Apocalyptic thriller. Journalist Jenny Lernerat stumbles across the biggest news story ever - a comet is on course to collide with the Earth.
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1.567 makes it eight degrees north.
Altair, Alpha Centauri and Sirius.
What? It's just a party and he asked me.
-He's really nice.
-To you maybe.
You guys getting some work done?
Sounds like it. What's the bright one?
Uh, Misar. It's a double star.
Good, the one next to it?
-The one next to that?
I don't know.
I don't think so.
You just said you didn't know.
It's not Megrez. It's something else. Look.
It's south. About ten degrees.
It's probably a satellite.
Take another picture. We'll send it to Dr Wolf.
-It's not Megrez.
ON RADIO: La Boheme by Giacomo Puccini
HUMS TO THE MUSIC
Well, hello there, little fella.
Do I know you?
Where are you going in such a hurry?
Oh, come on,
you miserable piece of crap.
ON RADIO: The Hole by Randy Travis
Come on. Come on.
# He's going down
# Drivin' his future... #
-'..Dept Of Planetary Sciences.'
'If you know the extension...'
-'..Recall of American troops from abroad.
'Tragedy struck as an aircraft carrying an Army unit
'returning from Japan crashed into the waters...'
Secretary of the Treasury is resigning because his wife is sick?
Who passed Rittenhouse the hemlock?
CIO wanted him out for not supporting the Pension Bill.
State's still fuming about the Trade Office screw-up at the G8.
Pentagon is unhappy with his proposals.
Greenspan dislikes him.
No wonder the wife's sick.
She's not sick. She's a drunk.
How do you know that?
Mike Woodward over at Treasury.
She started drinking when her husband had a series of affairs.
Stepped it up after their son died of leukaemia.
You want to do something on the price that wives pay?
Mike Woodward? Wife, three kids?
He's been after me for months.
Threw him a breakfast and hit him up about Rittenhouse.
Campbell's leaving. Midnight Saturday shift's open.
Why would I give this up for a graveyard slot?
Not for you, for me.
We'll talk about this later.
The President will be back from Camp David tomorrow.
Just keep working on Rittenhouse. Maybe Mike's available for dinner.
Do the usual research, background information.
OK, that's it.
Listen, Beth, what if it wasn't permanent?
This is how it works. You've done two years of research,
now do three as a producer, five on air doing domestic features,
another two in a cholera-ridden hellhole.
And then, I'll quit if they don't give you a weekend anchor slot.
Are you protecting me or just holding me back?
Yes. Rittenhouse tape and text on my desk by four o'clock tomorrow.
And then we'll drop in the reverses for the five.
'At this moment'
right now, the pretty girls are walking done the aisle.
They're spreading flowers.
The twins are walking down the aisles, dropping rose petals.
Mom, is this really such a good idea?
Yes, and she stands beside him. The priest says,
The judge says, "Blah, blah, sickness and health."
"Do you, Jason Lerner, take Chlorine Whatchamacallit?"
What did I say?
You said, you said Chlorine. Her name's Chloe.
Oh. Well, it's still a terrible name.
Jason says, "Lie, lie, lie, lie, until death do us part."
She says yes, he says yes, and it's kissy-kissy, congratulations.
Jenny, you now have a stepmother who is two years older than you.
(Cheque.) Well, anyway,
as much as I would like to stay here with you,
I can't. I got to go.
I know, I know, I know.
I'm sorry about this.
We'll get over it. I love you.
I love you, too.
I was with the Secretary since Connecticut.
Came to Washington with him.
I moved here because I was dedicated to his career.
I trusted the man.
-didn't have sex with him, but somebody sure did.
It was about to come out, so he resigned.
But because I was hired from outside the government pool,
I don't get conveyed to the next Secretary.
I'm out of a job because he couldn't keep his hands off women.
Do you have proof?
Well, he thinks he was being so clever.
He had a private phone line installed in his office.
Nobody else could answer it.
I picked it up once, said hello and it's nobody home.
It rings, he shuts the door. Why not hang a sign?
Do you have a name?
This is what I get
for talking to the press. I'm selling my soul right now.
I can feel it. I can feel it.
I name a name and get someone into trouble.
You do have a name?
Just a first name.
Oh, my God, I'm going to say it. Ellie.
Ellie? Anything else?
I think the President knows about her, too.
Heard the Secretary talking to him about her. Isn't Washington sick?
Hi, how you doing?
Can I help you?
we're looking for your mom. Is she around?
My mom's sick. She's not here.
Oh. Gosh, I love boats. Are you going on a trip?
That's exciting. Looks like a long trip, huh?
So, do you know where you're going?
She's going back to the house. Hey, you want to stop that?
That's a pretty name.
Do as I say. Go on.
If we could just get a minute of your time.
What do you want from me?
We'd like to talk about your resignation.
My wife is sick. She's in the hospital. That's why I resigned.
We could talk about your wife or we could just talk about Ellie.
Turn the camera off.
If you want to talk to me, turn it off.
We know everything.
Nobody knows everything.
Well, we know about the secret phone lines,
whispered calls to the President. About a Treasury Secretary
who's kept his entire department in the dark about what he's doing.
About a cover story about his resignation that just fell through.
And you're just going to break it?
That's what we do for a living.
Well, congratulations. You now have the biggest story in history.
Good luck to you. Personally,
I think it's a mistake to run the story,
but hey, what the hell? Why not?
What difference does anything make any more?
Look, I know you're just a reporter...
but you used to be a person...
I wanted to be with my family.
Can you understand that?
OK, Secretary of the Treasury,
Alan Rittenhouse, resigns because of a mistress named Ellie.
Biggest story in history?
What an ego.
Now, if it was the President... Whoa, whoa, whoa.
OK, the President has a mistress named Ellie,
Rittenhouse pretends he's having the affair and resigns.
And the President buys him a yacht?
Whoa! Son of a bitch!
Oh, God. No, God.
FBI. If you would, please, ma'am.
What do I do with the car?
We'll take care of it. Step back to my car.
Come this way, please.
Morgan Entrekin, Ms Lerner.
I'm expected back at MSNBC at six and I think I should be there.
People knew about the Manhattan Project and they kept it a secret.
That was just the creation of the atom bomb.
Ms Lerner? Tom Beck. I understand you have some information.
Ms Lerner was expressing her lack of enthusiasm for matters of security,
where journalistic competitiveness is at stake.
Mr President, I'm not using Ellie to further my career.
What do you know about ELE?
I know you should have picked a better cover story
than a sick wife.
See? What'd I tell ya?
We'd always thought the deadline for going public
was the publication of the budget,
since we've spent more money than we can hide.
The budget comes out in two weeks.
Can I convince you to sit on this for two weeks?
No such thing as two weeks in the news business.
I can't appeal to your sense of what's in the nation's interest?
I always thought the truth was in the nation's best interest.
You want to hold her?
What if we go public in 48 hours?
Now, that's doable, isn't it?
That would be very difficult.
Morgan, if she knows, how long can it be
before CNN or the Post breaks the story?
This was never going to be a secret as long as you wanted it to be.
Give us two days. You'll get second row centre at the press conference.
-For you, that's a promotion.
-I want exclusivity.
Now, listen, young lady, this is a presidential favour.
I'm letting you go because I don't want another headache.
I'm trusting you because I know what this can do for your career.
It might seem we have each other over the same barrel,
but it just SEEMS that way.
-I want the...
May I have the first question?
We'll see you Tuesday, Ms Lerner.
Come on. Come on, come on.
What does palaeontology have to do with anything?
Look who's working late.
How's Rittenhouse going?
Uh, no sign of the wife yet. We're still working on it.
I promise you next time we'll get you something more exciting.
Are you OK?
Want to have dinner with us?
I can't. I got... I have plans.
OK. See you tomorrow.
Ah, here she is.
Would you like some champagne?
Martini. Up, big.
I missed you.
I mean, we missed you yesterday.
Uh, I must say, I'm...
I'm disturbed that you didn't come to our wedding.
Jason, you promised.
I know I promised, but it was a beautiful event and I missed her.
You should have been there.
The twins, they were running around like mad, and throwing flowers.
Especially Emma, the little one. She loves you.
She adores you. She missed you, too.
This is from us, for you.
Are you not going to open it?
I knew she wouldn't.
You can exchange them if you don't like them.
Jenny, I know this is hard. I just want you to be happy.
I would like to propose a toast to happiness,
Well, are we going to have an evening or not?
Jenny, I know that you hate me.
You have terrible things to say to me.
You have to get over it.
Life goes on.
-Life goes on? OK.
What's so funny?
Yeah, we'll see.
What's so funny about "life goes on"?
Life, life going on? I don't see what's so funny that life goes on.
Dad, you need to get back together with Mom.
She's all alone in the world and she needs you right now.
Jenny...I just got married.
I know. Chloe, this has nothing to do with you.
Well, it has to do something for me, for Christ's sake.
Um, this is insane.
And I have to apologise for my daughter.
Look, it's not your fault.
I have to go. I know you think I'm a bad person. I'm really not.
And I don't hate you.
I got to, I just, I gotta go.
REPORTERS SPEAK IN OWN LANGUAGES
Because for her it does... Excuse me.
Jenny. Well, what are you, um, doing here?
Did Stuart send you here without telling me?
No. I was going to talk to you about this...
Ms Lerner. Hi, Beth.
Right this way. I've got you right down here.
Excuse me, please.
OK. He'll find you for the first question. Then you're on your own.
Hey, how are you?
Ladies and gentlemen. Ladies and gentlemen, please.
The President will begin by addressing the nation.
Please hold your questions until he's finished his remarks.
The President of the United States.
Ten seconds, Mr President.
Minutes ago, the US ambassadors to every country in the world
told their leaders what I am about to tell you.
It's a bit complicated, so we'll take some time. I hope you will
bear with me, hear what I have to say.
A little over a year ago, two American astronomers,
Marcus Wolf and Leo Biederman,
working on a mountain top in Arizona...
Sh. Nobody say anything.
'..saw something in the night sky that caused them great concern.
'But the comet was, well,'
there was a possibility that the comet was on a path
that could bring it into contact with the Earth.
We get hit all the time by rocks and meteors.
Some of them no bigger than your hand.
But the comet we discovered is the size of New York City.
From the north side of Central Park to the Battery.
About seven miles long.
Put another way, this comet is larger than Mount Everest.
It weighs five hundred billion tons.
'Chances are it will miss us...'
Astronomers, astrophysicists, geologists and climatologists.
Where the hell is Science?
And graphics, I need graphics.
'Comets begin far out in space. They're what's left over'
'from the creation of the solar system
'after the planets were formed.
'These chunks of space debris are in an elongated orbit around our sun.'
Every now and then, one of them gets bumped
and is knocked into a different orbit.
If this comet continues on its path and keeps its present course,
some time on August 16th, roughly a year from now,
there's a chance we might have impact.
So, for the past eight months, the United States and Russia
have been building the largest spaceship ever constructed.
It's being built in orbit around the Earth.
And we call it the Messiah.
Right now, American and Russian astronauts are at Cape Canaveral.
In two months, they leave on the Atlantis to board the Messiah.
This is the crew that will stop the comet.
'I'd like you to meet some extraordinary people.
'Mission Commander Oren Monash, can you introduce us to your team?'
I would be honoured, sir.
Pilot Andrea Baker. Medical officer
From Russia, nuclear specialist Colonel Mikhail Tulchinsky.
Navigator Mark Simon.
And rendezvous pilot Spurgeon Tanner.
Hi, Mr President.
'Captain Tanner, you flew six shuttle missions.'
You were the last man to walk on the moon, weren't you?
Yes, sir, but Oren here will be doing the flying on this one.
I'll be taking us down to the comet surface.
It's good to know we have your experience.
Godspeed to you all. We're counting on you.
Thank you, sir.
Got Rome, Sao Paulo, Cairo, Berlin.
How big was the one that killed the dinosaurs?
-A goddamn rock?
-Well, that's what he's saying.
'..of our way of life.'
Our society will continue as normal. Work will go on.
You will pay your bills.
There will be no hoarding. There will be no sudden profiteering.
I'm freezing all wages, all prices.
What a bottle of water cost you yesterday,
it will cost you tomorrow.
I'll take a few questions.
Um, Jenny Lerner.
Um, Mr President, why wasn't this announcement made sooner?
Until we knew we could build the rocket
and the comet could be intercepted,
we saw no reason to alarm the planet.
FLURRY OF QUESTIONS
Do you have another question, Ms Lerner?
'Is there a connection between the comet
'and the recall of American troops from abroad?
'Our troops are coming home because we felt it prudent
'in light of domestic security concerns to have them available.
Actually, Mr President, if you could answer a final question, sir.
MSNBC has learned that
Secretary Rittenhouse did not leave for the reasons given.
In fact, isn't it true, sir,
that not everyone in your administration
is convinced that the Messiah will save us?
Secretary Rittenhouse served his country with full devotion.
He resigned for personal reasons.
Now, I can promise you this, Ms Lerner, all of you,
everyone listening to my voice, at some point over the next ten months
all of us will entertain our worst fears and concerns.
But I can also promise you this.
Life will go on.
We will prevail.
Mr President? Please!
What is the comet's name?
The two scientists were killed in a car crash
while racing to alert the world.
'So we named it for them. Wolf-Biederman.'
Biederman. There, he said it again.
-Leo, is he talking about you?
Why were the Russians...
-Jenny, get the door.
'We have the technology to build the ship.
'They have the technology to make it go.'
There's someone at the door for you, Leo.
'You've been watching live coverage of President...'
I can't believe this. This is so weird.
Dr Wolf from the Astronomy Club?
Yeah, I guess so.
It's neat. We discovered the world was going to end.
He's still alive, everyone. He's right here and he's still alive.
Hey, Leo, cool!
'As far as we know, what happened'
was that Dr Wolf saw the comet in my photograph.
He shared the discovery with me.
And then, he was killed in that crash.
Everything got mixed up and the President thought I was dead.
FLURRY OF QUESTIONS
How does it feel having your name on it?
I don't want people thinking I'm taking something away from Dr Wolf.
Because I'm not. But it's kinda cool.
You know, you're going to have sex a lot more now than anyone else.
WHOOPING AND CHEERING
Thank you for your sexual insight, Mr Thurman. You can sit down now.
Famous people always get sex. That's why it's good to be famous.
Fruit, reactor, bottle, rocket, OK?
A nuclear reactor in space? Isn't that dangerous?
No. This is Russian design. Same people designed Chernobyl.
Well, Chernobyl almost worked.
So, what happens after you plant the bomb?
We have seven hours. We put bombs inside the comet.
Right, after seven hours,
the 14-hour rotational cycle of the comet spins.
We'll get married. God knows I want to marry you.
But when I get back, the last thing I do is step inside a church.
There's seven hours of darkness. The sun hits...
These are your orders. Upon first entering Earth's atmosphere,
proceed immediately up the exterior of the mother ship.
When the sun hits the surface,
explosive outgassings that are dangerous.
Gus, he's seven.
You boys were what, four and six, when I went to the moon?
Now, you saw me go into space seven times, didn't ya?
Eh? I came back every time, didn't I?
Your mother and I used to play a game.
If there was a chance I may not get back,
she wouldn't say it, I wouldn't say it.
BOTH: Yes, sir.
Hey, Fish. How about a beer?
You remember my boys, don't you? Steve and Dwight.
Welcome to Houston. Let me steal your old man for a second.
Can I take your picture, please?
So, what do you think of the crew?
The finest group I've had the privilege of working with.
Off the record, huh?
Well, they've been trained in ways I'll never understand.
They're smarter, in better shape than we ever were. Sober, serious.
I'd be happier if I thought that any of them were as scared as I am.
They're not scared of dying.
They're just scared of looking bad on TV.
I wish I'd been to the moon. But we're not going to the moon.
Frank Gifford was a great football player.
If he played now, he'd get his ass busted.
The moon did not have a rotational cycle of 14 hours.
We only have seven hours of dark
when the sun's not up to land on this thing.
We won't be able to see.
You can't see now, Gus.
Mih sdyelayem. We can do it.
No, no, no.
I woke up this morning
and I realised
none of you want me here.
You don't even know who I am,
which is OK. I walked on the moon. I belonged to your daddies.
If I ask you to ask your daddies what I meant to them,
to explain what I'm doing here,
that's only going to make things worse. So what do we do?
You haven't trained for this mission. We respect you.
I appreciate that.
But you're here, you're here because the powers
that be think we need a familiar face.
You're here for public relations.
No, I'm here because the powers that be know
that I'm the only one here who's landed on the moon.
500 landings on aircraft carriers.
-On flight simulators.
Right? This is not a video game, son. It really isn't.
-It really isn't. No.
'We are go for auto-sequence start.
'Atlantis's computers has primary control of all functions.'
OK, all flight controllers. We're T-minus 30 and counting.
Let's take a close look.
LOX and LH-Two are pressurised.
Flight, we'll go for auto-sequence.
Good luck and Godspeed, Atlantis.
'Four, three, two, one.'
'Propelled by 500,000 lbs of liquid fuel,
'the shuttle crew heads towards their initial destination.
'In the Messiah, the crew will find eight nuclear devices
'that will be used to blow up the comet. The Messiah'
will be powered by a nuclear propulsion system
that was created for a different purpose.
That programme was called Orion.
Now, with the help of Russian engineers, a technology designed
to propel weapons of mass destruction
will power the ship that will intercept
the greatest threat our planet has ever faced.
Orion burn...in ten,
nine, eight, seven,
six, five, four, three,
two, one, zero.
OK, Beth, White House reactions. Marianne, the whole world watching.
Tim, mission control in Houston. Ira, the science guys lined up?
If they got a PhD, we own them.
This is the most important story of our lives. Don't muck it up.
Stuart, what about me?
Anchor desk. Could have been yours sooner.
What are you talking about?
Don't ever hold back a story from me again.
'Messiah, Houston. Transfer trajectory is go.
'We'll cancel MCC-One. You're go to configure for coast.'
Roger, Houston, we're looking good here.
Jesus, that's big.
Sweet mother of God.
'All circuit breakers are open, master arm is off.
'And the detonator system is safe.'
'Messiah, stand by for an uplink of the final coordinates.'
How's it coming?
'Loading first nuke now.'
1,000 feet to stand off.
R-dot three, five-x, two-y.
500 feet, R-dot point three.
Three-x, one point five-y. Go for auto trajectory.
You're on bi-prop.
'This is a special presentation of MSNBC News with Jenny Lerner.'
Good evening. Some time in the next hour,
the Messiah mission will enter its most critical phase,
the interception of Wolf-Biederman, and the setting of nuclear devices.
But first, Captain Spurgeon Tanner will have to guide the spacecraft
through the blizzard of rocks, sand and ice
that make up the comet's tail, or coma.
'The crew must complete its work before sunrise.'
Sublimator looks good, Mick.
'Disengaging auto. I'm eyeballs out from here on in.'
How come that doesn't make me feel better?
'I heard that.'
Lights on. Cameras on.
'On the Mississippi, in Mark Twain's time,'
there were riverboat pilots who only knew a few miles of the river.
Conditions changed so much.
Floods, sandbars, fallen logs. It was all a pilot could do
was to know his little piece of the puzzle.
So for the next few hours, this is my ship.
We start our approach.
'..are images from cameras mounted inside Messiah.
'These images are delayed by 20 seconds,
'due to the distance they must travel.
'You can see that the image is breaking up a bit.
'Uh, Houston is prepared for this.
'Due to the uncertain make-up of the comet's coma,
'they're unsure whether or not transmission will be possible.'
It appears we're losing reception here.
OK, we've, we've lost picture now.
But we will stay on the air, stay with you through all of this.
'Prop 96% is in descent.
Oh, my God.
Look at these. They're the size of houses.
Yeah, I know. I see.
'Cabin pressure, five point seven. Negative guidance errors.'
Use your primary thrusters.
-Three feet per second.
-Fire tether pitons.
She's levelling out.
Opening payload doors.
Don't let that little bit of gravity down there go to your heads.
Start the clock.
-JENNY ON TV:
-'If all is going according to schedule,
'the astronauts should be placing the MOLEs on the comet surface.'
The MOLEs are, well, they're what they sound like.
Drilling machines that burrow to a depth of 100 metres,
where they wait to be detonated. Each one
'carries a 5,000 kiloton warhead.'
How's our time?
It's tight. 1:36:30.
It's taking too long.
What happens if they do not get off the comet's surface in time?
The sun striking the comet
will cause a temperature rise of 350 degrees,
activate the high-speed gas jets.
Well, if that happens, it will be like trying to work in a minefield.
'What's your MOLE Four readout?
'Running true at 75 feet.'
Try backing it up.
-'What's your depth?'
-Is that enough?
That's not deep enough.
'I know that's not deep enough.'
I'm going in.
'I'll see if I can free it up.'
Stand by, tether attached.
All right, I got you.
'Suit pressure, 3.5.'
Come on, come on.
How's my time?
In six minutes, they won't have time to get back to us.
Blow the tethers. Go get 'em.
We may not have enough fuel to get off the surface.
Blow the tethers!
MOLE Three at depth. We're heading your way, Oren.
Calculate how much prop we need to get off this rock.
-We'll shut it down when we hit it.
It opens up into a cave down here.
MOLE got jammed against the side.
OK, Team Two at location four. Give me your hand.
What the hell happened?
I don't know. We got jammed up at 75 feet.
OK, hold up.
All right, try backing it up.
That's it. Shut it down.
They always put extra in the tanks.
Fish, shut it down.
Come on! Come on!
1:02. Figured we'd better pick you kids up after school.
'Check your six, 100 yards.'
I think we'd better hurry, boys.
All right, it's going! It's going!
MOLE's at 125 feet.
The sun's rising behind you, fast.
Face shields down.
Get the hell out of there!
Get your visor down!
All right, we got him.
Oh, God! My eyes! Oh!
THEY ALL PANT
Oh, God, we're losing one.
Escape velocity. 1,000 feet and climbing.
Mark, Mikhail, get the hell out of there!
-Payload doors open.
Close as we go.
'Houston, all MOLEs are at depth.
'Nukes hot and ready.
'We lost Partenza to explosive outgassing and Monash is injured.'
We have to go get Gus.
No time for that. Re-pressurise the cargo bay.
He's going to die out there. We can find him.
I don't have time to argue. Sit down and be quiet.
We've used most of our propellant.
-We have to go back!
-If we go back, we all die.
We can't leave him in space.
(Sit down, Mick. Sit down. It's OK.)
-'The Messiah has safely lifted off the comet.
'But sadly, Gus Partenza has been lost.'
Gus Partenza, a native of Harrisburg, Pennsylvania
and graduate of Carnegie Mellon University, joined the programme
shortly after completing his training at Duke University.
Dr Partenza was selected specifically for this mission.
Not only for his medical expertise,
but also for his dedication to the advancement of space technology.
'With the loss of Dr Gus Partenza and with Oren Monash injured,
'Captain Spurgeon Tanner is now in charge of the mission.
'The Messiah has docked with the Orion-powered boosters,
'and is ready to detonate the bombs planted on Wolf-Biederman.
'The Messiah's camera will show us the detonation,
'but not before being blocked out by the nuclear blast.
'There is a 20-second delay,
'so when the picture comes back,
'the comet should have been knocked off its course.'
Prepare to remove safeties and fire.
Three, two, one...
'So, now we're just waiting for the picture to come back.'
-Decompression in Area Six.
Mick, I'll get the halon.
Yes, sir. I'm still here.
We're live in ten seconds.
Cue the President.
Mr President, five, four, three...
'It is my unhappy duty to report to you that the Messiah has failed.
'This radar image from Houston shows how the detonation succeeded.
'However, it did not destroy the comet.
'There are now two pieces, one six miles wide,
'the other a mile and a half.
'Both are on a path towards Earth.
'We've lost communication with the Messiah spacecraft,
'although we continue to track it visually.
'We don't know how many are alive.
'We don't know their condition.'
Now we have to make some decisions together.
What do we do?
You have a choice. We have a choice. Right now.
Ever since the comet was discovered, we've been hoping for the best.
But we've also been planning for the worst.
Our strategy has been twofold.
First, our strategic missile command
'is coordinating with the Russians
'a strike of missiles to intercept the comets.
'If we can deflect these comets enough,
'they will bounce harmlessly off our atmosphere
'and head on out into space.
'Unfortunately, the Titans cannot be launched
'until the comets are only a few hours away.'
And while we are confident the missile attack will succeed,
it is only prudent we take steps
to ensure the continuation of our way of life,
'to guarantee that there will be enough of us left to rebuild'
a new world in the unlikely event that the comets do strike the Earth.
So, in the soft limestone of Missouri,
we've been preparing a network of immense caves,
and they're almost finished.
And we can put a million people in them.
And that million people can survive there, underground,
for two years, until the air clears and the dust settles.
The cave is more than a dormitory, it is our new Noah's Ark.
We're storing seeds and seedlings, plants, animals,
enough to start over.
'On August 10th, a computer will randomly select 800,000 Americans
'to join the 200,000 scientists, doctors, engineers,
'teachers, soldiers and artists who have been chosen.'
Other countries are preparing caves along whatever lines they feel
are best to preserve their way of life. This is ours.
'Beginning tonight and continuing until the crisis passes,
'I am declaring a state of martial law.
'The armed forces and the National Guard
'are working with law enforcement.
'A national curfew begins at midnight tonight.
'Now, wherever you are, go home.
'Stay off the roads after sunset.
'Crimes against persons or property will be dealt with
'swiftly and harshly.
'News stations are being faxed copies of the lottery procedure
'and they'll be broadcasting the details to you in a few moments.'
Wishing is wrong.
It's the wrong word right now.
That's not what I mean.
What I mean is...
..I believe in God.
'I know a lot of you don't, but I still want to offer a prayer.
'For our survival...
'Because I believe
'that God, whomever you hold that to be,
hears all prayers,
even if sometimes the answer is no.
So may the Lord bless you.
May the Lord keep you.
May the Lord lift up his divine countenance upon you...
..and give you peace.
In five, four, three, two...
We now have the details for the national lottery.
Those of you who have been pre-selected
'will be notified within the next few minutes.
'For the rest, on the night of August 10th,
'those whose Social Security numbers
'have been selected by computer will be notified.'
While some Americans over 50 years of age
have been pre-selected for the Ark
due to their expertise in a necessary field of study,
'no men and women over 50 in the general population
'will be included in the lottery.'
'The evacuation of those who have been selected for the Ark
'will take no longer than two days, beginning on August 12th.
'During this two-day period, no unofficial travel is permitted.
'Those selected will be taken by bus and train
'to the Ark site by military personnel.
'Civil defence teams have been formed in every town
'with a population over 5,000. They will distribute supplies
'and organise group shelters
'in underground facilities and appropriate sites.
-'Construction plans, equipment lists...'
Hello? Yes, this is Ellen Biederman.
'..on how to grow your own food underground
'and how to purify water...'
We've been pre-selected.
Chuck? Where are you going?
Our phone. They could be calling.
'..beginning on August 9th.
'The only phones that ring will be those of the people selected.'
That's all there is.
The interior camera circuitry is shot.
Can we get back into the cargo bay to reroute video functions?
Starboard cargo porthole's blown.
We could go in, but there's not much left in the life support packs.
We can raise Houston once we get closer.
The Orion is still functioning?
System check OK, I don't know about radiation shielding.
So, if we fire it up, we beat the comet back to Earth.
But we may end up glowing in the dark. Right?
OK, so, er,
Let's go home.
It's liberating knowing I'm not going to be called. I don't think
I've ever been happier. I've even stopped smoking.
What are you going to do with all that extra money you save?
Do you know the National Gallery is saving all of the art?
They're shipping it to the caves.
I've given them my desk from New England and the Sheraton silver.
I really feel like I've protected something...when I gave them.
You should see my apartment. There's nothing there.
It's practically Japanese.
Seems kind of unfair that I got picked.
I'm not a doctor or a scientist.
People need continuity. Everyone knows you.
And they trust you.
But I...can't help you.
Don't worry about me.
I'm going to be happy as long as I know you're going to live.
HELICOPTER FLIES OVERHEAD
Where did I think I was going to be when I bought that bike?
Every kid on the block wants one. Every parent on the block hates you.
That's the best news I've had in years.
Can you give me a hand for a second?
I just want to get these bars up.
Hello, Mrs Hotchner.
'..killed a Miami yard operator who was charging 5,000 an hour
'for back-hoe and tractor rentals.'
Same old crap on the TV. I'm really sick of it, you know.
-Sarah's on the hill.
Where were you today? I've been looking all over for you.
Why weren't you at school?
My dad said I didn't have to go.
He said there's no point.
Civil Defence. They said if you and I got married, I could get you in.
What about my parents? They're not your family.
I don't want to go without my parents.
You don't have to. I'm Leo Biederman.
I haven't used my fame. I got them to let your family go.
You... This is your only chance to survive.
-'Across the country,
'looters set fire to abandoned stores.
'The fires have been left to burn.
'Many fire-fighters have been called to help prepare shelters.'
'..have been ruled out as too dangerous.
'Street fighting in Moscow as food shortages continue.'
When I was a child, I spoke like a child, I thought like a child,
I reasoned like a child.
When I became a man, I gave up childish ways.
For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face.
Now I know in part, then I shall understand fully,
even as I have been fully understood.
Do you Leo take Sarah to be your wife, to have and to hold,
from this day forward for better, for worse, for richer, for poorer,
to love and to cherish?
I now pronounce you husband and wife.
Here, let me help you.
I'll get it.
Yeah. How are you feeling?
Yeah. All right.
I want to tell you something.
You children didn't bring any real books to read.
I brought Moby Dick and Huckleberry Finn
and Baker and Simon had never read them. Now, I'm afraid to ask you.
Have you ever read Melville or Twain?
Hey, I'm a child of the movies, Fish.
OK, I see.
My whole life, I...
You know how it is for guys like us.
You... You and I, we're the same.
How do you mean by that?
We got to be the best.
Oh. I see. OK.
Be the best.
Sometimes I see, er, flashes of light.
You know, like, er, colours.
I fall asleep
and I dream.
But there's a part of me that's always awake.
And I can see myself dreaming.
I'm just... I'm seeing things differently, Fish.
Well, that's good, that's good.
Why the hell do they call you Fish?
Spurgeon, sturgeon, Fish.
It took about 15 minutes of my first day at the Naval Academy.
Your kids go there?
Yeah, they did, they did.
And they're good men, both of them.
I don't see as much of them as I used to when Mary was alive.
You don't have to talk about it. It's OK.
No, it's OK. It's OK.
You're married, you know what it's like.
Every marriage has good years and bad years. We ended on a great year.
Anyway, let's get started.
Moby Dick, chapter one.
"Call me Ishmael.
"Several years ago, never mind how long precisely,
"having little or no money in my purse..."
HE READS ON
Listen up. Biederman.
Yeah, that's us.
Yes, I got 'em right here. There's four of us.
This is our marriage licence.
I have it right here.
OK. All right, let's go. Let's move out.
Mom? Wait, sir, my parents are coming, too.
Wait, the Hotchners. The Hotchners are coming.
-That's not here.
It has to be. FICDA sent their names to the White House.
Check the list, will you, sir?
They must be there.
No, they're not on the list. I'm sorry.
Sir, sir, Leo, can you check it one more time?
They said your names were on the list.
Sarah, I put them on the list.
We're not on the list.
I need the Biedermans on the bus.
Dad, I want to stay with you.
No, no, no, no. We have to go.
I need to stay with you.
Sarah! Sarah, you need to go.
-I have to stay with you.
-I'm not going without you.
You don't know what you're doing.
This bus is moving out.
Son, son, on the bus. Get on the bus.
We'll work it out when we get there.
Jenny? There's a phone call for you.
Yes? This is she.
Robin Lerner... My mother.
I'll come down there, then. Thank you. Thank you very much.
Jenny, do you want us to do something?
You're too late. I already took care of everything.
Come, come! Inside the car. You're getting sick! Please.
I want to talk to you.
Go home and tell it to Chloe.
I can't. She left me.
She's with her mother. They both got scared. Come.
I want to talk to you. I need you.
How does it feel?
I feel like an orphan.
Welcome to the Ark. I'm Section Leader for Orange two-five-four.
That's your home for the next two years.
Gather your things and follow me to the gallery.
PA: 'If you have been designated as a civilian section officer,
'report to section Red one-one-six upon entering.
'Once again, if you have been designated
'as a civilian section officer,
'report to section Red one-one-six upon entering.'
I'm not coming.
Leo, come with us right now.
I have to go back for Sarah.
Mom, I'm going.
Don, what are you doing?
I'm giving him something to trade. Here. I want you to take this.
Dad, that's enough.
Goddamn it. You take care of yourself, OK?
I'm going to make it.
What about Entrekin?
I don't know. He hasn't returned my call in over two weeks.
Jenny. Your father's here.
I can't stay long. I'm leaving the city,
but I wanted to show you something.
To show you that you're not an orphan.
I have proof that you're not an orphan.
Behind the camera.
She took this?
And this one, too.
She was such an artist, don't you think so?
You don't remember when they were taken, hm?
I'm five years old. How would I remember that?
Well, some people do remember when they were five years old.
It was such a beautiful day.
All alone on the beach.
And of course, she would have been in the picture.
But there was no-one else to hold the camera.
You know how she is.
How she was.
It was such a good day,
for all of us.
Don't you remember?
RADIO: 'We have confirmed the launch of the missiles
'from Dakota and Wyoming.
'The comets are 14 hours outside of Earth's atmosphere.
'We are told that the missiles will reach their target in 20 minutes.'
Here's what we're looking at.
All of the Titans have been launched.
We don't know if they'll make a difference.
The comets have to travel a while
before the radar tracking stations can see if they've been pushed
to a safe course that will bypass the Earth.
So, one more time, we have to wait.
Are we on?
We're on, Mr President.
Our missiles have failed.
The comets are still headed for Earth...
..and there's nothing we can do to stop them.
So, this is it.
If the world does go on,
it will not go on for everyone.
'We have been able to calculate the comets' trajectories.
'We know where they are going to strike.'
The smaller of the two comets will hit first.
Somewhere along the Atlantic seaboard, near Cape Atarus.
In just under 12 hours, at 4.35pm Eastern daylight time.
The impact of the comet is going to be...
'There will be a large tidal wave moving through the Atlantic.
'It will be 100 feet high travelling at 1,100 miles an hour.
'That's faster than the speed of sound.
'As the wave reaches shallow water it will slow down,
'but the height, depending on the coastal shelf,
'will be anywhere from 1,000 to 3,500 feet high.
'Where the land is flat, the wave will wash inland
'600 to 700 miles.
'The wave will hit our nation's capital
'40 minutes after impact.
'New York City, Boston, Atlanta, Philadelphia...
'..all will be destroyed.'
If you can get away from the path of this wave, leave now.
The impact of the larger comet will be nothing less
than an extinction-level event.
It will strike land in Western Canada three hours after Biederman.
Within a week, the skies will be dark from the dust of impact
and it will stay dark for two years.
All plant life will be dead within...
Animal life within...
..a few months.
So that's it.
Good luck to us all.
Could I bother you for a minute? Let's take a look at the big one.
The outgassing has created a vent
a half a mile wide and two miles deep.
The comet gets closer to the sun,
the sun melts the ice, the ice turns to steam.
We get a big hole. OK?
So, how many nukes do we have left out back?
OK, if we can get the remaining bombs in that vent,
there shouldn't be anything left of that comet bigger than a suitcase.
Now, we can't do anything about the little one,
but it just might give them a chance.
Without the arming codes,
we're going to have to wait to set the bomb timers
until we get closer to Earth.
We may not have enough life support
to get into the cargo bay for the nukes,
much less to work down on the comet.
We don't have enough propellant on board to manoeuvre with.
How do we get off the surface once we've gotten down there?
Well, look at the bright side.
We'll all have high schools named after us.
'Houston, this is Messiah.
'Houston, this is Messiah.'
Nice of you to call, Messiah.
We were wondering what you were doing up there.
'Admiring the view.'
Fish, is that you?
We don't have time to talk.
Can't stop the small one, but we have a plan.
'We need the arming codes for the last four nukes.'
What the hell for?
We can do or we can teach. What's your pleasure?
Get the arming codes. Get the goddamn codes.
One helicopter holds seven people.
We can ferry six to high ground and take Jenny to the Ark.
Short stick goes.
I thought it was women and children first.
If you get the short one, you can give up your seat.
Oh, thank God.
Well, that makes sense.
I got a stick.
I'm sorry, Beth.
OK, honey, here we go.
Let's go now.
There's always the road. We'll be OK. Come on.
Come on. Ah, that's my girl.
OK, that's it.
HELICOPTER FILES OVERHEAD
Come on, where's that key? Where's the key?
Come on, hurry up! Come on.
No, wait. Wait!
What are you doing?
Come on, Jenny, we have to go now. We have to go now. Come on!
The road was so crowded, we weren't going to make it.
If the wave does come, we should be here. She likes it here
and we're on the 15th floor, so maybe we'll be OK.
Come on, honey.
Come on, come on!
Come on, hurry up. Come on, come on, faster, faster!
Come on! Let's go. There's no room for that.
She's going with you!
-You're taking my seat!
Get her in there. I'm not going!
What do you mean?
I'm not going, Eric.
PEOPLE IN CARS SHOUT AND SCREAM
CAR HORNS BLARE
SHE HOOTS HORN
Leo! Leo Biederman! Leo!
You don't have any time. You have to go now.
No, no, no. Daddy!
Daddy, what are you doing?
I want you to take the baby.
No, no, no, no, no, Mom.
Yes, no arguments.
I don't want to! I don't want to go!
Sweetheart, listen to me.
Put this on. I love you.
I love you, too.
I've always loved you.
I love you.
I don't want to go.
I'll see you soon.
Get out of here, Leo. Go.
Go. Go to high ground!
When I was 11, I took 32 from your wallet.
When you were a baby,
I once dropped you on your head.
When you came to the studio
and you brought those pictures,
I lied when I said I didn't remember.
I remember everything.
I remember that we were right over there,
and that's when Mom got that picture of the house.
It was a perfect, happy day.
I came down here to let you know that.
I've missed you since then.
I've missed you, too.
'This is Messiah. Ready to begin our run. Our families there yet?'
They're on their way.
Disengage auto path.
Here we go.
We're at perigee. Wolf contact in four minutes, 45 seconds.
We'll never be closer to home than we are right now.
'Messiah, we've got some people to talk to you.'
you promise me you keep doing your, er, your church thing.
And I'll be there, right next to you,
You'd better come back and haunt me.
I love you.
Look, there's Mommy. Hello, Mommy.
'You'll take care of Daddy for me, OK?'
She will. She does a good job. She misses Mommy.
'I miss you.'
I love you, Mommy.
I love you very, very much.
You know what I want to say.
Come on, Sarah! Come on!
'Wolf contact in two minutes, 30 seconds.
'Oren, Mariette's at your folks' place up in Utah.
'We sent a plane for her, but she isn't here yet.'
'Fish, your sons are on active duty. We tried to get them back,
'but we couldn't get them here on time. I'm sorry.'
Well, Mitch, er, I want to say goodbye to Mary.
I want to tell her I love her and that ever since we've been apart,
every day I think about her.
Mary, I'm coming home.
Coming up on target, 625 miles.
Range, 600 miles.
Wait. Oh, God, wait!
Wait! I'm coming.
'Oren, are you there?'
'Mariette? I'm here. I can hear you.'
Baby, this is your father.
His name is Oren. I named him after you.
Show him what you brought him.
He's holding up a little rocket.
That's a mighty powerful rocket you got there.
I can hear him. I know.
Mariette, I'm hugging you both right now.
I'm holding you.
Prepare to synchronise the nukes.
It's been a pleasure serving with you, Commander.
The honour's all mine, Andy.
Be good, Oren.
PRESIDENT: 'We watched as the bombs shattered the second comet
'into a million pieces of ice and rock
'that burned harmlessly in our atmosphere,
'and lit up the sky for an hour.
'Still, we were left with the devastation of the first.
'The waters reached as far inland as the Ohio and Tennessee Valleys.
'It washed away farms and towns, forests and skyscrapers.
the water receded.
The wave hit Europe and Africa, too.
Millions were lost...
..and countless more left homeless.
But the waters receded.
..but they are rebuilt.
And heroes die,
but they are remembered.
We honour them with every brick we lay,
with every field we sow,
with every child we comfort
and then teach to rejoice in what we have been re-given.
So now, let us begin.
Sci-fi blockbuster. Journalist Jenny Lernerat believes she's uncovered a major sex scandal. That is until she's abducted for a secret meeting with the president. There, she discovers she has stumbled across the biggest news story ever - a comet is on course to collide with the Earth. A joint US-Russian space mission led by a veteran astronaut tries to blast it off course.