This Memorial Day A&E would like you to ditch the celebrations and quarantine yourself in front of a TV to catch their two night, four hour miniseries adaptation of Michael Crichton’s The Andromeda Strain. The event will take place on Monday, May 26 and Tuesday May 27 from 9pm til 11pm (EST/PST) each night. Expect to see a lot of respectable and recognizable faces as the series stars Benjamin Bratt, Eric McCormack, Ricky Schroder, Andre Braugher, Christa Miller, Viola Davis, and my man Daniel Dae Kim. For those of you with HD televisions, you’ll enjoy the broadcast in glorious high definition.
I’m a big fan of the original novel, one of the first “grown up” books I ever read, based on a recommendation of my father who said it was one of the only books that scared him. The story follows a group of dedicated scientists, part of the Wildfire program, who have the unenviable job of attempting to isolate and and combat extraterrestrial biological infestations. In this case, this nasty little bug does a right good job of killing an entire town after being brought to Earth by a downed satellite. And it’s no going quietly into the night kind of thing either, with people’s blood rapidly clotting to dust or their minds driven insane, leading them to horrifying and strange methods of suicide. Only two people survive the infestation, an old man addicted to Sterno and a crying infant.
In the update, night one will focus on Piedmont, Utah, as scientists clad in biological protection suits investigate the downed satellite area and the bizarre and violent deaths associated with it. The scientists again find the two survivors and take them to their Wildfire base where the strain, code-named Andromeda mutates out of control. On the outside, an investigative journalist is snooping around trying to find out what’s going on and stumbles across a possible government conspiracy.
Night two follows with the scientists making a series of surprising discoveries about Andromeda and the government turns its attention to quelling the journalists investigation. Things go from bad to worse as the bacteria continues to mutate without showing signs of stopping and puts the entire team in jeopardy to the point where the heavy hand of the government sees fit to intervene. To take this techno-thriller ride and find all the answers, you’ll have to tune in on May 26.
On the Executive Producing payroll are Ridley and Tony Scott, David W. Zucker, and Tom Thayer. Mikael Salomon is directing a screenplay by Robert Schenkkan.
Personally, as a fan of both the book and the original adaptation film, I’m excited for this. The original film still stands up pretty well, though there were some minor changes made to the story. This seems to be the case again with the mini-series adding another layer of depth to story and an extra plot line with the reporter. The stills look good and very bleak like any proper science lab should be, the cast seems Grade-A, and the story is tried and true. Count me among the infected that will be under quarantine on May 26 and May 27, from 9 til 11 on A&E.