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The Andromeda Strain

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The Andromeda Strain DVD

The Andromeda Strain is a book (ISBN 0345378482) written in 1968 by Michael Crichton about a team of scientists who investigate a deadly disease of extraterrestrial origin which causes rapid, fatal clotting of the blood.

The book was the basis for a 1971 movie of the same name, directed by Robert Wise and starring Arthur Hill, James Olson, Kate Reid, and David Wayne. The film follows the book very closely, there is a strong feel for technology and government procedures and formalism. The main set, in bright primary colours, becomes increasingly claustrophobic as the four scientists work in isolation, interrupted only by disembodied voices of the computer or PA system.

Recently, the Sci Fi Channel has began production of a miniseries, set for 2005, which could turn into a full-on series.

After a US government satellite crashes near the village of Piedmont in Arizona (New Mexico in the movie), the disease kills all inhabitants of the town but two. An elite scientific team takes the satellite into a secret underground laboratory in Nevada, known as the Wildfire Complex (Wildfire), in order to study it. The vector mutates into a form that degrades rubber gaskets, however. This engages an automatic mechanism designed to set off a nuclear weapon beneath the complex, eradicating all traces of the disease before it can reach the surface. Unfortunately, it turns out that the alien disease would thrive on such an enormous energy source and mutate into untold numbers of forms. In a nail-biting conclusion, one scientist races to shut down the bomb before it can detonate.

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