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Music of a Distant Drum


Production #


Original air date

February 5, 2001

Written by

Robert Hewitt Wolfe

Directed by

Allan Kroeker

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

Linnea Sharples as Yvaine
Noel Fisher as Breyon
Nels Lennarson as Arjun Lya
Alex Zahara as Hanno
Shawn Reis as Nietzschean Soldier

Preceded by

The Mathematics of Tears

Followed by

Harper 2.0

"KLUDGE (Klooj) - n. Disparaging
term for genetically unmodified
human being. See also "über"
A Concise Dictionary of Slang
and Euphemism
C.Y. 9021

"Music of a Distant Drum" is episode 13 of Season 1.


The Regular Cast of Andromeda Season 1


On the Drago-Kazov Pride slave planet Midden, Yvaine and her stepson Breyon make their living fishing. Yvaine tries to make the best of her lot as a slave, but Breyon is not so accepting. He wants revenge, because the Drago-Kazov killed his father.

A ship crash-lands nearby, and Yvaine goes to see if she can help. She assumes it must be a Dragan (Drago-Kazov), and it would be in her best interest to help them. The ship is the Eureka Maru, with Tyr Anasazi on board. Tyr does not remember where or who he is.

Yvaine is very deferential towards Tyr, calling him "my lord". She offers to contact the Dragans for him, but Tyr tells her not to he is not sure if they are friends or enemies of his. Breyon does not like taking care of a Nietzschean, but Yvaine thinks it is better to do so rather than suffer the consequences of not helping.

On the Andromeda, Beka Valentine tells Dylan Hunt about a dream she had he was Arthur, she was Guinevere, and they were discussing taxes. Dylan quickly sees through Beka's ruse, and tells her that he is not willing to use the Andromeda to carry cargo. Beka says that she actually had a mining operation in mind, but Dylan is not interested in that, either.

While Tyr is sleeping, Breyon sneaks up on him with a gun. Tyr quickly disarms him, but does not harm him. Breyon voices defiance of the Dragans, but Tyr says that he thinks he hates them even more than Breyon does.

Tyr has brief flashbacks of his life, but he still does not remember who he is or where he comes from. He comes to the conclusion that his survival depends on working with Yvaine and Breyon. Since he does not remember his name, Yvaine begins to call him "Nemo", taken from "20,000 Leagues Under the Sea", which is Latin for "no one".

On the Maru, Tyr has a coffin-sized crate. He does not remember exactly what is in it, but he knows it is "important". It has a three-stage lock: a key, which he has, a DNA scan, which accepts his DNA, and a voice code, which he does not remember.

Returning to Yvaine's home, they find a group of thugs trying to take a share of their fish, claiming to be freedom fighters. Yvaine recognizes Hanno, the leader of the gang. Tyr quickly overpowers Hanno, but Yvaine tells Tyr not to kill him, because she has to live here, and his friends will take revenge on her. Tyr lets Hanno go.

Beka and Dylan are searching for Tyr. Beka says that the Maru needed some repairs, and Tyr knew it, so they start by checking out the local drifts to see where he had the repairs done.

Tyr looks through the Maru's database, and finds it has been scrambled by nanobots. The nanobots are also the source of his amnesia, but he knows that his improved immune system will repair the damage eventually. He manages to recover some data from the Maru's database, saying that his name is "Barabas Jericho", and the ship is called the "Klondike Trail" but he knows that the records are forged.

Yvaine tells Tyr that when she was young, the city where she lived rebelled against the Dragans and won but they nuked the city from orbit, killing her family. The Dragans also killed Breyon's father, because of a protest over their taxes, so she feels it is better to not fight them.

Tyr also remembers losing his family, and thinks that the Dragans were responsible.

Another ship lands nearby. Tyr is certain that it is the Dragans, looking for him. He leaves Breyon and Yvaine's house (for their safety), but he is not willing to leave the crate. While he is removing it from the Maru, Arjun Lya boards the ship. Tyr hears them coming, and ambushes them. He demands to know who he is, but they do not know. Tyr forces one of them to carry the crate for him at gunpoint.

Dylan and Beka discover that Tyr went to the Drago-Kazov homeworld, and that shortly after he left, they mobilized their entire fleet.

The Nietzschean carrying Tyr's crate collapses from exhaustion. Tyr takes the crate and leaves him, warning him to stay out of his sight. The Nietzschean calls after him, asking him if he is Kodiak Pride. When Tyr says that he is, the Nietzschean seems to know what was in the crate, and says he was "honored" to be carrying it. Tyr finds a safe spot in some caves and opens the crate, with the voice code "retribution". Inside, he finds the mummified remains of the Nietzschean progenitor, Drago Museveni, which had been entrusted to the Kodiak Pride, but taken by the Drago-Kazov, by force.

In a series of guerrilla warfare attacks, Tyr takes out several of the Drago-Kazov soldiers pursuing him.

Beka has found Tyr's departure route in the Drift's computer. Examining the records, Dylan finds that she has also taken a significant amount of other information. He questions her motives. Beka reminds him that the entire crew has their own motives, and if he will not agree to use the Andromeda for things like cargo hauling and mining, she has to make money some other way.

Tyr begins to remember the other members of Andromeda's crew.

Yvaine shows up to help Tyr get away from the Dragans. She takes him back to her house, but they have laid a trap for him there, with the help of Hanno. When Hanno asks for his reward, they kill him. The Dragans order Tyr to hand over the crate, or they will kill his friends, and Tyr agrees to lead them to it.

In the caves where the crate is hidden, Tyr triggers a previously set explosive charge, burying many of the Dragans in rubble, but the remaining ones call for reinforcements. As he is finishing off the last of the Dragans, Tyr remembers his identity, but the reinforcements arrive.

Fortunately for Tyr, Dylan and Beka also arrive at this point, and drive the Dragans off.

Tyr invites Yvaine to bring Breyon and join them, but Yvaine does not want the "adventure". She prefers the peaceful life to watching people die.

When he returns to the Andromeda, Tyr declines to tell the others what is in his crate.


  • The title comes from a 4 lined stanza ("Rubaiyat") by Omar Khayyam. In 1859 it was translated by Edward J. Fitzgerald.
    • "How sweet is mortal Sovranty!"--think some:
    • Others--"How blest the Paradise to come!"
    • Ah, take the Cash in hand and waive the Rest;
    • Oh, the brave Music of a distant Drum!
  • Henry David Thoreau provides a basis for the quote from which the title is derived: "If a man does not keep pace with his companions, perhaps it is because he hears a different drummer. Let him step to the music which he hears, however measured or far away."
  • Nemo is taken from "20,000 Leagues Under the Sea", which is Latin for "no one".
  • Tyr’s quote of “Never point a gun unless you intend to use it.” is similiar to the James Baker quote of “If you’re not gonna pull the trigger, don’t point the gun.”
  • Beka references the Matter of Britain and Arthurian legend.
  • Midden is a late Medieval English word meaning "rubbish heap". It was often the last resort of the dispossessed and starving, as the last hope of somewhere to find something to eat, or a degree of shelter from the elements.

Memorable Quotes[]

Beka: I kept dreaming about you. It was very um, what's the opposite of sleep-inducing?
Dylan: Arousing?
Beka: No, it wasn't that kind of dream.

Beka: Your entire crew has an ulterior motive. Rev Bem wants to use your Commonwealth to spread his faith. Harper is in lust with your ship. Tyr is always plotting something, and God knows what the purple one is up to. Does it really surprise you to find out that I'm no different?

Dylan: In the old days, when High Guard officers went missing in enemy territory, we found them, no matter what.
Tyr: These aren't the old days.
Dylan: Not yet, but I'm working on it.

DVD Release[]

Music of a Distant Drum 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