From the Earth to the Moon

From the Earth to the Moon

TV-PG

HBO’s miniseries about first moon landing is a seminal show about a seminal event

7.5

TV Show

United States of America
English
Action & Adventure, Drama
1998
David Clennon, Tom Hanks
58 min

TLDR

Tom Hanks’ obsession with space is a net positive for humanity.

What it's about

Narrated and executive-produced by Tom Hanks, this 12-part docudrama follows the events of NASA’s Apollo program, including the famous mission that saw humans land on the moon for the first time.

The take

First released in 1998, HBO’s From the Earth to the Moon is a fittingly epic series that captures the magnitude of NASA’s missions to the moon. It’s equally informative and dramatic, featuring more real-life characters than you can track and more information than you can sometimes process. Thankfully, Tom Hanks appears at the start of every episode to brief you through the events, and archival footages are smoothly inserted when they’re needed. In the first two hours alone, there are spectacular space flights (with finely aged CGI, mind you) and heated courtroom debates, with each episode operating more like a standalone film than a TV episode. The only downside comes in retrospect: when you’ve seen films like the devastating First Man (about the struggles of Neil Armstrong) and the revelatory Space Race (about the many achievements of neglected Black astronauts), it’s not hard to imagine a version of this series that’s less celebratory and patriotic, and more critical and true to life.

What stands out

Does anyone else sense an uncanny resemblance between the series and Oppenheimer? The black-and-white flashbacks, the courtroom climax, the neverending parade of cameos…this is either a delightful coincidence or a smart reference (either way, pretty cool).

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