It took awhile, but we finally got Andromeda 1.3 (and 1.4) for review. ADV has kept up the quality of the releases with 1.3
"Andromeda" was developed from various notes left by the late Gene Roddenberry and turned into a series by Robert Hewitt Wolfe. It tells the story of Dylan Hunt, Captain of the starship Andromeda Ascendant, one of the most powerful ships in the Systems Commonwealth. After a battle near a black hole the Andromeda Ascendant is frozen in time for over 300 years. When the ship is towed from the black hole by a salvage ship, Dylan awakens to find the Commonwealth has fallen and has been replaced by chaos. Dylan and his new crew are determined to rebuild the Commonwealth while avoiding the Nietzcheans and other enemies.
The Pearls That Were His Eyes
After Beka receives an urgent message from her beloved Uncle Sid, she and Trance go to Diphda Five to help. But Sid, once her father's former business partner, is now known as Sam Profit, a big business tycoon with a demand... the data Beka's father entrusted only to her.
The Mathematics of Tears
When Andromeda encounters her damaged sister ship, the Pax Magellanic, Dylan and the crew believe they have found others frozen in time. But a damaged AI system and a crew of androids are only a cover up... of a truth more mysterious than the lie.
Music of a Distant Drum
Humans on the planet Midden see a ship crash land. It is the Eureka Maru, and inside is a bewildered Tyr, suffering a complete loss of memory - even of his name. On board is a metal crate containing something the brutal Nietzscheans who rule the plant want very badly.
Harper tries to save an injured Perseid, but the patient suddenly bites him on the neck and dies. Soon, Harper's brain is on overload, filled with downloaded information. He loves it until the nightmares begin and a bounty hunter arrives... searching for the stolen data now in Harper's brain!
The video for this release is as good as 1.2. Colors are nice and bright, and the blacks are beautifully black. The CGI scenes involving the ship look superb, just as in the past releases. Besides some extremely minor dust, there was only one other small problem with the video. In "Harper 2.0," there's a short shot of Ralph Moller (playing a bounty hunter) piloting a ship which appears to be taken from video and is stretched to the side to fill the frame. It only lasts for a second or two, and most people won't notice it. Each episode contains 6 chapters, including one right after the opening credits.
While we have a great stereo surround track, I would have loved to have a Dolby Digital 5.1 track on this release. The 5.1 track for Farscape sounds so amazing; I just wish we could have had something comparable for Andromeda. The audio is very good; the dialog is clear and the sound effects are great. There aren't any subtitles, but the release is closed captioned.
ADV Films included a massive amount of extras on these two discs. There are things in this set that I feel should be a part of ALL good TV releases. It's too bad this set doesn't contain a commentary track.
Disc 1 Character Profile: Tyr Anasazi 6 screens, (3:42)
A biography for Keith Hamilton Cobb can be found stretched over 3 still screens while his character bio takes up 2. A single costume drawing is also found in this section, along with an interview (3:42).
Alternate Takes (0:43)
Just one scene left out, shown in anamorphic widescreen.
Image Gallery: Cast Shots 29 screens
29 photos of the cast
All Systems University 101 - Life Forms 34 screens
These 34 screens, divided into 8 categories, contain information on the various life forms encountered on the show.
Glossary of the High Guard K-O 4 screens
A dictionary of terms used in the series: K-O.
TV Promos (1:02)
2 promos, one for each of the episodes on disc 1, that last 0:31 each.
Previews of 4 other ADV Films products: "Farscape Season 2" (1:01), "Gasaraki" (1:29), "Noir" (1:30) and "Samurai X" (1:25).
A list of people that worked on this incredible set.
Disc 2 Behind the Scenes: Visual Effects (1:49)
A brief chat with the visual effects supervisor on the show. He shows us a matte painting as well as some animation used for the show.
A very short, but entertaining look at the cast being silly. Some of the goofs are from episodes not on this DVD set.
Timeline of the Commonwealth: Growth & Peace 4 Screens
A history lesson on the Commonwealth.
Image Gallery: Cast Shots 29 screens
29 photos of the cast. Some of these photos look the same as the ones on Disc 1.
Production Biography: Majel Roddenberry 5 screens
Information on Majel Roddenberry (Executive Producer)
TV Promos (1:04)
2 promos, one for each of the episodes on disc 2 that last 0:32 each.
Previews of 4 other ADV Films products: "Farscape" (1:01), "Zone of the Enders: Idolo" (1:30), "Dai-Guard" (1:15) and "Neon Genesis Evangelion" (1:09).
Andromeda is one of my most anticipated "TV on DVD" releases. Just look at the extras above and try to think of something that's missing. Now add in near-perfect video (anamorphic widescreen to boot), and a nice audio track, and you have yourself one fine DVD release. There's a reason we named Andromea 1.1 one of the top releases for 2002; it was a great release and ADV has continued the quality with this set.