An African-American senator becomes the designated survivor of a tragic accident that kills the President of the United States. Now the first black President, he attempts to end the bigotry and divide standing in his way.
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In 1976, there's an outbreak of a disease that no one has seen before. All what they know is that resembles a disease that existed at around 1871 in Chicago, and that a Dr. Henderson was able to save most of his patients but the Chicago Fire destroyed his records. Dr. Earnshaw the doctor looking for a cure was approached by a man, Jeffrey Adams, who believes that he could help him. It seems that a Dr. Amos Cummings has perfected the art of time travel, and the plan is for Earnshaw and Adams to go back to 1871 and learn how Henderson cured his patients. But a glitch in the machine's computers sends them the day before the fire not four days as intended. And when they meet Henderson, he says he doesn't know how his patients survive. So they go throw his papers and analyze what he uses to treat them to find out.Written by
This is actually a superior TV pilot coming from Irwin Allen, which is a big surprise. Allen is known to many sf fans as producing some of the most horrendous sf series ever to be broadcast.While his shows did have imaginative sets,fx, & good actors, they also had silly plots, little logic & no character development.Like some, I have fond memories of his series while growing up,but to sit through them as an adult is awful. Rod Serling was involved in the writing of this TV movie & that would explain the quality that comes through. And to Allen's credit, he did not tamper much with it creating a solid, intelligent story. For once. Time travel stories can be fun when dealing with the past because like the travelers, we know what is going to happen. We have knowledge that nobody else does from that era. The problem that crops up is that the accepted rule regarding time travel is that one should not tamper with past events.No matter how good the intentions are, they could spell disaster in the past & on through to the present timeline. I f that's the case do we want to watch the heroes go back in time each week only to have their hands tied? If they cannot take action for fear of altering events, then what can they do that would be of interest to the viewers? Standing by to only observe history unfolding without becoming a part of it would make for a dull series. But this movie manages to keep our interest with an intriguing plot. As a weekly show though, I doubt they could have kept it up.
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