|selected from TV Zone #142|
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|Its Hour Come Round At Last||Rating: 10|
|Ep. A22||First aired: May 14 2001, US Syndicated
UK Premiere Sept 2001 TBC, Sky One
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Tinkering with a newly discovered back-up copy of Rommie's AI persona, Harper hits the wrong button, replacing the existing Andromeda with a Windows 3.1 version, who is convinced that she is still enacting a covert High Guard mission which apparently wiped out her entire crew many years earlier.
Believing Dylan, the Maru crew, and even her avatar Rommie to be intruders, Andromeda's internal defences kick in, trapping them in various parts of the ship while she heads for the target destination of her failed prior mission. Unfortunately, this happens to be deep within Magog territory, and they are soon set upon by hoards of swarm ships intent on their next meal and a bit of procreation. Harper, understandably freaked as his worst nightmares become reality, must restore the old (new) Rommie in order to re-take control of the ship and get it to safety.
Although somewhat derivative of big screen fare, such as Aliens or Star Trek: First Contact, Its Hour Come Round At Last is, regardless, one of the best hours of television I have seen in a very long time. The central performances are excellent, particularly from the ingenious pairing of a petrified Harper, who begs to be shot before the Magog get him, with the gung-ho "where there's life there's hope" Tyr. Lexa Doig is also outstanding in her portrayal of three simultaneous versions of Andromeda: back-up AI, hacked off avatar Rommie, and a confused hologram slowly remembering herself as both.
Writer Robert Hewitt Wolfe has obviously been saving the Magog for maximum impact, which they certainly achieve here. Their first full-on appearance in the show is absolutely terrifying, mostly due to the ominously nerve-wracking sound editing, which has their high-pitched screams getting louder and closer as they work their way through Andromeda's hull while her occupants can only stare up at the ceiling in terror, and some chilling lighting which seems to further demonize the hundreds of Magog swarming like frenzied rats through Andromeda's corridors.
By the time 'To be continued ' flashes up on the screen, it looks decidedly doubtful whether any of Andromeda's intrepid crew will make it to Season Two...
|Also reviewed in this issue: Five previous episode - Fear and Loathing in the Milky Way >> It Makes Lovely Light (A17-A21).|
© Visual Imagination Ltd 2001. Not for reproduction