The New Systems Commonwealth Wiki
The Sum of Its Parts


Production #


Original air date

February 26, 2001

Story by

Celeste Chan Wolfe

Written by

Steven Barnes

Directed by

David Winning

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

Matt Smith as HG-966HXCN5
Kevin Durand as VX1583

Preceded by

Forced Perspective

Followed by

Fear and Loathing in the Milky Way

"Between birth and death lies desire,
Desire for life, for love,
for everything good.
And this is the source
of all suffering."
Outcast Consensus 17
C.Y. 10942

"The Sum of Its Parts" is episode 16 of Season 1.


The Regular Cast of Andromeda Season 1


A massive cloud of debris approaches Andromeda Ascendant, and then moves inside the ship. They take form, creating a humanoid shape. The mechanoid then asks to be taken to their leader. It identifies itself as HG-966HXCN5, or HG for short. He is a Biosentient Contact Unit, an emissary of the Consensus of Parts, an empire of machines that are rumored to prey on unsuspecting ships. Dylan Hunt reluctantly agrees to make first contact with the Consensus.

HG gets familiar with the crew and the ship's systems. He is ever curious about the various different devices on the ship. Dylan has Trance Gemini and Seamus Harper look after him. He even asks to interface with Andromeda so as to direct her to the Consensus. As a precaution, Rommie puts up a firewall to prevent HG from learning too much.

When Andromeda reaches Consensus space, they are greeted by Direct Intelligence Unit, VX1583. Now that HG's mission is complete, he must disassemble or deconsensus, otherwise he'd put the ship and crew in grave danger. As parting gifts, HG gives each member of the crew a piece of himself and then disassembles.

VX tells Dylan that the Consensus has concluded that he will not succeed in restoring the Commonwealth. Instead, he has a counteroffer: Andromeda and her crew can join with the Consensus. She and Dylan discuss his offer and politely decline. VX takes it that she is being controlled or manipulated, but Rommie states she acts of her own free will. Tyr then escorts VX off the ship.

Meanwhile, HG's "gifts" start connecting themselves to the ship's systems. The crew soon realize what's going on, especially with Rommie briefly speaking in HG's voice, and consider what to do. At the same time, VX makes it clear that he will not take "no" for an answer and would destroy Andromeda if she will not join him. The crew figures that HG's parts cannibalizing the ship was part of VX's plan to take it over, only for VX to suddenly fire on them. Harper considers using nanites to eat the parts but Trance says that would kill HG. HG soon becomes part of Rommie but his control of her body is erratic. He explains he hoped to escape the Consensus but he lost control.

VX has detected HG's illegal joining aboard Andromeda and threatens the ship with destruction if they do not cease this perceived criminal activity within three minutes. Tyr decides to enact Harper's plan but Dylan has another idea; he asks Tyr about what to do when fighting a superior opponent in hand-to-hand combat. Tyr suggests that they use his strength against him until they figure something out. With few choices left, the crew allows HG to interface with Andromeda's systems. They then go to slipstream, where they believe that VX cannot follow them. However, for some strange reason, his ship-sized mass follows them. HG explains that the Consensus needs only organic intuition to navigate slipstream. VX's helm control is hooked into organic neural components, which a disgusted Harper simplifies as brains in a bottle. Luckily, Beka's slip piloting is more refined than VX, but they can't outrun him forever.

Dylan has the crew go the HG's "beginning", where all of the outcast parts reside. HG believes that they intend to discard him, but Dylan tells him that he must think about the other parts. HG makes a speech to the parts, telling them they must join together and find what it truly means to live and fight against the Consensus that would discard them. The parts comply and combine with Andromeda. VX emerges from slipstream and discovers what he considers to be an abomination. Suddenly, his parts start lowering their defenses as the parts attached to Andromeda fire on him, destroying VX. Rommie and Andromeda revert to normal. However, HG is no more but the parts use his voice, and have formed Outcast Consensus One.

Some time later, Dylan checks up on Rommie, who remarks that while HG nearly killed her in the name of survival, she will miss him. Meanwhile, Trance buries one of HG's parts underneath soil in hydroponics.


  • The "sums of its parts" plays an important role in Gestalt psychology which is a theory of mind and brain that proposes that the operational principle of the brain is parallel, analog, with self-organizing tendencies; or, that the whole is greater than the sum of its parts.
  • Harper references the Pacman games.
  • The Consensus is similiar to the Borg Collective from "Star Trek".
  • HG is the periodic symbol for the element Mercury, a liquid metal, and Mercury is the messenger of the gods in Greek/Roman mythology. Hence, HG being the messenger from VX and the Consensus of Parts.
  • VX is a nerve agent and thus the poison that the crew must find an antidote for.

Memorable Quotes[]

Rommie: I didn't design my appearance. I extrapolated it. In myth, Andromeda was a Phoenician princess. Now, since no one knows what Phoenicians looked like, I blended a multitude of human physiognomies to create this plausible simulation.
Beka: So, what you're saying is that you randomly chose a bunch of, uh, human female features. You mixed them all up and, uh, THIS was the first face that you came up with?
Rommie: I – MAY - have experimented with a few options.
Beka: Define "a few".
Rommie: One hundred and seventy thousand, eight hundred and ninety four.
Beka: I KNEW IT!

Harper: Introducing Harper nano-bot 107. I like to call this model the Miss Pacman waoh waoh waoh waoh, its an obscure reference to an ancient video game.

DVD Release[]

The Sum of Its Parts 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