Cutlass Aircraft has just completed America's first supersonic jetliner, and a host of celebrities and other important people have booked tickets for the maiden voyage, including former sportscaster Lyle Kingman (Martin Milner) and his ex-wife (Susan Strasberg), CEO Paul Whitley (Peter Graves), a soon-to-be married couple (John de Lancie and Season Hubley), Cutlass PR man Tim Vernon (Bert Convy) and his girlfriend Angela (Misty Rowe), television reporter Carla Stanley (Barbara Anderson), grounded pilot Hank Fairbanks (Doug McClure), and legendary aircraft designer Willy Basset (Burgess Meredith). Unfortunately the plane's hydraulic system has been sabotaged by a disgruntled Cutlass engineer (George Maharis), and last-minute passenger Dr. Therman (Brock Peters) has brought a deadly strain of influenza aboard. With no working controls at 60,000 feet over the Atlantic, Captain Walsh (Robert Reed), McClure, Meredith, and Cutlass VP Marshall Cole (Lorne Greene), have to find a way to get ... Written by
Christopher M. Buckey
The success of "Airport", "The Poseidon Adventure" and "The Towering Inferno" proved there was a big appetite for disaster movies so naturally television felt they had to get into the act by offering their own lower budget knockoffs of the Irwin Allen disaster movie formula. "SST: Disaster In The Sky" is the ultimate example of this, since not only do we see a gaggle of 70s TV stars (all of whom it should be noted had one thing in common at the time. Their once popular series had all been cancelled by then!) like Robert Reed, Martin Milner, Peter Graves etc. we even see two future 80s TV stars Billy Crystal and John DeLancie in smaller roles (I hope David Letterman some day springs a clip of this on Crystal the next time he appears on the show). That alone is enough to make you keep watching despite the bad dialogue (characters have to engage in a lot of implausible exposition at various points in order for certain things to make sense), cheap FX and silly plot resolutions at the climax. Heck, "SST" is even better than some of the worst theatrical disaster movies coming out by then like the dreadful "Concorde: Airport 1979" so if you loved the quality disaster movies of the time like "Airport" and "Towering Inferno" settle back and enjoy this intriguing TV knockoff of the genre.
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