Andromeda Strain - Tv Mini-series


An Old Friend
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[/FONT][FONT=Verdana,Times New Roman]Fans of the original ‘Seventies movie will probably be irked by the new mini-series remake of The Andromeda Strain . . .[/FONT] [FONT=Verdana,Times New Roman] Less demanding viewers and sci-fi fans who haven’t seen the original movie or read the 1969 novel by Michael (Jurassic Park, Westworld) Crichton would most likely find it to be average [/FONT] [FONT=Verdana,Times New Roman] if somewhat over-familiar [/FONT] [FONT=Verdana,Times New Roman] viewing. The production values (sets, special effects, soundtrack, photography, etc.) are of a high, almost movie, quality. The acting is also pretty decent on the whole too. (Tony and Ridley Scott served as executive producers on the project, by the way.)[/FONT]
[FONT=Verdana,Times New Roman] To recap: a deadly bacteria [/FONT] [FONT=Verdana,Times New Roman] code-named The Andromeda Strain [/FONT] [FONT=Verdana,Times New Roman] is let loose after a US government satellite crash-lands in Utah. The bacteria unleashes a lethal plague that wipes out an entire town leaving only two survivors [/FONT] [FONT=Verdana,Times New Roman] an old man and an small baby [/FONT] [FONT=Verdana,Times New Roman] to provide clues as to immunizing the population. As the military tries to contain the spreading disaster, a hastily assembled team of scientists try to figure out a cure and stop the virus from spreading.[/FONT]
[FONT=Verdana,Times New Roman] This new version of Crichton’s novel now runs four hours and it will be broadcast in two parts on A&E television on 26 and 27 May in High-Definition. [/FONT]
[FONT=Verdana,Times New Roman] To inflate the running time, the new mini-series adds all kinds of material not found in the original movie which after all only ran for about two hours. In addition to updating events to what seems to an unspecified future a few years away from our own time, it also adds an X-Files-like subplot about shady government officials wanting to cover their asses and an investigative TV reporter hot on their trail. It also adds several subplots involving a romance between members of the scientific team and a pointless back-story for one scientist involving a moody teenager son and a disenchanted ex-wife.[/FONT]
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"Average, if somewhat over-familiar . . ."
[/FONT] [FONT=Verdana,Times New Roman] Add to this some action scenes no doubt inserted with an eye on the trailer as well as bits cribbed from other Michael Crichton books such as killer nanotechnology (Prey) and a satellite investigating a wormhole (Sphere) and you have something that plays a bit like a Michael Crichton ‘Greatest Hits’ compilation.[/FONT]
[FONT=Verdana,Times New Roman] It was as if the writers decided early on that the source material [/FONT] [FONT=Verdana,Times New Roman] which is after all about a bunch of scientists spewing techno babble for most of the time [/FONT] [FONT=Verdana,Times New Roman] wouldn’t be enough to sustain the interest of modern, impatient viewers. To a degree they are right. Andromeda Strain with its ‘unknown disease of the week’ plot is something which has been done to death in anything from movies such as Outbreak to endless TV shows such as StarGate Atlantis, X-Files and the like. Unknown viruses and government cover-ups may have been new back in 1971 (before Watergate) when the first movie was made, but today it all feels stale. The extra subplots also free the action up from its claustrophobic underground lab setting. Whether or not this is a good thing is debatable however.[/FONT]
[FONT=Verdana,Times New Roman] This new Andromeda Strain will no doubt have fans of the original fuming because of all the changes it made, but we found that it passes the “would I want to watch the next instalment?” test. Yes, we were intrigued enough to want to do so [/FONT] [FONT=Verdana,Times New Roman] except that A&E reps never bothered sending us the second episode. So come on here!
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[FONT=Verdana,Times New Roman]This four-hour original A&E television event will premiere in High Definition on
Monday, May 26 from 9-11 PM ET/PT and Tuesday, May 27 from 9-11 PM ET/PT. Based on the best-selling novel from Michael Crichton, the miniseries stars Benjamin Bratt, Eric McCormack, Ricky Schroder, Andre Braugher, Christa Miller, Daniel Dae Kim and Viola Davis.
[FONT=Verdana,Times New Roman]The Andromeda Strain is produced by Scott Free Productions and[/FONT][FONT=Verdana,Times New Roman] Traveler’s Rest Films in association with Universal Pictures for A&E Network. Executive producers are Ridley Scott, Tony Scott and David W. Zucker for Scott Free and Tom Thayer for Traveler’s Rest Films. Mikael Salomon is director and co-executive producer and the screenplay is written by Robert Schenkkan.[/FONT]


Creative Writer
I watched this and took the story "as is", in that I didn't try to take any previous history into watching it (I'd been forewarned) and I actually found it was a passable way to spend two and a half hours.

Some swearing, some gungho scenes, some scenes of everything going wrong and quick responses made (for once!) Some modern aspects of life put in that are far beyond the original story or any of the others that are inserted into this program.

It is a remake with modern aspects. It is watcheable. Just don't watch it trying to compare to the novel or previous release. It's a mix of everything and it works to pass the time nicely.


Very passable.
I enjoyed it, as you say, by taking it as brand new and not demanding anything familiar from it, or forcing it to be equally tall (pedestal wise).
I bought Donnie Darko (directors cut). Watched it and ... hmmm ... different indeed.
I believe it may take me many more times to put it all together, but I liked it in a strange way.
Not unlike ... perhaps Memento's,What dreams may come ? That one is going on 4 or 5 times now, and I still see things I missed before.
Both definitely ... "out-side the box". They only way to nurture an opinion that is not "canned".
Your mind wants to say "mess","delete", but then it says wait, I think I saw something.
All that = fun!
Thanks for the > point >
Very accurate review. I read the book and saw the original. I like them both. Very tight story. Not too many subplots. Just keep it tense. Those were the type flaws I saw in the new one. Not bad but too many useless subplots. Longer than necessary to tell the story. The second one tried to make an epic out of an incident.


Code Monkey
Staff member
Based upon the ending, and some things never really explained (eg: the inter-locking triangle logo), does anybody else think it was left open-ended enough that a sequel would be made?
Based upon the ending, and some things never really explained (eg: the inter-locking triangle logo), does anybody else think it was left open-ended enough that a sequel would be made?

I thought I missed something. That is a very good point. It wouldn't be the worst movie they made a sequel to.


Code Monkey
Staff member
I thought I missed something. That is a very good point. It wouldn't be the worst movie they made a sequel to.
I wouldn't mind seeing another made-for-TV sequel to it myself. Once everybody accepted the theory on how virus made it's way to Earth I kept waiting for the ending to be a quickie little scene to tie the loose ends (eg: Whom sent it [My guess is one of the characters already shown], why they sent it, what is the meaning of the logo, who is really running the shadow government, was the ending scene of the international space station or a secret US station [and if it was the international space station, does that mean the shadow organization is global?], etc.).


Could not put that together either.
The triangle(s) thing/connection.
Perhaps they should have shown (for example) a open paper file on someones desk with that number written down in "red" ink, and then fades out showing a seal, building, familiar place, uniform.
Even a devastated/decayed landscape, alien hand driving a spaceship, an artifact being dug up/uncovered and dusted off on another world, inside an Egyptian tomb, or hanging around some famous/favorite girl teen idol pop star neck, in a jeweled (so as to be hidden) manor of course.
Without ending in a bigger, less vague way, instead of filling with "almost" almost useless subplots, I also believe a sequel would be dry nonsense.
still, not a waste of time. Better than reality TV !