The Andromeda Strain (2008) Mini-Series or main event?

The Andromeda Strain (2008) Mini-Series or main event?

The anti-Andromeda-virus squad leap into action.

(All images here borrowed from

As a rule of thumb, I’d run a mile from anything with the description ‘mini’ and ‘series’ in the blurb, as it invariably means sub-par acting by C-Listers and once-awesome movie stars who turned up to pay the bills, gawd-awful attempts at plot, and CGI of the world ending done by the guy who makes the tea at ILM. In short: It is where bad sci-fi comes to die.

Now, the Andromeda Strain was no different, although with far higher production values than usual, and a better, though techno-babbling, script. It was publicised to death over in the US, and trailered as a massive event in cinemas (at least, again, in the US). The biggest selling feature was undoubtedly that it’s produced by the brothers Scott (yes – Ridley and Tony! Why do you think I watched it?) and is based on a Michael Crichton book. Actually, for the record, the term ‘based on a Michael Crichton book’ is generally a sign to switch off your brain. On the plus side, it wasn’t the Jaws writer guy – now THERE’s an example of lather-rinse-repeat the same frickin’ scenario.

So, with Michael Crichton’s concept, the Scott brothers backup, and a decent FX budget to bolster the events, who are the big names they’ve hired to make this TV EVENT come to life?

Well, oddly enough, its main star appears to be Jordan from NBC’s Scrubs. We have Ricky Schroeder, fresh from pissing off Jack Bauer in 24 and also the Murse (male nurse) in an old series of Scrubs. The other recognisable face is Daniel Dae Kim, fresh from Lost and EVERY PULP CGI SCI FI MOVIE in the last ten years…oh, and finally Will from Will and Grace as a reporter, whose entire purpose is to survive the film and scrub up at the end. And that’s it.

Will from Will and Grace (Eric McCormack) scrubs up well for the end of the show

What the hell was the point of his character here again?

But, while it’s not as great as it thinks it is – and jeez, it thinks it’s amazing for extending a 90 minute Crichton movie about an alien virus (or a virus from the future, take your pick) into a four hour epic – which I can’t agree with. Why is more of it better? It’s just loads more talking!

It’s even more pleased that it manages to drop in references to ISSUES like Global Warming, Environmentalism (don’t dig deep sea trenches, kids) and Dodgy Government Conspiracies (with a distinctly ‘nicked from 24’ smell about it), on top of some pretty tawdry emotional drama and a Hero Whose Family Doesn’t Understand His Job and Resent Him.

Despite its predictability, it sort of gets away with it. It’s perfect Bank Holiday rainy-day viewing.

For a start, it’s NOT 10/5 Apocaplyse.

But it does suffer from being in a confined high-tech, badly-lit laboratory set for a lot of the time, and an obligatory ‘race through the air ducts’ ending. Plus no one ever really gets THAT upset even when someone cuts off their own head with a chainsaw, or shoots a bunch of people in the face. Well, the waitress looked quite annoyed. Incidentally, this has been rated as a 12-certificate on Sky. Don’t ask me how. To see how weird this is, compare this to the rating Spiderman gets with its ‘fantasy violence’. Spidey got a 12A, and all that really had was some rather violent costume battles, like a mini-Godzilla vs Mecha-Godzilla. Let me reiterate – a man LOPS OFF HIS OWN HEAD WITH A CHAINSAW. Phew.

Right, so lack of reaction by the cast to these terrifying events – could be partly due to Jordan’s excessive botox. Again, don’t do it, actress-kids. The poor woman cannot open her mouth anymore – and I loved her character, in Scrubs anyway.

Christa Miller as a scientist trying to unravel the Andromeda Strain, and maybe, one day, to smile or cry again. Oh, and they totally called her on this in a episode of Scrubs, and while she has every right to use botox to stay young, it just seems kind of ridiculous when it looks this bad. It’s affected the poor woman’s voice, for crying out loud! Bring back Jordan!!!

So, this Andromeda Strain epic passed the time – but it made the fatal mistake of calling one of its characters General Mancheck. No, this wasn’t my deafness – it’s the actual name they called him. And, while that would have been a little funny on its own, they ALSO cast Jordan from Scrubs. So EVERY TIME they brought up poor ol’ General MANCHECK, I and boyfriend ended up rolling around giggling because of….

Yes it’s wrong. Yes it’s immature. Yeah – it makes you wonder if the casting guy had something against Ridley and Tony. Who knows. But ultimately, it’s because it reminds us of the above sketch where the mighty Doctor Cox gets punched in the nuts, by his own son, on Jordan’s orders. And that’s never going to stop being funny.

It’s the end of the world as we know it! You’ve gotta laugh. Right?

Just don’t panic and set yourself on fi…oh, never mind….

Jordan, isn’t this upsetting you….?



3 thoughts on “The Andromeda Strain (2008) Mini-Series or main event?

  1. They were making botox jokes about Christa Miller on Scrubs? Now, that’s a very brave thing for her husband to do…grin. She’s married to the Exec Producer of the show. I wonder if he’s been sleeping on the couch lately…?I used to love Scrubs. Until the cast got my former boss fired. Now I can’t look at any of them without my stomach turning.

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