Benjamin Bratt by Diyah Pera/ A&E Benjamin Bratt by Diyah Pera/ A&E

A lethal virus is landing on American soil Monday night, in the first of a two-part miniseries remake of The Andromeda Strain on A&E. Based on the novel by Michael Crichton, the medical thriller chronicles the arrival of a lethal virus that arrives from space and kills every human in its path within seconds. Called in to research the issue - and ideally save the world - is a team of scientists and other experts who try to pool their collective brainpower to stop the Strain before it stops humankind. A government secret, meanwhile, stymies their progress.

The world-saving team features an all-star cast, including Benjamin Bratt as Dr. Jeremy Stone, a man with family problems and big smarts. Rick Schroder is Maj. Bill Keane, MD, who's all about the military modus operandi. TVGuide.com spoke with some of the miniseries' stars to get the inside scoop on just what we'll be up against, and who's going to save us.

Christa Miller: Dr. Angela Noyce
Along with the doctor and the Major is Scrubs' Christa Miller as Dr. Angela Noyce, who clearly has some history with Dr. J. Of her role, Miller said, "I'm a very serious biologist-doctor. I'm not funny at all. It's much harder doing comedy, and it's much harder [saying] words that my husband [ Scrubs creator Bill Lawrence] doesn't write for me." Miller, however, did still get some help from family for the role. "My dad's a surgeon, so he showed me how to use a scalpel."

Daniel Dae Kim: Dr. Tsi Chou
Lost star Daniel Dae Kim is also on team brain. Kim explains that Dr. Chou is "a microbiologist, he previously worked with the Chinese government on their chemical weapons program. Now he's in America, working for the U.S. government and corporations." For Kim, the big contrast between playing Jin Kwon and Dr. Chou is getting the sci-speak across. The Andromeda challenge was "taking something that is filled with jargon, a lot of scientific, technical terms, and trying to play an action on top of it," he explained. "As an actor, [it's] trying to keep the stakes high, while still keeping it clear enough that audience can understand what actually is happening."

Eric McCormack: Jack Nash
Will & Grace alum Eric McCormack plays an intrepid reporter with past ties to Dr. Stone. "I play Jack Nash," said McCormack, "a recovering coke addict and reporter for a CNN-like news station. He's somewhere between an Anderson Cooper and Geraldo Rivera, with a little Hunter Thompson thrown in there." McCormack then mused, "He's all society has. It's sad." While McCormack's ties to the media are essential for saving the world, he can also be his own worst enemy. "I get to just snort coke, which is much more fun than saying medical words."

Andromeda buffs will note that McCormack's character did not exist in the original novel, but his inclusion seems natural in the 2008 update, says McCormack. "[ Andromeda] was science fiction when it was written," he said, "[now, however,] I think this is pretty close to science fact. It's not outrageous to imagine a killer disease. It's very, very close to the truth. And the truth is, that rather than three anchors, none of whom would out the president, we now have a trillion media people who would kill for the scoop. It's almost impossible for the government to hide everything."

Almost impossible, that is. McCormack gets some very scoopy tidbits from Dr. Stone and his other sources. Whether it will be enough to save the world in time, though, won't be clear until the end of the story. The Andromeda Strain miniseries premieres Monday, May 26 on A&E (9 pm/ET). - Anna Dimond

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