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Picks and Pans Review: The Andromeda Strain

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A&E, May 26, 9 p.m. ET |

DRAMA

An alien microbe arrives on Earth and instantly wipes out a Utah town—strangely, the blood of its victims is reduced to red dust. Government scientists (including Benjamin Bratt and Ricky Schroder) discover two survivors, a colicky baby and a man sick with ulcers, and remove them to an underground facility. But the microbe is as adaptable as it is lethal. This two-night version of Michael Crichton’s novel isn’t bad, but it’s bloated by crosscutting subplots that drag in a lot of conspiratorial, high-level baggage. Like the microbe, it ought to be a lean, mean killing machine.