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Before Tom Hanks took us from the Earth to the moon, the adaptation of
Michner's Space ran in the spring of 1985 on the CBS network.
Most movies, TV shows have concentrated on the original seven astronauts, or the Apollo spaceflights, Space shows the early history of rocket development through the work of Michael York's Dieter Kolf is based on Wehrner von Braun, who headed the team which developed the concept and the rockets which lofted American men into space. The mini-series concentrates on Harry Hamlin's John Pope, a Navy aviator, who ends up a Gemni astronaut. Lot's of good stuff on the often overlooked Gemni program, which was used to write the playbook to get us to the moon. Hamlin eventually is part of the Apollo program, and lands on the moon which is where the series diverges -- Hamlin is part of an accident on the moon and ends up dying in an explosion. Great drama, but we know it didn't happen. James Garner is great as a senator who bolsters the space program.
I wish somebody would release this on video. Seems there would be a market for it given all the recent space related programs and movies of late.
Based on the James Michener novel of the same name this mini series which
originally aired on CBS tells the tale of Americas space program through
fictional characters. Beginning with German Rocket scientists who choose to
go to the Americans side after the war up to the manned lunar landings. The
politics, money making business, careers and romances of those who made up
the space program are covered.
The original broadcast was the best version. It has been rebroadcast a few times since but has always been edited in some form or another. A little heavy at times on the soap opera romance bit but still a good mini series. Don't miss reading the novel by Michener.
My thoughts are essentially in agreement with the previous commentators. If
you've read the book you'll know what to expect: an "epic" in the true sense
of the word. The Mercury, Gemini and early Apollo astronauts are depicted
pretty well as history shows them; in fact it seems difficult to separate
the fictional from the might-be-real-but-not-well-known.
The version I saw in Australia has a final section covering the destruction of the "Challenger". This is done is a somewhat different style to the rest of the movie (a bit too "soft focus" and "tearjerker" for my liking), and is not in the book, either.
In style and approach, I would rate this as a little closer to "Right Stuff" than to "Apollo 13".
This is one of my all time favorite TV mini series and if anyone has taped it or it is available for purchase I would love to have it! I talk about it all the time to my children, grandchildren and now great-grandchildren. They would love to give it to me for my 90th birthday and I cannot think of anything I would like more! If there is someone connected to the mini series or anyone else that I could contact please, please let me know! I am constantly looking on the internet for this show and can never find it I was fortunate enough to find this web site today and am trying to take advantage of it the best way I know how. So once again, if there is any way that I can get a copy of Space the miniseries produced in 1985 by CBS and based on James Michner novel I would give anything to have it. Thank you for your assistance and any guidance that anyone can give me. If I cannot do it my daughter has promised to do it
This adaptation of James Michener's novel was especially well done and was
made in the heyday of mini-series production. I was lucky enough to have
recorded the original showing of the program and watched it just
This program depicts the race for space from the closing days of World War II through a fictional end of the Apollo program. It follows the lives of five fictional main characters, which interweave from 1944 through the late 1970's. During these years we see a fictional, but accurate, portrayal of how the space program in the US developed from early failures to successful moon landings.
The cast of characters is lengthy and all of the main characters turned in very good performances. The technical and special effects were very good for the period. If you get a chance to watch a copy of this, please be prepared for a long viewing time, as even with the commercials edited out, it will last over 10 hours.
The series was actually filmed in many locations including Chestertown,
Maryland which was transformed into the town of Clay. While filming in
Chestertown was proceeding, a second unit filming in Huntsville,
Alabama fell behind schedule. One scene the second unit was supposed to
film was the swearing in of the WWII German rocket scientists. It was
decided to use the old Chestertown Courthouse for the scene.
Like most folks around Chestertown I had grown accustomed to watching Harry Hamlin and Blair Brown play their roles of young sweethearts. I was in my 20's and training for a triathlon that summer and often road my bike through Chestertown. One day I was detoured down a narrow back alley because filming was occurring on Main Street. I was tearing down the sidewalk because the narrow street was filled with actor's trailers. Suddenly a lanky figure in a baggy Edwardian suite came bounding out of trailer and I had to slam on the breaks and nearly lay my bike down to avoid hitting him. It was Bruce Dern! I followed him and watched as he and Michael York took the oath of citizenship from the Mayor of Chestertown, Elmer Horsey!
After seeing the film in production and then watching it I would rank
it 8.5 out of 10. I got to film as an extra in the MCC scenes and meet
Dick Gordon as Capcom, Joe Sargent, Bruce Dern, Maggie Han and Blair
Brown. I was a Rear Admiral in the viewing room scenes at Mission
Control, filmed in Houston. At one point we were told to look shocked
and sad at loosing the crew in the Lunar Module after lunar ascent. It
was hard because we had only lost a crew on the pad many years before.
Several Months later the Challenger accident happened. Scenes in
Germany were accurate and one would expect Von Braun to emerge in the
scenes with the allies taking over the rocket engineers.
The political scenes in Washington hold true today and Garner, Brown and Martin Balsom played the roles well. We could have done without Strabismus but it was too deep in the story to root it out. An interesting twist his company United Scriptures Alliance (USA) was similarly used for the company name United Space Alliance (USA) for the major contractor for Shuttle work for NASA in later years.
I saw this movie in 1988 and I found it to be a very entertaining history on early space travel. It ranks up there with The Right Stuff and Apollo 13. The acting was great, and the story progressed at a good clip. If you find this on Cable TV someday, watch it. You won't be disappointed.
From Penemundee to the tragic 'Apollo 18', it was quite an inspiration to saw this miniseries as a kid 15 years ago. The 80s saw the production of some of the best TV miniseries around and this is certainly one of them. As usual, the novel was even better though I only got to read it years later. It potrayed the human spirit version of the space program in their golden era. Great work by Harry Hamlin and Michael York as John Pope and Dieter Kolf respectively. If you're looking for some heart warming, feel good time, this's one worth the watch.
This is an excellent mini-series with lots of stars and a great story line. If you liked Right Stuff, Apollo 13, Space Camp then this is for you. Lots of sub plots to keep it interesting. Definitely worth watching if you can find it.
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