Gene Roddenberry's Andromeda Ascendant is a science fiction television show that aired from October 2, 2000 – May 13, 2005. The series combines elements of hard science fiction and drama, while dealing with issues such as drug abuse and death.
Andromeda is set thousands of years in the future, and centers on a fictional constitutional monarchy called the Systems Commonwealth, which is based in The system of Tarn Vedra. Humanity was discovered by the Commonwealth, and soon became 1 of thousands of member world. The Commonwealth has spread into over three galaxies over the span of tens of thousands of years. The galaxies are: The Milky Way, Triangulum, and the Andromeda Galaxy. Large, sentient ships travel from one end of the Commonwealth to the other via "slipstream", riding the quantum strings that connect planets, solar systems and galaxies. The Commonwealth is a Utopian society, but is in a semi-state of war with the Magog, a humanoid species that is obsessed with war and that warship their god, the Abyss. Several years prior to the first episode of the series, the Commonwealth ceded to the Magog a key world as part of a peace treaty. This planet is key to one of the Commonwealth's member species, the genetically engineered Nietzscheans who follow the doctrine of Nietzsche, taking physical superiority to extremes. This the embodiment of their basic beliefs, as they see themselves as the race described as the "Übermensch" by the German Friedrich Nietzsche. The Nietzscheans are silently angry with this peace agreement with the Magog, as they believe that the Magog are inherently evil, and are playing the commonwealth for fools. They secretly attempt to seize control of the Commonwealth. The Commonwealth is defended by the High Guard, an armada of extremely powerful ships capable of destroying suns and depopulating entire planets in a matter of seconds. The protagonist of the series, Captain Dylan Hunt, is the captain of a capital Commonwealth ship, the titular Andromeda Ascendant. The ship's computer, a powerful Artificial Intelligence, is another key character in the series. The entire commonwealth, including Captain Hunt, are caught totally by surprise by the opening ambush of the Nietzschen uprising. Andromeda's crew abandons ship on the captains order, but the Andromeda and Dylan get caught on the edge of the event horizon of a black hole, exponentially slowing down time for 300 years. 303 years after Andromeda and Dylan are suspended, the crew of the old salvage ship Eureka Maru locates Andromeda. In the 3 centuries that followed the uprising, the Commonwealth has completely fallen. After winning over the crew of the Maru, Captain Hunt recruits the salvage crew to join him in an attempt to restore the Systems Commonwealth and sign on new member worlds. The salvage crew is made up of its leader, Beka Valentine, a continually relapsing con-artist and ace pilot; an engineer named Seamus Zelazney Harper who can interact with computers via a neural port; Trance Gemini, a mysterious purple alien and Rev Bem a converted Magog. "Rev" is short for Reverend, and he practices a pacifist religion called The Way and has become a Wayist priest. Along with the crew, the man that hired them to salvage the Andromeda brought along a Nietzschean mercenary named Tyr Anasazi. Tyr is the leader of a group of other mercenaries, of which he is the only one to survive the opening episodes. Tyr's Nietzschean propensity for self-preservation leads him to join Dylan's crew.
The first season of the series shows the devastating surprise attacks that destroyed the Commonwealth, and Dylan Hunt assembling a crew and adjusting to the changed universe, while pursuing the creation of the New Systems Commonwealth. However, the idea of a new Commonwealth proves to be unpopular, because only 6 planets actually sign the Commonwealth charter in this season. Major social, military, and political powers like the Than Hegemony and the Nietzschean Sabra and Jaguar prides do not view Hunt seriously and do not really notice him. Captain Hunt also makes several enemies, which include several powerful Nietzschean Prides. Dylan also encounters many remnants of the old High Guard and witnesses the consequences of his own actions from 300 years before. He finally realizes that the old Commonwealth had made mistakes, which as a result would like to avoid. A major theme of this season is the unification of the Andromeda crew. Dylan's new crew does not really believe or value in the ideas and philosophy of the New Systems Commonwealth, and they join him only for personal gain. To their collective surprise, they find that having something to fight for is fulfilling. They like the idea so much, that Beka, Dylan's First Officer, even promises to continue his mission if he dies. In the season finale, Andromeda encounters the Magog World ship, a huge megastructure consisting of twenty connected planets and an artificial sun. The World ship contains trillions of hungry, vicious Magog. It is also equipped with an extremely powerful weapon — a point singularity projector, which creates miniature black holes and fires them. In the ensuing battle, the Andromeda is heavily damaged, Tyr and Harper are kidnapped and taken to the worldship, and the rest of the crew are badly injured.
Season two begins with the crew of Andromeda in a hopeless situation. An injured Dylan is treated by Trance and goes to the Magog World ship with Rommie in order to recover Tyr, Harper and Rev Bem from certain death. Harper is implanted with Magog larvae, and Rev's loyalty is tested when he sees the Magog god, the Abyss. Although Tyr and Harper are recovered, Andromeda is badly damaged, there is no way to extract the Magog larvae from Harper. A powerful drug will prevent them from hatching for a time, but it only delays the inevitable. The season shows the crew reacting to the sudden need of a powerful government, and the New Commonwealth can fill that need. Many worlds became very willing to sign the Commanwealth charter after learning of the Worldship. Dylan becomes a more ruthless person as well. However, by the end of the season the new Commonwealth gains a new powerful war fleet and a total of fifty charter worlds. Andromeda's Nietzschean crewman, Tyr Anasazi, is revealed to have a son, Tamerlane Anasazi, who is a genetic reincarnation of Drago Museveni, Founder and Progenitor of the entire Nietzschean Race. Since all the Nietzschean Prides believe that Drago Musevini's genetic reincarnation will be a great leader and prophet, Tyr Anasazi has a unique opportunity to unite all the Nietzschean Prides. He does not use it yet, biding his time. In the season finale the Systems Commonwealth is finally reinstated. A ceremony is held on board of the Andromeda, but is interrupted by the attack of unknown aliens.
The Systems Commonwealth has reunited, but there is unfortunately not much progress in the fight with the Magog and Abyss. Several episodes of season three explore Trance and her role. One episode (The Dark Backward) is filmed completely from Trance's viewpoint, showing that she "lives" through all possible alternate futures before choosing the right one. Nietzschean crewman Tyr Anasazi makes his move at the end of the season. He implants his son Tamerlane Anasazi's DNA into his own body, and reunite all of the various Nietzschean Prides. They secede from the Commonwealth. The Season ends with Tyr betraying the Commonwealth
In season four, Dylan is nearly arrested by the Systems Commonwealth. The Collectors who were originally keepers of historical information allied with the Spirit of the Abyss, and manipulated the fragile government of the New Commonwealth in order to show Dylan in a bad light. The Abyss infiltrates the Commonwealth using many other agents as well. Eventually the Collectors unite with Tyr and his newly united Nietzschean Prides. Tyr mistrusts the Spirit of the Abyss, but hopes to defeat it by working with it and discovering it's weaknesses. He tries to find a map to the Route of Ages — a portal connecting all the universes together. It is possible to weaken the Abyss by passing through it, but Dylan gets the map instead and allows Tyr to follow Andromeda through the Route of Ages because Tyr knows more about the Abyss. He kills Tyr, because he tries to make a deal with the Abyss. Since the Route of Ages closes before the Andromeda can get back, Dylan has to use Trance's help. She reveals to him that she is Avatar of a Sun. Trance destroys the Andromeda and re-creates it in the right universe.
The Magog evolve and become more intelligent, and cunning. In the season finale their Worldship is rediscovered. It is heading towards the Arkology, an old space station with very pacifist population. Dylan frantically tries to convince them that they have to defend themselves, but the people of the Arkology hope to create a peace treaty with the Magog. They pay dearly for that mistake, as the Magog never make peace with anyone. Andromeda tries to defend the Arkology against the Worldship, but is horribly outnumbered. The Arkology is destroyed along with its millions of inhabitants, and Rhade, Beka, and Harper are left dead end situations. Rommie explodes after being shot through her stomach while saving Harper from the Magog.
Season five starts with an unusual premise. Dylan finds himself transported into Seefra system — nine identical barren worlds with superstitious population and two dim suns. Technology (especially spaceflight) is shunned, and water is treasured because of constant drought. Flavin, a Paradine, meets Dylan here, giving him cryptic hints about Dylan's destiny and what Seefra is before disappearing. Dylan eventually finds Nietzschean warrior Telemachus Rhade, pilot Beka Valentine and super-genius engineer Seamus Harper on Seefra, and to his amazement, they all arrived in Seefra at different times and locations. Harper, in particular, arrived three years earlier with the remains of the android Rommie. He tried to repair her but failed, eventually building another android, Doyle, with some of Rommie's memories. Initially he convinces her that she is human, but later her true identity is revealed by a rebel android. Trance is also found, but she is weakened by her attempt to transport Andromeda and its crew to Seefra. She does not quite remember who she is and what she is supposed to do. Trance underwent a metamorphosis yet again; she is still golden-skinned but appears younger, and her personality resembles her first purple incarnation. Andromeda itself is transported to Seefra as well, but it has no power and no way to restore it. Trance partially recharges the ships generators, but Andromeda still cannot move, and its AI behavior is erratic. The first half of the season deals with three main themes: Dylan's conflict with his crew, his attempts to restore Andromeda's power and eventual discovery of the true role of Trance and Seefra system. Rhade, Beka and Harper are all angry at Dylan for leaving them behind in the Battle of Arkology and for throwing them to Seefra without any way to return to the Known Worlds. Their loyalty is strained several times, but seems finally reaffirmed after the intervention by Stranger, a Paradine sent by Dylan from an alternate future. Andromeda's power is eventually restored with ancient Vedran artifacts, but it is still unable to leave Seefra. Seefra seems to be located in a "pocket universe," and the only way out is the Route of Ages. Although some characters come and leave through it, Dylan cannot use it. Seefra turns out to be Tarn-Vedra, long lost capital of the Commonwealth. But Vedrans themselves left it long ago, disillusioned with humans. Seefra-1 is the original Tarn-Vedra and Seefra-2 to 9 are copies of it. Tarn-Vedra's original sun was somehow replaced by two artificial constructs, Methus-1 and Methus-2. Methus-2 is now damaged and emits deadly flares, which are the reason for Seefra's drought. Trance remembers her identity when she meets Ione, avatar of the Tarn-Vedra moon. She is the Tarn-Vedra sun. When she realizes this, her sun enters the Seefra system, and Dylan has to find a way to fix Methus-2 and evacuate eight doomed planets to Seefra-1. Trance's "sisters" (who call themselves "the Nebula"), however, try to persuade her to join them. In their opinion the fate of Dylan, Seefra or the Known Worlds is irrelevant. Trance stubbornly refuses, and the Nebula attempts to replace her (all Avatars of the Suns look alike). Real Trance is imprisoned inside Methus-2, and it takes some time for Dylan to realize the deception and rescue her. Dylan proceeds with the evacuation of the Seefra planets, although his plans are hindered by General Burma, a religious leader from Seefra-5. Burma is later revealed to be under the control of the Abyss. In the series finale, the Vedran sun is back in its place and people are safe on Seefra-1. Trance then contacts the Nebula — the Lambent Kith Nebula, supreme council of the galaxies which includes fifty Avatars. Trance was once the oldest member of the Nebula, but disagreed with their views of organic life as something insignificant and left long ago. Together with Dylan she appeals to the Nebula and its leader Maura, who plans to destroy the Abyss by expanding the All Forces Nullification Point until it consumes all galaxies. This incidentally will destroy everything alive in existence; only Seefra will survive. Maura refuses to reconsider their plans, but allows Dylan and the Andromeda to return to the Known Worlds. When the Andromeda slipstreams to Tarazed, Dylan finds out that only four days have passed since the Battle of Arkology, and the Magog Worldship is crippled but still operational. Rhade reunites with his wife (only to return to the Andromeda shortly). Andromeda visits Earth (where Harper secretly plans to stay), but as soon as the ship arrives in the system, the planet is promptly destroyed by the Abyss. A huge Nietzschean fleet emerges from behind the debris, and Andromeda barely escapes. Dylan begins to suspect Maura's motives and soon realizes she is the avatar of the Abyss and that all of the Nebula were under its control. Maura had destroyed all Paradines (except Dylan). Trance annihilates Maura in a fight. After a massive battle with the Nietzscheans of the Drago-Kazov Pride, Dylan checks the Methus Diagram once again and discovers that Trance's sun is capable of destroying the Abyss. Andromeda returns to Seefra through the Route of Ages, followed by the Abyss. Trance manages to pull her sun closer and plunge it into the Abyss, burning it. The Abyss is finally destroyed, and Dylan's battle is over. The Route of Ages transforms into a slipstream portal, allowing the Commonwealth fleet to return to Tarn-Vedra.