Wars of the Ramayin Frontier
"So Burn the Untamed Lands" is episode 8 of Season 5.
Seamus Harper shows off a new weapon powered by charged quartz crystals found in mines on Seefra-8. Though the handgun is potent, the real allure of these crystals is that they carry enough energy capability to power the Andromeda Ascendant. Harper would merely need to make conversions to the ship. The only catch is the mines are governed by a man named Cutter whose workers, the Surog, are essentially serfs, permanently indebted to him. He is always on the lookout for overseers to keep the workers in line so Dylan Hunt and Telemachus Rhade head off in search of employment.
Upon arrival in the mining town, the two split up to hide their association. Dylan asks one of the Surog for directions but the scarred, vacant eyed man attacks him. After taking several swings, the aggressor is shot down by Cutter who appears with several guards. He is very blunt and orders Dylan to leave, but changes his tone when he learns who Dylan is. He has heard of Dylan’s philanthropic ways and sings praise of his own charity work with the Surog. Meanwhile, the mine guards are clearly seen cracking whips over the worker’s backs. Dylan accepts the job as a kind of mediator between the workers and the overseers in order to earn the crystals he needs.
Harper is working on a moonshine still powered by a small amount of the crystal. Doyle watches with amusement at his grandstanding as he prepares to turn it on, but it explodes when he does, burying a splinter of crystal in his arm. It immediately looks red and infected but he shrugs it off and pours moonshine on to disinfect it. The wound is worse later, blistered and sensitive. When Beka Valentine comes to harass him about some work he owes her, he hides it from her.
During his first day, Dylan notices one of the workers admiring a necklace he received as payment. He exudes a bit more intelligence than the others but when Dylan approaches, the man retreats. He follows at a distance and secretly meets Rhade to discuss what they’ve learned. It appears that most of the Surog neither speak nor think, but Dylan is now unsure of this after his recent encounter. Rhade hears the familiar tone in his voice, knowing Dylan has already decided to help them. He finds the Surog he saw earlier but before he can learn much, the man is shot for interfering with guards who are forcing some miners back to work. A small-scale revolt breaks out and the guards begin shooting indiscriminately. When Dylan places himself between the two groups, Cutter has him locked up. He wants him executed but Rhade suggests subtlety in light of Dylan’s powerful friends. Perhaps an accident can be arranged. Unbeknownst to them, Dylan has already escaped. He sneaks through the caves, struggling for breath against the heavy fumes of the crystals. He ties his shirt over his face but loses it as he climbs over obstacles and finally succumbs to the toxic fumes.
At the same time, Doyle arrives on the bridge of the Andromeda, only to be confronted by the Andromeda Ascendant Artificial Intelligence in a struggle for control of the ship. Doyle shows off her control of the computer systems to make a statement. Trance Gemini, who is also present states "there's trouble", decides to remove herself from the situation until Doyle and Andromeda can work out their differences. They clash by turning the lights on and off repeatedly.
Dylan wakes in a cave dwelling where a woman is tending to him with healing oil while a young man looks on. She introduces herself as Tolek and the boy who found him is Lon. Rhade enters with Dylan’s Force lance just as guards outside open fire. The two fight off most of the guards and Lon finishes off the last with a blow dart dipped in deadly poison.
Harper and Beka are in the Eureka Maru but the work is tedious. Harper is having difficulty keeping the simplest details straight and when Beka leaves for supplies he yanks off his shirt and scratches his wound, not noticing the discolored and distinct scarring on his back that mar all the working Surog.
Dylan notices that the necklace Tolek wears is the same one he saw the miner with and she tells him it was her brother. She and Lon are also Surog, but are vocal and without scars, not having been exposed to the crystal’s poison that deforms the body and cripples the mind. When Dylan tells Tolek her brother is dead, she is ready to sacrifice herself to the mines but he has other plans. He sends Rhade to contact Beka while he convinces the Surog that it is time for a change. Tolek is smitten with Dylan for all his kindness, unaware as she kisses him that Lon is watching from the trees with growing anger and jealousy. When Dylan is alone, Lon fires a dart into his chest but the oil dilutes the poison’s effects and he is merely paralyzed. Tolek stops Lon just as he prepares to finish the job. As Dylan recovers, he and Tolek speak to the villagers about relocating to another planet. Lon speaks up from the back, admitting his mistake and recognizing the risks Dylan is taking to save them all. The village agrees to go.
Meanwhile, Beka has arrived and Rhade loads crates of stolen crystals onto the Maru. Once aboard, he notices the scars on Harper’s arm and reports it to Dylan, who brings along Tolek’s healing oil. Beka reports that Cutter and his men are approaching Dylan’s position. The Surog prepare to board the ship while Harper improvises a bomb from the crystals on board. His mind is growing more confused and when Rhade tries to help him he snaps. He tosses Rhade like a rag doll and rushes to attack him but Rhade dodges the charge and Harper bangs head first into the bulkhead, knocking himself out. Beka and Dylan keep watch as the Surog climb up the Eureka Maru’s ramp when Cutter and his men come charging up. Cutter fires at them, but Dylan spins around and blasts him with his Force lance. They draw up the ramp when the last of the Surog are on board and take off. Once they are airborne, Dylan administers the healing oil to Harper while Rhade targets the mines and fires the make-shift bomb. The huge load of crystal detonates in a massive explosion, along with their hopes of using it to power Andromeda.
After they have relocated the Surog, the crew broods over their loss in the Oasis Bar. They realize they did the right thing and keep their spirit, toasting to some unforeseen way to bring Andromeda back to life.
- This episode has similiarities to the "Star Trek" episode "The Cloud Minders" regarding the toxic effects of a mining operation.
Andromeda Ascendant Artificial Intelligence: Welcome to the Andromeda Ascendant. I am
Doyle: A holographic Artificial Intelligence.
Andromeda Ascendant Artificial Intelligence: Not so artificial that I fail to recognize the tone of your voice.
Doyle: What tone? All I said was holographic intelligence.
Andromeda Ascendant Artificial Intelligence: Tone meaning attitude. The underlining motion to sarcasm.
Trance: There's, um, work to be done here, guys.
Andromeda Ascendant Artificial Intelligence: I control all functions on this starship. You may access me at points which I determine and mediate.
Doyle: On the other hand I have a body and I'm free to walk around.
Andromeda Ascendant Artificial Intelligence: Then you are also free to leave and not come back.
Trance: (about Doyle) Oh, boy. Here's trouble.
|Aired:||November 12, 2004|
|Writer By:||Gillian Horvath|
|Directed By:||Jorge Montesi|
|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