On Part 1 of the A&E Network’s miniseries The Andromeda Strain Monday, a highly specialized team of medical scientists (Benjamin Bratt, Ricky Schroder, Christa Miller, Daniel Dae Kim and Viola Davis) are working to save the United States from the spreading of a mysterious plague code-named Andromeda that has killed hundreds in a small Utah town after a U.S. military satellite crashes to Earth.
As scientists on the team gear up in biohazard suits to inspect the town, they discover two survivors — an old man with ulcers and other health problems and a colicky baby. They take them, the satellite and samples to Wildfire, a secret underground lab designed for biochemical disasters such as this.
While racing to see what Andromeda is and how it kills, it continues to spread and mutate. In a nearby town, a sheriff’s deputy walks into a restaurant killing a handful of people as well as himself, as violent behavior before death has already been evident by a videotape the scientists found while inspecting the town of a man taking his own life with a chain saw.
Meanwhile, reporter Jack Nash (Eric McCormack) leaves rehab when he gets a tip on “Project Scoop,” which basically deals with the satellite crash and how the government is playing a part in the cover-up. As the military becomes aware of Nash, his source is killed as they attempt to silence him and watch his moves.
Gen. George Mancheck (Andre Braugher) is a U.S. Army biochemical research officer who appears first assembles the team while also wanting to cut off their communication, especially lead scientist Dr. Jeremy Stone’s (Bratt) communication with Nash. Mancheck has a checkered past with both Stone and Nash and doesn’t seem to be on level. It appears he only wants the team to know minimal information.
As the team works on getting to the bottom of the situation, the government is making its own back-up plans, including wanting to drop a small nuclear bomb on the Utah town so that the strain doesn’t spread. Right before the show ends Monday night, the team learns that Andromeda spreads from radiation, and they tell the government not to drop the bomb in the nick of time. Though they halt the order to drop the bomb, the Air Force pilot’s jet engine begins to break up and it appears that the bomb will drop regardless.
Part 2 (the finale) of The Andromeda Strain will be presented at 8 p.m. CST on A.
The Andromeda Strain is based on Michael Crichton’s debut novel.