The Hot Zone is a six-part miniseries about the Ebola virus. Yes, it’s a complete one-season story, which is a very refreshing choice in today’s endless Peak TV landscape. Also, it’s extremely well-made and engrossing.
It’s no secret that I absolutely love Julianna Margulies. She was brilliant on The Good Wife and she’s unsurprisingly excellent here as army scientist Dr. Nancy Jaax. Her character is resourceful and relentless in her fight against the deadly pathogen. As if often the case with heroines trying to save the world, she’s also tasked with trying to balance her personal life at the same time. Thankfully, Jaax works with her husband, which means the personal drama is intertwined with the core narrative instead of distracting us from the good stuff.
Margulies is also backed by a strong supporting cast that features a slew of memorable faces including Topher Grace, Noah Emmerich, and James D’Arcy. Everyone is solid here, but the standout however is Game of Thrones‘ very own Liam Cunningham. The actor didn’t get much to do in that fantasy series’ final seasons, so it’s refreshing to see him get a high-profile role in such a strong series. His dynamic with Margulies is certainly one I would have liked to see more of!
It’s also worth noting that The Hot Zone is a National Geographic production, which means it’s also quite educational – not to mention anxiety-inducing as I’m more aware (and paranoid) of germs than I’ve ever been. A warning that there is some nauseating imagery, but there’s nothing gratuitous as it all services the story
Tight plotting, a dynamic star and intriguing characters make The Hot Zone a truly memorable watch. Highly recommended.