Julianna Margulies Stars In 'The Hot Zone' A True-Life Thriller About An Ebola Outbreak

New episodes of 'The Hot Zone' are available to stream on SBS On Demand every Thursday. New episodes of 'The Hot Zone' are available to stream on SBS On Demand every Thursday.

The timing to air 'The Hot Zone' on SBS On Demand couldn't be more topical.

Based on true events, the National Geographic limited series is largely set in 1989 and follows US Army scientist Nancy Jaax (played by Julianna Margulies - 'The Good Wife', 'ER') who is confronted by the possibility of a potentially deadly outbreak of Ebola on US soil. Sound familiar to 2020?

Jaax, a veterinary pathologist, first identifies the ebolavirus after it appears in monkeys in a Primate Quarantine Facility in the suburbs of Washington, D.C. While initially not enjoying the support of those around her, Jaax has a couple of allies.

Dr. Wade Carter (Liam Cunningham - Davos from GoT) provides empirical support, having been in Africa during the '70s when Ebola (which has a 90 per cent fatality rate) first emerged.

'That '70s Show's Topher Grace (almost unrecognisable from his days as Eric Forman) is Dr. Peter Jahrling, a virologist who also aids Jaax in rallying support from those higher up the chain to take the outbreak seriously.


While there are plenty of thrills and edge-of-your-seat moments as the race to control the outbreak intensifies (not to mention plenty of gore; the opening moments of the first episode particularly), what audiences will really relate to is the focus on the virus itself and how it spreads so easily; another poignant reminder of 2020 reality.

It's similar to last year's break-out series 'Chernobyl' – a looming disaster only a few can see occurring who need to wade through a sea of bureaucratic tape to avoid total disaster.

The main cast also features Noah Emmerich ('The Americans', 'The Truman Show') and James D'Arcy ('Agent Carter', 'Avengers: Endgame').

All episodes of the six-part 'The Hot Zone' are available on SBS On Demand.

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