Gene Roddenberry's Andromeda: Seriously, what was that all about? What was supposed to happen?

Republibot 3.0
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Once upon a time there was a show called "Andromeda," which was basically a retread of Star Trek, thought up by perennial one-trick pony Gene Roddenberry. Networks were not impressed, and didn't pick up the series based on his pitch. In the eighties - as rumor has it - the same basic pitch was dusted off and sold to Paramount, who said 'yes' this time. Eventually, thanks to the popularity of "Star Trek IV: The One With The Whales," Paramount decided take the series - then in preproduction - and retool it as a Trek spinoff. I'm not *absolutely* sure how much of this is true, but that's the legend. I *do* remember excited announcements of "Andromeda" when I was about eight or eleven, but then nothing came of it. Decades later, Majel Barret Roddenberry was running a mini-entertainment empire based around her late husband's unsold pilot ideas, and Robert Hewett Wolfe was looking to make an arc driven adventure series of a scale that would make Babylon 5 look like Sesame Street by comparison. He came to her, she slapped Gene's name on what was basically a completely original series, and "Gene Roddenberry's Andromeda" was born. Again, I'm not entirely sure how much of that is exactly strictly speaking true, a lot of it relies on hearsay. What is *not* hearsay, and was more than a bit surprising, is that the show was actually pretty good for its first season and a half. It wasn't great, mind you, but it did have the advantage of being unpredictable - they played the standard tropes, but then shifted them in unforseen directions - and, best of all, there was a refreshing level of badassery in the proceedings. I do like a little swash in my buckle, a little dash in my space-related derring do, and this show had that. I mean, how can you not like a show that has an alien devotee of Friedrich Nietzsche running around killing people while Der fliegende Holländer, both to his obvious amusement? Again, not a great show, but definitely one I liked checking out for a bit there. Good cast, too, though, as the Republispouse once observed, "The men are prettier than the women on the cast." I disagree: Lexa Doig! Hubba Hubba (Or, in scientific terms, Hubba^2) And then it all fell apart. Right in the middle of season 2, Kevin Sorbo (Who had a producer credit) got Wolfe fired from the show, and the whole thing wilted into an incoherent, very very very boring mess which somehow managed to souch along for another three-and-a-half years. Bizarre, and frankly it speaks quite lowly of the SF community that we didn't show up outside CanWest with torches and pitchforks and kill the monster. But what makes it more annoying than, say, Earth: Final Conflict, is that for a while there, it was a good show, with the promise of being a great one. After the series ended, Robert Hewett Wolfe wrote a one-act play about where *his* story was headed before it got shanghaied, and it’s actually pretty good. Had he been able to pull it off, it would have made Babylon 5 look like a minor family tiff by comparison. You can read that here And that just makes me madder, because there's so much cool stuff there I didn't get to see, so many great characters I didn't get to know, instead forced to suffer along with their slackjawed, hobbled Sorboized versions. If Mr. Wolfe - or really anyone connected with "Andromeda" - should stumble across this (And I really don't know how you would), I would love to interview you about the series. Please contact me at