unconscious, the third points Beka’s handy bronze vibrator thingy at her and shoots himself. He pointed the wrong end and fired – clearly demonstrating that he was stupid (and also that he had no idea how to use such a device …. erm… on a woman).
The Andromeda is having severe difficulties steering through the storm with no damper shields. Tyr is just about to take command when Dylan and Rev Bem appear with the slimy Cheechen businessman who sold them all the duff equipment. Dylan’s plan was to capture the Cheechen and force him to weather the force seven storm on the Andromeda, hoping to encourage the businessman to release the good equipment and therefore save the ship. “Welcome to our humble abode” Said Rev Bem with all the grace and charm of a hungry werewolf.
Beka and Trance escape the confines of their luxury apartment when Beka had finished modifying some gadget – one assumes that this would stop them from becoming a big red blob on the pavement below their window. They manage to get to the Eureka Maru and we soon learn that the whole escape scenario was planed by Uncle Sid! “Boss,” communicates one of the thugs, “The plan worked just like you said.”
As Beka makes her escape, Tyr, on the Andromeda suggests that Beka isn’t coming back. Dylan doesn’t seem too concerned, either he trusts her completely or he doesn’t care. Surprisingly he isn’t worried for her safety (she’s at least a day late).
On the Eureka Maru, Beka tells Trance how her father was very close to Uncle Sid up until the time when there was a ‘big deal’, They were both about to make a huge pile of money but it just seemed to fizzle out. A few days later, the young Beka got a new nanobot hairdo. Beka considers that her father, if he were to record details of anything really serious, would place them in the memory parts of the nanobots that made up his daughters hair. Not a particularly safe thing to do for his daughter – unless it was meant as some sort of insurance scheme or something. Beka engages the Eureka Maru’s autopilot and takes Trance to an analyser. They learn that Uncle Sid had murdered a bunch of people while smuggling a large shipment of flash. As Beka and Trance watch the video in horror, up pops Uncle Sid’s face on the communications screen, “You’re watching it aren’t you?” he asks rather mater-of -factly.
He expresses a small amount of sorrow that Beka’s story was true and that he tortured her for nothing, but then mentions that he has rigged the ship to fly into the sun as soon as the autopilot is engaged. Beka and Trance run ff to see if they can override the commands, but there is little they can do. Beka bluffs her way out of the predicament by telling Sid that she had sent strands of her hair to a number of people who would read and release the story on the event of her death (I can’t believe I just wrote that). Sid almost knows she is bluffing, but I guess he is in too much a of a vulnerable position to take the chance. He tells her that she must never mention this to another living sole or she’ll die – He would have nothing to lose.
Beka and Trance return to the Andromeda where they find Dylan ‘glad to have them back’ and Tyr very surprised. on the observation deck, Trance later joins a thoughtful Beka. Beka talks to the purple girly about how good a person her father was and how he could always be relied on. She wishes that Trance could have met him. Trance smiles sympathetically, caresses her shoulder with her tail and tells her that she would have liked that.
And there the show ends. It was certainly packed with action and it was great to see John DeLancie as Sid. But Beka’s feelings about her father may have been justified from a love point of view, (love is blind after all) but surely she wouldn’t admire his character?! The geezer was a complete low-life. If I’d have met him, I’d certainly have a different feelings. Who am I kidding, if I had a gun with only two bullets and was in the same room as Beka’s father, a murderer and a pedophile, I’d shoot Beka’s father twice and then pistol whip the SOB just to make sure. Beka’s love for her him seems/is misguided and also a little weird. I guess that’s one of the reasons why I found this episode so interesting, Beka ‘s character is now much less bland in a contradictory sort of way.
I’d therefore give this show a rating of 32,766 out of 10.
What did you think?
The “The Perls That Were His Eyes” episode review is © 2000 Tony Fawl.
Not for reproduction without the authors express permission
The names, characters and everything else associated with Gene Roddenberry’sAndromeda TV series are the property of the Tribune Entertainment Company. All rights reserved.
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