Largely abandoning the self-contained episodes of the previous season and returning to the complex story arcs so beloved of the series' biggest fans, Gene Roddenberry's Andromeda launches its fourth season in syndication. Despite the idealistic efforts of Dylan Hunt (Kevin Sorbo), captain of the starship Andromeda Ascendant, the New Commonwealth is collapsing under the weight of corruption and being undermined by friends and enemies alike. Although Hunt's crew could, if they wished, remain safely on solid ground, they finally agree to help Hunt salvage what is left of the Commonwealth -- and to do this, the Andromeda must hopscotch through slipstreams to various alternate universes in order to enlist allies in the Great Cause. And they'd better hurry: there is an impending apocalypse hanging over the proceedings throughout the season.
The year's pivotal episode is "Soon the Nearing Vortex," in which former crew member Tyr (Keith Hamilton Cobb), now aligned with the enemies of the commonwealth, launches a campaign to unite and rule all Nietzchean prides and thereby control the universe. Tyr not only hopes to steal the Route of Ages, the guide to all existing slipstreams, but he intends to win Hunt's second-in-command Beka (Lisa Ryder) over to his side. The treacherous Tyr is foiled with the help of Telemachus Rhade (Steve Bacic), isolationist leader on the "Old Commonwealth" planet Terazed -- and the look-alike descendant of Generis Rhade, the selfsame scoundrel who during the series' first season betrayed Hunt and left him in a state of suspended animation for 300 years. Despite his inherent distrust of Telemachus, Hunt ultimately invites him to join the Andromeda crew. At the same time, the enigmatic Trance (Laura Bertram) reveals herself to be an avatar of the sun, with the ability to disintegrate her comrades in order to rescue them when danger threatens, then reintegrate them when the danger passes. The season ends with dissension in the ranks of the Andromeda, as the crew expresses disillusionment over the fact that Hunt's dreams of restoring the Commonwealth have not come to pass. The various crew members separate to pursue their own destinies, leaving Dylan and Trance alone to fight off a new Magog attack all by themselves -- but Dylan may be predestined to be the sole survivor! ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi