Screener Girl Checks Out A&E’s The Andromeda Strain

Andromeda Strain PhotoFind Out If The Andromeda Strain Is Appointment TV

Eric McCormack Andromeda Strain Photo 
From the get go, A&E’s The Andromeda Strain has a lot going for it.  A well-rounded cast (featuring Andre Braugher, Benjamin Bratt, Ricky Schroder, Christa Miller, Eric McCormack and Daniel Dae Kim, among others), executive producers Tony and Ridley Scott, and a story pulled from one of the better science fiction novels that I’ve ever read.  It has the makings of a phenomenal success, but I have to say it falls pretty short.

The Andromeda Strain tells the story of a small town that is decimated when a satellite that fell from the sky (thanks to a never-quite-explained-fully-enough-to-my-liking Project Scoop that the government is keeping a secret) is opened, releasing a virus (Adromeda) that quickly mutates and starts taking over the Southwestern part of the USA.  Bratt, Miller, Schroder, Dae Kim, and Viola Davis play 5 smarter than your average scientists/doctors (project Wildfire) that are assembled to figure out just what is going on with the virus.  Braugher is a sketchy military guy, and McCormack is a random journalist that stumbles on the story.  Long story short and without spoiling anything for those interested to see what happens, they realize some interesting things about where the virus is from, and they work together to solve some very troubling problems.  

There’s no shortage of suspense over the 4 hour miniseries event, but it never felt like there was any resolution to a lot of the build up, nor was there enough time spent dealing with the various side stories that all connected at the end.  I was shocked that there are some great comedy moments (thanks for Daniel Dae Kim, of all people) that I didn’t expect. But I felt like the acting at points was laughable (cough….The Ricker…cough), and that’s a shame coming from some of my favorite small screen stars.  It could have something to do with the clunky dialogue that they were handed to make work, but you can’t fault the material for all of the painful moments.  If you’re really in the mood for a movie called The Andromeda Strain, go out of your way to watch the original one done in 1971.  But if you find yourself with time on your hands, check out the update.  It’s not terrible, but it’s not appointment TV for me.

The four-hour original A&E television event will premiere in high definition on Monday, May 26 from 9-11 PM ET/PT and Tuesday, May 27 from 9-11 PM ET/PT.