Like me, Rolling Stone TV critic Alan Sepinwall is celebrating the return of a must-watch miniseries—HBO’s “From the Earth to the Moon”—which has been released in a new HD version to coincide with the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 moon landing:
It debuted on HBO in the spring of 1998, a few months before Sex and the City, and nearly a year before The Sopranos. HBO already had a reputation for making impressive historical miniseries, but the sweep of this one, and the technical wizardry required to recreate more than a dozen Mercury, Gemini, and Apollo missions, was unprecedented. There is no central character — as chief astronaut Deke Slayton, Nick Searcy is the only actor to appear in even 10 of the 12 episodes, and he’s a supporting player — which means each episode basically has to start over from scratch, narratively. The Apollo 11 mission is dramatized in the sixth episode, “Mare Tranquilitatis,” which means most of the project’s back half is devoted to missions that America largely ignored even in the heady afterglow of Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin’s famous footsteps.
This is a legitimately great TV series, and I’m so excited that people can finally watch it on Blu-Ray or on HBO GO or HBO NOW. (My favorite episodes, for what it’s worth, are “Spider” [about the building of the lunar module] and “Galileo was Right” [about teaching astronauts geology, of all things].)