|Also known as||Gene Roddenberry's Andromeda|
|Created by||Gene Roddenberry|
|Developed by||Robert Hewitt Wolfe|
|Written by||Robert Hewitt Wolfe|
|Country of origin|
|No. of seasons||5|
|No. of episodes||110 (list of episodes)|
|Running time||60 minutes|
|Original release||October 2, 2000 –|
May 13, 2005
|[andromedatv.com (archived) Website]|
Andromeda (formally titled Gene Roddenberry's Andromeda) is a space opera television series, based on unused material by Gene Roddenberry, developed by Robert Hewitt Wolfe, and produced by Roddenberry's widow, Majel Barrett. It starred Kevin Sorbo as High Guard Captain Dylan Hunt. The series premiered on October 2, 2000, and ended on May 13, 2005.
Andromeda was filmed in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada and produced by Andromeda Productions, Tribune Entertainment, Fireworks Entertainment and MBR Productions. In Canada, the show aired on Global Television Network (Fireworks' parent company) and ran in first-run broadcast syndication in the United States.
Andromeda is one of two television series (to date) alongside Earth: Final Conflict based on concepts Roddenberry had created as early as the 1960s and 1970s; Roddenberry died in 1991, nine years prior to the series premiere. The name Dylan Hunt had previously been used for the hero of two television pilots Roddenberry had produced in the mid-1970s – Genesis II and Planet Earth – all of which shared a similar dystopian post-apocalyptic premise.
Thousands of years in the future, the Systems Commonwealth is a constitutional monarchy based in a distant star system called Tarn-Vedra. Mankind is a part of the Commonwealth. It spans the Milky Way, Triangulum, and Andromeda, with Tarn-Vedra near its core. The Commonwealth is at war with the Magog, a predatory humanoid species with bat-like faces that is dedicated to war. Peace talks led the Commonwealth to cede a key world to the Magog, that of the Nietzscheans; in response, the Nietzscheans secretly attempted to usurp control of the Commonwealth. Dylan Hunt is the captain of the Commonwealth starship Andromeda Ascendant. Its computer is a powerful artificial intelligence which can emit a holographic interface persona in the form of a woman, called "Andromeda" or "Rommie". Caught by surprise in the first engagement of the Nietzschean uprising, the crew evacuates. The Andromeda, with Hunt aboard, is caught at the edge of the event horizon of a black hole, freezing both in time.
303 years later, in CY 10087 (approx 5167 AD), the crew of the salvage ship Eureka Maru locates the ship. The Systems Commonwealth has fallen, and the era known as The Long Night has begun. Hunt recruits the salvage crew to join him in an attempt to restore the Systems Commonwealth and "rekindle the light of civilization". The salvage crew comprises its leader, Beka Valentine, a con-artist and expert pilot; a super-genius engineer named Seamus Zelazny Harper (rescued from Nietzschean-enslaved Earth by Beka) who can plug his mind directly into computer systems; Trance Gemini, a mysterious alien of unknown origin whose innocent demeanor hides a surprisingly old soul, and Rev Bem, a Magog who has adopted a non-violent Taoist-like religion called The Way ("Rev" being short for "Reverend"). The salvage crew's beneficiary brings along an insurance policy in the form of a Nietzschean mercenary named Tyr Anasazi.
Slipstream is the primary mode of travel for ships in the Andromeda universe, and the only known method of traveling faster than the speed of light. The Vedran discovery of the slipstream was instrumental in the formation of their intergalactic empire, which became the precursor of the Systems Commonwealth.
Slipstream cannot be navigated by AIs (they have a 50% chance of choosing the correct path). Only organic pilots can "sense" a way to their destination (they have a 99% chance of choosing the correct path), and although AIs are fitted on all large ships, they always require an organic pilot for interstellar travel. It is thought to be the process of choosing a path that makes the chosen path the correct one.
A function of slipstream is that apparent objective velocities are extremely variable, as it enables travel across millions of light years seemingly as swiftly as traveling between neighboring stars only tens of light years apart. Further, slipstream is a non-linear method of travel; the best and swiftest way to get from Point A to Point B (though they might be in the same galaxy) may very well involve hopping to another galaxy entirely. Also, the more frequently used routes are often easier, faster and more predictable.
The Systems Commonwealth was a huge utopian civilization, spanning three major galaxies of the Local Group. It was founded by the Vedrans, the first race to discover slipstream, who initially used it to conquer the Andromeda Galaxy. After a long and bitter war of attrition with the major powers of the Triangulum Galaxy, the Vedran Empire was reorganized as the democratic Systems Commonwealth. The Commonwealth served as a peaceful intergalactic government for almost 10,000 years until the Nietzschean revolt.
Dylan eventually managed to restore the Commonwealth (though not to its former glory; initially it had only 50 members while the Old Commonwealth had included more than a million worlds). However, the New Commonwealth soon fell victim to internal corruption masterminded by the group known as the Collectors, who were allied with the Abyss.
Majel Barrett and Tribune Entertainment began developing series from Gene Roddenberry's archive in 1997. Robert Hewitt Wolfe was brought in to develop the series. Fireworks Entertainment was brought in to co-finance and for international distribution. In early 1999, actor Kevin Sorbo was recruited to star in the series while he starred in Hercules: The Legendary Journeys. Eric Gold, and Barrett were also to be executive producers and Wolfe as co-executive producer. Bette Chadwick was in charge of casting, while visual effects were initially handled by Lost Boys Studios and Northwest Imaging & FX. By September 9, 1999, Tribune had stations committed for two years in 24 of the top 30 markets with 22 Tribune and 38 Sinclair stations for a 60% national clearance giving the series a green light. The show was offered barter terms with an eight national/six local advertising split.
The Andromeda theme music that was used in the first season was composed by Alex Lifeson, guitarist for the Canadian progressive rock band Rush; executive producer Robert Hewitt Wolfe is a big fan.
Andromeda's first episode was aired on syndication in the United States on October 2, 2000 while being carried on Global Television Network in Canada. Tribune Broadcasting station signed on to carry the show in its first season. On January 20, 2002, Andromeda was renewed for two seasons, its third and fourth, having gotten two year deals with stations in 39 out the top 40 markets. By January 31, 2003, the show was renewed for its fourth season, 2003–2004, in 148 markets representing 88% of the United States. The show was averaging 2.2 rating for the 2002–2003 season, third behind Stargate SG-1. For the 2003–2004 season, the show is one of only four first-run scripted series in syndication along with its Tribune stable mate, Mutant X.
On January 14, 2004, the Sci-Fi Channel made a deal for the show and all its episodes plus fellow Tribune syndicated but discontinued show Beastmaster. In March, the cable channel would start showing season four episodes which would then be seen in syndication seven to ten days later. With the deal, the series was renewed for its fifth and final season. The show began its run on Sci-Fi with a re-airing of the two-hour pilot episode.
On April 23, 2004, CanWest Global Communications announced the closure of Fireworks Entertainment and placing Fireworks' library up for sale. With Fireworks being the primary production company, this was effectively the show's cancellation notice. However two of Fireworks shows were shifted to fellow CanWest subsidiary Global Television, and the fact the show was renewed just in January. Tribune had ordered the show and Mutant X into production for the 2004–2005 season under the show's contract options. Fireworks Entertainment took Tribune to court to get an order releasing them from production and financing the two series.
Controversy erupted in the midst of the second season, when series developer and executive producer Robert Hewitt Wolfe announced he had been released from the show's production, although his influence was felt until the completion of the second season; at that point, Bob Engels was brought on to be an executive producer of the series. The reason for the change was purportedly to make the show more episodic and open to casual viewing since Wolfe's version — although episodic — had many continuing plotlines and story arcs. After the show's final episode aired, Wolfe wrote and published a one-act play entitled "Coda" that explained his intended plans for the show without contradicting the already aired episodes.
In discussion on his website's forums and various interviews, Wolfe has elaborated that he was released from the production staff after he refused to shift the show's focus more heavily onto Kevin Sorbo's character, Dylan Hunt, by essentially making all of the show's episodes as Hunt-centric. The events of the episode "Ouroboros", the final episode written by Wolfe, introduced the last major changes that Wolfe was willing to make to the series.
By 2003, ADV Films had home video/DVD rights for the show. The company released the entire series on DVD in region 1 between 2003 and 2006. In December 2003, ADV released Season 3, Collection 2. On October 3, 2006, they released a complete series DVD box set known as Andromeda: The Slipstream Collection.
Alliance Home Entertainment has released all five seasons on DVD in Canada only.
On January 26, 2015, Revelation Films released a complete series set on DVD in the United Kingdom.
In Region 4, Beyond Home Entertainment has released all five seasons on DVD in Australia. In 2007/2008, they re-released all five seasons in new collector's editions that featured new packaging and all episodes were digitally re-mastered in widescreen format.
The all-region Blu-ray release of the complete box set of all five seasons was released on September 19, 2016.
Andromeda was nominated for 39 awards at organizational events spanning the years 2001 to 2006. The nominations comprised six Academy of Science Fiction, Fantasy & Horror Films, USA awards, five Chicago International Film Festival awards, eight Gemini Awards, fifteen Leo Awards, and five WorldFest-Houston International Film Festival awards. The show won 18 of those awards.
|2001||Academy of Science Fiction, Fantasy & Horror Films, USA||Best Syndicated/Cable Television Series||Andromeda||—||Nominated|
|2001||Academy of Science Fiction, Fantasy & Horror Films, USA||Best Actor on Television||Kevin Sorbo||—||Nominated|
|2001||Gemini Awards||Best Performance by an Actress in a Featured Supporting Role in a Dramatic Series||Lisa Ryder||—||Nominated|
|2001||Gemini Awards||Best Visual Effects||Bruce MacDougall, James Kawano, Geoff Anderson, Tom Tennisco, Joe Farrell, Jim Finn, Darren Marcoux, Roberto Biagi||—||Nominated|
|2001||Leo Awards||Best Musical Score of a Dramatic Series||Matthew McCauley||Music of a Distant Drum||Won|
|2001||Leo Awards||Best Visual Effects in a Dramatic Series||Todd Liddiard||—||Won|
|2001||Leo Awards||Best Visual Effects of Dramatic Series||Jim Finn, Roberto Biagi, Tom Tennisco, Geoff Anderson, Jamie Kawano, Paul Cox, Joe Farrell, Peter Mastalyr, Bruce MacDougall, Mladen Miholjcic, Noel Wright, Jean-Paul Ledoux||The Mathematics of Tears||Won|
|2001||Leo Awards||Best Picture Editing of Dramatic Series||Gordon Rempel||Angel Dark, Demon Bright||Nominated|
|2001||Leo Awards||Editing, Dramatic Series||Eric Hill||Music of a Distant Drum||Won|
|2001||WorldFest-Houston International Film Festival awards||Television and Cable Production – Directing – Television||David Winning||The Banks of the Lethe||Won|
|2002||Academy of Science Fiction, Fantasy & Horror Films, USA||Best Syndicated/Cable Television Series||Andromeda||—||Nominated|
|2002||Academy of Science Fiction, Fantasy & Horror Films, USA||Best Actress on Television||Lexa Doig||—||Nominated|
|2002||Gemini Awards||Best Achievement in Make-Up||Ryan Nicholson, Francesca von Zimmermann||—||Won|
|2002||Gemini Awards||Best Performance by an Actress in a Guest Role in a Dramatic Series||Kristin Lehman||—||Nominated|
|2002||Gemini Awards||Best Photography in a Dramatic Program or Series||Gordon Verheul||—||Nominated|
|2002||Gemini Awards||Best Visual Effects||Geoff Anderson, Jim Finn, Roberto Biagi, Tom Tennisco||—||Nominated|
|2002||Leo Awards||Dramatic Series: Best Visual Effects||Jim Finn||Its Hour Come 'Round at Last||Nominated|
|2002||WorldFest-Houston International Film Festival awards||Television and Cable Production – Directing – Television||David Winning||Double or Nothingness||Won|
|2002||WorldFest-Houston International Film Festival awards||Television and Cable Production – Directing – Television||David Winning||Machinery of the Mind||Won|
|2003||Academy of Science Fiction, Fantasy & Horror Films, USA||Best Syndicated/Cable Television Series||Andromeda||—||Nominated|
|2003||Chicago International Film Festival awards||Special Achievement in Direction||David Winning||A Heart for Falsehood Framed||Won|
|2003||Gemini Awards||Best Achievement in Make-Up||Ryan Nicholson, Francesca von Zimmermann||—||Nominated|
|2003||Leo Awards||Dramatic Series: Best Visual Effects||Jim Finn, Paul Cox, Todd Liddiard, Peter Mastalyr, Robert Appleby||The Tunnel at the End of the Light||Won|
|2003||Leo Awards||Dramatic Series: Best Supporting Performance – Female||Laura Bertram||The Dark Backward||Nominated|
|2004||Academy of Science Fiction, Fantasy & Horror Films, USA||Best Syndicated/Cable Television Series||Andromeda||—||Nominated|
|2004||Chicago International Film Festival awards||Best Dramatic Series||David Winning||Double or Nothingness||Won|
|2004||Chicago International Film Festival awards||Best Dramatic Series||David Winning||Machinery of the Mind||Won|
|2004||Chicago International Film Festival awards||Special Achievement in Direction||David Winning||Double or Nothingness||Won|
|2004||Gemini Awards||Best Visual Effects||Bruce Turner, Peter Hunt, Simon Lacey, Grant Lindsay||A Symmetry of Imperfection||Won|
|2004||WorldFest Houston||Television and Cable Production – TV Series – Dramatic||David Winning||A Heart For Falsehood Frame||Won|
|2005||Chicago International Film Festival awards||Special Achievement in Direction||David Winning||Double or Nothingness||Won|
|2005||Leo Awards||Dramatic Series: Best Make-Up||Francesca von Zimmermann||Moonlight Becomes You||Nominated|
|2005||Leo Awards||Dramatic Series: Best Overall Sound||Jeff Jackman, Michael Thomas, Roger Morris, Gordon Anderson||The Dissonant Interval||Nominated|
|2005||Leo Awards||Dramatic Series: Best Sound Editing||Jeff Jackman, Chester Biolowas, Roger Morris||The Dissonant Interval||Nominated|
|2005||Leo Awards||Dramatic Series: Best Visual Effects||Bruce Turner, Simon Lacey, Lindsay Grant, Ben Funk, Nick Michaeleski||The Dissonant Interval||Nominated|
|2005||Leo Awards||Dramatic Series: Best Visual Effects||Bruce Turner, Simon Lacey, Lindsay Grant, Ben Funk, Nick Michaeleski||Through a Glass Darkly||Nominated|
|2005||WorldFest Houston||Television and Cable Production – TV Series – Dramatic||David Winning||The Banks of the Lethe||Won|
|2006||Leo Awards||Best Sound Editing in a Dramatic Series||Jeff Jackman, Chester Biolowas, Rick Senechal, Ian Mackie, Don Harrison||—||Won|
|2006||Leo Awards||Best Overall Sound in a Dramatic Series||Paul Michael Thomas, Ken Biehl, Jeff Jackman, Gordon Anderson||—||Nominated|
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