Space Race (2005– )
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Buy it, rent, catch it on a repeat but don't miss this outstanding piece of not just television but filmaking.
In 'The Right Stuff', the astronauts and test pilots held centre stage, and rightly so. That was their film. But however good that film was, it turned Von Braun into a caricature of a German scientist. This series tells his side of the story. It also shows the human side of the Soviet race for space and makes the viewer care about them as much as about the Americans. There is no 'us and them' in this series, just people doing something they care about. The performances are spot on and Robert Lindsay's quiet narration is perfect for giving background information and linking segments. Definitely deserves 10/10
I liked this movie, but some things frustrated me.
I think the scriptwriter made a mistake in trying to cover both the US and Soviet efforts to land a man on the moon. I think the miniseries would have been better if it had concentrated on the Soviet side of things (as the US side has been virtually done to death). The Russian parts somehow seemed deeper to me - I don't know why - perhaps it was that the personalities were more likable, or maybe the acting was just a bit more nuanced. Anyway, I felt cheated whenever the action shifted to the US.
The movie is technically very good, with great special effects and good accents all around. When German is spoken it really sounds like German - none of the deeply accented German we're used to hearing with British/American productions. The Russian also seems good, although my knowledge of the Russian language is not that good.
Where the movie really fails is in terms of the scope of the production: far too much is squeezed into four hours, and a great deal of important detail is lost. We get about five minutes covering Yuri Gagarin's flight, and less for Alexei Leonov's first space walk. Valentina Tereshkova's flight (the first female in space) is not even mentioned - in fact she doesn't get any mention at all - one is led to believe that all the cosmonauts were men. Similarly omitted is the Soviet lunar module. Basically the Russian side of things is basically ignored as Apollo gets off the ground. Finally, I felt the miniseries fizzled out - the US moon landing was covered very sketchily, and that was the end. I felt the film would have benefited if the Apollo-Soyuz mission was covered - that was, after all, the true end of the US-Soviet competition, and it would have ended the film on a note of hopefulness and international cooperation.
Certainly, there are many details that were left out, and many of the Russian viewers on the different Web fora pointed out that the presentation lacks balance and accuracy. Yet, the documentary information was extremely valuable, as all the Soviet space program was so much covered by secrecy and deformed by propaganda that I realized that despite the fact that I was living in a Communist country by that time I knew almost nothing about it.
This is a film to watch, and hopefully more will be done on the same subject and throw more light on these exciting aspects of mankind recent history.
In 1965 I saw Jury Gagarin alive. He was sincere, unpretentious and kindly, he was at ease and looked like well-educated and intellectual person. In this movie I saw a clown! The actor looks like dummy with affected gestures and mimicry. They made a cartoon! The real Gagarin was someone else! Don't believe in this movie!
I saw this movie after the movies like "Taming of Fire" and "Apollo 13" and after reading books "Rockets and People" by Chertok and "Korolev: Myths and Facts" by Golovanov. I was shocked by tiresome scenario, poor acting and producing, and a lots of inexactitudes of "Space Race".
The movie is the tedious rendering of well-known in Russia historical facts. A lots of interesting known facts of the space projects was not demonstrated. Some facts and details were perverted. For example, in 1945 Korolev was already not a prisoner (liberated in 1944), and in 1940 he was already not in Kolyma prison gold mine, but in special prison design bureau. Korolev was the designer in prison design bureau and he was not buried the dead prisoners. But in the movie Korolev worked as grave digger after 1940 (because jailer have shoulder straps on uniform). IMHO, the authors of movie have no profound knowledge about this part of the history and they can't to make interesting movies.