Created by the same man responsible for Star Trek -- and, sadly, produced posthumously -- the syndicated sci-fi-fantasy adventure series Gene Roddenberry's Andromeda premiered in most American markets in October 2000. Kevin Sorbo headed the cast as Captain Dylan Hunt of the Systems Commonwealth High Guard, a representative of an alliance consisting of four different galaxies. Betrayed by his first officer, Hunt and his starship, the Andromeda Ascendant, were swallowed up by a black hole. In suspended animation for 300 years, Hunt and his ship were recovered by Beka Valentine (Lisa Ryder), mercenary captain of the Eureka Maru, and her ragtag crew: mercurial engineer Seamus Harper (Gordon Michael Woolvett), enigmatic pilot/medic Trance Gemini (Laura Bertram), and spiritually motivated Rev Bem (Brent Stait), a member of the bestial Magog race. Backed up by the Andromeda's artificial intelligence which had taken the form of a beautiful woman named Rommie (Lexa Doig), Hunt persuaded the Eureka Maru to join him in the fight to restore the Commonwealth, which had, during his long sleep, disintegrated as the result of a blood feud between the Magog and the Nietzcheans, the latter race now waging war on what was left of the Commonwealth fleet. Along the way, Nietzchean warrior Tyr Anasazi (Keith Hamilton Cobb), the last of his "pride," joined the Hunt and his new Andromeda crew after first trying to grab the ship for himself. During the remainder of the series' first season, Hunt lead the Andromeda on a noble mission to rebuild the Commonwealth by aligning the peoples of other worlds -- and he also fended off the possible treachery of the sullen Tyr and the opportunistic Beka.
During the second season, the Commonwealth's battle against the Nietzcheans took second place to the new war against the Magog, whereupon the conscience-stricken Rev left the Andromeda to embark upon a personal odyssey to purge himself of his bestial tendencies. And in the course of building up a strong enough alliance for the inevitable final battle against the Magog -- not to mention an even more fearsome adversary, the Abyss -- crew member Trance was replaced by the older, wiser future version of herself. Finally, in the third season, the villains were vanquished and the New Commonwealth was established, meaning the Andromeda could pursue new goodwill and rescue missions in other worlds. Throughout the season, A.I. Rommie began to exhibit fewer and fewer android traits and more and more human emotions -- sometimes to the detriment of the crew. Alas, the New Commonwealth began to collapse as a result of internal corruption, whereupon the Nietzcheans launched a new attack -- with Tyr going back to the other side. As the fourth season got under way, the tattered remnants of the Commonwealth were besieged not only by the Nietzcheans, but also the Magog and the Spirit of the Abyss. Although they could just as easily stay aground in comfort, the crew of the Andromeda opted to join Hunt as he attempted to rally support against the villians by hopping around through various "slipstreams" in the universe, charted by the Route of Ages. Now fully aligned with the Nietzcehans, Tyr continually tried to undermine Hunt by getting his mitts of the Route of Ages himself, and also endeavored to win Beka over to his side. Ultimately Tyr was vanquished by Telemcachus Rhade (Steve Bacic), leader of the isolationist movement on the "Old Commonwealth" planet Terazed -- and the lookalike descendant of Generis Rhade, the Nietzchean first officer who had betrayed Dylan Hunt some 300 years before. Though he understandably had trouble warming up to Telemachus, in the end Dylan invited him to join the crew of the Andromeda. In another development, Trance revealed herself to be an avatar of the sun, able to disintegrate her fellow crew members during moments of danger so as to re-assemble them when the danger had past. In the fourth-season finale, the human form of Rommie was destroyed in battle (though the A.I. version remained alive), and the crew, disillusioned that Hunt's promise of a lasting peace has not been kept, dispersed to follow other destinies. The fifth and final season found Hunt finally catching up with his crew members three years after all of them had converged on a planet in the Seefra solar system: as for the Andromeda, it was now a useless derelict. Despite Hunt's energetic efforts to galvanize his comrades back into battle, the crew chose to hang around a bar manned by Harper, who, in the absence of the human Rommie, had taken the surviving vestiges of her personality and implanted them in Doyle (Brandy Ledford), a sexy female android of his own creation. It took some doing, but Hunt finally managed to re-team his crew and restore the Andromeda in order to embark on another do-gooding mission -- and to search for the slipstream that would return them to the known planets in the New Commonwealth. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi