Looking for answers about what happened on Andromeda, I depended on a Saturday panel to do more than live up to its name, “Andromeda: The Final Verdict.”
Though still unsure of the concrete explanations behind the episode plots, I learned I wasn’t the only one struggling. Andromeda is even more complicated than I thought.
First, there are three Andromedas. And, I’m not talking about the deluxe spaceship, the AI that runs the ship and the android(s) that men drool over. Panelist Jackson Raster explained that the three Andromeda are (1) the first season and a half (during which Robert Hewitt Wolfe ran the show on hard science and his acquiescence to action demanded by Tribute), (2) the last half of the second season through the fourth season (after Wolfe left the show and surrealism took over) and (3) the fifth season, a venture into the metaphysical.
Raster wishes Andromeda 1 had survived. He said Andromeda 2 could have survived, but he could take it or leave it. His final verdict on the fifth season was a negative, “God help us.”
“It started out as a really good show,” agreed panelist Keith DeCandido, who wrote an Andromeda prequel in 2003. But DeCandido said it became a mediocre show, and “the world is a worse place for it.”
DeCandido explained that good concepts were constrained by an ever-shrinking budget. He added that fans of Andromeda 1 could learn about Wolfe’s vision from his Web site, roberhewittwolfe.com.
Panelist, writer, and editor, Joe Crowe of RevolutionSF.com said Andromeda was supposed to be a show with a harder science fiction edge and that got lost with what should have been part of the whole show—to have a good time.
Eric Berlan had a more positive verdict. Though he admitted the cast and behind-the-scenes changes did affect the show, he “still found something to like about it.” Berlan added, “RIP is all I can say.”
The panelists and audience listed many good points about Andromeda, especially the characters and actors.
“Rhade (played by Steve Bacic) struck me as one of the characters that got better as the series when on,” Berlan said.
Raster agreed that Bacic put a lot of work into his character.
Raster also applauded Andromeda for being one of the only shows to repeatedly address the abuse of creatures with artificial intelligence and condemn it. For example, Harper, a genius who created several such creatures, made passes at one. Unfortunately for Harper, that android, named Doyle, had incredible strength and different ideas.
“She was never much of a sex toy because she would never let him touch her,” Berlan said.