Season 1 Episode 1

Under the Night (1)

Aired Unknown Oct 02, 2000 on Syfy

Episode Fan Reviews (9)

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out of 10
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  • Is "Under the Night" a great launch for Andromeda? No. But it gets the job donend in the end it gets its hooks in. It's entertaining, and I'm interested. Not bad for a pilot.

    This sets the stage for the first half of the two-part premiere for Gene Roddenberry's Andromeda, the latest TV show based on Roddenberry notes, developed by Deep Space Nine alum Robert Hewitt Wolfe. My general impression for "Under the Night" is that it's good, not great, reveals that this series has potential, but that such potential must be exploited to find success. As it is only half a story, I find I don't yet have a mission statement to evaluate; we won't get that until part two. In the meantime, we get some decent action scenes and we're effectively introduced to an assortment of characters. The story serves as a good backdrop for establishing the series' initial elements, although the plot itself does not exactly provide great strides in originality.

    The episode opens with a big battle and some nifty special effects. I'm particularly impressed with the bold, artistic design of the Andromeda itself, which has a fresh look that , asets it apart from recent Star Trek starship incarnations. The battle and subsequent war arises from the discontent the Nietzschean society holds for the Commonwealth High Guard.

    Aside from the good special effects during the battle, the episode's opening setup scenes are probably its most uncertain. There's not enough about them that seems fresh, and the introduction of the Andromeda in its first fly-by lacks the awe it deserves -- especially given how cool this ship really looks. There are also some problems with a couple key characters in the early scenes. I for one found Hunt's pilot -- supposedly a sentient alien bug -- to be painfully unconvincing; this type of alien costume design has been dated for the better part of two decades, maybe more.

    The other, bigger problem here involves Hunt's traitorous first officer, a Nietzschean named Gaheris Rhade (Steve Bacic). Bacic's acting choices imply a cold dispassion apparently common for Nietzscheans, but the performance leaves much to be desired. There's a key scene of exposition set on the Andromeda bridge that doesn't work at all. It features lines of dialog sandwiched between firing weapons and finally a speech by Rhade that is so woodenly delivered that I was shaking my head in disappointment. (And sorry, but exposition in between flying bullets should be reserved solely for Riggs and Murtaugh in the Lethal Weapon pictures.) Nietzscheans may be cold, self-proclaimed superior people who are genetically engineered, but Rhade is simply an unconvincing muddle of random tones. The ensuing hand-to-hand fight scene works better, mostly because it's set eerily against the backdrop of time literally grinding to a halt. (The series' weapon of choice, used here and elsewhere, is known as a "force-lance," a retractable multi-purpose staff that can fire projectiles as well as perform the various duties of a Mag-Lite.)

    What we learn from Rhade's tirade is that the Nietzscheans have become fed up with the Commonwealth's constant compromises with alien aggressors; the last straw for the Nietzscheans was the Commonwealth's peaceful resolution with the Magog, an apparently nefarious race who "eat other sentient beings" and "reproduce by rape."

    Kevin Sorbo after the rain

    Three hundred years after Rhade is killed in this struggle and Hunt is frozen in time, enter the starship Eureka Maru, which is engaged in a salvage operation to pull the Andromeda Ascendant from the clutches of the black hole's gravity forces. It's here where Wolfe's sense for characters begins to take hold. The ship is captained by the competent and forceful Beka Valentine (Lisa Ryder), who has charge of a small crew-for-hire. They are all employed by scheming opportunist Gerentex (John Tench), a nasty guy from a race called theNightsiders.

    Valentine's crew is a fairly interesting set of personalities, of which the story gives us a nice little sampling. The resident techie/pilot is Seamus Harper, played by Gordon Michael Woolvett with a convincing and sarcastic madcap exuberance. Harper gets some decent one-liners (including the obligatory Hercules in-joke) and plenty of contemporary riffs on lines including "Let's kick some ass!", "We rule!", and "I am a god!" (It's reassuring to see Generation X is still alive and kicking several millennia from now.) I like the way typical dialog rules imposed by Trek have been relaxed.

    There's also Trance Gemini (Laura Bertram), the purple girl with a tail. We don't learn much about her, other than that she's a bit naive and ditzy; at one point she has to be reminded to put her space helmet on before opening an airlock.

    Perhaps the most interesting of the bunch so far is pithy Rev Bem (Brent Stait), a Magog with a social conscience. The fact that he's a Magog gives the character a useful dose of guilty baggage; he wants to make amends for the suffering his people -- himself included -- have inflicted on others. Like the other characters, we don't learn much about his past yet, but the door has been opened a crack and I think I can see something of substance behind it.

    Despite the brief character insights, the story moves along at a pretty fast clip: The goal is this crew's attempt to remove the Andromeda from the clutches of the black hole so Gerentex can sell it for a huge profit. Once the Andromeda is extricated, however, Hunt returns to normal time and realizes the severity of his situation.

    The crew of the Eureka Maru boards Andromeda, but Hunt is not planning to let them simply take his ship, not even after Harper explains to him that the Commonwealth lost the war against the Nietzscheans and has been gone for 300 years. The fact that the Commonwealth has fallen is obviously a major point this series will be playing. It was huge (it "spanned three galaxies" and had "over a million member planets"), so even if much of it dissolved one would think there are still traces or even large segments of it to be found. (The question of how the Nietzscheans alone could bring down an organization with a million planets is a bit puzzling to me, but we'll take it at face value for now.)

    For the moment, Captain Hunt's only ally is the ship herself. The story utilizes the concept of a ship with its own sentient intelligence. It's aware, and it has its own personality. It speaks to Hunt in the form of a holographic image (Lexa Doig), which even comes preprogrammed with an outfit featuring a low neckline. (The only remaining question: If Andromeda is sentient, does she have the choice of what to wear to work?) Hunt has a rapport with Andromeda that goes beyond the rapport any Star Trek captain would have with their ship. The ship here is an individual, which of course is a potentially compelling story point.

    Since Hunt does not intend to give up his ship quietly, Gerentex brings out the Big Dudes With Big Guns [TM] -- mercenaries he brought along just in case of such a confrontation. The head mercenary is a very big Nietzschean named Tyr Anasazi (Keith Hamilton Cobb), whose sole action in "Under the Night" is to walk in looking very menacing while holding a large firearm so we can be sent into cliffhanger mode -- nothing more, nothing less. For what it sets out to do, I suppose it's effective.

    Given the setup sans resolution, I don't have much to say about "Under the Night" in terms of riveting themes. Not until part two, anyway. This first episode of Andromeda is primarily a plot-based adventure with a good glimpse at some personalities. As far as production goes, it looks like a good deal was done with less money. There are of course rough edges, and Andromeda doesn't have quite the polish that larger-budget sci-fi shows like DS9 or Voyager had coming out of the gates. But the technique (some of the uneasy performances notwithstanding) is solid. I particularly liked the gritty, more claustrophobic production design on the Eureka Maru, and the pervasive use of hand-held cameras whenever we were there. All the characters here are closer to ground level than Trek characters, which is a nice change of pace. I especially appreciate that Valentine sees her crew members more as equals than as subordinates.

    Is "Under the Night" a great launch for Andromeda? No. But it gets the job donend in the end it gets its hooks in. It's entertaining, and I'm interested. Not bad for a pilot.
  • The pilot of the show, much awaited from certain factors of the trekkie family, early news and reviews had been leaked and was promising.

    The episode starts off by getting straight into the action, albeit with an exercise to test the crews responses. We have a ship wide countdown and then we get introduced to the ships captain and first mate.

    Straight afterwards, they are casually discussing the impending marriage of Capt. Dillon Hunt with Rhade as the best man, but is interupted by a necessity to report to command for a real life situation.

    A billion inhabitants of a system is under threat from a rouge black hole, when they are set upon by 10 thousand Nietzshean ships, in order to save the inhabitants and themselves after the initial contact.

    They are losing the battle of survival, and the only option open to them is to steer into the black hole using a slingshot maneouvre before they get to the event horizon.

    Rhade who had recommended he be put under arrest as he is a Neitzshean, eludes his excorts and goes to fight / kill his captain and take over the ship.

    This results in the ship being frozen in the event horizon for 300 years, the introduction of the Maru and her crew, who are aiming to salvage the ship for parts and profit.
  • Review

    The first episode of Andromeda is a great one as we are introduced to Dylan Hunt Captain of The Andromeda the first is about Beka and her salvage crew trying to take the ship and it is trapped in time on the out side of a black hole hunt trying to fight them off over all great first hour great action great affects of course the set of the ship is a great looking set and the outside of the ship looks neat as well the acting is a good for the show my over all rating is 8.9 end
  • Cpt.Dylan Hunt and the Andromeda Ascendant get stuck in time freeze from black hole during a Nietzschean ambush.300 years later salvage ship frees them,world Hunt once new is gone.He must rebuild the systems commonwealth,but first he must defend his ship.

    Great pilot episode which introduces all the characters very well. Captain Dylan Hunt and his ships A.I Andromeda fall into a time freeze for 300 years. Until Cpt. Beka Valentines ship pulls them from the event horizon. Now Dylan Hunt is back in a world where the old galaxy government known as the Systems Commonwealth has fallen due to Nietzschean trechery and he must fight to rebuild it. The salvagers come aboard the ship and believe it to be desserted. When Andromeda "feels" someone messing with her circuits she alerts Dylan of intruders. Dylan presents himself to one of the crew and the man alerts Gerentex ( the creature that hired Beka Valentine and her crew to salvage the ship ), and he unleashes his secret weapon... a Nietzschean mercenary named Tyr Anasazi. Looks like Dylan has his work cut out for him.
  • A great pilot episode

    It’s the start of the war between the Systems Commonwealth and the Nietzschean fleets. Captain Dylan Hunt and his ship the Andromeda Ascendant try to flee the first Nietzschean attack to warn the Commonwealth. In his attempt to escape, the Andromeda and Captain Hunt are caught in the event horizon of a black hole and frozen in time for 300 years.

    The crew of the Eureka Maru with Captain Beka Valentine try to salvage the Andromeda to sell for a Nightsider's ransom. After the Andromeda is pulled free, Hunt is unfrozen and forced to defend his ship against the salvagers and the Nietzschean mercenaries lead by Tyr Anasazi.
  • Not bad for a pilot...

    Cute actors, awesome effects, cool names, HOT main character...Whats not to like? It's not bad for a pilot ep., like I said. Toobad they're gonna kill off half of them later... Oh, well, what can I do about it? ((You know, its not very fair that I have to write 100+ words. I mean, the show isn't even on anymore!))
  • This episode accomplishes what most Sci-Fi shows don't...

    While Babylon 5 and other shows are a league above Andromeda; but where they fail, Andromeda succeeds: it his the ground running. The episode is entertaining and gives us clear characterization of the, uh, characters. We also understand the purpose of the show, not just the setting. We know that Hunt wants to rebuild the Commonwealth and we want to see him do it.

    This is the way the show should have been written for all five years. It beats Babylon 5 in premieres catergory, but if the good writing continued...
  • Absolute Brilliant!!!

    so this is where andromeda begins, and what a beginning.I found myself nailed to the tv the entire time.Right from the start the storyline thickens.Right from this episode we are left with the impression that this is going to be a special adventure.... onboard the starship Andromeda Acendent.

    This is one of my absolute farvorites, if not \"the\" farvorit!!!
  • A great start to a science fiction show that is one of my favourites. This is where it all begins.

    I liked this episode because it sets everything up, Gaderis Rhades betrayal of Captain Dyaln Hunt and a race called the Nietchiens (I hope I spelled it right) betraying the Commonwealth.

    After Andromeda gets stuck in a black hole for 300 years, the story gets interesting. Beka Valentine, captain of the eureka maru helps to pull the andromeda out of the black holes event horizon. She is being paid to do this job by a nightsider called Jerentex.

    Captain valentine does not respect anyone else's authority (not even dylan hunts) but is very protective of her crew. The crew of her ship the eureka maru is, Seamus Harper (engineer), trance gemini (medic) and reverend bem (wayist priest).

    Andromeda Ascendent the ship, has a unique design that I really like and the ship has an AI that is called...Andromeda. When Harper attempts to interface with the AI, she doesn't take too kindly to this and gives him the boot (in a virtual sense).

    Captain Hunt does not take too kindly to anyone trying to steal his ship and must face the reality, that 300 years have passed and everyone he loved (including his fiance Sarah) is dead and the Commonwealth is no more.

    Jerentex wants this 'high guard relic' taken care of so he can sell the ship to the highest bidder, so he calls upon a group of mercenaries led by a Nietchien called Tyr Anasazi to take care of Captain Hunt.

    This is where the first episode (or the first part of the pilot) ends. The layout of the Andromeda ship is such that all the consoles (except the pilots chair) are standing positions; and in order to get around the ship one must walk or climb up and down ladders.

    The crew of the eureka maru are a good contrast to the idealistic Dylan, they take on jobs of a questionable nature and do what they can to survive. They do things mostly that would benefit themselves rather than others.