PBS, BBC’s New Apollo 11 Program Is Better Than Any “Based On Actual Events” Flick That Hollywood Could Ever Create

Courtesy: PBS Distribution/PBS

Eat your heart out, Hollywood. Your over-the-top, overly-embellished movies that are based on actual events have officially been put to shame thanks to PBS and BBC.  The agencies released last month, their own presentation based on an actual event – the Apollo 11 mission in the form of 8 Days: To The Moon and Back, and it is everything that a production within the “based on actual events” genre should be.  That is proven in part through the program’s story, which will be discussed shortly.  The combined special effects and actual vintage footage plays into its presentation just as much as its story.  This will be addressed a little later.  Considering the positives of all of this noted content, the presentation’s average price range proves to be money well spent and will be addressed a little later, too.  When it is considered along with the content, all three elements combine to make 8 Days: To The Moon and Back easily one of this year’s top new documentaries and an example of how to do movies based on actual events the right way.

PBS and BBC’s new docu-movie 8 Days: To The Moon and Back is an important new release from the two companies.  That is because it proves that it is possible to create a presentation based on actual events without a bunch of over-the-top special effects and unnecessary embellishments that clearly were not part of the original story.  The story in question is that of the Apollo 11 mission, which led to the very first human stepping foot on the moon. Presented here is that story from beginning to end without any extra, unnecessary drama.  There are no underlying romance subplots, no unnecessary drama points from when the program alerts happen and no added over-the-top speeches at any point throughout the story.  In place of those unnecessary elements are the actual comments from the crew of the Apollo 11 and from the late great Walter Kronkite coupled with actual footage of the mission control staff interacting by radio with the Apollo 11 crew.  They all join to make in whole, one complete story that provides just as much drama as any other movie that is based on actual events.  It shows that such presentations really do not need extra embellishments to make them enjoyable.  Now if only the officials at Hollywood’s “Big Six” would let that sink in.  Sadly, that likely won’t happen anytime soon.  That is okay, though.  It just means that PBS and/or BBC can continue making the true based on actual events presentations and meanwhile let Hollywood’s take on history continue to fade into history.

The story portion of 8 Days: To The Moon and Back is key in its own way to the whole of this presentation.  It is just one of the program’s most important elements.  The aforementioned vintage footage used to help tell the story is just as important to the program’s whole as the story itself.  That is especially the case when it joins with the special effects that are incorporated into the story.  The special effects are clearly computer generated, but are still worthy of their own applause.  They are not the multi-million-dollar, over-the-top blockbuster special effects that one might see in one of Hollywood’s action flicks, but are still impressive in their own right.  From the shots aboard the rocket during its separations to the moments when the Apollo 11 crew looks out of its windows and sees the stars and the sun peeking out from behind the moon to the very moments inside the spacecraft, the special effects utilized in the presentation prove just as good as anything viewers might see on the big screen.  When those special effects are set alongside the vintage footage of the Apollo rocket launching, the mission control staff hard at work keeping the crew safe and even the news footage, the whole of that combination makes the program’s secondary content just as impressive in its own right, as the program’s primary content and worthy of applause.  Once again, it shows that it is possible to make an entertaining, engaging program without the need for lots of explosions, lasers and other standard science fare.  To that end, the combined footage and special effects joins with the story itself to make this presentation a work that outshines any other space-based flick that Hollywood has ever churned out across the board and is well worth the price.

Speaking of the program’s price, that figure is just as important to note as the program’s content.  The average price point of $18.59 for this almost hour-long program is clearly affordable.  That price was obtained by averaging price listings at PBS’ store, Amazon, Walmart, Target, Best Buy, Barnes & Noble Booksellers and Books-A-Million.  PBS’ listing of $19.99 is neither the most nor the least expensive listing for the DVD.  The most expensive listing comes in at $24.99 at Books-A-Million.  Amazon and Walmart list the least expensive price at $15.82.  Target’s price listing of $15.86 is only four cents more expensive than the noted listings while Best Buy and Barnes & Noble Booksellers list the DVD at $17.99 and $19.61 respectively.  Regardless of which retailer one chooses, PBS and BBC will still benefit from the sales of this DVD, and it is a work that is worth the money regardless of retailer, as has been pointed out here.  While the one noted price does exceed the average, the others are below that number.  To that point, the listings – average and separate – are affordable and worth spending for this program whose primary and secondary content more than delivers everything for which viewers can hope.  Keeping that in mind, the content and price comes together here to make 8 Days: To The Moon and Back a program that viewers will enjoy 365 days.

PBS and BBC’s recently released docu-movie 8 Days: To The Moon and Back is a standout presentation that history buffs, space history buffs and space science aficionados alike will appreciate.  That is due in part to its story, which completely ignores any unnecessary speeches, drama and other similar items.  Rather, it presents just the facts, but does so in a fashion that still makes the program wholly engaging and entertaining from start to finish. The combined special effects, which themselves avoid being over-the-top, and the vintage footage combine to enrich the program even more.  Taking into consideration that overall content, the DVD’s average price point of less than $20 – and separate listings that are mostly below that price, too – is appealing in its own way, considering how much engagement and entertainment this presentation offers audiences.  Each item noted here is important in its own way to the whole of the DVD.  All things considered, they make 8 Days: To The Moon and Back a widely appealing work that is one of this year’s top new documentaries and new DVDs/BDs in general.  It is available now.  More information on this and other titles from PBS is available online now at:

 

 

 

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More information on this and other titles from the BBC is available online now at:

 

 

 

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PBS Distribution Announces Release Date For New Apollo 11 Presentation

Courtesy: PBS Distribution/PBS

PBS Distribution continues its celebration of the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 mission alter this month with another new story of the historic event.

8 DaysTo The Moon And Back is scheduled for release Sept. 24 on DVD.  The new program presents another new look at the Apollo 11 mission with the original audio of conversations held between the crew of the Apollo 11 and newly shot studio footage, NASA and news archives.

The upcoming release features Rufus Wainright (EastEndersMeet The RobinsonsI Am Sam), Jack Tarlton (The Imitation GameDr. WhoThe Genius of Mozart) and Patrick Kennedy (Mrs. KennedyAtonementPirates of the CaribbeanOn Stranger Tides) as the crew of the Apollo 11 in this re-telling of the Apollo 11 mission.

8 DaysTo The Moon and Back will retail for MSRP of $24.99, but can be pre-ordered now at a reduced price of $19.99 through PBS’ online store.  More information on this and other titles from PBS is available online now at:

 

Website: http://www.pbs.org

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Twitter: http://twitter.com/pbs

 

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‘AmEx: Chasing The Moon’ Is One Of The Best NASA Histories To Be Created In 50 Years

Courtesy: PBS/PBS Distribution

Fifty years ago last month, one of the most important events in the history of mankind took place when Apollo 11 landed on the surface of the moon and its occupants – Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin – stepped out of the capsule and became the first humans to ever walk on the lunar surface.  That moment, on July 20, 1969 was the day the world actually stopped and – for once – came together.  While everybody knows the story of the Apollo 11 mission, not everyone knows the full story that led up to that historic moment, that is until now.  PBS Distribution released a new documentary centered on the Apollo 11 mission July 9 to celebrate the mission’s 50th anniversary.  The story at the center of the six-and-a-half-hour documentary is in itself more than enough reason for audiences to own this presentation.  It will be addressed shortly.  The bonus content that comes with the documentary’s home presentation adds more for viewers to appreciate.  It will be addressed a little later on.  The documentary’s combined primary and secondary content makes its average price point such that audiences will agree that the money spent on the multi-part presentation is money well-spent.  Each item noted here is important in its own way to the whole of the documentary.  All things considered, they make American Experience: Chasing The Moon a work that gives audiences the moon and more in terms of the Apollo 11 story.

PBS Distribution’s presentation of American Experience: Chasing The Moon is a work that more than exceeds expectations for history buffs and space history aficionados alike.  That is due in part to the story at the center of the program.  The story presents not just the familiar story of the Apollo 11’s groundbreaking lunar landing, but the evolution of America’s space program both within itself and as it pertained to America’s competition with Russia’s space program and government.  That is just one of the key elements of the program’s story.  Audiences will be surprised to learn some not so savory elements of the evolution of America’s space program, such as the fact that it dealt with some issues of race relations.  Apparently it was possible one of the first men on the moon could have been African-American if not for the sociopolitical climate of the times.  On a related note, it is argued through the program’s interviewees that NASA’s mission control was located in Houston because most of the congressional members who played a part in NASA’s evolution were from the south.  It is argued that this is also likely why the noted astronaut likely was eventually removed from the lunar program.  Hearing that astronaut’s comments about being scrubbed from the mission from actual recorded footage is a powerful thing.  That is just one more element of the story that makes it so engaging.  Viewers are also treated to anecdotes from media personnel who documented the evolution of the space program and the Apollo 11 landing.  Viewers will be entertained and engaged by the anecdotes about certain media personnel who allegedly liked the camera and the limelight a little bit too much.  On the same note, the recollections of the re-enactments that the media outlets used serves to show how pivotal they were in translating the astronauts’ journeys.  It serves as the starting point for so many mass communications college courses’ discussions.  As if everything noted here is not enough, the revelation that the Russians may have in fact managed to land a probe on the moon right around the same time that Apollo 11 landed is a part of history that is rarely if ever taught in any history class at any level.  All of this and more is told through firsthand accounts from those connected with the space race and the eventual Apollo 11 mission.  There is no one single narrator for this program.  It makes the program that much more personal.  The result is a presentation that connects with audiences that much more directly, and in turn ensures even more, viewers’ maintained engagement and entertainment.  It makes a very strong foundation for the whole of American Experience: Chasing The Moon.  While it does more than its share to keep viewers engaged and entertained, it is just one of the elements that makes the program’s home release a positive presentation.  Its bonus content plays its own pivotal part to its overall presentation.

The bonus content that is featured with the home release of American Experience: Chasing The Moon is not as extensive as the story that forms the foundation of AmEx: Chasing The Moon, but is still interesting in its own right.  It will appeal more to those who have an interest in video editing than the program’s primary target audience.  The two bonuses featured within the program’s home release – “Interview with Robert Stone” and “Behind The Scenes With Film Crew” – take viewers into the genesis of the program and its creative process.  Stone reveals in his solo interview that director Stanley Kubrick’s cinematic adaptation of 2001: A Space Odyssey is what first got him interested in the film creation process.  He adds in his most enjoyable anecdote, his first experience as a film maker involved a super 8 camera kit that was not even his.  It was not a criminal thing, but will certainly leave viewers laughing along with him as he recounts the story.  Stone also recalls his interaction with Apollo 8 astronaut Frank Borman helped bring some of the footage for this documentary into the program.  That story will be saved for audiences to discover on their own, but it is certainly an interesting story, needless to say.  It is just one more of a number of topics that he touches on in his brief interview.  When it is considered with the rest of the items that he discusses, the whole of the interview certainly proves entertaining and engaging in its own right.

The Behind The Scenes documentary will especially appeal to those who are students and lovers of the cinematic arts.  Audiences learn firsthand how the music for the program came to life for starters.  Viewers are also treated to discussions on the restoration of the original footage for the program.  Though brief, this is its own interesting discussion because it exhibits the painstaking efforts taken to restore the footage.  Looking back at the vintage footage used for the program, those efforts paid off, needless to say.  Even the sound editing is addressed in this bonus segment as well as the general video editing.  The whole of the topics will appeal primarily to the noted viewers.  When it is considered along with the content presented in Stone’s interview, the whole of the bonus content proves quite entertaining and just as valuable to the whole of American Experience: Chasing The Moon as the program’s central story.  When both the primary and secondary content are coupled, they prove the program’s average price point – both on DVD and Blu-ray – a number that while maybe not inexpensive, still money that is well-spent.

The average price point of American Experience: Chasing The Moon comes to $27.41 for its Blu-ray presentation and $24.49 for its DVD presentation.  Those prices were reached by averaging prices from Amazon, Walmart, Target, Best Buy, Barnes & Noble Booksellers and PBS’ store.  At the time of this review’s posting, the program was not listed through Books-A-Million’s website on DVD and Blu-ray.  Now keeping this in mind, the majority of the single listings were below that average price listing on both platforms.  The majority of the listings were below those price points, though a couple – Target and Barnes & Noble Booksellers did come close on the Blu-ray price point.  PBS’ listing was the only one that exceeded both platforms’ price point.  Each retailer’s price point for the program’s DVD price exceeded its average by only cents.  Keeping all of this in mind, that still makes the 3-disc set’s price less than $10/disc.  At a total run time of six-and-a-half hours, that is actually quite affordable, especially considering the depth and breadth of the presented information.  Keeping all of this in mind, the average price point of American Experience: Chasing The Moon proves just as integral in its own way to the whole of the program as its primary and secondary content.  When all three elements are considered together, the whole of the elements makes this documentary an out of this world hit, proving once more why this documentary, though length, is well worth the watch by space history aficionados and history buffs in general.

PBS Distribution’s new American Experience documentary Chasing The Moon is a program that will keep lovers and students of space history and general history buffs alike fully engaged and entertained throughout the course of its six-and-a-half-hour run time.  That is due in no small part to its completely engaging and entertaining story, which is told through the words of those connected to America’s space program and to the Apollo 11 mission.  The bonus content that couples with that primary content will appeal to a more targeted audience, but is still just as entertaining and engaging in its own right.  They collectively make the average price point for the program’s home release – both on DVD and Blu-ray – money that is very well spent.  Each noted item is important in its own way to the whole of the program.  All things considered, they make American Experience: Chasing The Moon a presentation that will give viewers the moon and more.  More information on this and other episodes of American Experience is available online now at:

 

 

 

Website: http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/americanexperience

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Twitter: http://twitter.com/AmExperiencePBS

 

 

 

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PBS Celebrating Moon Landing Anniversary With New ‘AmEx’ Episode

Courtesy: PBS/PBS Distribution

July 20, 1969 is one of the most important dates in the history of space flight.  It was on that day that the first human stepped foot on the moon.  This year marks 50 years since that landmark even happened, and to celebrate the history-making event, PBS Distribution will release a new episode of American Experience in the form of American ExperienceChasing The Moon.

American ExperienceChasing The Moon is scheduled for release July 9 on DVD and Blu-ray.  The three-part, 360-minute (six-hour) story is spread across three discs on each platform.  brings the story of the moon landing to a whole new generation of viewers.  It does so without any narration, using instead, real, vintage footage and interviews with those who played key roles in the moon landing, such as Buzz Aldrin, Frank Borman, Bill Anders and Poppy Northcutt to tell the story.

American ExperienceChasing the Moon will retail for MSRP of $34.99 (DVD) and $39.99 (Blu-ray), but can be pre-ordered now at a reduced price of $29.99 (DVD) and $34.99 (Blu-ray) through PBS’ online store. A bundle package featuring the program on Blu-ray, a coffee table book and mug is also available for $74.99.

More information on this and other episodes of American Experience is available online at:

 

Website: http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/americanexperience

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Twitter: http://twitter.com/AmExperiencePBS

 

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New ‘NOVA’ Episode Is Another Engaging Look Back At NASA’s Apollo Program

Courtesy: PBS/PBS Distribution

More than half a century ago, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) made history when it sent the first humans into orbit around Earth’s moon.  The move, which effectively ended the space race between the United States and Russia came almost two years after the tragedy of the Apollo 1 mission.  Three astronauts – Gus Grissom, Ed White and Roger Chaffee – died in the fire that enveloped the craft on the launch pad.  Now thanks to PBS Distribution, the story of that tragedy and the surprising resurrection of America’s Apollo program is being told anew — as the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 mission nears — in the form of the new NOVA episode Apollo’s Daring Mission.  This latest story is a presentation that will appeal to students of lovers of space science just as much as those who appreciate history in general.  This is due in part to the program’s central story, which will be addressed shortly.  The content used to help tell the story is just as worth mentioning in examining the DVD as the story itself.  It will be addressed a little later.  The program’s average price point is another key part of the presentation’s whole and will also be discussed later.  Each item noted here is important in its own right to the whole of NOVA: Apollo’s Daring Mission.  Altogether, they make this episode one more of this year’s top new documentaries.

NOVA: Apollo’s Daring Mission is hardly the first documentary to ever focus on the matter of NASA’s Apollo space program.  What’s most it is not the first even from PBS to focus on the Apollo program.  That aside, it does not make this doc any less interesting than its predecessors and counterparts (whether from PBS or other outlets).  That is due in part to the documentary’s central story.  The story is that of Apollo 8’s landmark lunar mission, and the work that went into the mission.  It makes certain not to ignore the tragedy of the Apollo 1 fire, which almost put a stop to the Apollo program in whole.  Audiences who maybe are not so familiar with the story of the Apollo program will find themselves asking why the hatch on Apollo 1 opened inward instead of outward.  That played directly into the tragedy, as did the revelation in the investigation into the fire, that shoddy workmanship was really at the core of that fire.  What’s more, considering America’s current social climate, women will be happy to learn that a woman was the one responsible for creating the software that allowed the Apollo 8 crew to carry out its mission.  This is an especially timely revelation, considering the recent revelation that a woman was the one responsible for the identification of a black hole’s event horizon.  As if all of this is not enough, viewers will be just as interested to learn that the Apollo 8 crew did not want a computer to make all the capsule’s moves for them, but in fact argued that they wanted to have control of the computer.  That, along with the discussions on the time and work that went into making sure all safety precautions were taken and that the rocket worked perfectly add even more interest to the story.  Between all of this and the items not directly noted here, the story offers more than enough to keep viewers engaged and entertained.  It is collectively just part of what makes the DVD worth the view.  The content used to tell the story adds even more appeal to the documentary.

The content used to tell the story of the Apollo program – not just the Apollo 8 mission – creates plenty of engagement and entertainment because it gives viewers a first-hand recollection of the program’s history.  The crew of the Apollo 8 – Frank Borman, James Lovell and William Anders – recalls the events leading up to and after their historic flight, even recalling the reading of the creation story from the Bible and how they came to choose that as their message to the people of Earth.  Now retired NASA officials who were involved in the Apollo program, including the very man who spoke directly with the Apollo 8 crew, share their stories along with the mission crew.  Among them is the very woman responsible for creating the software that allowed the mission to happen – Margaret Hamilton – and the man who served as the contact point between Houston and the Apollo crew.  His anecdote about what he wished he could have said to the crew as the Apollo 8 slipped from Earth’s orbit and headed toward the moon is certain to generate plenty of laughs among audiences.  All of this is just the tip of the proverbial iceberg that is the content used to tell the story of Apollo’s Daring Mission.  There is so much more for audiences to take in throughout the course of the documentary.  When it is all considered with the material noted here and the story itself, the whole of that content gives audiences more than enough reason to take in this documentary.  Keeping it all in mind, the DVD’s average price point proves to be money well-spent.

The average price point of NOVA: Apollo’s Daring Mission is $19.54.  That price was obtained by averaging prices listed at PBS’ store, Best Buy, Barnes & Noble Booksellers, Amazon and Walmart.  The DVD was not listed at Target or Books-A-Million at the time of this posting.  The most commonly listed price is $17.99 while the most expensive price was listed at Barnes & Noble Booksellers, at $23.75.  That makes Barnes & Noble’s price the only one that is noticeably above average.  PBS’ price of $19.99 is barely above that average.  Considering the breadth and depth of the content featured in this documentary, the average price of $19.54 and the listed price of $17.99 at the noted retailers will not break any viewer’s budget.  It will be money well-spent for those students and lovers of space science and history in general.  Keeping all of this in mind, the average price point for this DVD and its content comes together to make the presentation in whole one more of this year’s top new documentaries.

NOVA: Apollo’s Daring Mission is not the first documentary ever released that centers on the history of NASA’s Apollo program.  Even with that in mind, it is still an engaging and entertaining program in its own right.  That is proven in part through an in-depth story that presents the story of the Apollo program in a new light.  The content used to tell the story ensures even more, viewers’ engagement and entertainment.  The average price point and actual listed prices will, in large part, not break viewers’ budgets.  Keeping all of this in mind, this new documentary is a win for any and all lovers and students of the space sciences and history in general.  It is available now.  More information on this and other episodes of NOVA is available online now at:

 

 

 

Website: http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova

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Twitter: http://twitter.com/novapbs

 

 

 

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PBS’ Armstrong Bio Is More Proof Of Why NOVA, PBS Remain Tops In Television

Courtesy:  PBS

Courtesy: PBS

That’s one small step for man.  One giant leap for mankind.  Neil Armstrong spoke those words as he took the first steps onto the surface of the moon almost forty-six years ago.  July 20th of this year will mark forty-six years since that history changing took place.  While Armstrong was the first living being to step foot on the lunar surface, it is his fellow astronaut Buzz Aldrin that has remained in the public eye in the years since.  Armstrong on the other hand shied away from the limelight after the men returned from the historic mission of the Apollo 11.  Now as the world prepares to mark celebrate the 46th anniversary of the lunar landing PBS has released an episode of its hit science-based series NOVA that examines Armstrong’s life and legacy.  Released this past December, NOVA: First Man on the Moon examines not just Neil Armstrong as the legendary figure that so many people know, but Neil Armstrong the reluctant public figure.  That in itself is the central reason that audiences will enjoy this episode of NOVA.  The use of interviews with Armstrong’s friends and family along with actual vintage footage and pictures from his life and career add even more interest to the program.  Thanks to its pacing, the third element of the program’s enjoyment and success, the interviews and footage combined with the story in whole are made easy for audiences to follow and in turn all the more impactful.  Being able to fully take in the impact that Neil Armstrong made and the legacy that he left behind, every viewer will agree that NOVA: First Man on the Moon is a program that should be in classrooms at every level from middle school through college.  It is that valuable a program.  And it is yet more proof both in the argument that NOVA remains today the best science-based series on television and that PBS is the last bastion of truly worthwhile programming.

Much has been said and made of Neil Armstrong and the legacy that he created over the course of his life.  The problem is that for all that has been said and made of his legacy,  most of what people know of Armstrong is the that he was the first human to step foot on the moon.  What’s really interesting is that despite this recognition, Armstrong actually never embraced the celebrity that came with this fact.  For that matter, he never embraced the mantle that was placed on him even before the historic flight of Apollo 11.  Rather, as audiences will see in NOVA: First Man on the Moon, Neil Armstrong was the epitome of the anti-celebrity.  Audiences learn through this nearly hour-long program that from his childhood, Armstrong’s first love was flight.  He never pursued his love for celebrity.  He chased the dream because of his pure love for aviation.  Through everything that he achieved during his life, the program reveals that Armstrong never once tried to bring light to his accomplishments.  The attention in question came from exterior sources.  It was that same attention that led him to shy away from the media later in his life after the events of the moon landing.  The companion interviews included with the program reveal that Armstrong actually never felt that he deserved the attention that he received after the mission.  It is also revealed that responsibilities such as speaking engagements were actually thrust onto him and that he only reluctantly accepted them, leading to his undeserved reputation as a recluse.  It’s a truly eye-opening story needless to say and one that every American should experience whether in the classroom or the living room.

The revealing story presented in NOVA: First Man on the Moon is reason within itself for audiences of all ages and interests to watch this episode of NOVA.  The story by itself is interesting.  But without the companion interviews and footage used to advance it, the story would have only gone so far.  The interviews included in the program are with Armstrong’s own friends and family including one of the men working at mission control during the Apollo 11 mission, Armstrong’s wives (yes, he was married more than once) his friend and fellow Apollo 11 crew member Buzz Aldrin among many others.  The insights offered by those interviewed paint a vivid picture of a man that few likely have ever known.  Their stories paint the picture of a man that did not go into his profession for celebrity, women or any other related reason.  Rather the picture painted through the story’s interviews is one of a man that went into his field for his love of the profession.  As the interviewees reveal, even in the direst of situations, he stayed calm and collected even after the fact, playing the situations down like they were everyday occurrences instead of making a big deal over them.  That is a huge statement.  Along the way, audiences get to see first-hand just some of the situations in question thanks to the inclusion of actual footage from some of the missions and projects in which he was included.  Audiences actually get the see the result of a docking mission gone wrong as they hear from those first-hand interviews of his cool demeanor in the face of certain doom.  They also see the result of that collected mindset as he and his fellow mission member touched down safely in the South China Sea and then returned to U.S. soil as the story is told of how he even played the event down in its aftermath.  That same picture of a man focused on his job is painted when a lunar landing training project goes awry.  Viewers see Armstrong eject from the training vehicle safely as it falls to earth, yet again playing down the event in its aftermath.  These are just a couple of examples of how the interviews and footage incorporated into NOVA: First Man on the Moon make it such a memorable story.  The story that is in turn presented along with the companion footage and interviews ironically makes Armstrong even more respected and perhaps even legendary than he was just for being the first man on the moon.  It makes him even more respected and legendary for being a man and a man that put his job and his family above fame.  Yet again here is even more reason for audiences to check out this in-depth video biography of a man who was great not for his accomplishments but for who he was.

The story of who Neil Armstrong was and his importance to American history in NOVA: First Man on the Moon is by itself a moving presentation. The interviews and footage interwoven into the story help to not only advance the story but to make the story all the richer and engaging for viewers. For all of their importance, the noted elements would mean nothing without proper pacing. It goes without saying that the pacing of this episode is at the very core of its success. Considering how much ground is covered over the course of the episode’s roughly fifty-three-minute run time, its pacing is solid from beginning to end. Not once does the program move so fast as to lose audiences or so fast that audiences are left feeling left behind. That is even considering all of the background information provided via the episode’s companion interviews. Taking into mind the balance of the program’s speed to its overall content, the end product proves to be an episode that is more than just another episode of NOVA or even just another biography. It proves in the end to be an in-depth look at a man that very few truly knew. It is a picture of a man that is just as deserving for who he was as for what he did. It is one more example of why NOVA remains today the best science-based series on television today and why PBS in whole remains the last bastion of truly worthwhile programming on television.

A lot of thought and work went into NOVA: First Man on the Moon before it was brought to life. The story presented here isn’t just another piece touting Neil Armstrong as “the first man on the moon.” It paints a picture of a man that was far more than that. It paints a picture of a man that wanted only to do what he loved rather than be in the limelight for what he did. The interviews and footage incorporated into the central story help paint that vivid picture. The pacing of the program in whole makes the companion footage and interviews easy to follow. Because the interviews and footage are so easy to follow, the story in whole becomes that much more accessible to audiences, and in turn that much more engaging and enjoyable. All three elements together show precisely that while it might have been released some months ago, NOVA: First Man on the Moon remains just as enjoyable in the living room as the classroom and will be for some time to come. NOVA: First Man on the Moon is available now on DVD and can be ordered online direct from PBS’ online store at http://www.shoppbs.org/product/index.jsp?productId=49575346&cp=&sr=1&kw=first+man+on+the+moon&origkw=First+Man+on+the+Moon&parentPage=search. More information on this and other titles from PBS is available online now at:

Website: http://www.pbs.org

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More information on this and other episodes of NOVA is available online at:

Website: http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/NOVAonline

Twitter: http://twitter.com/novapbs

To keep up with the latest sports and entertainment reviews and news, go online to http://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it. Fans can always keep up with the latest sports and entertainment reviews and news in the Phil’s Picks blog at https://philspicks.wordpress.com.

Timeless Media Group Announces Release Date, Details For I Spy Box Set

Courtesy:  Timeless Media Group

Courtesy: Timeless Media Group

Timeless Media Group will bring audiences yet another long lost piece of television history this Summer.

Timeless Media Group will release the classic series I Spy on Tuesday, June 24th. The classic dramedy series, starring Bill Cosby (The Cosby Show, Fat Albert and the Cosby Kids) and character actor Robert Culp. It could be argued that the show’s witty writing and equally strong acting on the part of Cosby and Culp were the influence behind hit dramedies such as Monk and Psych. The series ran on NBC from 1965 to 1968 and produced a total of eighty-two episodes in that span. It won countless awards over the course of its three-year run including: the Golden Globe® for Best Dramatic Series in 1967, three consecutive Prime Time Emmys® for Outstanding Lead Actor for Bill Cosby, and the Prime Time Emmy ® for Outstanding Musical Composition for Earle Hagen. Cosby’s co-star received his own accolades for his work on the show. He was nominated for a number of Prime Time Emmy® Awards including: three Outstanding Lead Actor nominations and one for Outstanding Writing Achievement in Drama.

Along with its groundbreaking acting and writing, I Spy also featured a number of guest stars that would go on to be some of Hollywood’s biggest names. Those names include the likes of: Gene Hackman (Hoosiers, Enemy of the State, Unforgiven), Jim Backus (Mr. Magoo, Gilligan’s Island), Ron Howard (The Andy Griffith Show, Happy Days), Boris Karloff (Frankenstein, How The Grinch Stole Christmas, The Raven), Martin Landau (Ed Wood, North by Northwest, Mission: Impossible), George Takei (Star Trek), Don Rickles (Toy Story 1 3), and Eartha Kitt (Batman).

The upcoming release will have all eighty-two episodes of I Spy contained on eighteen discs. More information on this and other releases, including pricing and how to order the box set, is available online at http://www.timelessvideo.com. To keep up with the latest sports and entertainment news and reviews, go online to http://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it. Fans can always keep up with the latest sports and entertainment news and reviews in the Phil’s Picks blog at https://philspicks.wordpress.com.