HBO’s From the Earth to the Moon > First Man

fe2m2It shouldn’t come as any surprise, really. In some respects, any comparison between a high-quality twelve-part mini series and a two hour-plus Hollywood movie is going to be rather unfair, if only because a twelve-hour series is going to have much wider scope to give the Space Program its proper due. In First Man‘s case, it is perhaps doubly unfair because, contrary to some of the marketing, in many ways the Space Program and moon landing are almost incidental to the main focus of that movie.

Having watched, and enjoyed  First Man (albeit with some reservations that I may come to later in another post), I went home and was unable to resist finding out my DVD of HBO’s glorious mini-series from 1998 (has it been so long?). I cued up my favourite episode, the wonderful ‘Spider’ (episode 5) and its subsequent episode ‘Mare Tranquilitatis’ which covers much of what First Man does. What a fantastic two hours it was- First Man paled by comparison, frankly.

The music. The cast. The sheer joy. Mind, it was a sobering experience- a 55″ OLED does no favours for DVD. The show looks quite utterly horrible. Here starts the campaign to get somebody at HBO to remaster the series for a HD release on Blu-ray (and okay the campaign probably ends here too, but I can dream). Some of the model-work holds up (just) but the CGI effects have aged as badly as a Babylon 5 episode, and could do with a fresh rework. It would be a shame to let the rest of the series suffer for this poor image quality and dated effects, because it could likely hold the series back from gaining a new appreciative audience. Strangely overlooked over the years since it first aired (its a series largely lost under the shadow of HBOs bigger hits like The Sopranos, Band of Brothers etc)  I still think it is a remarkable project and a largely definitive account of the Apollo program. Maybe HBO plan to so something with the show next year, as a freshly remastered broadcast to commemorate the fiftieth anniversary of the moon landing would seem a marketing man’s daydream.

 

 

4 thoughts on “HBO’s From the Earth to the Moon > First Man

  1. I was thinking about this some more earlier as I happened to watch a film on DVD (School of Rock, for what it’s worth) which looked fine upscaled on my 4K TV — not exceptional, but not bad; I’m not convinced a Blu-ray would’ve looked much better. I guess the key really is the quality of the original elements and encoding of the disc. As I recall, the From the Earth to the Moon DVD was always a little ropey; it probably needs a ground-up remaster, which sadly makes it even less likely.

    1. Ian Smith

      Hey, it’s coming in two weeks, who’d have thought it! HD remaster and new effects. Whatever next? The original 1977 Star Wars in 4k?

  2. Pingback: Whats coming in July – the ghost of 82

  3. Pingback: From the Earth to a HD Moon – the ghost of 82

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