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  • Space Race [DVD] [2005]
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Space Race [DVD] [2005]


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Product details

  • Actors: Richard Dillane, Steve Nicolson, Max Bollinger, John Warnaby, Ravil Isyanov
  • Format: PAL
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: English
  • Subtitles For The Hearing Impaired: English
  • Region: Region 2 (This DVD may not be viewable outside Europe. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 16:9 - 1.78:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Classification: 15
  • Studio: 2 Entertain Video
  • DVD Release Date: 28 Nov. 2005
  • Run Time: 240 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (19 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000AWKSVO
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 90,083 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)

Reviews

Docum-drama series from the BBC exploring the extraordinary race between the Russians and the Americans to put a man into space, and a man on the moon. Beginning in the aftermath of the Second World War, when Nazi rocket scientists were secretly bought up to help both countries develop their own rocket technology, the docu-drama follows the experiments, rivalries and risks that went into the programme that put the Soviet Sputnik craft into space, and that eventually put Neil Armstrong on the moon.

Customer Reviews

4.1 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Mark on 3 Jan. 2007
Format: DVD
This was one of the two DVDs on the space race in my Christmas stocking. I watched this first (the other being Tom Hanks' From the Earth to the Moon) as I wanted to get the whole story presented to me before I watched the American story in more detail.

There is no doubt that where this series excels is with the Soviet side of things. Presumably this came about as a result of the BBC's co-production with (amongst others) a Russian broadcaster, and easier access to previously secret material. However, there was a huge amount to fit into only four hours with the result that a lot of the landmarks are only briefly covered, or are even skipped completely.

The series has quite a Korolev bias, which whilst not too obvious in the first episode, takes hold and becomes evident as the series progresses. Not that I necessarily think that was a bad thing; this series covers old ground as far as the American side of the space race is concerned, but I found myself somewhat awestruck by Korolev's genius and vision.

I thought that the series was far too short to cover this subject in the detail that is justified. If you are going to tell this story, then do it well, and don't hold back by trying to save money. Tom Hanks tells the American story in twelve hours, whilst the BBC tried to do the whole thing from both perspectives in just four. Why not do it like the much acclaimed 'World at War' (26 episodes), probably the definitive WW2 story?

I thought the format was rather good. It is a drama documentary, so the historical events are acted, and the story is also narrated. The BBC have done a number of such programmes, and whilst not to everybody's taste, I quite like this method of storytelling.

Overall, I am glad to own this.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By brian from london on 15 Sept. 2007
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
If you are like me and read these reviews before buying I am sure you will have noticed that the ' Product details ' mention a ' Number of discs: 1 ' but ' Matthew Millington from Norway mentions a three disk set.

So when I bought the DVD I was not really sure if I was going to receive a one or three disk set.

Anyway the DVD arrived and all four episodes are contained on one Disk.

The running time is 236 minutes and the picture quality is excellent.

We are all familiar with the Space Race from the American side of the fence
so really it does fill in the gaps from the Soviet side.

I am unsure where I was when it was first put out by the BBC but I do know this DVD will be watched time and time again.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Iain Dall on 17 Mar. 2006
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
The DVD has taken a shortcuts and made edits on the original book just to fit into 4 TV episodes. If you want the DVD experience, the BBC production is still very compelling, the mix of archival & re-in-acted footage is just first rate. Don't read the book first. The book is so much more detailed - Just don't expect the DVD to replicate all the story. Also do take note of some of the historic innacuracies mentioned in other earlier reviews. If you know the right stuff then it may provoke a lot of debate. But with buffs and novices alike. I still think both are great introductions to this history.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By John Joyce on 27 Jun. 2008
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
I purchased this DVD as research material for a novel, not so much for the technical detail (which I accept is flawed in places) but for the "atmosphere" around the US and Russian space programmes following the second world war.

Here I was not disappointed. The scripting, acting and special effects were all well up the the BBC's high standards and the epic struggle between Werner Von Braun and his Russian nemesis Korolev was well depicted.

I particularly liked the human touches that brought a realistic touch to this truely stratospheric drama - the allegations against Von Braun as a war criminal because of his involvement in the concentration camp near Nordhausen, the indifference he faced to his ideas in the US during his early years in America, the fact that Korolev was a prisoner in the Gulag before being released to run the Russian programme (he died prematurely of health problems that started there in the labour camps), the tragedy of Yuri Garagin and the way Korolev's successor drank himself to death under the strain of trying to complete the great man's work - all made this a very human drama.

Technical innaccuracies aside, I found this an immensely engaging and informative movie and would heartlily recommend it to anyone interested in what life was like during this period in space history.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Ms. S. Bowes on 30 Oct. 2006
Format: DVD
I have a suspicion, which is becoming more entrenched as time goes on, that the BBC is growing ever more reluctant to waste licence-payers' money on intelligent and thoughtful programmes. They seem to believe that all viewers are morons, with the attention span of a mentally defective mosquito, so it is therefore a waste of everyone's time to spend more than a few hours on anything that may conceivably stretch their tiny minds.
A recurring complaint in the reviews of Space Race on this site is; IT WAS NOT LONG ENOUGH!! For such a spectacular story, encompassing decades of work, dreams and spectacular achievements ... we get just four hours? Of course we do, and be grateful fot that, you plebs; Lord knows, the BBC can't afford to spend time and money on intelligent and inspiring television, when there is all that lovely cheap garbage to be made, the sort in which you can phone in and vote some talentless dope off. So whip through this vast and magnificent saga in just four hours, that'll satisfy those nasty, horrible TV watchdogs, that will keep insisting that at least some of the public's money is spent on programmes that are not aimed at the sort of people who do not contradict the medical assumption that to be born without a brain is a condition fatal at birth.
I feel for the production team of this series, having to cram in so much history in just four miserable hours. The fact that they succeed so well is a tribute to their talent and ingenuity, but how much better it would have been to have this series extended to at least thirteen hours! It is a joy to watch, the acting, writing, directing and staging are all first-rate ... oh, what a pity there was not more of it!
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