September has been my month to binge-view the not-terribly-old sci-fi series "Andromeda." This, in large part, because Lexa Doig, who played the Starship Andromeda's android avatar and holographic persona, is a majorly major celebrity crush for me. Really, come ON: Star Trek's Commander Data was allowed to experience love with human women, so why the entropy should Rommy not have been allowed to become Captain Hunt's permanent soulmate? SHE obviously loved HIM from the very core of her being, and in spite of her superior powers she genuinely revered him for his wisdom and bravery, so it would not have been a hopelessly lopsided relationship.
But no-o-o-o-o, the "Andromeda" writers had to keep Dylan Hunt unattached, even though they scarcely ever actually gave him a girlfriend anyway. And poor sweet nearly-indestructible Rommy, who DID have real emotions, was left emotionally unfulfilled, never even allowed (as far as I've seen) to SAY to Captain Hunt, "I love you."
As an indirect attempt to justify the celibacy imposed on the most appealing female in rhe series, they ran one episode showing that another High Guard captain HAD once entered a sexual relationship with his ship's female avatar. This had ended in tragedy because the High Guard's avatar androids carry top-secret information about the ships, information that must not be collected by enemies of the Commonwealth. This plot device was forced and unconvincing. Again, come ON: in an era millennia into the future, we're supposed to believe that there couldn't be a fail-safe allowing the military secrets inside Rommy's exquisitely beautiful head simply to be instantly DELETED, while Rommy's endearing PERSONALITY remained?
It could have been done easily. They chose not to do it. Fooey.
Insofar as Lexa Doig's character is concerned, I'm undecided whether to feel placated or insulted by the Dylan/Rommy scene at the end of the episode "Dance of the Mayflies." There, though STILL not permitted to pour out her cyber-heart to her beloved captain, she was permitted to come close to such a declaration. During the episode, the shortness of human life expectancy compared to sci-fi super-beings had been brought up; so, in the epilogue, Rommy could at least tell Dylan that she couldn't bear the prospect of outliving him and thus losing him. (Think Arwen and Aragorn.) Dylan, in response, went so far as to speak of love, but somewhat abstractly. This, in terms of what he and Rommy SHOULD have been to each other, was as unsatisfactory as the milktoasty peck on the cheek that he gave her in conclusion.
But apart from feeling sorry for "Andromeda's" android heroine, who is my favorite robotic-type character in all of science fiction ever, there is an aspect of the scene which I definitely LIKED, and was pleasantly surprised by: the fact that Dylan Hunt DID NOT limit himself to shallow phrases about him "living on" in Rommy's memory. Here is my approximate quote of his full speech to her about the perpetuity of love:
"You won't lose me, Rommy. Love never dies. Your body may be destroyed or your power may run out, but love goes on forever. When the universe ends and the last star burns out, the only thing LEFT will be love."
This -- I'll venture to call it a testimony -- delighted me insofar as its SPIRITUAL significance. No, Captain Hunt did not recite the whole Nicene Creed; but even his modest expression of faith flew head-on against the icy atheism that Gene Roddenberry wanted to promote. The hero's prediction of love going on forever COULD NOT POSSIBLY be right in a materialistic, mechanical universe.
And in my estimation, the value of Dylan Hunt's words IS NOT spoiled by their being addressed to an android. No one has yet invented any sort of robot that has REAL self-awareness with free will and genuine emotions; but if such a robot WERE built, my own expectation of enjoying Heaven would not be the least bit impaired by God regarding this robot as a living creature with a soul-- due to it being effectively an OFFSPRING of its human makers.
None of the science fiction *I* write will ever feature androids that really are alive and autonomous, because I don't believe there ever will be any. But if the fictitious free-willed android Rommy actually existed, I would not be denying God's Creatorship by desiring that Rommy should be considered a daughter of humans, capable of receiving the gift of saving faith. And I'm not saying this just because the actress Lexa Doig is as hot as a supernova.