"Prepare for the new West Coast."10.5 is a Made-for-TV Movie Mini Series for NBC Disaster Movie about a series of increasingly damaging geological events first on the West Coast of the United States and then into the Midwest.The two-part miniseries opens up when an earthquake strong enough to bring down the Space Needle strikes Seattle. Later a bigger earthquake devours a train and catches some suspicions from our resident Ignored Expert scientist Samanta Hill. She suspects the quakes are only going to get bigger and will eventually sink the entirety of the West Coast. She plans to counter said problem by detonating nukes at precise locations to weld the fault closed.It spawned a second part titled 10.5: Apocalypse which took the audacity of the first movie and took it Up to Eleven.Now say the mantra again and again until you finally regain your faith in humanity.
The tagline sums up the whole thing pretty neatly.
Tropes used by this series include:
- Artistic License – Geology: For one thing, it is literally impossible for an earthquake with a magnitude of 10.5 on the Richter Scale to occur through normal geological processes,note because there aren't any faults long enough.
- A major detail about this trope : an earthquake of high magnitude is A LOT of shaking, and above 6—7 on the scale you cannot run, much less walk. at 8 - 9 you can't even stand up. Yet in the referenced 10.5 events you have people running for their lives. There's even someone on a bike during an earthquake powerful enough to knock down the Space Needle! It's as if the Screen Shake was really just a visual effect. Which, uh... it kind of is...
- The ultimate cause of the disasters was described near the beginning of the movie as being below the asthenosphere, i.e. in the mantle itself.
- While the south of the Golden State is certainly due a big earthquake any day now, it won't be a 10.5, but most likely in the 7-8 region, as if that wasn't deadly enough in such a heavily populated area.
- The San Andreas fault isn't that kind of fault. If anything, its plates are getting closer together.
- In the sequel, it is theorised that seismic events speed up when continents are moving towards each other. Yeah, but aren't the continents only going towards each other at a rate of 2-8 centimetres a year? Going by the sequel's logic, L.A and Tokyo would be next door to each other in less than a month.
- In the sequel, there would be no way that a single earthquake would be the direct trigger for hundreds of other events, even if the Earthquake was that strong.
- Extinct volcanoes will usually never erupt again, even if they're hit by an Earthquake, because the magma is no longer close enough to rise out of the crust. However, both Sun Valley and King's Peak do just that in the sequel, despite this glaring flaw.
- In the sequel, the fault line which is moving towards the Gulf of Mexico is doing just that. However, at the end of the film, it has somehow gone north into Canada as well. And the USGS didn't care, nor did they comment on the fault doing this.
- While weather can certainly make earthquake rescue efforts harder, there's no such thing as Earthquake Weather.
- Artistic License – Physics: The massive tsunami which hits Honolulu in the sequel is able to take out the windows of the buildings, but it somehow just glides through the concrete skyscrapers without doing anything serious to them.
- Buried Alive: The second earthquake in the first movie does this to an entire town.
- Conspicuous CGI: When the Tsunami hits Honolulu in the sequel, it appears to phase through the buildings and keep on going up the island, with no effect on the strength of the wave being observed from it hitting the objects.
- Also in the sequel, a USGS Chopper can be seen flying around without its rotor blades moving. It seems unusual as to how they had enough money to hire 12 Black Hawks for the Gas Field scene, but didn't have enough money to animate a single helicopter.
- Deadly Gas: Earthquakes in both movies rupture underground gas pockets.
- Deus Ex Nukina: In addition to their traditional roles as weapons of mass destruction, nuclear explosions can also apparently stop earthquakes. Who knew?
- Disaster Movie: In more than one way.
- Doomed Contrarian: As seen in the sunken casino scene in Apocalypse.
- Averted in the first movie.
- Dropped A Dam On Him: Jordan Fisher and the helicopter pilot keep too close to the Hoover Dam even as they realize something really bad is happening to it, until the dam collapses on them.
- Earthquakes Cause Fissures
- Genre Blindess / Genre Savvy: In Apocalypse, Jordan and the pilot see with their eyes that something really bad is happening to the Hoover Dam, yet they stay too close and are killed for that. Later, two Rangers on an helicopter check on Mount Rushmore and, seeing Washington's face cracking, they understand it's time to flee quickly.
- Heroic Sacrifice: Roy Nolan has to set off the last nuke manually. He had already been mortally wounded by it falling down the drill hole on him after it got damaged.
- Rachel, the assistant of the Governor of California, shields her from the collapse of a roof when they are caught by an earthquake in San Francisco, and is mortally wounded.
- Market-Based Title: When this was screened on Channel Four in Britain it was called Earthquake: 10.5 (presumably because Britain isn't prone to earth tremors of such a scale). It was also renamed Earthquake for the DVD release in the UK.
- Monumental Damage: The Space Needle and the Hollywood sign fall in the first part. Monument Valley gets flooded and Mt. Rushmore gets destroyed outright in Apocalypse.
- Nuke 'em: The government sets off a chain of nukes in an attempt to quell the quake, including one in what's alleged to be "Gilroy, California". No more Garlic Festival...
- One-Dimensional Thinking: A bicyclist is victim to this trope in the Seattle event.
- Reasonable Authority Figure: President Hollister. He encourages Nolan to become this after the latter was skeptical about Dr. Hill's theory.
- Quicksand Sucks
- Sudden Sequel Death Syndrome: Jordan Fisher, who barely survives the end of the first movie, dies halfway into the second.
- Title Drop: The magnitude of the climactic earthquake is... 10.5.
- Up to Eleven: The writers seemed to think the real worst case scenario - note - simply wasn't enough. They had to break off the entire city of Los Angeles.
- The second part does this to the premise of the first.
- Serial Escalation: The first movie splits Los Angeles off into its own island. The second movie splits the continent in half.