Debuting to much acclaim (and eventual, well-earned, multiple Emmy wins) in April of 1998, the HBO miniseries From the Earth to the Moon is an ambitious, 12-part docudrama that chronicles the triumphs and tragedies endured as America raced against the Soviet Union to land a man on the moon. Produced by Tom Hanks, who appears in every episode and directs the first installment, the program chronicles such history-making events as Alan Shepard’s 1961 suborbital Mercury flight and the Apollo 1 fire that claimed three lives to 1969’s triumphant cry of “The Eagle has landed!” and the final Apollo missions. Along with Hanks, the sprawling, star-packed cast includes Sally Field, Tony Goldwyn, Mark Harmon, Tim Daly, Peter Horton, and many others.
Coinciding with the 50th anniversary of the moon landing, From the Earth to the Moon has just been released on Blu-ray in a beautiful new HD remaster. Among the special features include a look at how the 21-year-old program was cleaned up for high definition, providing fantastic insight in how the disc’s producers went to great lengths to make sure that this miniseries has never looked or sounded better.
Ultimately, From the Earth to the Moon succeeds as both a historical document AND a great piece of entertainment that illuminates a piercing light on an era in America history that was dominated by invention, sacrifice, and a yearning to be among the stars.