From Earth to the Moon August 13, 2016Posted by WorldbyStorm in Uncategorized.
Watching this and very much enjoying it. Peculiar to see all the old hands – or now old hands – from contemporary TV turn up. If you like Justified, the Good Wife, er… Monk, or any number of programmes you’ll see many a familiar, albeit much younger, face, but it’s remarkably well done.
Effects are good and unshowy, the episode on Apollo One was quite moving and while the soundtrack music is a little West Wing, in so far as it attempts to underscore events unnecessarily, overall it works very well.
The sheer challenge involved of getting to the Moon from the original Kennedy speech in just about eight years is mapped out in forensic detail. But one further aspect is that far from the astronauts (unfortunately all male, but those were the times) being unimaginative, they were continually awestruck by the momentous nature of their work.
One also gets a real sense of this as a state endeavour, that NASA wasn’t private enterprise but rather the US state bending its will, and the private sector too, towards an epochal goal. And there is the thought that NASA was explicitly a civilian agency, albeit with many ex-military involved. No small thing in the context of the Cold War.
Other thoughts arise. It’s clear now that the Shuttle was a distraction, pushing human activity to low earth orbit for three decades subsequent to Apollo, albeit with some important triumphs. But it’s unclear what alternative would there have been with the challenge of the Moon addressed and all else still well ahead of the then available technology.
Perhaps, as Stephen Baxter and others have mapped out, we would have seen L5 and cislunar orbiting space labs or proper moon bases, human missions to Mars and Venus. Or perhaps we wouldn’t, perhaps an ever increasingly truncated space programme would have left us much where we are today, or even in worse straits.
Tom Hanks produced and I think directed this, and made a serious effort to look at the areas of the space programme which hadn’t been addressed on film or television priory to that. Some of those stories are perhaps less interesting, but… at least the effort is made to consider them.