Andromeda Season 2 DVD/Blu-ray

Sunday, 27 October 2013 14:10

Andromeda - Season 2 on Blu-ray and DVDSeason 2 of Andromeda kicks off in style; Season 1’s action-packed cliff-hanger saw the starship Andromeda Ascendant crippled by a massive fleet of Magog swarm ships. The crew were incapacitated, and Harper and Tyr were captured to become hosts for Magog larvae. Things could not get much more desperate until the new season opener introduces the Magog World Ship, a Borg-like array of hollowed-out planets filled with millions of ravenous Magog.

To top it all, the mysterious demon-like being ruling the feral Magog is back and intent on spreading chaos throughout the galaxy. Can Captain Dylan Hunt (Kevin Sorbo - Hercules: The Legendary Journeys) rally his crew in the face of these overwhelming odds? Assuming he can, he then has the further challenge of revisiting his mission to form a new alliance of worlds, in a universe of warring factions and isolationist civilisations.

Season 2 surprised me in a good way. Like creator Gene Roddenberry’s various Star Trek series, Andromeda is primarily a story-of-the-week show, albeit one with a subtle plot arc lurking in the background. Unlike most Star Trek series, however, the characters do not reboot each episode, so there are some major repercussions from the fallout of the start of the season that bubble away throughout the 22 episodes.

Engineer and general tech wizard Harper (Gordon Michael Woolvett – “Bride of Chucky”) is left physically and mentally scarred by his encounter with the Magog, and more intriguing revelations emerge about the mysterious and otherwise potentially annoying character of Trance (Laura Beltram – Once Upon a Time). Reformed Magog priest Rev Bem (Brent Stait - “Final Destination 5”) has his own demons to face.

More importantly, the outcome of the crew’s battle with the Magog World Ship injects more urgency and gravity to Hunt’s primary mission to restore the Systems Commonwealth. It is not a woolly, ‘casual’ venture anymore. Thankfully there is still plenty of humour to balance up the more serious aspects of the show.

There are some cracking stories in Season 2, and as in Season 1 the writers mix up the combinations of characters on away missions to allow them to spark off each other and reveal new aspects to their personalities. Even ‘Ouroboros’ takes the concept of a budget-saving clips show and spins it into something new and exciting, with a decidedly unexpected and potentially pivotal outcome.

Guest stars this season include the perennially-unnerving William B Davis (The X-Files), Roger R Cross (24, Continuum), Bruce Harwood (The Lone Gunmen) and James Marsters (Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Warehouse 13). The guest stars are typically not cast against type (witness the Marsters’ swagger) but fans will not really mind that!

Although the series is over a decade old, the production values stack up extremely well against the best fantasy and sci-fi shows on our TV screens today. Many of the episodes have thrilling gun battles with absurd amounts of fireworks and stunts, impressively-choreographed hand-to-hand fights and quality CGI space battles. The effects always support the solid scripts and engaging characters, creating an impressive and very action-packed product. Highly recommended!

As with the Season 1 box set, the Blu-ray version features considerably better picture quality than the DVD format, although would-be purchasers have a tough decision ahead, given the £25 difference between the two. £60 is a lot to pay for a single season of any TV show these days when typical prices are nearer the £30-40 mark, especially when you consider the fairly basic bonus content.

Special features include:

  • Alternate footage
  • Deleted scenes

Gene Roddenberry’s Andromeda Season 2 (2001) is out now, courtesy of Revelation Films. The six disc (DVD) and five disc (Blu-ray) box sets have a running time of 905 minutes approx, carry a ‘15’ certificate and retail for £34.99 on DVD, £59.99 on Blu-ray, or less from www.culttvstore.com

 

Last modified on Sunday, 27 October 2013 14:14

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