TBS Superstation's Nowhere to Land, an original
movie about a 747 pilot's efforts to disarm a bomb during the last leg of a flight from
Australia to Los Angeles, proves to be quite suspenseful.
This film has all the usual elements of an aviation
thriller -- the unflappable pilots, an equally unflappable expert on the ground, the
deranged villain, a planeload of unsuspecting, sometimes annoying passengers and
turbulence at the most inopportune moments.
But screenwriter Matt Dorff, director Armand Mastroianni
and executive producers Frank von Zerneck and Robert Sertner -- all of whom have worked on
recent TBS movies and a host of other television projects -- know how to package these
elements for maximum impact.
For one thing, this is no ordinary bomb -- housed in a
souvenir Sydney Opera House music box, it contains nerve gas, not explosives. And the
police must track down the bomber.
The tension-filled drama is basically carried by Jack
Wagner as Capt. Prescott and Ernie Hudson as bomb expert Danny Gorlin, who must talk
Prescott through disarming the device via phone from Los Angeles. The rest of the cast is
barely fleshed out.
The movie starts badly, with its villain (Mark Lee as
Deacon) shown stalking a sightseeing couple in Sydney. Suddenly, he opens fire, killing
the couple -- but that sequence, it turns out, is only the assasin's fantasy.
The drama gets back on course after that rough patch. A
half-hour into the movie, Deacon phones Oceanic Air to say that there is a bomb aboard
meant for his ex-wife Claire and her new husband. The copilot (Christine Elise) finds the
device in the rear cabin, and the race against the clock begins.
To keep this from becoming a static, one-set drama aboard
the Oceanic 747, the filmmakers deftly switch to the bomb expert and the search for
Deacon. When he phones to talk to Claire, the authorities trace him to a Sydney pub.
After tearing up his bomb diagram, he escapes to the
Darling Harbor area, with the authorities in hot pursuit.
The last 15 minutes is nail-biting time, as Prescott and
Gorlin rush to disarm the unit, only to encounter a snag -- a backup device that can't be
TBS' Nowhere to Land will bow March 12 at 8 p.m.