Andromeda, a Show That Almost Made It

Andromenda

I saw a few early episodes
of Andromeda recently, and
wondered why it hadn't been
a success.

Doing the usual searches
There were a number of
purported reasons.

Some blame Kevin Sorbo,
others the writers, but the
fact is, Andromeda is a
show that really ought have been as big as Star Trek.
(
Thinking the Next Genereation or DS-9)


What it Was About

Andromeda Ascendant is set in a 'dark' universe; not the happy
'we all get along' Star Trek future.

We begin with a Rip Van Winkle; Captain Hunt, held in stasis by a Black Hole for
three hundred years; while a 'dark ages' descended on the galaxy. His only
companion is the computer; stepping up from a voice to a holographic image.

The ship, Andromeda Ascendant, is to be captured for salvage by Becca and
her crew, paid for by a freaky alien with his mercenaries.

Becca's crew is made up of the Geek, Shamus, a purple skinned female of unknown nature, called Trance, and a really awful looking Magog who is a priest.

Among the mercenaries is Tyr Anasazi, a genetically enhanced human, a Nietzschean

The personalities of the named characters are complex, more interesting than
those on board the Enterprise.

The Andromeda is not just flying around for exploration, it is Captain Hunt
trying to recreate the Commonwealth (like the Federation) but with a crew
he doesn't know, can't really trust, and who have nothing in common with him.

The tension between himself and Becca, leads to many possible incidents,
but the personality of Tyr was probably the most enticing.

Many people who watched the show remember the Tyr character, and were
intrigued by him. He was the main lure of the show.
Most expected him to be moved to co-star.

Unfortunately, this did not happen. After the second year he was more off
camera than on.

Suppositions and References

If what is believed, That is that
Sorbo or the other Producers,
or Powers resisted making the
Tyr character the Co-Star,
history can be most instructive.

Man from U.N.C.L.E was a hit show in the 1960s. It was supposed to star Robert Vaughn.

A Scottish chap, David McCallum was only to appear in a few episodes.

When McCallum was called the 'blonde Beatle' and was getting more fan mail than any other actor had ever done, he was moved to co-star and the show stayed on the air.


Star Trek

In the same era, and closer to home,
the original Star Trek found itself in
a similar situation.

Mr. Spock was to be a side
character, but public excitement
moved him to co-star.

William Shatner was wise enough
to appreciate that although his
character was to be the Star, to
be the archetype Captain, whom
everyone might want to fly with,
the public had a fascination with
Lenard Nimoy's Spock.

The Kirk character become a legend in his own right, by extending a seat on
the dias to Spock. To have pulled ego or rank would have kiled the show and
ended both their careers.


In the Next Generation in the 80s, the interest in Worf provoked more Klingon-centric scripts and more epis in which the character featured.

Later in the decade, Deep Space 9 realised that without Worf the audience wasn't there.

Back to Andromeda

The character of Tyr was the show.
Viewers were not all that interested
in the others, they've seen them
before in various incarnations.

Tyr Anasazi was new, different and
filled the screen, when he was on.

Yet, camera time remained limited,
and epis about the other characters reduced him to third man on the left.

Andromeda failed.
It could have been 'all that'. Capturing Star Trek viewers was a given, if what had been done with Worf had been done with Tyr, the show would have held interest.

Unfortunately, the Producers didn't seem to get it.

How Stupid Became More Stupid

In ancient days, i.e. Man From Uncle or Star Trek producers had to depend on the hard copy letter which had to be written and mailed to the studio. They had to depend on 'Nielson' ratings or the chat of talk shows to know how the majority of people were viewing their programs.

Because many were stupid, they let Star Trek (TOS) go off the air, Only recontructed in movies and then in The Next Generation

In the year 1999 when the Internet was available World Wide, when all one had to do was a search to see how many hits something had, it was clear that if the Producers had the brains of an average stegosaurus, they'd have shoved the character of Tyr into the fore, and promoted him.

But they didn't.
So Andromeda went off the air.

Those who view the first 2 seasons today will probably be amazed by it.

A Star Trek Universe where everyone doesn't get along. Where one needs an I.Q. beyond Forrest Gumps to follow the plot and get the inferences. Where rivalries and intrique doesn't end with the credits, but goes on, unresolved.

The First two seasons are quite exceptional, and one assumes that somewhere, someday, someone will 'get' it, and it will return to a vast audience.

Of course, with different stars and diverse ideas.


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