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Science Fiction » » »
The Andromeda Strain


1971       Arthur Hill

A space satellite probe plummets to earth at the remote desert village of Piedmont, N.M. It is contaminated with a lethal extra-terrestrial organism. All but two inhabitants are instantly killed. Inexplicably, the survivors are an infant and an elderly man.

Mission Control's emergency Wildfire Alert, pre-scheduled for precisely such a catastrophe, is proclaimed. Wildfire Team, comprised of the nation's foremost experts, is summoned. Its members are Dr. Jeremy Stone (ARTHUR HILL), Dr. Charles Dutton (DAVID WAYNE), Dr. Mark Hall (JAMES OLSON) and Dr. Ruth Leavitt (KATE REID).

The scientists, after rescuing the survivors, converge on Wildfire Lab, a five-level super-sterile underground facility equipped with every known tool to cope with the threat to man's survival posed by contamination from outer space. The laboratory has an automatic self-destruct, should contamination threaten to spread outside the lab.

So elaborate are sterilization procedures, it takes nearly 24 hours for Wildfire Team to descend to Level V where patients and capsule are isolated in biologically secure cells.

Tests show the extraterrestrial organism has a

crystalline structure, dividing and mutating simultaneously, so that normal earth checks and balances fail to stem its multiplication.

Experiments show that the infant and the old man survived because the organism grows only within a narrow pH range -- if blood is either too acid or too alkaline the organism, code named Andromeda, can't survive.

An emergency warning bell sounds. Contamination is spreading. A polycron seal deteriorates and Dutton is trapped in an autopsy room. He is saved from death by breathing as fast as possible, inducing respiratory alkalosis.

Andromeda mutates to non-infectious form but is still causing gasket seal degeneration. Emergency siren sounds.

Five minutes to self-destruct.

If the bomb goes off there will be a thousand mutations of Andromeda. It will spread everywhere; man will never be able to get rid of it.

But Level V is now sealed off. Only Hall, equipped with the turn-off key, can halt the self-destruct. He shatters a service port window leading to the lab's central core. Since Level IV is contaminated he tries to climb to Level lII.

His progress is hampered by laser beams and deadly gas, automatically triggered to prevent escape of lab test animals. With scant seconds remaining, he cancels self-destruct.

The Andromeda super-colony, still mutating, fails to turn lethal again. Cloud-seeding procedures are used to carry the organism into the ocean so alkaline reaction will kill it.






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The Andromeda Strain

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CAST

Dr. Jeremy Stone ...................... ARTHUR HILL
Dr. Charles Dutton .......................... DAVID WAYNE
Dr. Mark Hall .......................... JAMES OLSON
Dr. Ruth Leavitt .......................... KATE REID
Karen Anson .......................... PAULA KELLY
Jackson .......................... GEORGE MITCHELL
Major Manchek .......................... RAMON BIERI
Dr. Robertson .......................... KERMIT MURDOCK
Grimes .......................... RICHARD O'BRIEN
General Sparks .......................... PETER HOBBS
Senator from Vermont .................. ERIC CHRISTMAS



A ROBERT WISE PRODUCTION

Directed by .......................... ROBERT WISE
Screenplay by ....................... NELSON GIDDING
From the novel by ................... MICHAEL CRICHTON
Director of Photography ............. RICHARD H. KLINE A.S.C.
Color by .......................... TECHNICOLOR
Filmed in .......................... PANAV1SION
Production Designed by ..................... BORIS LEVEN
Art Director .......................... WILLIAM TUNTKE
Set Decorations .......................... RUBY LEVITT
Film Editors ................. STUART GILMORE, JOHN W. HOLMES
Special Photographic Effects ............ DOUGLAS TRUMBULL, JAMES SHOURT
Sound .......................... WALDON 0. WATSON, JAMES ALEXANDER, RONALD PIERCE
Production Manager ................... ERNEST B. WEHMEYER
Assistant Director .......................... RIDGEWAY CALLOW
Costumes .......................... HELEN COLVIG
Make-Up .......................... BUD WESTMORE
Hair Stylist .......................... LARRY GERMAIN
Music by .......................... GIL MELLE

A UNIVERSAL-ROBERT WISE PICTURE.







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