The Andromeda Anthology: A for Andromeda / The Andromeda Breakthrough [DVD]
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The first and second series of the classic BBC 1960s sci-fi drama. In 'A For Andromeda', messages from outer space lead a team of scientists to create a highly advanced computer, which gives instructions on how to construct a biological organism known as Andromeda (played by Julie Christie). But scientist John Fleming (Peter Halliday) soon suspects Andromeda of having a deadly secret purpose. Includes the one surviving episode of this series. In the sequel, 'The Andromeda Breakthrough', Fleming escapes with Andromeda (Susan Hampshire) and tries to avoid the government. But when he arrives in a Middle Eastern country called Azaran, he finds a regime keen to use his skills, and to harness Andromeda's uotherwordly abilities. Includes all six episodes.
This three-disc set features the 1961 and 1962 serials A for Andromeda and its sequel The Andromeda Breakthrough, both written by Fred Hoyle and John Elliott.
A for Andromeda sees the construction of an alien-designed computer by scientist Fleming (Peter Halliday). Once built however, the computer secretly kills one of the lab assistants, Christine (Julie Christie), then gives detailed instructions for a new biological organism to be created, which quickly develops into a fully grown woman, alnost identical to Christine, now known as Andromeda. Fleming becomes convinced that the computer is intent on world domination and must be destroyed, but both the British Government and the computer have other ideas....
The Andromeda Breakthrough continues exactly where A for Andromeda left off with all but Julie Christie returning from the original cast, replaced by Susan Hampshire.
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What a shame that most of the first series was lost!
"A for A" was a tense, sometimes scary, original story line, involving such unknowns as "computers" and alien control, plus the less than friendly role of the State, BUT for me it was mainly memorable for one thing, which is missing in this DVD -Julie Christie - the first TV/film actor, apart from Ava Gardner, that I fell for. The story was good, but who cared - my 11 or 12 year old brain was only attracted by one person.
A let down in the second series, good story and good actors, including Susan Hampshire, but it just wasn'the same.
Buy it for the story, and the archive interest.
Julie Christie is still my number one.
Astronomers receive a signal from another galaxy, which gives instructions on how to build a computer. the computer then creates life. a beautiful girl. and she helps britain out with new technology. only one scientist can see the danger she presents. But, in the face of various countries competing for the advantage she gives, what can he do?
In the sequel the scientist and the girl find themselves in another country that is attempting to build their own version of the computer. which spells trouble for the rest of the world.
The first serial was seven forty five minute long episodes. only a few clips from the first two parts, all of episode six, and the last few minutes of part seven survive. these are joined together with photos of the show to form a reconstruction of it. Annoyingly the menu for this is badly designed and allows no access to each individual part. The lack of material and the slow pace of the first four reconstructed parts make for slightly frustrating viewing. This is more of an espionage thriller at first, the girl not appearing till part five.
however things do pick up when you get to see part six.
All in all it's a good story. it would be even better if it all survived.
however all of the sequel does, and it's six forty five minute long episodes are all here. the lead actress is changed but you really won't notice. The pace of this story could be slow, but it's pretty compelling viewing so you won't be bothered too much about that.
There's also a decent documentary with the surviving cast and crew discussing their memories of the show.
A good package. if the first story survived complete I'd give it four stars