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43 of 44 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic
The series follows NASA during the Apollo moon-landing programme; each episode focuses on a different aspect, designing the spacecraft, training and the missions themselves. There is also an episode that focuses on the wives of the astronauts, which I thought, was a good idea.

The missions are all well done in the same quality as Apollo 13 movie...
Published on 31 Jan 2007 by Ty-Fry-Typhoon

versus
54 of 58 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars An excellent series but a poor DVD set.
I have both the NTSC and PAL (ie this set) versions of this series. The content is superb as described in the other reviews but I take issue with the review that describes the region-2 set as 'widescreen'. Well yes it is in the sense that it's a 16x9 aspect ratio image BUT comparison with the NTSC 4:3 version reveals that this has been achieved by chopping the top and...
Published on 18 Mar 2006 by P. White


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16 of 18 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good overall, 28 Oct 2006
By 
T. Pepper (England) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: From the Earth to the Moon (Tom Hanks HBO Signature Edition) [DVD] [2006] (DVD)
This series is well worth watching, as it highlights some little explored areas of the space programme. However, it is a shame that more footage of the actual astronauts wasn't included, rather than it all being of the actors who portray them.

The series unfortunately gets weaker towards the end, and Tom Hanks' ridiculous forewords get progressively more cringe-worthy as he tries to get the words "From the Earth to the Moon" into each one.

On the whole though, a worthwhile purchase.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Enthralling and entertaining, 17 Jan 2011
By 
Mr. A. E. Hall "brother_of_sadako" (Liverpool, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: From the Earth to the Moon (Tom Hanks HBO Signature Edition) [DVD] [2006] (DVD)
After the success of Apollo 13, self-confessed space-geek Tom Hanks set on a very daring and challenging task. Having told the tale of perhaps the most dramatic of all the Apollo missions, he attempted to tell the story of the entire history of the Moon landings. As someone who has recently become interested in these monumental events from before I was born, I was excited to see a dramatised version of the great stories behind these missions.

So, with an unprecedented budget for a miniseries, 12 episodes were shot by HBO, telling the tale of the Apollo program from its inception to the moment when Eugene Cernan climbed back into the Lunar Module of Apollo 17 and closed an all too brief period in human history. The low regard in which many people now hold the Moon landings post Armstrong and Aldrin can be summed up by my own mother's comment whilst I watched the episode 'For Miles and Miles': 'What was so special about this mission?' I replied that it was incredible that Alan Sheppard had returned to flight status and how he became the only one of the original Mercury Seven astronauts to set foot on the moon. Only then did I realise that I should have said: 'Two people walked on the Moon, isn't that incredible enough?'

Nonetheless, the story is told in the most satisfying way. Rather than simply film a launch and mission with landings and splashdown etc, each episode tells the tale of a certain aspect of the endeavour to reach the Moon and the characters behind that. People often forget that behind the 12 people who have actually set foot on the Moon were many other astronauts and literally hundreds of thousands of people working towards making the missions a reality. As each is special in its own way, I think it fitting to put down a few words about each:

1: Can we do this: Perhaps my favourite of the series, the first episode kicks off with footage of Yuri Gagarin's historic first spaceflight and the shockwaves this sent through America. This in turn helped JFK realise that the only way to win the Space Race after this early set back was to beat the Russians to the Moon. The dramatisation of Alan Sheppard's Freedom 7 flight (in a capsule that had technology comparable to my Renault Laguna!) is superb and precedes the planning behind the Gemini program which was used, essentially as a testing ground for Apollo with three of the most important missions dramatised.

2: Apollo 1: The tragic fire that killed the intended crew of Apollo 1 and the inquest behind it is a harrowing story and reveals the pressures NASA faced in brining Kennedy's dream to life. A dark but very well played episode.

3: We have cleared the tower: Another little favourite of mine! This episode is framed by the Apollo 7 flight which was essentially, a long test flight of the new spacecraft and a tentative step back into space, nearly two years after the last Gemini flight and the first since the tragedy of Apollo 1. The mission itself was very unspectacular so the episode tracks a fictional documentary team interviewing many of the ground staff. Learning about the role of the backup crew, the capsule manufacturers, the launch crews and the medical people is fascinating. However, of particular note is the tale of Guenter Wendt - the ex-patriot German pad leader responsible for organising the capsule prior to launch. His ruthless organisation and discipline were much love by the astronauts who held him in the highest regard. This episode tells some of the story of this man for whom it voz his vay, or ze autobahn.

4: 1968: Telling the story of what had been an horrific year for the USA with Martin Luther King and RFK assassinated and the Vietnam war getting out of control, the Christmas flight of Apollo 8 to the Moon, in the words of a message sent to the crew 'saved 1968'. The tensions, stress and unusual and unexpected nature of the mission is told out in fine detail.

5: Spider: Another gem of the series. Framed mostly by Apollo 9 and Apollo 10, this mission charts the story of the Lunar Module. The idea of a separate craft descending to the lunar surface started (as many great ideas do) as just some daft, far-fetched idea and over the course of many years was made reality and turned into a magnificent machine. I love focus on the unsung heroes without whom, there would never have been that giant leap for mankind.

6: Mare Tranquillitatis: Rather self-explanatory, it documents the historic Apollo 11 mission, Buzz Aldrin's hopes to have been the first man on the moon and his secret communion on the Lunar surface as well as the near failure of the mission.

7: That's all there is: Another superb episode, this one documents the Apollo 12 mission but in particular, the close-knit crew who and their relationships with each other. Told from LM Pilot Al Bean's perspective, the episode is both warming and in parts, hilarious.

8: We interrupt this broadcast: Coming just three years after Apollo 13 hit cinemas; HBO did not want to simply re-film the movie and so told the story of changing world of media behind the scenes. In particular, it contrasts the techniques of an old-fashioned 'stick to the facts', no frills reporter, and a young upstart, determined to tell the human story. An interesting episode without doubt, but the film Apollo 13 makes much better viewing.

9: For miles and miles: This episode tells the story of Alan Sheppard, grounded due to a medical condition since his historic, first American space flight and his return to flight status. He became the only one of the original Mercury Seven astronauts to walk on the Moon and at the time, the oldest man in space. Like episode 7, it brings smile to the face.

10: Galileo was right: Framed by the Apollo 15 mission, this one tells of the scientific training the astronauts experienced and how it turned test-pilots into geologists. Very informative and a humorous nod to the scientific community who bemoaned the 'throttle jockeys' of Apollo who (at first) would struggle to tell igneous from sedimentary.

11: The original wives club: A brilliant episode featuring the most unsung heroes of them all: The unpaid, uncredited and unthanked wives of the Apollo astronauts and is a thoroughly interesting tale of these women; their requirement to appear to be the perfect, all American women, looking after their husbands and raising perfect families and the strain this put on them. Mainly featuring on the wives of the so-called 'New Nine' (the next intake of astronauts after the Mercury Seven) and how their lives unfolded and framed by the Apollo 16 mission, this is (at worst), the third best episode of the series.

12: La Voyage Dans La Lune: A curious episode that skips between the final lunar mission (Apollo 17) and the famous silent film La Voyage Dans La Lune (A trip to the Moon). As a film nut, I enjoyed the slightly self-indulgent foray into the story of what was then the crazy dream of a madman and the bittersweet look at the final footsteps on the moon make a fine end to the series.

Over all, it is a brilliant mini-series. Rather oddly, with Apollo 1, Apollo 8 and Apollo 11 and Apollo 13 being the most interesting missions of the program, it is the more unheralded ones which provide the best episodes. This is down to the brilliant decision to use the other missions as a framing device for the (more?) interesting and less told tales behind man's greatest adventure.

One slight criticism is that, whilst re-watching these episodes with my wife, I found myself having to explain certain little points to her during the first three such as who certain people were and what this mission was etc. It does help to have some background knowledge first. Also, I had expected slightly better extras from a 'Signature Edition' but the 12 hours of footage that precede it are brilliant enough to look past that (as it should be).

A great mini-series that will inform as much as it will entertain and should be enjoyable so anyone interested in space. Bravo!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars My View., 4 Sep 2009
This review is from: From the Earth to the Moon (Tom Hanks HBO Signature Edition) [DVD] [2006] (DVD)
This DVD is excellent not only for the fact that the producers have made an excellent job of casting actors as the astronauts but also the actors have an uncanny resemblence to the real astronauts themselves! In particular in the cases of Gus Grissom and Alan Shephard, Neil Armstrong was represented very well as well. The production, from the first few minutes is nothing but superb, I origanally thought that it would be a bit dire and thrown together, just shows how wrong you can be. Of course this will only appeal to those of us who were lucky enough to have lived through the iconic Apollo missions so its not for everyone. I am not going to go on and on about this fantastic DVD set but if you have any interest in mans greatest technical acheivment then to miss this brilliant offering would be a crying shame, I have now watched the disks 5 times since July when my wife (knowing im into all this space stuff as she puts it) bought it for my 51st birthday, well done honey!! In short: Get it and relive those fantastic far off days that had us all gripped 40 years ago!! Five stars!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the best US TV series., 19 Mar 2008
This review is from: From the Earth to the Moon (Tom Hanks HBO Signature Edition) [DVD] [2006] (DVD)
From The Earth To The Moon is one of the best US TV series I have seen, it does help that I am fairly interested in Space but this series is very well done.

It covers the whole Space Race of the 60's and early 70's from the Mercury and Vostok era through to Gemini and Apollo, the special effects are very well done, the Space scenes very realistic, it all looks great on HDTV.

It was interesting for me to see the Gemini missions as I did not know much about them, on one of the missions disaster was only avoided by a few seconds as the craft spun out of control, there was also the first docking in space and the first US space walk so Gemini was a productive era in Space for the Americans.

The moon scenes are also worth mentioning as they were very well done, I thought the effects in general had a slightly magical touch to them really capturing the beauty of Outer Space there is also the bonus disc covering the effects and how the series was made, overall this series is very good has a feel of quality to it and these amazing stories are of course all based on true stories, recommended.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Well acted drama and documentary, 26 Feb 2008
This review is from: From the Earth to the Moon (Tom Hanks HBO Signature Edition) [DVD] [2006] (DVD)
All of the episodes are acted all the way through with some actual footage sliced in, so that you can get truly involved in the drama. The style of some of the episodes is very different and take an interesting view point. For example the one concerning Apollo 13 focuses on the media coverage rather than the actual mission. Part 10: 'Galileo was right', is about the geological training the astronauts received and I found this one of the best episodes.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant, 16 Nov 2007
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This review is from: From the Earth to the Moon (Tom Hanks HBO Signature Edition) [DVD] [2006] (DVD)
Having read several books about this project including Gene Krantz's and Chris Craft's i aproached this series a bit sceptically but my scepticism was soon blown away. It is a very good series. Some episodes are better than other (Beano is my favourite :) ) but all in all it is a thrilling series and very faithfull. Personally i loved the episode about how they developed the moon lander, that was truly engineering at it's best and also the episode about the geologic training of the astronauts.
This series should be compulsory wieving in scools since it deals with both politics-history-science and human efforts.
I now own the signature version and it is just Brilliant...
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Flawed but wonderful, 5 Nov 2005
By 
J. Myers "gelatinelens" (Tyne and Wear, England) - See all my reviews
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`From the Earth to the Moon' is an excellent recreation of America's space programme from incidents occurring during the earliest test flights to the final Apollo mission in 1967. The series sets out in a stylish, upbeat fashion from which it rarely breaks - presenting a largely uplifting, optimistic review of events. Eleven of the twelve episodes are headed by a title sequence, an introduction by Tom Hanks and a second, lengthy credit list. For my tastes, this format slightly deadens the impact of the material - and adds to its loose, fragmentary style. (Part 4, in particular, suffers badly.) But once past these titles, the drama of each individual story takes over - and the magic begins. Each of the twelve episodes documents individual struggle and brilliant, collective team-work as the most ingenious minds of their time pair with the most heroic. The whole series is fascinating - whether it's dealing with the design disputes of a single piece of technology, the crazed bonhomie of the crews or the aftermath of the complete endeavour on the astronaut's marriages - the entire human story is here.

Negatives? The format of the TV programme isn't strong enough to deal with the complex political issues occurring within NASA's environs. In particular, it's hard to imagine an intelligent retrospective of these events without mention of Wernher Von Braun, yet - barring one cursory reference - that's what happens. `From the Earth to the Moon', has as good as airbrushed its founding rocket genius; Braun, out of the picture. Much as the Russians did - in real life - with their mentor, Sergei Korolev, within his own life time. Part 4, titled `1968', makes an effort to capture broader events - the social protests of the civil rights movement, Vietnam, the assassinations of Kennedy and Dr. Martin Luther King Junior. But only in a fleeting, snap-shot fashion. Even that is enough to complicate the dramatic flow of the episode.

I also found the final instalment, referencing George Méliès, 1902 silent film: Le Voyage Dans la Lune (A Trip to the Moon), an artistic leap too far. Tom Hanks foregoes his normal introduction to act out the part of one of Méliès assistants - and begins to diverge from the material in an indulgent, unjustifiable way that confuses and weakens the preceding dramatic realism. These gripes aside, it's impossible to watch this series without getting caught up in the excitement of the times and the nail-biting tension created by many of the missions. If you were alive in the 60's - or remotely curious about `mankinds boldest adventure' - you must watch this series.
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5.0 out of 5 stars They chose to go to the Moon, 17 Aug 2014
By 
Paul Tapner (poole dorset england) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: From the Earth to the Moon (Tom Hanks HBO Signature Edition) [DVD] [2006] (DVD)
Band Of Brothers: Complete HBO Series (Commemorative 6-Disc Gift Set In Tin Box) [DVD] [2010] is a rightly acclaimed and well remembered TV mini series from the HBO Channel, that had involvement from Tom Hanks and Steven Spielberg in the production.

But a couple of years before that, they produced another mini series about another pivotal moment in American history. From the Earth to the Moon. A twelve part history of the Apollo Programme.

Never heard of it? Probably because Channel Four decided to show it at Saturday lunchtime in the summer.

If you're one of those who didn't catch it at the time:

From the Earth to the Moon begins each fifty five minute long episode with President John F. Kennedy's famous 'we choose to go to the moon' speech. Each episode then takes a particular mission, and finds the story of it:

Part one: Can we do this? Tells of the missions pre Apollo. From Alan B. Shepard Jr. being the first American to go into space to the mission where Dave Scott and Neil Armstrong came perilously lose to death.

Part two: Apollo One. Is the story of the progamme's darkest hour. The fire that claimed the lives of three astronauts. And how the programme survived the subsequent inquiries.

Part three: We have cleared the tower. The first trio of American astronauts to go into space, on Apollo Seven.

Part four: 1968. As America had a rotten year, three astronauts became the first humans to leave the gravity well of the planet and see the dark side of the moon.

Part five: Spider. The testing of the Lunar Excursion Module, and the missions to do that. Apollo 9 and 10.

Part six: Mare Tranquilitatis. Apollo 11. Man got to the Moon.

Part seven: That's all there is. The Apollo 12 crew and their unique experiences.

Part eight: we interrupt this program. Apollo 13. Seen entirely from the perspective of how the news covered it.

Part nine: For Miles and Miles. After being grounded for years, Alan Shepard gets back into space at the age of forty seven, to command Apollo 14.

Part ten: Galileo was right. Geologists train the Apollo 15 crew.

Part eleven: the original wives' club. The story of the astronauts wives. How some marriages lasted and others didn't. And Apollo 16.

Part twelve: Le voyage Dans La Lune. Apollo 17. The last men on the moon. And Georges Melies filming of a famous film.

This is a dramatization, but strives to be as realistic as possible. And to provide visuals that will make the viewer see what it was like for the astronauts. And the visuals are often quite stunning, so it succeeds in that respect.

This brings out the human stories. And that makes for utterly absorbing viewing. There's a superb score, with a highly memorable main theme that will stick on your mind.

Some episodes are slightly more memorable than others. 1968 has some wonderful emotional moments, all enhanced by the score, plus an ending that might just leave water coming out of your eye. Spider ends in a not dissimilar manner. Mare Tranquilitatis gets amazing tension out of the landing and equally powerful from what came next. A before he was famous Bryan Cranston plays Buzz Aldrin.

That's all there is takes a surprisingly light hearted tone and becomes incredible fun as a result.

We interrupt this program has to try and do things differently to the Apollo 13 film, and covers the story via the clash between old fashioned journalism and the rise of tabloid reporting. Which is a worthy subject but makes the ending a bit depressing.

For Miles and Miles is a great character story with some surprising facts about the mission, and another great ending.

The last two episodes do take novel approaches to their subject and they succeed as a result.

At it's best, this is emotionally uplifting television. The story of a time when politicians didn't just think about keeping power at the next election. About when human beings set out to do the impossible. When everyone dared to dream. And look up.

If you're a space buff, this is essential television that will give you a lot of pleasure. If you're not or if you've never seen this, then watch it. It's a great drama. That deserves to be as well remembered as the show that the producers made next.

The dvd has five discs, all in a sturdy plastic container with a holder for each one. And a cardboard fold around cover for the dvd booklet. All this is then contained in a cardboard slipcase.

There are three episodes to each of the first four discs.

Languages and subtitles are as follows:

Languages: English, German.

Subtitles: English, German, Arabic, Czech, Danish, Finnish, Greek, Hebrew, Norwegian, Portugese, Romanian, Swedish.

Disc five has the following extras:

Behind the scenes featurette: a thirty minute making of documentary. More actors talking than production shots, but it's very good.

Special effects: a look at the special effects from the show. It runs for just four minutes so it's a bit too short to have much substance. You can watch this in a row with the behind the scenes one, or both on their own.

Six original promotional trailers for the show: None longer than a minute, which can be watched individually or in a row.

History of the Moon: a text based feature on the subject. Not long, but interesting reading.

A brief history of famous astronomers; another text based feature, with a page each to over ten famous astronomers. These are also quite interesting reading.
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20 of 24 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A history lesson and a riveting story, but one sided, 7 April 2006
By 
This review is from: From the Earth to the Moon (Tom Hanks HBO Signature Edition) [DVD] [2006] (DVD)
A really rate this series. For anyone interested in the space race of the 60's and 70's this is a must. It is a history lesson, laid out in bit size pieces. It examines more than just the scientific challenges, and is not afraid to tackle difficult or contraversial issues. Saying that, it is more than just a little one sided. Made by Americans, about Americans, for an American public.
Saying that, the acting is good, direction good and effects extremely well done. You'll come away from the series with a sense of awe if you were born after the events, and a sense of pride and nostalgia if you remember them like it was just yesteryear.
All in all, a good buy. Another good effort by Mr Hanks et.al.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The best of NASA, 8 Aug 2013
By 
W. Rodick (Cheshire, England) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: From the Earth to the Moon (Tom Hanks HBO Signature Edition) [DVD] [2006] (DVD)
Made in 1998 by HBO this is an attempt to recreate all the story of getting to the moon and walking upon its surface. It works really well using actors to play all the parts in the story with occasional footage from the time interlaced.

I have watched eight of the twelve one hour episodes. For me part 8 'We interrupt this program' is the most interesting. It depicts the changing nature of journalism. One mature, sensible and brilliant tv news anchor man is rattled to the point of extinction by a young, heartless journalist who is only concerned with cheap emotional affect. Tabloid media is born. It is a fascinating episode.

The story of Apollo 12 was also very interesting. Who remembers the mission that came after Neil Armstrong's landing? I had no memory of it. If the series has 'a problem' it is the lack of interviews with the real deal. That's why I loved In The Shadow Of The Moon [DVD] so much. It has much to savour as a historical document. A time when the USA was truly rich.
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