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YMMV / The Andromeda Strain

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Original Book

  • Strawman Has a Point: Hall tends to make strawmen out of some rather serious problems;
    • Leavitt is revealed to be epileptic in the final act; Hall sympathizes with the secrecy because in The '60s, epilepsy was considered little different from Down's Syndrome - a deal-breaker that would keep a truly brilliant man from working in any lab more important than a high school (and the source of his anti-establishment mindset).
      Stone: Why in the hell didn't he tell us about it?
      Hall: No top lab would have him if they knew. Insurance, prejudice, all that crap from the Middle Ages.
      • ...but even forgiving that, it really is a disability, as his condition made him black out during testing and miss a vital clue as to destroying the Strain.
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    • Also, the crashed probe - Hall and Stone find it in the county doctor's office, opened. Hall sympathizes because most county doctors don't deal with BSL-4 pathogens;
      Stone: The damn fool opened it!
      Hall: Yeah, every country doctor should run his office like the lunar lab.
      • ...but the thing was covered in warning labels.

1971 Movie

  • Too Dumb to Live: Central to a Crichton work, everyone who fails to think about the problem rationally.
    • Leavitt enters the Wildfire facility fully admitting to a phobia of red lights - actually covering for her photosensitive epilepsy that will paralyze her and turn her into a convulsing lump. The facility science experiments have flashing red lights when a success is recorded. Leavitt nearly destroys the world when she goes catatonic when a red flashing light signifies a cure has been discovered on her watch.
      • In fairness to the character, however, she didn't know going in that the lab used that kind of alert signal, didn't realize she had blacked out when it first displayed (as she, like all the characters, was already running on the ragged edge of exhaustion at that point), and is pragmatic enough in the face of the failsafe device that one may freely theorize that she would have confessed her problem if she had had time enough to realize how it might affect their work.
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    • Also, the county doctor who opened the SCOOP capsule, killing everyone in Piedmont. Shiny thing from beyond space... he's lucky Crichton was writing a hard sci-fi thriller and all it did was instantly clot the blood of every animal for several dozen miles. Softer scenarios made that the first step on the path to planetary apocalypse.

2008 Miniseries


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