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Double Helix


Production #


Original air date

October 30, 2000

Written by

Joe Reinkemeyer and Matt Kiene

Directed by

Mike Rohl

Developed by

Robert Hewitt Wolfe


Sherry Gorval

Executive Producer

Allan Eastman
Majel Roddenberry
Robert Hewitt Wolfe
Josanne B. Lovick
Jay Firestone
Adam Haight

Production Designer

Ken Rabehl

Guest stars

Steve Bacic as Gaheris Rhade
Paul Johansson as Guderian
Dylan Bierk as Freya Rajput
Marion Eisman as Olma
Stuart O'Connell as Dimitri
Elizabeth Thai as Unnamed Than Pilot

Preceded by

D Minus Zero

Followed by

Angel Dark, Demon Bright

"Machiavelli's ideas are
Basically sound ones for the
Nietzschean People.
He was an optimist."
Cerebus Khmer
C.Y. 8969

"Double Helix" is episode 5 of Season 1.


The Regular Cast of Andromeda Season 1


Refueling in a system believed to be uninhabited, Andromeda detects a fight between Nietzschean and Than-Thre-Kull ships. The Nietzscheans are getting the better of the fight, but Dylan has the crew rescue the last Than pilot. Tyr objects to Dylan involving them in a conflict that they know nothing about.

Andromeda is contacted by Guderian, the Alpha of the Orca Pride, a Nietzschean colony on an asteroid in the system. Dylan offers to attempt to negotiate peace between the Orca Pride and the Than. Guderian agrees to talk to Dylan about it, and invites him to come to the asteroid. Tyr warns him not to trust Guderian, as this was a common tactic to capture High Guard officers in the war. They agree that Tyr will meet with Guderian first. He goes armed.

A lancer drop pod lands on the asteroid. It is met by several Nietzscheans, who open fire as soon as the pod opens. The pod, however, is empty, and several other pods have landed elsewhere on the asteroid.

Dylan discovers, through research, that the Than and the Orca Pride have a long-running dispute in this sector of space.

Tyr manages to surprise and capture a Nietzschean, Dimitri, and hold him at knifepoint. Freya Rajput, a Nietzschean woman is impressed by this, and declares that she wants Tyr as a mate. The Matriarch of the Pride, Olma, asks Tyr's Pride and lineage. He identifies himself as a member of Kodiak Pride, which was destroyed, betrayed by its allies (including Orca Pride). Based on this lineage, she declares him worthy of Freya, and approves of their (potential) marriage.

Tyr relates the history of his Pride to Freya: The Kodiaks were entrusted with the remains of Drago Museveni, the "progenitor", or first Nietzschean. They were under a peace agreement, but the Drago-Kazov Pride broke this treaty and took the remains by force, killing or scattering the Kodiaks.

Dylan discusses his concerns with Rev. On one hand, he wants to destroy the Nietzscheans because of Rhade's betrayal, but on the other hand, he realizes that trust is essential if he is to rebuild the Commonwealth.

Tyr returns to the Andromeda. He tells Harper that he has convinced the Orca that he will betray the Andromeda, but he has brought blueprints of their main weapon, the plasma cannon.

They join Beka and Dylan to discuss their plans. Then need to neutralize the cannon to make the Nietzscheans negotiate. Tyr suggests that they can reconfigure their Ramscoop deflector, which will blind Andromeda's sensors, but render the plasma cannon ineffective against them. Beka questions whether they can trust him, because he is a Nietzschean. Tyr reassures her that he does not consider the Orca Pride "his people", because they betrayed the Kodiaks. Dylan agrees to the plan, but tells Tyr to act as if they have a full crew (4000 plus a Lancer Corps regiment) and not to reveal that they have only 5 people on board.

Tyr returns to the asteroid and gives Guderian a Force lance. Guderian shocks him with the Force lance, knocking him to the ground: Guderian knows Tyr took the plasma cannon blueprints to Dylan. Tyr informs Guderian that he used them to gain Dylan's trust, and now Andromeda's sensors are blinded, and there are only five crew members on board. He helps the Orca Pride by working on the plasma cannon. Dimitri still does not trust him, but Tyr emphasizes how important it is to him that Freya chose him, giving him the chance to be a "husband and father", and how staying with her is in his own best interest.

Dylan remembers playing Go against Gaheris Rhade, his first officer. During the game, Rhade explained to him that proving their genetic superiority is very important to a Nietzschean, and that even winning or losing a simple game is significant. Everything is about genetic survival, proving their worth to potential mates.

While Dylan is distracted, Rhade cheats. Dylan catches him – and realizes that Rhade has always been cheating against him.

Tyr and Freya get married, exchanging double helix armbands (the Nietzschean "wedding ring") and spend the night together.

Dylan instructs Andromeda to steadily increase the Antiproton mass in the Antiproton Storage Tanks until his explicit counter-order.

Tyr discusses his plans with Freya. While he does not tell her exactly what he is intending to do, he suggests forming a new Pride with her.

The Nietzscheans fire their Plasma Cannon at the Andromeda. The shot is deflected by the defenses. Immediately after this, they board the Andromeda in force, led by Tyr. They quickly overpower Harper, Trance, Beka, and Rev. On the Command Center, Guderian demands that Dylan hand over the Andromeda, but Dylan asks Andromeda for a status report on the Antiproton Storage Tank. Andromeda reports that without Dylan's specific order, the ship will explode in three minutes. Dylan indicates that he will allow this to happen rather than hand over the Andromeda. However, he expects that Tyr has a backup plan – and he does. Tyr produces a tool he was using while working on the plasma cannon. He presses a button on it, and the plasma cannon explodes.

Since the Orca pride has lost their largest weapon, Dylan offers to protect them from the Than if Guderian agrees to join the Commonwealth. Guderian declines, and begins to evacuate the asteroid.

The Than pilot that was rescued earlier has been restored to health, and tells Dylan that the Than recognize the Andromeda as a "force for peace".

Tyr, on the Observation Deck, removes his armband. He is joined by Dylan. Tyr tells Dylan that he was always on his side. Dylan says that he knows that Tyr is always looking out for himself.

As the Orca are evacuating the asteroid, Olma offers Freya a choice, to keep her baby or not. On one hand, Tyr outsmarted them, so he is a worthy father. On the other hand, he betrayed them, so he is an unworthy husband.


  • The title comes from the structure of DNA. The Nietzschean drive for perfection centres on improving the very building blocks of their selves, so that each refinement is passed on to their progeny.
  • Khmer refers to the Khmer Rouge.

Memorable quotes[]

Beka: On the bright side, we've sent the Nietzscheans our well-known ambassador of friendship, Tyr.

Rhade: To a Nietzschean, a game is never just a game.

Dylan: I trust Tyr to be Tyr.

DVD Release[]

Double Helix was released on DVD in a variety of formats. For more information see:

DVD Release
Andromeda: Season 1 Volume Releases
Andromeda: Complete Season 1
Andromeda: Series 1 Volume Releases
Andromeda: Complete Series 1
Andromeda: The Slipstream Collection
Andromeda: The Complete Boxset