The Fifth Missile (TV Movie 1986) - Plot Summary Poster

(1986 TV Movie)


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  • The crew of a Trident missile submarine, on a training mission simulating an attack on Russia, is stricken by toxic poisoning. One of the poison's effects is to make its victims hallucinate, and the sub's Captain imagines that he has been given an order to actually attack Russia. He prepares to do exactly that.

  • The government decides to run an exercise wherein the crew of a submarine will be lead to believe that a war has broken out and to see how they respond. Only the Captain, the First Officer, and a psychiatrist are aware of what's going on. Just before going out to sea, the submarine was painted, but unknown to them, the paint was laced with a toxin that leads to whomever inhales it to act irrationally and violently. But for some reason, the First Officer is still rational, but the Captain, who doesn't exactly get along with him, is almost deranged. He can't reason with him.

  • The reason the First Officer is not affected by the tainted paint, is that he is taking drugs that are not prescribed by the military, as he is depressed over his wife. When he realizes there is a problem, he confides in the doctor (who is also infected). After hearing his story, the doctor's famous line is, "You are taking a highly hallucinogenic drug, and you want me to believe you are the only sane man aboard?"


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