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Review: From the Earth to the Moon (1998)

From the Earth to the Moon (1998)

Produced by: Tom Hanks, et al. 

Premise: A miniseries dramatization of the Apollo space program that landed the first man on the moon.

What Works: From the Earth to the Moon finds the human narrative among NASA’s administrators, technicians, the astronauts, and their families while balancing the scientific element of these stories. The tone of the episodes ranges from heavily dramatic to surprisingly light. Taken as a whole the series has a dramatic completeness that is very satisfying.

What Doesn’t: The series plunks the viewer into the time period and for the most part it contextualizes the events, but some viewers who are completely unfamiliar with the politics of the time might find the series a little bewildering.

DVD extras: The entire miniseries is included in a single set across three discs. A fourth disc contains featurettes, TV spots, a virtual tour of the solar system, 3-D models of ships, mission objectives, Kennedy’s “We choose to go to the moon” speech, a timeline of the space missions, a history of the moon and DVD-ROM features.

Bottom Line: From the Earth to the Moon is a joy to watch. It is worth the time investment and proves that television can provide worthwhile entertainment when it is appropriately budgeted and the right talents are involved. Definitely recommended for fans of the film Apollo 13 and The Right Stuff.

Episode: #86 (February 26, 2006)