GENE RODDENBERRY’S ANDROMEDA
It has been many years since we saw the idealistic Federation dreamed by Gene Roddenberry. At last, with Gene Roddenberry’s Andromeda, idealism is again the motivation for a captain and his ship. I have been picturing Roddenberry turning over in his grave at the “edginess” (read pessimism”) of Deep Space Nine and Voyager, but now he can relax. Captain Dylan Hunt’s Commonwealth is hope come back to life. I have found most of Andromeda’s stories interesting enough to keep on tape. Typical of a Roddenberry concept, the episodes explore issues in engaging ways. Inspiration, trust, cooperation versus selfishness, child violence, family ties and duty, artificial intelligence potentials, vengeance and justice – already in the series these themes have each been explored from more than one viewpoint .
I am anxious to keep getting to know these characters better. Kevin Sorbo, star of Hercules, brings over into the role of Captain Hunt his aura of rock-like reliability, and while he has sacrificed most of his hair and the rustic, bare-chested costumes, he has added a natural sense of command and layers of feelings unknown to Hercules. His is the idealism that drives the show, as he and his crew set out to restore the multi-galactic Commonwealth which fell 300 years before, and in which Hunt was born.
Tyr Anasazi, mercenary par excellence played powerfully by Keith Hamilton Cobb, combines brutality and sensitivity in one sexy package. His character is a Nietzschean, a species of genetically designed supermen with the Darwinian lifestyle to match. Cobb, in lucky combination with the costume department and the screenwriters, has created a character who is continually walking psychological tightropes. If the actor’s love of the theater doesn’t split his focus too much, his high-impact beauty and his apt use of both subtlety and action fit him for a notable screen career. These two characters provide the action scenes and the philosophical sparks. Gordon Michael Woolvett, who once had a ship and a show of his own on Mission Genesis, supplies the comic relief in this show. This is a much better role. His Seamus Harper is a little genius engineer whose ingenuity and delightfully cynical commentary brightens many a situation.