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Doomsday Rock

An asteroid is headed toward the Earth at 50,000 miles per hour, and a seemingly mad scientist commanding a mix of military veterans and tree-huggers have taken over a missile silo. What's the secretary of defense to do?, asks this Family Channel sci-fi original. In real life, the secretary would probably call the president, who'd then try to persuade the asteroid into veering off-course. In "Doomsday Rock," however, the secretary (Jessica Walter) takes responsibility into her own hands, unchallenged, and almost winds up responsible for the destruction of our planet by an 11-mile-wide chunk of iron.

With:
Connie Sellecca, Ed Marinaro, Jessica Walter, Marsha Warfield, Kent McCord, William Devane, Andrew Airlie, Roger R. Cross, Dale Wilson, Howard Dell, Ken Camroux, Bob Dawson, Craig Brunanski, Gary Jones, Martin Evans, Linden Banks, Michael Puttonen, Linda Ko, Warren Takeuchi, David Millbern, Rick Ravanello, William MacDonald, Chris Nelson Norris, Biski Gugushe, Aaron Pearl, Lori Triolo, Jason Gray Stanford, Sean Campbell.

For the scientist, Dr. Karl Sorenson (William Devane) is about the only person on Earth who believes that the runaway asteroid won’t miss our planet by several million miles, and nobody will believe him, so he’s commandeered the missiles to use them to destroy the asteroid. How does he know? From cave paintings by an ancient tribe of Australian aborigines, who have already predicted events including the Irish famine. Sorenson, you see, is an astronomer and anthropologist. But the secretary of defense sees him as a terrorist, and is on the verge of bombing the silo and everyone in it.

To the rescue comes Our Heroine, Sorenson’s long-estranged daughter, Katherine (Connie Sellecca). Can she — will she? — convince her father to give himself up? And keep in mind that the “terrorists” aren’t too bright: In what may be many viewers’ favorite scenes, one confronts a small team of soldiers manning the silo and asks, “Which one of you is Gibson?” and is totally perplexed when none of the soldiers will reveal their comrade — until he (Roger Cross) steps forward, with the name Gibson right where it should be, above his uniform shirt pocket.

Still, a couple of plot twists in Donald Paul Pemrick and Dean E. Fronk’s script keep the film relatively interesting under Brian Trenchard-Smith’s taut direction. Devane almost manages to keep a straight face, and Marsha Warfield shows a strong presence as an FBI agent.

Doomsday Rock

Sun. (24), 9-11 p.m., Family Channel

Production: Filmed in Vancouver, B.C., by Regent Entertainment, in association with MTM Enterprises and the Family Channel. Executive producers, Stephen P. Jarchow, James Shavick; producers, Paul Colichman, Mark R. Harris; supervising producer, Simon Abbott; co-producer, Jeffrey Schenck; associate producer, Thomas Carl McGuinness; director, Brian Trenchard-Smith; script, David Bourla, Michael Norell

Crew: camera, Rod Parkhurst; editors, Stephen Myers, Eric Hill; production designer, Lana Kozak; art director, Rae Carmen Kraushar; sound, Roger Stafekis; music, Sam Winans; casting, Donald Paul Pemrick, Dean E. Fronk.

Cast: Connie Sellecca, Ed Marinaro, Jessica Walter, Marsha Warfield, Kent McCord, William Devane, Andrew Airlie, Roger R. Cross, Dale Wilson, Howard Dell, Ken Camroux, Bob Dawson, Craig Brunanski, Gary Jones, Martin Evans, Linden Banks, Michael Puttonen, Linda Ko, Warren Takeuchi, David Millbern, Rick Ravanello, William MacDonald, Chris Nelson Norris, Biski Gugushe, Aaron Pearl, Lori Triolo, Jason Gray Stanford, Sean Campbell.

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