Review 2013: Not The Doctor: Spacecraft: Apollo 11 - Men On The Moon.

Space NASA's Spacecraft: Apollo 11 - Men On The Moon boxed set (which I finally watched this year) gathers together all of the relevant footage of the moment when man finally landed on the moon, something we discovered this year, China is working towards replicating (far more than appears on NASA STI YouTube channel). From the construction of the spacecraft to it returning safely to Earth, the dvds include all of the television tests and proper broadcasts too and from the moon and the whole of the moon walks in real time, from multiple angles including a 16mm camera fixed to the top of the Eagle. It's one thing to see the edited highlights of this mission, quite another to watch the astronauts attempting to mix their media commitments with scientific experiments during the brief time they have on our satellite, slightly drunk on the whole experience of standing on another world.  Some of the footage is entirely unwatchable, especially during camera tests as the astronauts shift the camera around the cabin so that images become an abstract mess and you have to remind constantly remind yourself, that this abstract mess was being broadcast from space to the earth in 1969.  Plus if the lunar landing was faked by Stanley Kubrick (or whoever) why would they bother with any of this?  Why is so much of the material on the moon random chatter and high technical conversations about the implications of how the samples of rock are being gathered and where they should be stored?  Why all the administration?  The best moments on the surface are perhaps when the film and video footage are intercut with the iconic colour stills photographs just as they're being taken, the grainy silhouette suddenly brought into sharp focus.  It's impossible not to feel a sense of awe at what was achieved and could be achieved again.

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