From the Earth to the Moon (Tom Hanks Signature Edition) DVD|
Tom Hanks in collaboration with HBO presents From the Earth to the Moon the dramatic story of the unforgettable Apollo missions and their heroic astronauts from President John F. Kennedy's historic speech through the first manned expeditions into space to the defining moment of the space program- putting a man on the moon. ""One small step for man... one giant leap for mankind."" Powerfully told as never before though the unforgettable performances of Cary Elwes Sally Fielfrom£11.95 | RRP:
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Made to commemorate the thirtieth anniversary of man's first steps onto the moon's surface, this five-volume box set contains reconstructions of the American space dream, chronicling the events of each of the Apollo missions. Tom Hanks (who also directs and writes one of the ten episodes), Sally Field, Cary Elwes and Kevin Pollak star.
Average Rating for From the Earth to the Moon (Tom Hanks Signature Edition) - 4 out of 5
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From the Earth to the Moon (Tom Hanks Signature Edition)D Bernoulli
Just about everyone remembers a little something of the Apollo moon landings of July 1969 through to December 1972. In fact, most folk probably know the names of the Apollo 11 crew who were involved in Man's first steps on another heavenly body - Neil Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin and Mike Collins. But what about the background to Apollo and the important missions that led up to the point where those immortal words, "Houston, Tranquility Base here - the Eagle has landed", were spoken? And what about the lunar landing missions that followed those first steps in the Sea of Tranquility?
Well, this 12-episode HBO mini-series is an easy and entertaining way of delving in to the whole manned-lunar landing adventure. You will quickly be introduced to the forerunner programs of Apollo - Mercury and Gemini. This is where astronauts learned about surviving and operating in space. There follows the build up during the Apollo program to the point where Man finally places his near-indelible footprints in the lunar regolith, and does so reapeatedly in 6 separate missions! The final 3 lunar landing missions included the amazing Lunar Rover - a two-man electric vehicle built for exploring further distances from the Lunar Module. Episode 5 covers the engineers of Grumman and the challenges they faced in building the fragile Lunar Module which would carry the lunar astronauts over the final miles to lunar touchdown.
My favourite episode (Episode 7) covers Apollo 12, a mission that took all that had been learned up to that point and wove it into a precision landing on the edge of a crater that contained an unmanned exploratory lunar craft, Surveyor 3, which itself had safely touched down in April 1967. The crew of Apollo 12, three close Navy pilot buddies - Pete Conrad, Dick Gordon and Al Bean - seemed to have had an absolute ball exploring the Ocean of Storms in November 1969, despite having had their Saturn V launch vehicle struck by lightning shortly after lift-off in to a grey, rain-sodden Florida sky.
The mini-series was produced shortly after the blockbuster 'Apollo 13' movie, and draws heavily on similar production techniques, standards, and special effects. To that end, you won't see a repeat of that dramatic mission from the viewpoint of Jim Lovell and his crew. Instead, this time, you get far more of the dramatics being played out in Mission Control and the news corporations covering the "successful failure" that could have so easily claimed the lives of the three astronauts.
But astronauts did perish during the Apollo program. The crew of the first planned Apollo earth-orbit mission - Gus Grissom, Ed White and Roger Chaffee - lost their lives in a fire during a launch pad test a month before their intended launch date. This set in motion a detailed and lengthy investigation that eventually led to changes in the design of the Apollo Command Module spacecraft, such that it probably saved the Apollo program and ensured the success of the final lunar missions. Episode 2 of the mini-series covers this poignant event.
This mini-series is largely based on Andrew Chaikin's book, 'A Man On The Moon' which I believe is probably the best single-volume book detailing the efforts of putting explorers on the moon. Consequently, when one throws in the technical accuracy of the sets, the special effects, and Tom Hank's personal enthusiasm for the early space programs, this mini-series is an engrossing way of learning so much more about what is, so far, one of Man's greatest adventures in exploration. I doubt you will be disappointed watching it.
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