10.5: Apocalypse

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10.5: Apocalypse (TV miniseries)
10-5a logo.png
Written by John Lafia
Directed by John Lafia
Starring Kim Delaney
David Cubitt
Dean Cain
Carlos Bernard
Frank Langella
Beau Bridges
Theme music composer Henning Lohner
Country of origin United States
Original language(s) English
Producer(s) Randi Richmond
Editor(s) Don Brochu
Martin Nicholson
Cinematography David Loreman
Running time 169 minutes
Distributor NBC & USA Network
Original release May 21 and May 23, 2006
Preceded by 10.5

10.5: Apocalypse is a 2006 television miniseries written and directed by John Lafia. A sequel to 2004's 10.5, the film follows a series of catastrophic seismic disasters including earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, tsunamis, and sinkholes, all triggered by an apocalyptic earthquake.


A minor Earthquake in Seattle forms the trigger to a magnitude 10.5 earthquake which destroys Los Angeles, California. The Earthquake creates fault lines in the sea floor, which in turn creates a massive tsunami which capsizes a large cruise ship (which heavily resembles the Queen Mary 2) and causes massive damage to Honolulu, Hawaii. It turns out to be only the first of a series of seismic events, including the awakening of an extinct volcano in Sun Valley, Idaho and sudden instability of aquifers in Monument Valley. Deforestation takes place at King's Peak, Utah, and The Hoover Dam in Boulder City, Nevada collapses when Lake Mead starts to heat up and expand beyond the spillway's capacity. Las Vegas, Nevada is then destroyed when acidic water undermines underground limestone, creating a massive sinkhole which causes many buildings to simply sink into the sand. The worst of the seismic events is a massive fault which has opened up under South Dakota, destroying Mount Rushmore in the process, and begins to travel southward towards the Gulf of Mexico.

The geologists at the United States Geological Survey in Colorado don't understand why seismic events that are very rare or impossible would be happening so rapidly, but Dr. Samantha Hill remembers that her father had once theorized that the Earth's tectonic plates would reach a point of maximum separation, at which point they would reverse direction. The theory also states that related seismic activity would be vastly accelerated during the initial period of reversal. However, Dr. Earl Hill had been ostracised by the USGS for that theory, and had abandoned geology to become a successful professional poker player. When Las Vegas sinks into the ground, he is caught in the casino of the (fictional) Atlas Hotel. Samantha concludes that the massive faultline travelling towards the Gulf of Mexico threatens to re-create the Central American Seaway when it reaches the ocean.

The second part of the miniseries begins with Dr. Hill's rescue from the ruins of the Atlas Hotel just before it is swallowed up completely. At the same time, a massive fault line forms in North Dakota, passing through South Dakota, Nebraska, Kansas, and Oklahoma. If it reaches Houston, Texas and the Gulf of Mexico, as predicted, the Midwestern United States will be covered by a new ocean. A massive evacuation of the region is ordered, as an earthquake strikes Sedona, Arizona destroying the Chapel of the Holy Cross in the process. However, a nuclear plant in fictional Red Plains, Texas, is right in the fault's path. If it is destroyed, the entire area and hundreds of miles around will be contaminated by nuclear waste.

Dr. Earl Hill comes up with a desperate plan to divert the fault around the nuclear plant by opening up a secondary fault running east, by a controlled demolition which explosively ignites the massive natural gas reserves in the area. The main fault follows the new path around Red Plains, saving the nuclear plant, and comes to a halt. The scientists at the USGS cheer, only to find that nothing can stop the fault altogether. Once again it turns south, slicing through the middle of Houston to reach the Gulf of Mexico. At the same time, the northern half of the fault has reached Hudson Bay. However, the end result of the fault is different to what the USGS expected - when the waters rush into the fault, instead of flooding the entire area, they create a new river which splits the United States and Canada in half.



10.5: Apocalypse began filming in Montreal, Canada in June 2005. A sequel to 10.5, the miniseries used much of the same staff, headed by returning executive producers Howard Braunstein, Michael Jaffe, and Gary Pearl. Director John Lafia, who also wrote script, decided to film the sequel using digital media, stating that it would allow the producers "to achieve a whole new level of visual effects and style that have heretofore not been seen on network television."[1]

The Sun Valley, Idaho scene was filmed at the Mont Tremblant Resort, a popular skiing resort north of the city. All of the news reporters that appeared on TV in the film are all local news reporters for various news stations in Montreal. The visual effects for the movie were created by visual effects company "Hybride", which is based in Piedmont, Quebec.[2]


  1. ^ "'10.5: Apocalypse' Begins Filming in Montreal'" (Press release). NBC, The Futon Critic. June 8, 2005. Retrieved January 23, 2010. 
  2. ^ "Hybride company information". Interdubs.com. Retrieved February 25, 2010. 

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