One Small Step: A BBC Moon Landing Collection

Links  After yesterday's BBC 100 post which included material about how the BBC covered Apollo 11, I thought it would be useful to create a list of programmes from the corporation about the lunar landings in general and what better source than the contents of a boxset of programmes released by Penguin Books which is otherwise retailing for £25.  Instead, here are links to the same programmes on BBC Sounds:

Part 1: The Moon Landings

"With unique archive recordings, Buzz Aldrin relives the dangerous moments of the final descent in the first ever moon landing."

Obituary series. Matthew Bannister remembers astronaut Neil Armstrong, organist Carlo Curley, Ethiopian Prime Minister Meles Zenawi and comedian Phyllis Diller.

"To mark the Apollo 11 Moon landing, personal accounts of landmarks in space exploration."

"The story of the first mission which took human beings beyond the earth's orbit and which led the way to a landing on the moon."

Part 2: Legacy

"James Burke, the key voice for the BBC coverage of the moon landings in 1969, revisits the momentous event in front of a live audience."

Stargazing: A Moon Landing Special
[Not available - looks like an audio version of this television programme]

"Forty years on from the first moon landing, Richard Hollingham examines British plans to return with a mission called MoonLITE."

"Brian Cox and Robin Ince are joined by a panel, every member of which has been in space."

Part 3: Why The Moon?

"Mike Williams explores the moon in culture, how it affects life on Earth and he asks Alan Bean – one of the handful of people who have walked on it – what the moon is really like."

"Where does the Moon come from? Are we going back? And, as the Moon's commercial prospects are considered, who controls conservation of our only natural satellite?"

"Rajan Datar and guests contemplate the Moon, and ask how human understanding of what it is and what it means has changed over time."

Part 4: The Future

"Pennie Latin looks at the race to return to the moon, hearing from people who have orbited the moon and those who are planning to return to it to form a human colony."

"Documentary looking at the concept of growing plants in space. With plans to revisit the Moon and even Mars, the prospect is an enticing one, but how could plants survive?"

"Fifty years after the historic moon landing, what's the current state of space exploration?"

A History of the BBC in 100 Blog Posts: 1969.

Strange New Worlds ended its second glorious run last week and without hopefully giving away too many spoilers, they seem to be slowly collecting together enough of those old scientists to suggest that at some point in the future we may get some stories featuring the classic characters set during the original five year mission and even before the Kelvin timeline gets its act together and puts out a fourth film.

What's perhaps been most interesting is how little conversation there's really been about the aesthetics of the show, certainly in comparison to the Abrams films.  Strange New Worlds's Enterprise takes some design cues from the 60s series, but its very much a modernised bridge and a technology which absorbs then extrapolates outwards from what we have today.  There are screens everywhere and sight to sight beaming (for example) is common place.

Back in the late nineties, the franchise was meticulous about resurrecting the familiar look of the old series.  From the portions of the bridge reconstructed for Relics and Trials and Tribbleations through to the full bridge set on Enterprises's recreation of the Reliant sets on In a Mirror, Darkly, props and costumes were carefully maintained.  Dax even speaks nostalgically of "classic twenty third century designs" when she and Sisko travel backwards in time to the classic Enterprise.

Yet from what I've seen, fans and general viewers have taken a pretty mature approach to the update, accepting that just as comic books treat stories from earlier eras as conical even though they were written and drawn in very different idioms, so we can be viewing the younger versions of characters who's stories were originally filmed in the 1960s on a set which is light years ahead of what was imaginable and affordable back then.

Some people may be waiting for a twist that it'll turn out Strange New Worlds and all of the Paramount+ series are happening in a different timeline to TOS, perhaps due to Pike avoiding his fate.  How else to explain the change in characterisations for Spock and Chapel?  But I'm quite relaxed with the idea that there's a story and then how that story is told and that every era and generation has its own way of printing the legend.  

Star Trek

"Star Trek is turning 50 this month, but it took a journey through jumbled running orders, black and white series, “banned episodes” and a myth of progressiveness to appeal to UK viewers."
[The New Statesman]

"This is the first of what will probably be several long updates about Star Trek episodes and their repeats on the BBC. The recently launched BBC Genome project makes it easy to search BBC schedules and it is now possible to do from a computer what would otherwise have taken months in a library to complete."
[Space Doubt]

"Matthew Sweet, George Takei, Naomi Alderman, Una McCormack and José-Antonio Orosco discuss the Cold War politics and contemporary relevance of the Star Trek universe."
[BBC Sounds]

"Matthew Sweet celebrates the music of the Star Trek movie franchise."
[BBC Sounds]

"William Shatner set his chat level to 'stun' as he talked about James T. Kirk, whether it is Trekkies or Trekkers and 'Star Trek: The Motion Picture'. We just khan't wait for the sequel."
[BBC Archive]

"Leonard Nimoy revealed that it was okay to still think of him as Spock.  The 1975 release of his book I Am Not Spock, caused ructions among Trekkies/Trekkers (* delete as applicable).  This clip is from Wogan."
[BBC Archive]

"Kevin Fong asks what became of Star Trek’s inspiring TV vision of society and space? Can it ever happen? From 2016."
[BBC Sounds]

Apollo 11

"16 million people in the UK tuned in to watch the lunar landing in 1969—how did television channels make the broadcasts happen?"
[Science and Media Museum]

"In 1969, Sir Patrick Moore was part of the BBC’s Apollo 11 commentary team. In 2009, he described his part in the historic live broadcast."
[BBC Sky At Night Magazine]

"James Burke and Michael Charlton, two presenters involved in the BBC broadcasts recall what it was like to witness the moment we set foot on the Moon."
[BBC Science Focus]

"It was a small step for a man, but a giant leap for the viewing public in July 1969 when they followed history in the making from the comfort of their sofas with Apollo 11 – the BBC’s coverage of NASA’s mission to land men on the Moon."
[Wiped News]

"In July 1969, amateur astronomer and space enthusiast Kevin Kilburn aged 19 was living with his mother and sister in Ashton under Lyne in East Manchester, England. Kevin recorded the sound track from the British TV and radio coverage of the event onto four 150 mm audio tapes."
[Explaining Science]

"On 20 July 1969, Neil Armstrong became the first man to walk on the Moon.  These programmes and clips tell the story of the Apollo Moon missions, how they got off the ground and why the missions came to an abrupt end."
[BBC Archive]

The Royal Family

"Queen Elizabeth’s former press secretary shares what really happened behind the scenes of the film."
[Town and Country]

"A documentary about the Royal Family, which was shown more than 50 years ago before being locked away, has been removed from YouTube."
[BBC News]

The whole documentary on YouTube.
[Sean M King Snr]

The Clangers

"The son of Oliver Postgate, creator of the 1970s show, reveals what was in the scripts for the delightful and puzzling swannee-whistle creatures."
[The Guardian]

"I was a space baby, born in 1966. Throughout youth and as sadly as an adult I have nurtured an obsession with groovy TV music. Especially children’s TV music; Even more specifically children’s space music. My close encounter with The Clangers was inevitable really."
[Off The Telly]

"Sprout, the first 24-hour preschool network, is debuting a contemporary version of Clangers, the BBC’s beloved British stop-motion animation television show from the 1960's, on June 20th, with pop culture legend William Shatner as narrator."
Not strictly the BBC, but I couldn't pass over the Star Trek connection.  The Guardian has a clip here.


"For all its subsequent ubiquity, Nationwide sidled onto TV screens at 6pm on Tuesday 9 September 1969 with an absolute minimum of publicity."
[Off The Telly]

"What was the impact and legacy of the BBC’s popular current affairs programme that launched Sue Lawley’s TV career, and spawned the birth of TV consumer journalism?"
[BBC Sounds]

"The Lime Grove Story celebrates the greatest television programme of all time - Nationwide."
[BBC Archive]

"A day in the life of the ambitious, multi-region current affairs show Nationwide.  This clip is from Nationwide - the 1000th Edition."
[BBC Archive]


"A documentary probing what the public wants from a city. Margaret Drabble asks whether we want our cities to be monumental, beautiful, arterial, or liveable?"
[BBC Rewind]

"Magnus Magnusson presents the first of two programmes in colour on the latest archaeological dig at Silbury Hill under Professor R.J. Atkinson, where new tunnels and excavations are being made."
[BBC Rewind]

"The economic and social problems of the west of Ireland. The film examines the difficulties of small-scale farming, the problem of unemployment and depopulation, the progress of new industries - especially tourism, and the role of the Catholic Church."
[BBC Rewind]


"Charles Curran, the BBC Director General from April 1969 to September 1977, has often been given an unfair press."


"On the brink of the seventies the B B C faces a number of problems. In this brief introduction I will refer to three of the more important."
[World Radio History]