From the Earth to the Moon - The Signature Edition
DVD | Box Set
|Additional DVD options||Edition||Discs||
|New from||Used from|
There is a newer version of this item:
Customers who bought this item also bought
Customers who viewed this item also viewed
What other items do customers buy after viewing this item?
This 12-hour HBO miniseries created by Tom Hanks garnered 17 Emmy nominations and captivated audiences. From the early stages of the space program and Kennedy's 1961 call to reach the moon within a decade to the successes and heartbreaking failures of the race for space, the dream was kept alive by dedicated, daring professionals and a nation intent on reaching for -- and landing amid -- the stars, all while the world faced the Vietnam War.
The 2005 "Signature Edition" adds a powerful DTS track along with a remastered picture (now in widescreen). It takes many of the extra features from the original 1998 release's DVD-ROM disc and puts them onto a DVD disc including the standard making-of docs and several text segments on the solar system and timeline of space travel. This makes for easier viewing, but the new edition loses the virtual datacenter of space and NASA information that would be hard to reproduce without the ROM disc. The extra discs are mainly to hold both the DTS and 5.1 soundtracks; there are no new features. --Doug Thomas
- 12 episodes remastered in widescreen and two soundtracks: DTS & 5.1 Dolby
- A Brief History of Famous Astronomers
- Behind-the-scenes featurette
- Special effects featurette
- President John F. Kennedy's historic speech to Congress on May 25, 1961
- Out of this Solar System: a glimpse at galaxies, black holes and stars outside our solar system
- History of the Moon: the origin and evolution of the earth's moon
- The Space Race: a timeline of the USA and USSR space programs
Would you like to tell us about a lower price?
If you are a seller for this product, would you like to suggest updates through seller support?
Top customer reviews
There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later.
First, I grew up during the space race and Apollo era, and remember, as a small child, watching the various liftoffs, Moon walks, and splashdowns. When Apollo 13 gripped the nation with its near-disaster, my parents were watching it round-the-clock, and the splashdown was announced by our grade school principal on the loudspeaker, which resulted in cheering. So I enjoyed the period color, clothing, and technology. It astonishes me that my daughter's iPhone has more computer power than all of Apollo 11. Apollo 11 went to the Moon. We use iPhones to send each other pictures of cats that look like Hitler.
The other thing I enjoyed about this mini-series was its ability to dramatize what was essentially an engineering procedural, bring its complexity to life, put it in the context of the times and the nation, create memorable characters, and focus on various aspects of the program in a comprehensible manner. Without giving away spoilers:
The first episode explains how the space barons figured out how they would get to the Moon, with some of the more dramatic portions of that effort.
The second episode focuses on the tragedy, investigation, and recovery of the Apollo 1 disaster.
The third episode uses a faux documentary technique to explore how Apollo missions got off the launch pad.
The fourth episode shows how Apollo 8 saved a most horrific year -- 1968.
The fifth episode discusses how the most unusual spacecraft was made and tested -- the Lunar Module.
The sixth episode focuses on the ceremony, glory, history, and struggle of Apollo 11.
The seventh episode is an Astronaut's-eye-view (first person) of an Apollo mission.
The eighth episode explores how the media covered the Apollo program, and how it shifted from addressing serious issues to superficiality.
The ninth episode is about two struggles -- an astronaut to get back into space and an Apollo mission to land on the Moon.
The 10th episode focuses on how to turn test pilots -- engineers -- into capable scientists when they are on the Moon.
The 11th episode focuses on the support for the astronauts -- their wives, whose lives were far from the idyllic "super-wife" portrayed in the media.
The 12th episode, also in documentary style, compares two subjects -- early visions of journeys to the Moon with the real ones.
Hopefully this does not give away too many plot points, but it shows that there were many different angles, sides, and visions of the Apollo program, and executive producer, director, writer, and cameo star Tom Hanks did a superb job with this HBO mini-series, and it gives credit where it is due -- not just to the astronauts, but the vast numbers of support staff on the ground, that put 12 human beings (and two golf balls) on the lunar surface "for all mankind."
Once Howard, Hanks and company decided to make this series, the excellence of both technical achievement and artistic achievement is quite high. There are some moments here expressing not just the achievements of getting into space, but capturing the human spirit of the grand adventure which are simply sublime. The moment at the end of Episode 1 capturing Aldrin as he looks to the moon may be one of the best scenes I have ever seen filmed for capturing a moment - put brilliance frankly.
Given the Right Stuff covered the Mercury program and Apollo 13 covered a lot of territory, the series focuses in on other important but not observed aspects of this grand story. At turns whimsical, serious (the aftermath of the Apollo 1 fire), artistic and comedic (the Apollo 12 comedy tour), this is just excellent television. This covers both personal aspects of missions with familiar faces and the moments of anxiety facing entire missions. In so many ways Apollo 17 lifted off Taurus-Littrow and as is typical of Americans, we put the incredible achievement of Apollo in our collective back pockets and never really looked back. Before Apollo 13 came out in 1994, there had not been any movies specifically about Apollo since the early 1970's (does Capricorn One count?). Watching this and reading a number of books about the Apollo program, this is just a reminder of the awesome collective will of the American people. Individual achievement, but collective effort. Stunning.
From the Earth to the Moon (1998) is terrific. I love period shows that take a little history and make it dramatic fiction, in other words, they breathe life into the subject, make it interesting. Two highlights in the series are episode 5, which has the best music from an old sci-fi show titled Fireball XL5 (1962-1963), and episode 6, which shows the first moon landing.
However, From the Earth to the Moon is more of a glorified documentary than fictional drama. The series uses a lot of black and white and grainy color footage and jumps back and forth between those and good color footage. I enjoyed some other space race stuff listed in the next paragraph as much or more than this series.
I spent a month on a space race binge. First I read Space by James A. Michener. Then I watched two movies, The Right Stuff (1983) and Apollo 13 (1995), and then two great series, From the Earth to the Moon (1998) and The Astronauts Wives Club (2015). They’re a great combination.
You might also like Manhattan (2014-2015), Granite Flats (2013-2015) or Taken (2002). All three series are set during WWII or shortly after. They are about secret government programs. Manhattan is about making the first atomic bomb, like the movie Fat Man and Little Boy (1989). Taken is about UFOs and alien visitors, sort of a fictionalized version of Project Blue Book. And Granite Flats is about the experimental drug program MKUltra (the CIA mind control program).
All of the above series have great story arcs. They start and finish strong and have great middles. One difference is the smoking and drinking. There is smoking and drinking in almost every scene in Manhattan, which was set during the era when soldiers received packs of cigarettes with their meal rations. Ever been around a chain smoker? In Taken there’s a scene where Crawford says his doctor prescribed cigarettes for hypertension. Imagine that. I don’t remember any smoking in Granite Flats, but that might just be my poor memory.
If the above series don’t sound interesting here are a few of the series I really enjoyed watching more than once: Band of Brothers (2001), Battlestar Galactica (2004-2009), Black Sails (2014-2017), Cowboy Bebop (1998), Downton Abbey (2010-2015), Firefly (2002), Game of Thrones (2011-2019), The IT Crowd (2006-2013), Jericho (2006-2008), Lonesome Dove (1989), Lost (2004-2010), Merlin (2008-2012), Pride and Prejudice (1995), Rome (2005-2007), Spartacus: Gods of the Arena (2011), Stargate: SG-1 (1997-2007), Stargate: Atlantis (2004-2009), Star Trek The Original Series (1966-1969) and Star Trek Voyager (1995-2001). I didn’t list any contemporary series I’m following that don’t have an end date yet, not conducive to binge watching from beginning to finish, or the hundreds of other fantasy and science fiction shows I’ve watched.
If you like reading try some of my favorite authors: Richard Adams, Palo Bacigulupi, Suzanne Collins, Abe Evergreen, Diana Gabaldon, Hugh Howey, George Martin, Brandon Sanderson, John Scalzi, and Andy Weir.