The Andromeda Strain

Director: Robert Wise

Cast: Arthur Hill, David Wayne, James Olson, Kate Reid, Paula Kelly, George Mitchell, Ramon Bieri, Peter Hobbs, Kermit Murdock, Richard OíBrien, Eric Christmas, Mark Jenkins, Peter Helm, Joe Di Reda, Carl Reindel, Ken Swofford, Frances Reid, Richard Bull, John Carter, Susan Brown, Robert Soto

Lt. Shawn (Jenkins) looks through binoculars at a small town in Arizona. The town looks eerily quiet, just a few buildings along a single dark main street. Lt. Shawn enters a waiting military van with a rotating directional antenna on top. Sgt. Crane (Helm) is finishing determining the location of the object they are tracking, somewhere in the nearby town. As the two men drive out toward the town, they communicate by radio with Scoop Mission Control at Vandenberg AFB. At the control center, Lt. Comroe (Reindel) hears over the loudspeakers that the retrieval team is about to enter the town of Piedmont to recover the satellite. The nature of the operation changes when the voices of Shawn and Crane take on a strained quality and they report seeing dead bodies. Lt. Comroe orders the retrieval team to proceed to the capsule, secures the control center, and calls Major Manchek. Moments later Comroe hears Shawn and Crane frantically talk about someone approaching them. The loudspeakers carry the sound of a scream and then Scoop mission control loses contact with the retrieval team. A photoreconnaissance jet is scrambled and overflies Piedmont, taking images of the town that show bodies lying on the street and the immobile Scoop van. Major Manchek (Bieri) evaluates the situation and declares a Wildfire alert, setting in motion a predetermined sequence of events. Dr. Jeremy Stone (Hill) is hosting a party at home with his wife Allison (Brown) when a car quietly parks on the street outside. An armed soldier takes a position at the curb and two MPís come to the house and ask to see Dr. Stone. MP Capt. Morton (Carter) tells Dr. Stone that thereís a fire. Dr. Stone nods quietly, tells his wife he has to leave, and is whisked away by the MPís. In places across the country, Dr. Charles Dutton (Wayne), Dr. Mark Hall (Olson), and Dr. Ruth Leavitt (Reid), the other members of the Wildfire team, are similarly collected. They gather together in the top secret Wildfire facility, located mostly underground at a remote location in Nevada. The Wildfire lab was built at great cost as a last line of defense against a potential ultimate biological threat, a deadly extraterrestrial lifeform. The laboratory interior is slick and utilitarian, with all the equipment necessary to conduct biological research and to isolate dangerous organisms. To cope with a worst-case emergency, Wildfire is equipped with a nuclear device for self-destruction. Airlifted to Piedmont, Dr. Stone and Dr. Hall find that the Scoop satellite has brought back to earth something that kills people in bizarre manners or causes them to commit suicide in ghastly ways. All in Piedmont are dead, except for two residents, a baby (Soto) and an old man, Jackson (Mitchell). Dr. Stone and Dr. Hall take the survivors and the Scoop capsule to the Wildfire lab. Detailed inspection of the capsule reveals a microscopic organism of unknown type, the Andromeda strain. Lab animals exposed to Andromeda die instantly. The scientists and medical doctors of the Wildfire team must use the advanced technology at their disposal and their skills and intellect to determine why two very different subjects survived an otherwise lethal organism, and how to prevent Andromeda from spreading and causing a potentially worldwide catastrophe. Due to an undetected problem in the lab and a feature of the containment provisions, the organism may trigger an even worse catastrophic disaster and possibly cause their own deaths as well. Based on the Michael Crichton novel of the same name.

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