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A For Andromeda

Julie Christie in A For Andromeda
Julie Christie in the starring role of Andromeda
A For Andromeda was a BBC television science fiction series, written by cosmologist Fred Hoyle and author and TV producer John Elliot. It was broadcast in seven parts in 1961 and published as a novel the following year.1

A For Andromeda was inspired by seminal developments in SETI (see also Morrison-Cocconi Conjecture) and the construction of the first giant radio telescope at Jodrell Bank; it aired in the year following Project Ozma.

The story begins with the accidental discovery of an extraterrestrial signal containing a complex message in binary (mathematics, as a universal language) – instructions, as it turns out, for making an immensely powerful computer. A similar theme was explored later by James Gunn in The Listeners and Carl Sagan in Contact.

From the cover of the Corgi edition of A For Andromeda:
Far away, from the constellation of Andromeda, came a message ... a program for a giant computer which hadn't even been built. For the scientists it was a major breakthrough in technology; for the politicians it was an opportunity to conquer the world; but nobody realized the true significance of the machine they had helped to create, nor of the beautiful woman who shared its secrets and its power ...

Part 1 of the only complete episode of A for Andromeda starring Julie Christie


  1. Hoyle, Fred, and Elliott, John A. A For Andromeda. New York: Harper & Row (1962).

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