This section of the site is all about Gene Roddenberry’s Andromeda, as you’ll know if you read the landing page!
As you’ll also know from the landing page, I’m a firm believer in re-making that series because it has a mountain of untapped potential – and because it was really, REALLY good when it was on point. I admit that it was also now and again pretty average when it was off, but so were a number of Star Trek: The Next Generation episodes, Stargate episodes, and… well, you name a series that hasn’t had a clunker or ten?
So… what would a new Andromeda look like?
To be honest, I don’t think too much would need to change for an update, and the whole point of a remake (as opposed to a reboot) is to keep a good number of things about a show essentially the same. The person in charge of a remake should really only update what needs to be updated, while bringing everything else into alignment with the storytelling and cinematic techniques of the day. That way you honour both the material and the fans. With today’s HiDef and 4K streaming, everything would need a polish, but the overall story and in-universe mythology still works, as do the characters and many of the designs.
To properly examine what a new version of the show might look like, let’s break it down in sections.
The Title Ship
Andromeda herself, as a heavy cruiser/battleship, is still a beautiful design to this day. If I were to get a designer to tweak it, I’d probably ask them to stretch the design out a bit. It’s supposed to carry 4,000 High Guard officers and enlisted personnel, but always struck me as looking a little too small for that – but then again, I’d also cut the crew complement down. 4,000 people is a lot!
Dylan and Co
I wouldn’t drop any of the characters. I would even keep Telemachus Rhade – a character that didn’t join the series until much later in its run. If I could, I’d actually add in one more to, in particular, enrich both Trance and Rev Bem.
Tell me more? Happily.
One of the things that I love about Andromeda is its attempt to mix the spiritual and mythical with science fiction. I loved that about Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, about the Carl Sagan novel and film (by Robert Zemeckis) Contact, the rebooted Battlestar Galactica, and the rebooted V.
Andromeda‘s The Way (Wayism) is a fascinating and entirely underutilised faith. In the universe of Andromeda, Wayism came about thanks to a human (from Earth) who managed the almost impossible feat of staying alive after being impregnated by a Magog and having the eggs gestate inside him That individual was a spiritual person who spoke to his captors about the various faiths of Earth. According to in-universe history, the progeny that burst out of him, ultimately killing him, were the first converts to Wayism. Records also state that the spiritual man influenced other, already mature Magog before his death, and it was they who created the religion.
How does that relate to a new character?
I think Wayism should be an existing faith in-universe that ties in with the Vedrans. It can still (and should still) influence the Magog, but I think there’s an opportunity with Wayism to give more depth to the characters of Trance Gemini and Rev Bem and to give more impact to that Spiritual path.
So the new character would be a proponent of Wayism.
To add depth to that faith and it’s history and followers, and the overall in-universe history of the Systems Commonwealth and subsequent Long Night, I’d model Wayists after a mix of Sohei (a sect of Buddhist monk-soldiers) and the Fili (an elite historian, story-teller and sort of diplomat found in Ireland and Scotland).
When I was a boy, I played a lot of role-playing games and was a huge Dungeons & Dragons fan. I was fascinated by the character classes of Paladins, Bards and a later class called Monks (introduced in Advanced Dungeons & Dragons). They share similarities with the Sohei and Fili, and perhaps the closest science fiction parallel to what I want these Wayists to be would be the Rangers from Babylon 5.
The new character would be descendant of Vedran Wayist Priests – in this fan-remake fantasy of Andromeda, called Pathfinders. The Way is the name of the faith, a Wayist believes in that faith, and a Pathfinder is, in essence, the Priest/Pastor/Minister of the faith.
In this version of Andromeda, the Way was the original religion/faith/spiritual practice of the Vedran race – it’s what led them to stop conquering the known galaxies and birth the Systems Commonwealth.
Pathfinders came after the birth of the Commonwealth, as the fore-mothers (according to the original Andromeda series, Vedrans were matriarchal) attempted to anchor their politics in the ethics of Wayism.
A fully trained and anointed Pathfinder can harness (not steal) the energies of an Avator to heal, and also trains as a warrior of the faith and as a diplomat and history/knowledge keeper. They travel the known galaxies helping people, keeping the legends of old alive, and performing spiritual/religious duties like any modern day priest might. Where needed, they work with the diplomatic corps to bring peace. The High Guard are an off-shoot that eventually abandoned the religious overtones to be focused more on exploration and defence.
The Avatars of stars are one of the more mysterious and interesting concepts to come out of the original series.
This article is in the process of being written. More to come.