write up courtesy of wikipedia

Andromeda (formally titled Gene Roddenberry's Andromeda) was a Canadian/American science fiction television series, based on unused material by the late Star Trek creator Gene Roddenberry, developed by Robert Hewitt Wolfe, and produced by Roddenberry's widow, Majel Barrett. It starred Kevin Sorbo as High Guard Captain Dylan Hunt. The series premiered on October 2, 2000, and ended on May 13, 2005.

   

Andromeda was filmed in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, and produced by Tribune Entertainment and Fireworks Entertainment. It was distributed by Global TV (Fireworks' parent company) in Canada and syndicated in the United States on WGN and other channels. It was picked up by the Sci-Fi Channel in the U.S. halfway through season four.

 Andromeda is one of two TV series (to date) based upon concepts Roddenberry had created as early as the 1960s and 1970s. The name Dylan Hunt had also been used for the hero of two TV movie pilots Roddenberry had produced in the mid-1970s, Genesis II and Planet Earth, which had a similar premise. The other series posthumously created from Roddenberry's notes is Earth: Final Conflict.

     The series is set thousands of years in the future, and revolves around the Systems Commonwealth, a constitutional monarchy based in a distant star system called Tarn-Vedra. Humankind is a part of The Commonwealth, having been discovered by its members thousands of years prior. 

    The Commonwealth is based in three galaxies; The Milky Way, Triangulum Galaxy, and the Andromeda Galaxy, located 2.7 million light-years from the Milky Way Galaxy. Ships travel from one end of the Commonwealth to the other through slipstreams, following pre-guided roller coaster-like pathways through the cosmos to and from their destination.  

    The Commonwealth claims to be a utopian society, but it is actually in a state of war with the Magog, a humanoid species with bat-like faces that are dedicated to war. A few years earlier, to show good faith as a result of peace talks, the Commonwealth ceded to the Magog a key home world. This home world is a key planet of one of the Commonwealth's member species, the genetically engineered Nietzscheans. The Nietzscheans, displeased with this peace agreement with the Magog, secretly attempt to usurp control of the Commonwealth. This is also the embodiment of their basic beliefs, as they see themselves as the race described as the "Übermensch" by German philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche. 

 

    The Commonwealth is defended by the High Guard, an armada of many ships. The protagonist of the series, Dylan Hunt, is the captain of a Commonwealth ship, the Andromeda Ascendant. The ship's computer, a powerful AI (Artificial Intelligence), is a key character in the series.

    The entire High Guard, including Captain Hunt, is caught by surprise in the first engagement of the Nietzschean uprising. He is forced to evacuate his crew, but Andromeda gets caught on the edge of an event horizon of a black hole, freezing him in time. 

 

    303 years later, the crew of the salvage ship Eureka Maru locates Hunt's ship. The Systems Commonwealth and the High Guard have fallen in the centuries since he was frozen in time, beginning an era known as The Long Night. Hunt recruits the salvage crew to join him in an attempt to restore the Systems Commonwealth and "rekindle the light of civilization."

     The salvage crew comprises its leader, Beka Valentine, a con-artist and expert pilot; a super-genius engineer named Seamus Harper (rescued from Nietzschean-enslaved Earth by Beka) who can plug his mind directly into computer systems; Trance Gemini, and Rev Bem. "Rev" is short for Reverend; although he is a Magog and thus violent by nature, he has discovered a non-violent, Taoist-like religious order called The Way and become a Wayist priest. As for Trance, little is known at first about this pixie-like purple female alien other than that she has a tail and seems somewhat distant. The salvage crew's beneficiary also brought along an insurance policy in the form of a Nietzschean mercenary named Tyr Anasazi ("out of Victoria by Barbarossa", of the nearly extinct Kodiak pride). Tyr is the leader of a group of mercenaries, of which he is the only one to be left on board after the opening episodes. Tyr's propensity for self-preservation leads him to also join Dylan's crew until better opportunities arise.

  

 

Slipstream

Slipstream is the primary mode of travel for ships in the Andromeda universe, and the only known method of traveling faster than the speed of light. The Vedran discovery of the Slipstream was instrumental in the formation of their intergalactic empire, which became the precursor of the Systems Commonwealth.

Curiously, slipstream cannot be navigated by AIs (they have a 50% chance of choosing the correct path). Only organic pilots can "sense" a way to their destination (they have a 99% chance to choose the correct path), and although AIs are fitted on all large ships, they always require an organic pilot for interstellar travel. It is thought to be the process of choosing a path that makes the chosen path the correct one.

A function of slipstream is that apparent objective velocities are extremely variable, as it enables travel across millions of lightyears seemingly as swiftly as traveling between neighboring stars only tens of lightyears apart. Further, slipstream is a non-linear method of travel; the best and swiftest way to get from Point A to Point B (though they might be in the same galaxy) may very well involve hopping to another galaxy entirely. Also, the more frequently used routes are often easier, faster and more predictable

The All Systems Commonwealth or simply the Systems Commonwealth is a fictional intergalactic government from Gene Roddenberry's science fiction TV series Andromeda. It was born out of the Vedran Empire. The Vedrans, originating from Tarn-Vedra, which was their homeworld and the capital of their empire, were the first known race to discover the Slipstream, the only known way to travel faster-than-light. They built their empire by traveling to the different star systems and conquering the inhabited and colonizing the uninhabited worlds. The Commonwealth was a democratic federation of planets, drifts (space stations or orbital habitats), and systems. Depending on where you look, the Commonwealth (and its preceding Empire) was spread across Three Galaxies (referred in the fourth season of the show simply as "Tri-Galaxies") or Six Galaxies. It lasted for about 5500 years, starting with a time of political reform and ending with a violent civil war started by the Nietzscheans and subsequent invasion by the terrifying Magog.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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