Theory and Analysis:Episode 13 Similarities to The Andromeda Strain
Episode 13 is thematically based on Michael Crichton's The Andromeda Strain, and has several references and similarities to the events in Michael Chrichton's novel, including imagery based on the 1971 movie adaptation.
- The Angel Ireul is a microorganism comprised of a colony of microscopic machines, whose A.T. Field is represented as a pulsating grid of hexagons that pop in and out of existence, totally unlike that of any other known Angel. The Andromeda organism is a colony of hexagonal microorganisms operating in concert, the physical structure of which is able to alter its mode of operation to "switch on" or "switch off" at will.
- Oxygen is used to hold both organisms at bay. Andromeda is inhibited by oxygen and prefers carbon dioxide; it grows within a narrow acidity-alkalinity range that can be disrupted by an excess of oxygen. Ireul shows an initial vulnerability to oxygen in the form of ozone (O3) that is never elaborated upon.
- Evolution is the same factor that ends the menace of both microorganisms. Andromeda gradually evolves into a form that is benign to humans, Ireul's evolution is steered to a point where it has no option but to die out.
- Both microorganisms "hitch a ride", arriving upon a human-made object, and are released by human carelessness. The tiny "planet" that contains Andromeda arrives with a satellite designed to collect lifeforms from the upper atmosphere, and released when the satellite is carelessly pried open. Ireul's method of entry is not specified, but it evidently enters in air bubbles caused by substandard construction. Human error is responsible for the incidents with both microbes.
- Other minor but notable similarities include physical isolation of the facility to contain the microorganism, people undergoing thorough decontamination (The Wildfire facility scientists and the Children entering the simulation bodies), and racing to prevent a nuclear self-destruct triggered directly or indirectly by the microorganism's actions.
While considering the origins of the Andromeda organism, a theory called the "Messenger Theory" is brought up, suggesting that the most efficient way for an advanced civilization to communicate with another species would be to send a microorganism out into space. The microorganism, containing within itself the genetic code to form an organ or even a full organism, may be used to communicate with the aliens discovering it and suggest methods of contact with the species that originally sent it.
The Andromeda organism is found on a tiny space rock that resembles a planet in miniature, and both the Seeds of Life arrive on their respective "moons", created by the First Ancestral Race. The humans(Lilin) and Angels that descend from the Seeds of Life are in effect their messengers. The Angels were created to be immortal and had immense power and the ability to survive the most extreme of conditions; the comparatively mortal, frail humans being evolved step by step from microbes, which in turn formed out of the blood of Lilith, Lilith's blood finally spreading the message of humanity. Either way, the original human race would be able to survive and communicate with whatever forms of life that were to come later.
- See Tributes to Other Shows in Neon Genesis Evangelion for more information.