but the tents are folded before dawn."
the Armendago Caper
"The Weight (Part 1)" is episode 1 of Season 5.
After passing through the Route of Ages, Dylan Hunt finds himself walking down a corridor wearing only his blue shirt. He comes face to face with himself wearing his leather coat over his blue shirt, then hears the large door through which he entered closing behind him. A female voice says, "Have you come home from your past? Dream, dear one, dream." The door behind him opens once again. He runs toward the door, but is kept at bay by heavy wind and dust. The door closes, preventing him from exiting.
Suddenly, there are people all around him, calling him an intruder. He pushes his way through them, and starts to run, only to fall down a long shaft and be knocked unconscious. As the blue shirted Dylan lays unconscious, we see that he is on a planet in a solar system with two suns, and overlooking it all is the Route of Ages.
Dylan awakes, now wearing his leather coat, in an abandoned subway system with a man named Flavin standing over him. He tells Dylan that they are on the planet Seefra-1 but no one knows what system it is in. Flavin takes him out of the tunnels and leads him to a nearby village that strikes Dylan as vaguely familiar. Dylan spots a mountain in the distance that he recognizes. Flavin tells him it is called the Scans and those who have ventured there have never returned. They duck into the Oasis Bar filled with shady characters that stop everything and turn to observe. They gather around Dylan and Flavin, ordering them to leave, and a fight breaks out. A couple of locals up the ante by pulling their guns but Dylan’s Force lance quiets them. Ocham Sembler turns out to be Dylan’s silent ally as he hits a would-be attacker with a pan. The two turn to leave the bar as the patrons chant “intruder,” growing more excited until they are calmed by an outside voice. An evangelical character named Thomas appears. He carries a bible-like book and an air of authority over the fearful and ignorant. The locals are worried about the new arrival’s weapon and spaceship, fearing more may follow him. He sets their minds at ease, assuring them of his dominance over all who come to Seefra-1.
Flavin takes Dylan to his home where they can converse and shows him a map of the star system they are in: 9 identical planets and 2 suns. Methus-2 displays solar flares when new arrivals come through the Route of Ages, that, with the exception of Dylan, normally results in dead arrivals. Dylan notices a model and plans of a Slipfighter on the desk. It is Flavin’s one shot at getting off the planet. He keeps it strictly hidden for fear of Thomas’ hordes of superstitious zealots finding it and murdering him. Dylan doesn’t think a slipfighter could get him off the planet safely so he decides to explore the Scans for a clue.
Thomas enters his chambers and speaks to a figure hidden in the shadows. He orders the shadowy character to murder Dylan or he will set his mob upon him. When he leaves, the lights blink on, revealing Telemachus Rhade. Dylan is exploring the Scans when he comes across the ruins of an old house. He sifts through the remains and finds a holographic device. Rigging it to his Force lance, he watches a man and son work on a project together. When the project fizzles, the man turns to his son and Dylan recites the line with him, for it is none other than a centuries old home movie of his father and himself. He realizes he is on Tarn-Vedra, his home world, but it has changed dramatically in the hundreds of years since his childhood.
He is on the path back to town when Rhade, who has been stalking him and drinking heavily, steps out of his hiding place. Dylan is delighted but Rhade has changed. He is jaded and sad as well as drunk, drowning in self-pity. He only knows that as he held Louisa Messereau in his arms, a white light flashed and he found himself here. He resents Dylan’s eternal hope and optimism, having found none himself. He leaves Dylan, who heads back to Flavin’s home for some answers. He tells him he believes they are on Tarn-Vedra but Flavin remains elusive in his answers. Dylan becomes fed up and demands that people must tell him the truth, starting with Flavin. So Flavin tells him that Vedran scientists figured out a way to pass objects between two universes, calling the construct the Route of Ages, a rip in space/time fabric which is why Dylan saw another likeness of himself as he passed through. He also tells Dylan that he knows he is a Paradine, and admits to being one himself, but it is Dylan’s job to help this planet now and Flavin’s time to move on.
Dylan goes to the bar the next day and is immediately confronted by Thomas, who orders Rhade to kill him. The two face off and Rhade punches him twice, aiming to beat the hope from Dylan. He hits him again and again, furious that Dylan brought hope into his life, only to have it ripped away from him. Dylan retaliates by crushing Rhade, taking out his frustration and failure on him. He starts pounding him but suddenly stops. One of the patrons tosses Rhade a gun; he grabs it but hesitates, looking at Thomas. He then extends a hand to Dylan who helps him up. They both turn to Thomas, telling him his time in control is over. Thomas retreats but runs into Flavin who flattens him with a blow to the face. Dylan and Rhade toss him out and pick up his book. They open it and are not surprised to find the pages empty. The blank book is shown to the people, exposing Thomas as a confidence man.
Flavin is preparing to leave the planet but Dylan thinks it’s suicide and tries to talk him out of it. However, he won’t be swayed. It is Dylan’s turn now to help these people and Flavin must move on. Dylan and the townspeople watch Flavin’s ship as it arcs across the sky towards the Route of Ages. As it draws near, the second sun flares white and seems to swallow the ship whole. Dylan turns to the people, who now look to him to lead. He tells them he isn’t their leader; he only wanted them to know they didn’t have to live under Thomas’ control.
Dylan and Rhade make amends and finally face the fact that they are stuck on Seefra. Dylan then goes to Flavin’s home, adopting it as his own. Rhade’s presence has convinced him he can find the rest of his crew and prepares himself for the task.
- It would appear once more to be a nod to a work by Friedrich Nietzsche, in this case "The Gay Science", which posits the crushing weight of an endless, unbreakable cycle of repeated and futile actions. The full reference is: “The heaviest burden: “What, if some day or night, a demon were to steal after you into your loneliest loneliness and say to you: ‘This life, as you now live it and have lived it, you will have to live once more and innumerable times more; and there will be nothing new in it, but every pain and every joy and every thought and sigh… must return to you—all in the same succession and sequence—even this spider and this moonlight between the trees and even this moment and I myself. The eternal hourglass of existence is turned over again and again—and you with it, speck of dust!’ Would you not throw yourself down and gnash your teeth and curse the demon who spoke thus? Or have you once experienced a tremendous moment when you would have answered him: ‘You are a god, and never have I heard anything more divine!’ If this thought were to gain possession of you, it would change you as you are, or perhaps crush you. The question in each and every thing, “do you want this once more and innumerable times more?” would lie upon your actions as the greatest weight. Or how well disposed would you have to become to yourself and to life to crave nothing more fervently than this ultimate eternal confirmation and seal?”
- The title may also refer to the phrase "the Weight of the World".
- Rommie appears in this episode only through archival footage. Both versions of the character, the android and the Andromeda Ascendant Artificial Intelligence are absent from much of the rest of this season due to actress Lexa Doig's pregnancy.
Dylan: Wait. That mountain.
Flavin: The Scans. I like to call it "The Hill of Crap"
Flavin: There are three types of people. Those who can count, and those who can't.
Dylan: You're saying you can't hate me because you're too lazy?
Rhade: You can call it that.
Dylan: "You can't get there from here" should be this place's motto.
|Aired:||September 24, 2004|
|Writer By:||Bob Engels|
|Directed By:||Gordon Verheul|
|Created By:||Gene Roddenberry|
|Developed By:||Robert Hewitt Wolfe|
|Executive Producers:||Majel Roddenberry|
Josanne B. Lovick
|Production Designer||Brian Kane|
|Intro||The Universe is a dangerous place. But in our future my crew and I fight to make it safe. I am Dylan Hunt, Captain of the Andromeda Ascendant, and these are our adventures.|
- Kevin Sorbo as Dylan Hunt
- Lisa Ryder as Beka Valentine
- Steve Bacic as Telemachus Rhade
- Gordon Michael Woolvett as Seamus Harper
- Laura Bertram as Trance Gemini
- Lexa Doig as Rommie
- Brandy Ledford as Doyle (not credited)