series begins in the year 1970, when a new giant radio telescope is
opened. The staff, making routine checks, discover a series of signals,
received from the Andromeda constellation, which have taken two hundred
years to reach Earth. A special team is then set up at a rocket-testing
base in Thorness, a stretch of coast in the Western Isles, and ‘Project
Andromeda’ is underway. The Ministry of Defence has attempted to keep
the entire project secret but one of the team, Dennis Bridger, informs
an organisation called Intel which seeks to steal it for its own ends,
but he falls to his death from a cliff when pursued by a government
agent who has been trailing him.
John Fleming, a young scientist who initially seems to be the only one to understand what the message from Andromeda is, reveals: “It’s a do-it-yourself kit - and it isn’t human”. The alien message comprises a system of dots and dashes which Fleming eventually solves. They are instructions to build a computer far in advance of anything known on Earth.
Face of the Tiger
the team is joined by biologist Madeline Dawnay, she realises that the
computer intends to create a biological being as it begins to outline
instructions to construct living cells. It then develops a human embryo
which is deformed and which they name ‘Cyclops.’ A young lab assistant
Christine is electrocuted when she touches two terminals and the computer
then destroys ‘Cyclops’ and creates another creature which is a duplicate
of Christine. The team refer to the Christine creature as Andromeda
and Fleming wants her destroyed as he believes she is a danger to the
human race. His suspicions are confirmed when she reveals to the team:
"Our intelligence is going to take over and yours is going to die. You'll
go the way of the dinosaurs."
However, the military use the advance information from the computer and Andromeda to develop a weapon to destroy enemy missiles. They also agree to sell an enzyme which heals injured cells, created by Andromeda, to the sinister Intel organisation. The team attempt to place a message in the computer suggesting that Andromeda is dead, but the computer seeks to take revenge by altering the formula for the enzyme, making Dawnay and her team sick. Fleming develops an enzyme to cure them. Andromeda has a mental link with the computer, but is developing human traits and falls in love with Fleming, who destroys the computer and frees Andromeda from its influence.
is then able to burn all the information which the computer had sent
and the two of them flee the project and hide in a series of caves on
an island near the base. Andromeda appears to have drowned in a pool
while soldiers capture Fleming and return him to the base.
The series was produced by Michael Hayes and Norman Jones and featured Julie Christie as Christine/Andromeda with Peter Halliday as Fleming and Mary Morris as Dr. Dawnay. It was decided that the role of Andromeda should be played by an unknown actress and director Hayes heard of Julie Christie, who was studying at the Central School of Speech and drama and was rumoured to be ‘the new Bardot.’ Like many early BBC series, the episodes were not retained in any archive. All that remain are film sequences from episode two and the last two reels of episode seven.