With the West African outbreak of the deadly Ebola virus threatening to become an international epidemic, making the devastating medieval “Black Death” outbreak look like a “walk in the park”, British terrestrial television viewers may have thought that the Film 4 television channel might have wanted to distract them with something light and cheery during late September.
Instead, the TV channel, which is devoted to showing good movies – old and new – decided to run “The Andromeda Strain” (1971) which is derived from Michael Crichton’s novel of the same name.
And what is the plot of this film, later remade as a television mini-series in 2008? A team of scientists are sent to an apparently lifeless town to investigate a deadly micro-organism brought back by a returning spacecraft. The “Andromeda Strain” they identify causes rapid death in humans by blood clotting. While this morbidity cause is actually the opposite of Ebola, whose sufferers often haemorrhage uncontrollably, it still makes one want to go: “Gulp!”
Let us hope that this film does not go “viral” and that, God-willing, all will be well in the real world as well.