Andromeda: S01E11: All Great Neptune’s Ocean
This show was great, and not so great. It was great to see Andromeda back after such a long wait, and not so great if you watched the episode again. I watched it again…..
“DEMOCRACY MAY BE onLY A FEW STEPS REMOVED FROM ANARCHY, BUT AT LEAST IT’S NOT AS LOUD.“
Crowned in Starlight
Dylan welcomes the delegation on board. A rather modest President Lee marvels at the erm… marvelousness of the Andromeda Ascendant as does his chancellor (called Chandos) and his chief of security, a rather attractive lady (Colonel Yeu) with no eyebrows. There are perhaps six in the delegation and Dylan Hunt is very impressed. The Castellians have managed to forge a stable political system made up of many worlds inhabited by air and water breathers (20 Billion). The president and the Chancellor are both water breathing humanoid types. Apparently the water breathers are the majority on the planet.
The occasion is a formal dinner, and official signing by President Lee, of the Commonwealth Charter. Dylan positively beams smiles in anticipation of such a coupe. The inclusion of the Castellians in the Commonwealth, will give Dylan and his crewmembers huge credibility.
Meanwhile Rommie continues to fuss around a disgruntled Beka. Rommie insists that she wear an evening gown and Beka is not happy about this. She pulls a face when Rommie holds up an elegant pink dress.
“It’s PINK!” Says Beka. But Rommie keeps her cool and simply asks Beka to choose a gown that she likes. Beka doesn’t want to choose any of them and tries to talk her way out of it… “What if they start shooting,” she says, “How am I supposed to run in a dress?” She concludes desperately.
“Good grief,” replies Rommie, “What kind of dinner parties have you been to?”
Eventually Beka chooses an elegant black dress (that is far too long), and she heads off to the reception with an excited (and half dressed) Harper. He and Beka are concerned that such formal occasions will become commonplace once Dylan attracts other worlds to sign the charter. “He’ll have us dressed up like mannequins every other Thursday.” Mutters Beka.
Rommie ignores them however. She tests the Presidential music which is supposed to accompany the head of state to any reception. Beka and Harper smile as the short musical anthem is played. “That….,” comments Harper, “sounds more like a Tuna with a toothache.”
Rommie points out that the music sounds better underwater. She goes on to explain that the Castellians use musical introductions for all formal activities in a function. The protocol demands a tune for entering a room, for leaving a room and for the proposal of a toast at dinner. Rommie tries to get Harper and Beka to be more enthusiastic. She says that they will be good and creditable allies if they sign the charter. But Beka replies, “And we provide them with the services of the toughest warship in the known universe!”
“Flatter me all you want.” Says Rommie with a sarcastic smile, “But you still have to wear the dress.” (Personally I prefer to see Beka in those boxer shorts from the last episode).
On the Bridge, Dylan continues to show round his delighted guests. President Lee is keen to sign the Commonwealth Treaty, and tells a delighted Dylan that if all goes well that evening, he will make the announcement in the morning.
Elsewhere on the ship, Tyr who has been conspicuous by his absence, is seen reading a document. His face is stern and you just know that as a result, all the peasantries will end soon.
Dinner is served on the observation deck – it seems to be going very well, someone gets up to make a toast (and a musical Tuna Fish suffers at the hands of a dentist). Chandos formally thanks the hospitality of the Andromeda on behalf of the Republic of Castellia and hopes that this will be the start of a fruitful alliance. Then Rev Bem gets up (again to the sound of Tuna butchery) “I offer a toast,” he says with his customary eloquence, “to President Lee, who inspired his people by appealing to their highest ideals. May he inspire a host of imitators.”
Then .023172 seconds after everyone had sat down, President Lee stood up and said (giving everyone time to rise to the toast also), “To Reverend Bem, I salute your wisdom, your wit and your excellent judge of character.” All this was far too sickly and the moment wasn’t lost on Beka, “Somebody shoot me,” she said behind a false smile.
Everyone bravely attempts to be seated, and just as they begin to relax a little, Tyr enters the room, takes a glass and proposes a toast (no toothy tuna torture this time). He then accuses the President of murdering thousands all the Nietzschean’s living on Castellia – man woman and child! He then drank the contents of the glass and crushed it in his hands before leaving slowly and deliberately.
The president and his entourage were shocked by this outburst – Dylan was fuming. He later went to Tyr’s quarters and asked the reason for his outburst.
“Sebastian Lee built his republic on the bones of my people. Pride Volsun were a direct offshoot of Codiac Pride and their orbital habitat was blown to pieces during Lee’s war of unification…. 75000 people…. MY PEOPLE!”
“Like you said, it was a war.” Said Dylan.
“A war the Volsun had already lost, they were attempting to surrender when Lee decided to solve his Nietzschean problem once and for all. So, you should be careful who you shake hands with Captain Hunt or you may find your finger may come away bloody.”
There wasn’t much Dylan could say in response. Suddenly he not only had a diplomatic incident on his hands (Presidents don’t like being called murderers at dinner parties) but he had also to consider if he was about to sign a treaty with a pleasant but genocidal scumbag. In the end, he let Tyr walk away.
Later he confronts Colonel Yau and Chancellor Chandos regarding Tyr’s investigation. The Chancellor tells them that Tyr was mistaken, the whole terrible event was a matter of public record and the lovely lady Colonel with no eyebrows was asked to release all the public records for Dylan’s own investigation. On the whole, they seemed quite calm considering that they had just suffered a terrible and embarrassing insult.
Lee added that the Nietzschean’s were ruthless and terrible rulers of the Castellian homeworld. But they tended to leave the water breathers alone, there was little the Nietzschean’s wanted from them. Gradually the water breathers waited for the Nietzschean’s to become complacent and eventually they seized their moment and managed to drive them away. Unfortunately the Nietzschean ship blew up as it attempted to escape. They don’t know why, but it was assumed that there was some sort of ship malfunction. The Colonel’s parents were on that ship, she refused to believe that the President (at that time the leader of the resistance) would have ordered the destruction of the 10000 Castillian slaves that were on-board.
Dylan accepts this and is pleased when the President indicates that he is still willing to sign the treaty ….. once the records have been reviewed and Tyr’s apology has been made. Dylan looks surprised. But of course, no such treaty could be signed while a Tyr’s serious accusation was still unnacounted for.
After Dylan has reviewed the evidence (and still in formal dress – it must have been a quick review), Dylan goes to see Tyr and tells him that he must apologise to President Lee. He believes the President and points out that his (the Castillian) explanation of what happened was perfectly plausible and that he had no evidence to refute it. Tyr is still reluctant but Dylan points out that Tyr should see the bigger picture, the benefits of Castillian membership of the Commonwealth will eventually mean justice (and truth) for all. It was an argument that ran in parallel with the main point; Tyr had no reason to refute the evidence of the Castillians and therefore, until he could prove otherwise, their records should be viewed as truthful. He must therefore apologise.
Later, preparations are being made for the Presidents address to the Castillian people (and the signing of the Treaty). Tyr shows up and tells the President that he owes him an apology. The President asks that he and Tyr be left alone for a moment (I wonder why, it was a public accusation, why should he not enjoy a public apology?). The observation deck is cleared of all but Tyr and President Lee.
Dylan and the others wait outside, they are only moments away from an historic signing. Harper meanwhile appears to have lost a bet with Rev Bem and Beka that Tyr would NOT apologise. Suddenly they hear the Presidential March (Tuna screaming) and everyone looks worried. To make things worse two laser blasts are heard and a shout of, ‘What are you doing? Ahhhh‘ (It most certainly wasn’t Tyr’s voice!)
Dylan and the others rush in to find that the President has been shot and Tyr is lying unconscious by the body. He is rushed to the infirmary while most of the others panic.
Later, we see Dylan enter the Observation Deck to find Colonel Yau sat by the blood stain of the President. She tearfully tells him that she loved him as a father. When her father died, Sebastian Lee was the only one who had faith in her; that believed her and didn’t persecute her for being an air breather.
She gradually pulls herself together and they talk about taking Tyr back to the surface of the planet for trial. Dylan can’t allow her to do that of course, he insists that the murder will be investigated on the ship. He assures her that she will be involved in every part of the investigation…. But there WILL be an investigation. When they identify the killer, Dylan will ensure that the he/she is turned over to Castellia for trial.
Dylan later goes to see Tyr in the infirmary, he’s being guarded by a Castillian and an Andromeda droid with breasts (and a force lance). He wakes Tyr and asks him what happened on the observation deck. Tyr tells him that he doesn’t remember. Their chat is cut short when Rommie informs Dylan that 300 Castellian ships are on an intercept course for the Andromeda. Moments before, Chancellor Chandos was inaugurated as the new President of Castillia and is believed by the Castillian Military, to be held captive. The Presidents assurances that he is there of his own free will, were met with accusations that he would give such indications if he was under duress. Catch 22
Dylan’s investigations lead to a computer simulation of the final moments of President Lee’s life. It shows Tyr take out his Force Lance and shoot the President twice. As he puts his lance back in the holster, there is an electric discharge and Tyr is rendered unconscious.
Tyr objects to the simulation calling it pathetic – a pretty accurate description. He venomously points out that it is not the Nietzschean way to perform an assassination so obviously. There were many examples of how he would kill someone without letting the blame fall on his shoulders and he gave a number of examples. True enough, Tyr would never put his own life in jeopardy so pointlessly.
Dylan, Beka, Rommie and Harper continue with their investigations. Everyone is suspect: the Colonel and the President Chandos are both considered, but both don’t seem to have a motive. Chandos was due to become President in three days time and as far as Dylan was concerned, the lady Security Chief loved and respected her former employer.
They were getting nowhere, and to make things worse, a Castellian ship attempted to board the Andromeda Ascendant in Hangar 3. Dylan left to confront the attackers and managed to subdue them with his Force Lance programmed for stun. This gave him an idea.
He was able to repel the attack by programming his Force Lance to give off an electric shock by remote control. He suggests to the Colonel that this is how President Lee was killed. Two effectives (smart bullets from a Force Lance) were fired by remote control – Tyr’s weapon was being controlled by someone remotely. As Tyr tried to get his weapon back under control, it shocked him, rendering him unconscious. (Does this all sound far fetched to you too?).
Dylan suspects that the control of Tyr’s firearm was somehow taken away from him and given to someone else. He asks Rommie to check if there were any unusual transmissions which could have done this. Rommie tells them that there was one such transmission from a communications port in the observation deck – Rommie’s communication port!!
And without batting the proverbial holographic eyelid, Rommie submits herself for arrest for the murder of the President! Dylan looked shocked (but we all suspected him secretly wondering if the ships computer was suffering pre menstrual tension).
The whole ship then starts to suffer some weird and silly incomprehensible malaise. Harper suggests that Rommie escape to the receptors in his brain so that when they wipe her memory she can be saved; Tyr visits Colonel Yau and accuses her of killing the President; Harper approaches Dylan and confesses to the murder of the President because he didn’t “like their stupid fish music.” Even Beka suggests that they try to escape.
Eventually some sanity returns when Harper notices that the Presidents music was never played when Chandos was in the same room. Dylan hatches a plot to catch Chandos.
He stages a mock handover of Rommie to the Castellian authorities in the presence of the new President, Chandos. As Rommie (escorted by Tyr) is handed over, Beka mentions that they haven’t observed protocol and orders the Presidents music to play. The music begins to play and Tyr’s gun fires. Chandos cowers on the floor desperately trying to take off his presidential breastplate in full view of the cameras and the Castellian people.
Dylan explains to the audience that Chandos had infected the Andromeda Computer with a virus in the Presidential music. All he needed to do when Tyr and President Lee were alone, was to play the Presidential music and the virus would activate Tyr’s gun to shoot two intelligent bullets at the nearest person wearing a breastplate. Every time Tyr’s gun was in the vicinity of the Presidential music, it would fire two intelligent bullets at the nearest geezer wearing a breastplate.
Colonel Yau formerly arrests Chandos and asks him “Why?” He tells them (after the TV monitor is turned off) that President Lee was going to confess that he DID order the destruction of the Nietzschean space station and did cause the deaths of 75000 Nietzschean’s and 10000 air breathing Castellian slaves. This would have caused terrible conflict on Castellia and also implicated Chandos (who was Lee’s right hand man during the war). Chandos was not about to let that happen so he planned and executed Lee’s murder.
Colonel Yau takes her prisoner away and just as they are about to board the Castellian transport ship, she turns her gun on Chandos. She is about to kill him pretending that he is about to escape, but Dylan catches up with her. She tells him that she will kill Chandos and then confess to killing them both, she is fearful of the damage that Chandos’s confession will have on her people and thinks that her solution would save the truth ever having to be told.
Dylan dissuades her from killing Chandos, “He (President Lee) was a great man who made a terrible mistake and the people of Castellia should know that. Nothing is more important than the truth…. Nothing.”
Then the scene changes to a thoughtful Dylan in his quarters. Rev Bem enters and delivers a signed and sealed Commonwealth Treaty. Dylan doesn’t look particularly pleased and when Rev Bem asks why, he mentions that he has been following the reports of demonstrations and riots on Castellia. Dylan suspects that the trouble will blow over soon, but is nonetheless, concerned.
Rev then launches into a story (the Oristian Trilogy – spelling!?!) ‘Scuse my ignorance, but I’ve never heard of the bloody story. All I could think about as Dylan and Rev exchanged historical anecdotes, was that a furry monster from hell was telling a story about a geezer and a god and a geezers wife that died thousands of years ago on an insignificant little planet that nobody (with the possible exception of Harper) cared about.
Then, the icing on the cake, “There’s only one problem with your analogy Rev,” said Dylan, “Apollo was a god, I’m just a man.”
And while watching Sorbo’s modest but Herculean cheesy smile, I threw my beer can at the screen. The behavior of the Andromeda crew surely lent itself to a more traditional ‘Scooby Do ending’, “I’d have gotten away with it too, if it hadn’t been for those pesky kids!“
You will see this show once and enjoy it, if you watch it a second time, you’ll swear a lot! I’d therefore have to rate it a miserly 16,932 out of 10.
What did you think?
The “All Great Neptune’s Ocean” episode review is © 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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