Review: The Andromeda Strain (TV Movie)

The first half of this TV Miniseries was very good and seemed fairly faithful to the plot of the story (even though the mention of a wormhole seemed far-fetched, it did help bring across the suggestion that it may be alien).

And then they completely changed pretty much everything.

Warning: Spoilers Follow

Well, the accidental nuke they added as well as the mass spreading and danger I was perfectly fine with as it was probably needed for a TV film thing.

However, the origin on the Andromeda Strain in this one is just complete BS. From what I remember from the book, they talked about the possibility of alien life and stuff. The cool twist was that it was an Earth-based substance that mutated in space, and that by the time they had figured it out the virus had adapted to become harmless.

In the miniseries they apparently had to make it more interesting. And so they turned it into a sentient virus that could communicate with itself over great distances to adapt to anything and that it was apparently bent on destroying mankind. Not only that but they had to throw in an environmental angle – the only thing that could kill it was a bacteria that was getting destroyed by seep sea mining.

Oh, and the shutting down the automatic self destruct was confusing. A sample broke containment and so they had to go up the central shaft like in the book, only that everything was falling apart (which I assumed was from the virus as it could disassemble polymers, like one variant of it in the book). So they shut it down but seemed to totally forget that it was apparently still harmful and free.

Oh, and did I mention that in this it was sent back in time by our future selves with an extremely obscure note written using binary and ASCII with a latin name of the cure (the note for some reason was encoded into the substance that contained the virus rather than just including a normal message) because in the future aliens infect the Earth with the disease and because in the future the bacteria needed is extinct they sent it back in time?

A bit of a rant, but I really don’t think all this was needed. Some small twists to make it more dangerous would be fine. Just having it as an alien disease would have been bearable (but not one that was purposefully wiping out humans). But no, they had to throw some environmental BS and time travel so they could save some Humpback Whales…er…I mean bacteria.

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