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3.9 out of 5 stars
3.9 out of 5 stars
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TOP 1000 REVIEWERon 9 October 2015
Very enjoyable interpretation of the novel, with a nice tie-in to the 1969 moon landing as well. The plot stayed true to Wells' novel for the most part, and I enjoyed the embellishments - nice acting, too, from Gatiss and Kinnear. I loved Lionel Jeffries' portrayal of the "crazy" professor more in First Men in the Moon [DVD] [1964] but this later BBC production was more enjoyable, I thought. There was also a nice tribute to Lionel Jeffries at the end of the film, which was good to see. Overall, it's an excellent piece of entertainment, and I wouldn't mind watching it again sometime.
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on 31 March 2017
Wonderful story, brilliant actors and a charmingly cheap moon set. The commentary is a real bonus enriched with many acts of the production and amusing stories about the actors and production challenges.
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on 14 March 2017
Brilliant DVD. A consummate pair of actors playing out the story to the full.
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on 14 June 2016
Excellent story quality and special features
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on 22 October 2010
On the 20th of July 1969, a boy loses his dad on a fairground and steps into a booth promising kinematic marvels. The actual very first trip to the Moon.

On a TV budget, Mark Gatiss adapts Wells' novel, and adds for good measure two other first trips to the Moon: the actual one, in 1969, and the first filmed one, by Méliès. Money considerations may have guided the exclusion of some bits from the novel, but the story bears these losses quite well, and the whole is rather faithful to its source, even to the sense of tragic waste at the end. Gatiss cleverly manages to use the novel in order to connect the American landing to the English one; the very last scene may be going a bit far, though the visual juxtaposition has quite poetic a strength.

Still, the result is a funny and nostalgic film, which shouldn't blush from the comparison with its cinematic predecessor, First Men In The Moon [DVD] [1964]
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"I claim this satellite in the name of King Edward the Seventh, Emperor of India, king of the British Dominions, and for all mankind. What is this for us but a tiny footfall?"

Mark Gatiss' 2010 BBC version of The First Men in the Moon manages the twin feats of being a charming adaptation that's a little closer to H.G. Wells' intentions than the Ray Harryhausen film but still feeling a little thin at 87 minutes. Like the Harryhausen version, this uses NASA's first Moon shot as a framing device, with Rory Kinnear's ridiculed old man showing a wide-eyed young boy his kinematographic films and telling, for the thousandth time, the story that no-one believes: of how he and the eccentric Professor Cavor were not only the first men on the Moon, but the first IN it as well (albeit arriving in what Cavor takes for "some desolate outlying district - like Wales") almost a lifetime earlier. And, naturally, they soon found out they were far from alone...

It's very much a period piece, the low budget giving it a less than naturalistic look and feel that compliments it surprisingly well, the film at times reaching back to silent cinema, whether it's using the same means of testing whether the Moon has an atmosphere as Fritz Lang's Frau im Mond/Woman on the Moon or throwing in a gorgeously delirious dream scene in the style of Melies' Trip to the Moon. Even the computer-generated Selenites have a bit of the feel of Harryhausen's stop-motion creations while the film is dedicated to Lionel Jeffries, who played Cavor in that 1964 version and died eight months before this first aired.

Good as Kinnear is, he doesn't stand much of a chance against Gatiss, who makes a marvellous Cavor, whether he's ermming away and adding a belated `probably' to his every scientific pronouncement or exploring the surface of the Moon in his cricket cap. More than that, he manages to make Cavor's final decision genuinely sad, a defeat not just for the Moon's inhabitants but for everything that he stands for. Not everything works quite as well - there's not enough interaction with the Selenites while much of the Grand Lunar's dialogue is inaudible, losing a couple of important plot points in the process, the less said about Kinnear's false beard the better and the final shot is a bit of a mistake - but there's enough genuine charm and enthusiasm to carry it over the rough spots. Not quite Imperial, but certainly a jolly noble effort.
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on 26 February 2016
its a lovely little film a real one of its kind , I love the funny aliens & is sentimental , it was I think it was a bit sad about the aliens air had to be wiped out with them, although I was glad to se the one at the end looking at the apolo from behind a rock, so that made it ok, the one on the front sleve case is qaint it makes me chukle , its one ile keep all time. most sensierly tony williom brown
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on 5 November 2011
HG Well's The First Men In The Moon, publish in the late 1890's/1900's (somewhere around then) is my favourite novel of all time. I fell in love with this story after hearing Radio 4's dramatic radio play of the story starring William Rushton and Hywel Bennett, when I was a young child. How I wish I could get a copy of that radio play but I have never been able to).

I watched the earlier cinematic rendition of the movie but, apart from Lionel Jefferies awesome acting, I didn't care much for the movie. However, I saw a part of this new version on BBC and loved it. It is vary close indeed to the original including much of the dialogue. Like the previous movie it opens up on the real events of man landing on the moon, which, of course, never happened in the book, and I didn't really see the need for the movie to open up in such a way, however, we can't have it all. :-)

I loved the acting, the moon scenery (though the external shots were a bit lame, but this was due to budget constraints), and the selenites. The storyline does not stray too far from the book at all.

If you like the book then I would suggest you watch this version of the movie.
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on 13 March 2012
19th/20th Century classics have often received rather shoddy treatment at the hands of modern (?) producers, who tend to Americanize everything with lots of effects and reduce the thoughts that had made the narratives so compelling and path-breaking in the beginning. But I had enjoyed the BBC version of the classic Dino-story written by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle (The Lost World [DVD] [2001]), and I liked this short film as well. The science-component remains dodgy (as it should be, given the fact that there is NO Cavorite, there can be NO Cavorite), but the acting is good (esp. from Gatiss). The story captures the elements of wonder quite nicely, and to an audience in the post 11th September world, Selenites and their vision is not incomprehensible. Yes, I and my family liked the movie, with all its 'updating' of HGW's seminal work, and would definitely suggest this movie to any one with kids at home, who might like to introduce the element of wonder in their dreams & aspirations. Recommended.
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on 27 August 2013
This is an excellent film version of the classic story that does not need special effects to enhance it.
The central characters are portrayed in a meaningful manner.
Well worth while collecting this dvd if you're a fan of H.G.Wells.
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