There are three The Andromeda Strains: the book (1969.), the movie (1971.), and the TV mini-series (2008.). Michael Crichton wrote The Andromeda Strain in 1969., and critics praised it. The movie earned two Oscar nominations (best editing and Best Art Direction-Set Decoration), and the TV mini-series was nominated for six Emmy awards.
–some spoilers ahead–
I watched only a mini-series – it’s 3 hours of pure outbreak entertainment – and I loved it from the first scene.
“That’s Orion right there, the triangle. And that is Cassiopeia,” a male voice explains while we watch the sky.
“Cassiopeia,” she asks, “Who was she?”
And then here they are, two teenagers, lying in a pickup truck, watching stars. He is humorous, while he tries to “go to place when no man has gone before.” Suddenly, a fireball crashes near them. “It’s a satellite.” They take it to small-town Piedmont, Utah, and that’s the beginning of our story. Something killed almost everybody in town, and the military Biodefense emergency division started Wildfire protocol.
Wildlife protocol is dr. Jeremy Stone with his team: Dr. Angela Noyce, a surgeon specializing in tropical and exotic diseases; Dr. Charlene Barton, pathologist; Mayor Bill Keane MD, a virologist and Dr. Tsi Chou, a microbiologist. Their task is to contain the threat. The story from there goes in several directions, and there are more interesting characters along the way, like Jack Nash, investigative reporter, “evil” general Mancheck, and the U.S. president.
As you can imagine, the threat only gets bigger and bigger. Intolerance between military and civilian personnel in the team is rising. Andromeda is increasingly dangerous, and our heroes have less time to solve everything.
I can not compare a mini-series with a book or movie, but it successfully fulfills everything I want from a good outbreak story. A deadly virus is moving fast, and life on Earth is in danger. A team of scientists is working hard, day and night, but the solution seems far away. Yes, I’m easy to please when outbreak entertainment is in question.
If you love movies like this, check out my book Snow Outbreak on Amazon. It’s a story about a group of people stranded in the first space hotel during a deadly flu outbreak on Earth! The story follows different destinies in a space hotel and on Earth.