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Jesse V. Johnson
Matthew R. Anderson,
Lloyd Walker is an anti-heroic archaeologist who, after stumbling upon an alien conspiracy, becomes enmeshed in an against-all-odds battle to save the human race. From the enigmatic Room 86 to the doomed Pericles space mission, Walker puzzles together clues to reveal the dark purpose behind strange events occurring around San Francisco. Now, the "keeper of dead civilizations" must rescue mankind from slavery at the hands of some very big, very terrifying insect-aliens... Written by
Echo Bridge Home Entertainment
After what appears to be a minor mishap, digging for samples on the Moon, "Pericles" space mission leader Campbell Scott (as William "Billy" Phillips) arranges to return safely to home planet Earth. While Mr. Scott sleeps, a "security breach" begins dismembering his crew. Only Scott and female passenger Daryl Hannah (as Elizabeth "Liz" Quinlan) escape to Earth. There, Scott mysteriously disappears and Ms. Hannah goes to work at San Francisco's City Hall.
Also on the ground, archaeologist Gil Bellows (as Lloyd Walker) explains his work to some grade kids on a field trip, "When you dig a hole, you travel back in time," he states. Shapely exterminator Suleka "Sue" Mathew (as Marianne) is upset with the graphic nature of Mr. Bellows' tour speech, which scares her nephew. That night, one of Bellows' young workers, Ryan McDonell (as Jonathan Gillis), is swallowed into the earth after a prank. And, he's not the only one
Underground city workers are mysteriously vanishing; but, the "accidents" and disappearances are all being swept under the rug. This irks Bellows (he turns out to be the lead actor in this science-fiction drama, which weaves its various characters interestingly into the storyline). He is contacted by stealthy John Cassini (as Jake Roth), and the men begin piecing together a terrifying conspiracy, including a possible alien invasion, which could lead to the "Final Days of Planet Earth"!
"There's only one puzzle here, okay Walker?" Mr. Cassini advises Bellows, "Until you put your pieces on the table, it's not gonna get finished." Not sure who to trust, Bellows begins to investigate some slimy, green-bleeding blobs hidden in San Francisco's underground. He enlists the help of former astronaut Hannah (remember her from the opening Moon mission). Hannah, who is working with city commissioner Serge Houde (as Korshaft), warns "Careful where you dig."
Meanwhile, used car salesman Patrick Gilmore (as Spence) is having trouble collecting unemployment, after getting laid off; immigrants Tygh Runyan (as Nick) and Tina Milo (as Bella) worry about her husband, who is among the missing; and, homeless shelter worker Beau Starr (as Oliver), still mourning the passing of his wife Amanda, notices something unusual in the woods. They, and most of the other characters in the drama, are directed to "Room 86" for assistance...
Enter "Room 86" at your own risk! - but don't avoid "Final Days of Planet Earth" like the plague of long, lackluster TV movie extravaganzas it gets lumped with. It is too long, and unravels much during the first half of the second part; but, this is surprisingly above average "Hallmark" television production. The story, by Christian Ford and Roger Soffer nicely updates paranoid 1950s thrillers, like "Them!" (1954). Director Rob Lieberman and star Bellows keep it moving.
But, San Francisco? Have the filmmakers ever been there?
****** Final Days of Planet Earth (3/15-16/06) Robert Lieberman ~ Gil Bellows, Daryl Hannah, Suleka Mathew, Campbell Scott
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