'8 Days: To The Moon and Back'
(Rufus Wright, Jack Tarlton, Patrick Kennedy, et al / DVD / PG / 2019 / PBS)
Overview: Join the historic 1969 journey of Apollo 11.
Seamlessly blending mission audio featuring conversations between Neil Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin, and Michael Collins with news footage, NASA archive, and stunning CGI, '8 Days: To the Moon and Back' stars Rufus Wright (EastEnders), Jack Tarlton (The Imitation Game), and Patrick Kennedy (Mrs. Wilson) in a stunning recreation of the first moon landing.
DVD Verdict: To celebrate the 50th anniversary of the moon landing '8 Days: To the Moon and Back' has lovingly recreated the events with the audio tapes and some lookalike actors in a recreation of the capsule which was mixed with historical footage.
The documentary has no narration, so be fully aware of that aspect. Indeed, you rely on captions which gives some factual information as well as footage of the television coverage fronted by Walter Cronkite (with the US network's coverage sponsored by Kellogg's on the day of the launch).
In the build up to the launch, the three astronauts had been constantly paraded on TV and the press. They must have been the most interviewed people in America, giving the same bland answers to the same questions. No wonder Armstrong eventually withdrew from the limelight!
Neil Armstrong was the most inexperienced of the three astronauts in terms of actual time spent in space. It showed when he mentioned his excitement of the prospect of seeing the sunrise from space.
Buzz Aldrin was expecting to be the first man to walk on the surface of the moon but NASA had other ideas.
What comes out of this documentary is just how much seat of the pants the mission was when it reached its critical stages as the lunar module approached its moon's orbit.
The module overshot its planned landing site. A warning light came on and nobody knew what it meant. When a switch broke during take off from the moon, Aldrin improvised by using a pen while NASA boffins searched for an answer!
Luckily, the three astronauts had a sense of calm and practicality throughout the mission.
After 50 years you would have thought there was little new to say about the first moon landing. This documentary proved me wrong as it provided new insights and I know it will for you too. This is a Widescreen Presentation (1.78:1) enhanced for 16x9 TVs.