intelligent life exist elsewhere in our solar system, and if so, do they have
the capability of visiting Earth?" Sander Vanocur poses the question in his
network's ongoing coverage of a crisis where three asteroids have hit remote
locations of Earth, causing earthquakes, fires, power outages and "untold
damage". The people of Earth, especially Americans, are shown grappling
with "the unthinkable" as a drama of first contact unfolds.
Video captures by
it's revealed that the three "meteors" fell on a precise trajectory
along the 45th parallel, tracing a pyramid exactly over the North Pole. While
the Administration continues to claim a natural phenomenon, they launch Hawk
fighters armed with nuclear missiles and successfully deflect two new
"asteroids" headed for Earth on the same trajectory as the first set.
Meanwhile, correspondents around the world report on the
public's reactions, and interview experts who support or refute growing
suspicions that the asteroids are sent from extraterrestrials. James Morrison
plays one of the network's foreign correspondents, Paul Whitaker, stationed in
Lourdes, France. Dressed in a black sweater and khaki jacket, he appears four
times to report on the story of a French skier who was recovered near one of the
impact sites. Before dying, the skier's last words are taped and later analyzed
by experts, who determine that he was quoting the message sent into space on
ranks in Houston, an upset SETI astrophysicist tell reporters that aliens had
intended peaceful contact, but were rebuffed by nuclear attack. Heartsick, he
reveals that three more missiles are headed for three of Earth's most populous
cities, with impact due in nine minutes.
The U.S. successfully deploys more missiles against the three
"asteroids", but rejoicing is momentary as NASA monitors display a new
onslaught showering Earth, "too many to track".
Before transmission abruptly ceases, Sander Vanocur quotes from Shakespeare's
"Julius Caesar", "the fault, dear Brutus, is not in our stars,
but in ourselves".
It's fun to note that about a dozen people appear
in cameos as themselves, including Arthur C. Clarke. Star Trek fans will enjoy
seeing John Delancie play one of the correspondents.