Andromeda: S02E04: Pitless as the Sun
The Anari, seemingly a race of space truckers, are appealing to Andromeda for help in protecting their freighters from some unseen enemy that keeps blowing them out of space. Major Whendar, a humanoid looking female, makes the appeal in person.
Dylan convenes and discusses the situation with Beka and Harper. He thinks they are just not valuable enough to worry about and wants to go off and meet with possible allies that have better potential.
Holy Cow Pod person!
While this juxtaposition is going on, Major Whendar is free to roam Andromeda and ends up in hydroponics. There she meets Trance and quickly chats her up to come down to her planet in order to help disperse the people’s fear of aliens. Trance is flattered and goes off to ask Dylan for permission.
Dylan does not like the idea one little bit. Apparently even in the old commonwealth days these people were “unpredictable” (read: untrustworthy low-life scum). Trance continues with her argument and offers that she will spy while there. Dylan just about spits his teeth out with laughter and she gets the okay” ..she casually leans back in her chair and says “They’ll never know what hit them“ (this sounds like a Tyr saying)
Off Trance goes to the planet. We see her walking along in “the university” with a mild mannered man, Professor Logich, who shows her into one of the rooms and then he locks her in it. Hmmm
Meanwhile our intrepid hero Dylan, is now giving Major Whendar and her lieutenant the guided tour. They pass by a machine shop that is sealed and marked restricted that Dylan says has a radiation leak from their last battle. They make their way up to the command deck. Dylan comments that the command deck may not look that great since he has not been allowed in to see the repairs. (This is the first viewing after the Maggog destroyed the command deck, and most of Andromeda). Harper and Rommie have done a fine job. It is completely unrecognisable and totally beautiful (except it reminds me of Star Trek). All stations are gleamy, creamy, and dreamy with shiny silver trim. I can’t quite figure out where the pilots chair is so I will have to wait to see where Beka sits down. 🙂
The space freighter guys are mighty impressed with Harpers work and start asking him Tech questions so Dylan instructs Harper to show them around the ship and tell them all they want to know. As Harper and the guests leave the command deck, Tyr turns to Dylan and questions his sanity, to which Dylan surprises Tyr by telling him that since he doesn’t trust them, he is giving them enough rope to hang themselves with.
And now back to Trance: She is laying on a bed in her little room. The professor comes in and asks her if she feels sleepy but she replies that she just feels bored. Trance asks him why he has locked her up after being invited to their planet. The professor tells her that some of his people wouldn’t react well to her appearance so this is for her own protection and prods her to answer some questions so his people can learn more about her as a representative of an alien race.
The professor starts off by asking Trance about her childhood, as it is the key to everything! About her parents, “they weren’t very nice” and that “they did very bad things to children who were disobedient“. He continues and asks if she has any siblings and if violence is acceptable where she comes from. In typical Trance fashion she retorts that it depends on what he means by siblings. His eyes are transfixed on Trance as he continues his questions about the violence of her people when Trance cuts him off and politely asks for lunch.
The Andromeda is nearing a rendezvous point with more of the Anari (yes the space truckers, oh, and Beka is now a STANDING pilot” no comfy chair” good move by the director, after all, how are you Sadgeezers supposed to look at her bum otherwise?[This must be the only plausible explanation for such a stupid idea, it’s like having no safety restraints on a space ships. Erm, wait a tick])
Oh yes, back to the story: There are no Anari waiting for them, just space ship debris. They pick up some of the debris and Harper inspects it. The weapon used is unlike anything he has ever seen. It doesn’t just blow up the ship, it changes the composition so that the metal hull crumbles like burnt paper.
Back on the planet, Trance has packed away a football teams lunch when the professor comes back into her room. She offers him some of the remaining food but he declines with a weak excuse. He looks a little worried that she has eaten so much and tells her that he is surprised that she can keep such a pleasing figure. He continues his line of questioning. This time it is about her home planet. She tells him that she isn’t from any planet but was born in space. So he asks her which planet she was raised upon. Sleepily she replies, “which one, there were so many..”. Trance starts to clutch her stomach and does a wobbler. Claiming to feel sick she lays down on her little bed and falls asleep.
Back on the Andromeda at least something normal and expected is happening 😉 The Maru is being sent out on duck mission to lure in the baddies. Beka has a hold full of Anari cargo, Ammonium phosphate, which the Anari sell as fertilizer.
Poor Trance awakens not in her little bed but in a nasty looking chair with colored tubes running into it (with poison) and her wrists strapped in with metal clasps. The professor looks like he is losing it, all sweaty and stressed. on the wall one can see medical information slashing across the screens. The professor want to why they cannot discern her life signs, she tells him his machine must be broken. He asks her what she is doing on the Andromeda and how the rest of her crew figure into her mission and where she comes from. Of course he gets none of the answers he wants. He starts to shout at her” .
Beka gives Dylan a ring that there is a big nasty ship plodding along towards her. The Major is on the command deck and asks Dylan why he hasn’t already fired upon it and he tells her to cool it as they are only gathering intelligence at the moment. While this is happening Major Whendar’s little Lieutenant is sneaking into the restricted machine shop that he was told had the radiation leak.
Meanwhile it appears that the professor is in fact breaking Trance (yeah, right). Trance begins her confession by telling him that her people are in fact “fake people” and in fact designed. (ohhh, sounds good so far) She starts to tear up here and exclaims that she is so ashamed of it and has never told anyone but him. She tells him she likes it that her crewmates think she is hiding something very important as it makes her feel special. The professor moves in and asks her what her people were designed for. “SEX! We’re sex slaves, designed to bring pleasure to the universe!!” (ah, sorry gents, but I’m betting this is not true)
Her sobs turn into maniacal laughter.
Ack! Ack! We are left on the edge of our seat and taken back to the more mundane aspect of Andromeda getting attacked again.
Beka is back on board and already on the command deck. The baddies are firing on Andromeda and there is some supplied excuse as to why they can’t return fire. Rommie comments to Dylan about the attackers radiation signatures and Dylan orders “Protocol Red 15” and Rommie sends the ship the message
The other ship stops firing and two huge, ugly jellyfish creatures appear on Andromeda’s screens. (looks like a 3rd stage Guild Navigator from Dune). one of them “speaks”
Dylan turns to the Major and asks what they have done to piss of the Pyrians.
The plot thickens
Everyone on the command deck adjourns to the conference room and are joined by the Lieutenant. Dylan gives a bit of background on the Pyrians. The Lt asks Dylan why he is questioning THEM if they are in alliance and Dylan shoots back that he thinks partners do not spy on each other or withhold vital information like the Anari have. The Lt. Slaps it back at him by asking him what he is doing in machine shop 5. Dylan asks Tyr and Beka to leave at this point keeping Harper and Rommie. Apparently Dylan has been getting Harper to build Nova bombs and Beka and Tyr didn’t even know about it! Dylan exclaims that he is not going to fight the Maggog with slingshots. All the parties seem happy again and return to the command deck. Dylan tells the Anari that even back when Andromeda was a fully armed and crewed heavy cruiser, it would have been no match for a Pyrian ship.
Tyr tries to take a look at machine shop 5 but Andromeda pops up and remarks that she didn’t realize this was his battle station. (another good Tyr line coming up). “Whoever told you sarcasm was a desirable feature in a ship was sadly misinformed“.
Back at the planet, the professor is entering the room while the clasps on Trances hands simply pop off and she stands up. The professor backs up around the room while Trance becomes the interrogator. He ends up confessing that the reason she has been treated so poorly is because of her predecessor. Trance looks shocked. Apparently a male version of her was there 15 years earlier and seemed just like her, sweet, innocent, and playful. The professor had been one of the people assigned to evaluate him. Somehow the creature incited a civil war, which left half the population dead, and the ecosphere in shambles. Trance inquires if he thinks she is just like that one and he replies that he is not sure if she is there to pick up where the other one left off or to gloat over the ruin of the Anari.
Meanwhile Rommie is urging the Lt. to talk to the Dylan as she feels he is hiding something do to his fluctuating life signs.
For some reason Trance has decided to co-operate with the broken down professor and sits herself back in the chair (what a softy). The professor starts trying different ways of killing her. When she ask him about this he tells her that the Anari want to be able to defend themselves in case her people decide to make a full scale attack. She replies that his backwater rock wouldn’t be worth their effort and it wouldn’t take a full assault. She tells him that she really doesn’t know the identity of her predecessor but does confess that in all probability he was just bored. That when you have seen and done as much as they have the universe starts to feel a little small and stagnant so you learn to make your own “fun”. The professor is stunned that the ruin of his planet was no more than a game but Trance just shrugs at him.
Andromeda is again being attacked by the Pyrians and everyone’s death is imminent. The Lt confesses that the Pyrians are upset because the fertilizer to them is an addictive and illegal drug which the Pyrian government asked the Anari to stop shipping. Dylan sends the Maru out and dumps the fertilizer and blows it up. He tells the Pyrians that he did not know the nature of the cargo and invokes protocol red 15 again and tells them that even though they don’t recognize it, he does and stats that he has in his custody a criminal who has broken Pryian law and is happy to hand her over to their authority. Major Whendar is of course not happy about this and tells him he does not have the authority to do this and he just basically gives her the “look of death.”
Back to Trance: The professor is now using the poison to try to kill Trance. He asks her how she feels and she responds that she feels sleepy. She continues on to tell him that he wasn’t always like this and that he doesn’t want to harm people. He agrees with her and tells her about reading a field report from his son as he as facing his death. Because of what the purple boy did, his son would not get to live the life he planned for himself. Trance gently tells him to suck it up” “almost no one gets to live the life they plan for themselves.” She further emphasises that because of what someone else did now she won’t get to either.
The professor tells Trance that he will hide the torture of the Trance by telling Dylan that she went outside against his advice and was killed by an angry mob. He unlatches her wrist restraints and she grabs his arm and pulls him near. “You wanted to know about my people? Here’s a lesson.” At which point she becomes the girl with kaleidoscope eyes” her eye becomes a vision of an unfolding universe
Meanwhile” ” Dylan is talking to the restrained Major Whendar. She claims that her people have no choice now but to run drugs since their world was destroyed 15 years ago by another purple pest like Trance. The Major states bitterly that Trance will get what she deserves. The Lt is found to have been working for the Pyrians all the time as an informant.
It is the professor who now sits in the interrogation chair looking even more crumpled and older than before. In the background Trance is still chastising about punishing an innocent person for the sins of another. He asks her if her crewmates know what she really is and she tells him that they know hat is important, that she is their friend. She has no plan to tell them any more information and she drops her sweetness act and with a threatening look tells him that he had won’t tell them anything either. With resignation he asks her what she plans on doing with the Anari and she snickers that she is not that bored and that “the universe is a mess, I’ve got plenty to keep me busy“. The professor is shocked at her ‘evil’ confession. “You enjoy chaos don’t you, just like he did.” Trance states that it keeps life interesting. The professor tells her that according to their greatest spiritual texts that chaos is just a manifestation of evil.
Trance smiles rather evilly: ” Are you implying that I’m some sort of” .devil?”
The professor (shaking in his boots): ” are you?”
Coolly Trance replies: “You’d better hope not.” And departs the room.
We next see Trance back on Andromeda sitting on the obs deck. Dylan enters and he fishes for info on the Anari civil war. Trance looks a little sad and asks him “you’re mad at them aren’t you? They should have been honest with you from the beginning.” (hmm, is she thinking about herself here?) Dylan tells her that he doesn’t make alliances with people unless he knows exactly who he’s dealing with, or until he knows he can trust them. Trance asks him if those aren’t the same thing but with a pat of her knee he reassures by saying that there are those few exceptions.
As Dylan leaves Trance looks off into the distance and in her eye we see a huge planet circling it’s sun.
Wow! What an Episode!!
I’d rate this one a 78800000 out of 10
|I think it’s really cool to sort of learn more about Trance and her abilities. It was much more interesting to see her being somewhat evil. The professor (cancer man from x-files) was terrific! It was also nice to see non humanoid aliens for once.|
The “Pitiless as the Sun ” episode review is © 2001, 2002 Hollydays.
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