MovieChat Forums > The Hot Zone Discussion > Dumb and historically inaccurate

Dumb and historically inaccurate

They basically take names of people involved and scramble who did what to invent a story where the women is the main characer. Dr Jaax is portrayed as having identified ebola while all the men run around acting dumb but in real life it was Jarhling (Topher) and Geisbert (not shown). Also I doubt she drove around with decomposing monkey carcasses in trash bags, even if there were some truth to it, they could have filled the trunk with ice, so doubly dumb. Margulies, the actress who plays Dr Jaax, has been saying in interviews that Dr Jaax was marginalized as a woman and had to fight for respect but the real Dr Jaax has said that is untrue, she was always respected and taken seriously by men in the field. And rather than 1 monkey being euthanized, it was 450 monkeys. Lots of silly science errors. On a positive note, the acting is competent and there are some genuine tense scenes.


I just read the book a few weeks ago and have actually been surprised by how close to the book the show stays. Are you sure you're not just complaining to complain?

Also, have you actually read the book? If you have, how can you not know the facts behind the "bagged monkeys" scene?


I haven't read the book, based on reviews it's entertaining but heavily fictionalized and full of medical inaccuracies. The mini series is hot garbage. The most reasonable people are portrayed as twisty mustache villains trying to hide a potential outbreak, for which there is no evidence. The good guys are moronic do gooders driven by unfathomable motivations. And they are surrounded by whiny incompetent assholes.

After watching ep 3 and 4 they do bring up euthanizing 450 monkeys but everyone wants to be part of it for some reason. Why does everyone want to listen to hundreds of screaming dying monkeys, that's awful.


You should read the book. It's great.

Also, in the book, Nancy Jaxx IS the main character.

Regarding medical inaccuracies, one thing you have to remember is that we know a lot more about Ebola now than we did in 1980s. And the events of this series take place in 1989.

Obviously the show has been dramatized, but it really stays very close to the events as portrayed in the book. There are differences, but I wouldn't call them major differences, just a little dramatic spice.

Speaking of which, the "bagged monkeys" scene is very close to reality. Only it wasn't Nancy by herself who picked the monkeys up, but a small team of Army people. Someone really did deliver a bunch of bagged monkeys to them and their reaction really was basically WTF.

It may not be perfect, but I think the mini-series is pretty well done. Don't forget that it's dramatized entertainment, not a documentary.


I mostly read non-fiction these days.


It IS non-fiction. The story is true. Nancy Jaxx is a real person. The Reston breakout was a real Ebola breakout.


As said previously, based on reviews I've read the book is, "heavily fictionalized and full of medical inaccuracies." It's seems to be universally praised as well written and very entertaining, just not accurate. The TV series was definitely inaccurate based on interviews with people involved including Jaax and Jarhling.


The series is a dramatization of the book, not a documentary. Certain details are changed. It's not a documentary.

As for this about the book being "heavily fictionalized," the only criticisms I've seen are that Preston goes a little far in his descriptions of the way that Ebola ravages the body and that some people may read the book and get the impression that Ebola can be spread through the air, but the book doesn't actually say this.

If this is what you mean by "heavy fictionalization," then I'd say that's an improper characterization. Otherwise, you will need to cite some sources.