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Space Race [DVD] [2005]

4.3 out of 5 stars 25 customer reviews

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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: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (25 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000AWKSVO
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 88,818 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)

Product Description

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

4.3 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

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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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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By S P Mead TOP 500 REVIEWER on 28 Mar. 2016
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
An excellent docudrama that's really good!

This BBC tv series tells the story of the 'race' into space, by both the Russians and the Americans.

Of course, much of the material is put together by the series makers - but it is based on fact.

The visuals are excellent, and the drama is very real.

It's been quite a few years - 10? - since this was on tv, but I've watched it a couple of times in the past decade and always enjoyed it.

I suspect that if you're into this sort of docudrama, and a fan of the space race, you'll enjoy this. I did.
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I came across bits of the original on YouTube and, having an interest in such things, I had to have it. A bit of reading reveals that it's not 100% factually accurate, but it's close enough, and the story it tells is fascinating. At the heart of it are two dreamers, Wernher von Braun and Sergei Korolev, each with a vision of manned spaceflight but each constrained by the politics of their current political masters, be they Hitler or US Congress, Stalin or Khruschev. The backdrop is the Cold War, which starts as the hot one finishes in 1945, with both sides seeking to obtain and master the technology that would allow them to rain massive destruction on the other. In this atmosphere, the attempt to get to the moon was nothing more than a heavyweight lifting contest between the two sides, a struggle between Russian socialism and US capitalism to demonstrate which was better. The US won by dint of massive amounts of money poured into the programme. Yet, the irony is that, half a century after NASA's triumph, the US has no space lifting capacity worth speaking of, whereas Korolev's workhorse is still delivering the goods.

The sad fact is that the dreamers have lost, both politically and technologically. The will to, as James T. Kirk would have had it, go boldly where no one has gone before has vanished in a time of budget cuts and apparent technological brick walls, and may not reappear for many years. Neil Armstrong's "giant leap" was really more of a baby step, and will remain thus. von Braun and Korolev would not have approved.

All in all, a thoroughly enjoyable film.
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Format: DVD Verified Purchase
I watched the series when it was televised and I wanted to show my children, both of whom are fascinated by cold war history. It would have had five stars except that I subsequently read the book and realised that the film was rather more biased in favour of the Americans. (My sixteen year old daughter pointed out that all the filming of the Russian side was in blues and greys and vodka featured quite heavily! The American scenes were warm yellows and had rock and roll music) Bear this in mind and it's a good resume of a fascinating time.
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