The Andromeda Strain begins with the crashing of a military satellite just outside of Piedmont, Arizona which is subsequently recovered by two teenagers and taken into the town. What follows is a trail of inexplicable deaths of the entire population of the small town with the exception of a drunk and an infant girl.
The scientific research team in charge of the Wildfire project is immediately called into action by Gen. Mancheck of the US Army, Dept of Bio weapons. What follows is the story of how the satellite actually contains an unknown entity termed “The Andromeda Strain” which is a constantly evolving, self-teaching, highly adaptative and volatile, and potentially life-threatening organism.
The Wildfire team, which consists of biologists, micro-biologists, pathologists and doctors struggle to find answers and methods to contain the damage spread by the strain. An investigative journalist gets wind of this story and how he manages to put the pieces of the puzzle together and how he almost manages to get the news out forms another parallel component of the story. Added to this is the usual Govt. department skull-duggery in terms of even keeping the US President in the dark about ‘Project Scoop’ which was the project which led to the military satellite crashing into earth in the first place.
While reviews on IMDB and other places overall pan the TV series for not having done justice to the original book by Michael Crichton, I personally have believed that Crichton’s books are really really hard to translate either into a cinematic form or a TV series form simply because of the amazing amount of research that actually go into these books.
There are so many things which can only be effective in the written form, for eg, the entire research component and the brain-storming sessions are reasonably drab in a dialog form and are most effective when readers actually go through them more than once in the books. Now this is something that cannot be done in a movie, however effective the screenplay actually is. So in that respect, the book always scores over the movie.
However, what this movie will do is to force the viewers to think enough to actually go pick up the actual book and read it from end to end without putting it down. I dunno about others who watched this movie, but The Andromeda Strain is surely going to be the next book that I read, courtesy the interest generated by the movie.
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