Ultraviolet (TV miniseries)

World War III (TV miniseries)

World War III was a miniseries, aired on the NBC network television in 1982. The plot consisted of a Soviet invasion of Alaska (in order to destroy the U.S. oil pipeline) due to a grain embargo enacted against the Soviet Union by the United States. A small US military force discovers the presence of the Soviet invaders and attempts to defend a pumping station along the pipeline where the Soviets can send charges through the line and thus cause miles of damage. The film focuses on a number of cold war themes, including brinksmanship and the mutual distrust of both sides as they attempt to resolve the issue diplomatically while escalating their military alert levels to force the other side to back down. Ultimately, the stand-off escalates into a war. The all-star cast included Rock Hudson as the President of the United States, Brian Keith as the Soviet Premier, Cathy Lee Crosby and David Soul. Director Boris Sagal was killed in a helicopter accident during the early stages of production, and was replaced by David Greene.

According to some sources, including Rock Hudson prior to his death, the ending of the miniseries was left so that either a sequel miniseries or a full season series could be spun off if the first miniseries was a ratings success. However, it was not, and the film ends with the President releasing US nuclear forces against the Soviets and vice-versa as the Soviets feel that the US will not abandon the grain embargo, and a rather Fail-Safe-esque photo montage of large groups of people across the globe in various international settings looking up to the skies as the sound effects of missiles and jets escalate in tone and volume, concluding with a shot of a sunset and then a quick cut to black.

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