Review: A for Andromeda (UK: BBC Four)

Wow. I know A for Andromeda was on a week ago, but I’ve only just got round to watching it. To rephrase a famous quote from 2001/2010: “My God. It’s full of arse.”

I can’t believe how mind-numbingly dull it was. Seriously, how do you compress six episodes of an old serial down into an hour and a half and still produce something so unbelievably tedious?

There was a good plot in there, trying to get out. I could see it. It had some nice moments and occasional touches of atmosphere. There were even some good actors. But direction and script? Oh dear oh dear oh dear. Fair enough that the original wasn’t much cop, but it still had some interesting ideas in there. With a bit of nurturing we could have something really worthwhile. But we didn’t.

So, it looks like this might be the last of the BBC4 “classic” remakes, then. So much for The Road: I was really hoping they could redo that, given it’s been wiped from the archives and it’s got one of Nigel Kneale’s finest scripts behind it. But on this performance, I’m guessing we won’t be seeing much more in a similar line from BBC4, especially with FictionLab given the shutdown orders.

Can’t believe that’s an hour and a half of my life wasted, as well as my childish enthusiasm totally dashed. There is no Santa Claus, after all.




  • Was that really cut down from 6 episodes? Ho ho! As you say, quite a good central plot idea, but executed so badly. Given that it was a BBC4 production, they should have gone for the intellectual high ground and not had all the scientists asking each other what was going on the whole time. And why didn’t her hair ever dry?

  • Oh yes. Six 45 minute episodes. There’s an episode guide over here if you can stomach it.
    Her hair never dried because between scenes, she was always going swimming. Aliens with genomes like to go swimming. That’s scientific fact.

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  • Dave Andrews

    Seven episodes actually; and it was one of the first serials with episodes that ran more than the then ‘statutory’ 30 mins.
    ‘Seriously though but’ … don’t judge the original by this remake. In retrospect the good thing about the original was that there was time between the episodes to think about it, and talk about it.

  • Actually, I was basing my opinion on the two episodes of The Andromeda Breakthrough that I watched. Since there’s only one surviving episode plus a few clips and the scripts left of the original, it’s a bit hard to do anything but!

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