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The Apollo Story: Man's Journey to the Moon

01/06/2009. Contributed by Rod MacDonald

Buy The Apollo Story: Man's Journey to the Moon in the USA - or Buy The Apollo Story: Man's Journey to the Moon in the UK

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region 2 DVD: pub: Revelation Films. PAR61303. 1 DVD 45 minute film plus extras. Price: 4.99 (UK).

check out website:

Looking at the full moon the other night, the thought struck me that it's been almost 40 years since Apollo 11 landed on its surface. Armstrong and Aldrin, on July 21 1969, walked on the moon. Watched by hundreds of millions all over the world, this is probably one of the most significant events in human history.

I had just turned seventeen at the time and over the next couple of years or so, I watched another six missions to the Moon, all of them successful apart from the ill-fated but fortunate Apollo 13. Since 1972, nobody has returned. However, within the next 10 to 20 years, human footsteps will once again mark the Moon's dusty surface. They may not be American footsteps or even Russian. Perhaps the next person on the Moon will be Chinese or Indian?

Whatever the future may hold, July marks the fortieth anniversary of the first Moon landing. There will be many events taking place to commemorate this event, with hopefully the three astronauts making an appearance before the public. There will probably be lots of other attempts to make money from the general public by cashing in on the enthusiasm generated by this event.

Revelation Films has released a DVD to commemorate the fortieth anniversary of the Moon landing. Exactly what is claimed in advertising blurb for this DVD?

It says, 'commemorating the fortieth anniversary of the momentous Apollo 11 Moon landing.' There is a picture of the Apollo rocket blasting off, another of Armstrong, Aldrin and Collins and yet another of Patrick Moore. It also says, 'written and presented by Sir Patrick Moore.' Their website gives a similar picture.

One of the problems is that the material on the DVD was not made to commemorate the fortieth anniversary of the Moon landing. It wasn't even made to commemorate the thirtieth anniversary! In fact, the material, made by The Science Museum, was published in 1995, some 14 years before the fortieth anniversary. In addition, and technically speaking, of course, it wasn't presented by Sir Patrick Moore. The famous presenter and astronomer did not receive his knighthood until 2001. At the time, he was Patrick Moore CBE.

Watching the DVD, there is absolutely nothing about the fortieth anniversary of Apollo 11. No interviews, absolutely nothing! What has happened in this case is that Revelation Films has packaged an out-of-date DVD which no longer seems to be available even from The Science Museum, and issued it to the general public. I certainly would not pay 4.99 for this DVD. I would suggest that readers of this review do not pay for it either. Perhaps if anything it would have its place as a free DVD issued by a newspaper.

What about the actual content. Well, it's actually not bad. Lasting for approximately 45 minutes, we are taken briefly through the history of the Apollo Programme. It seems to be accurate and it is well presented. At the end of the DVD, there's a long sequence of movie shots from all aspects of the space program right through to the shuttle and space station.

Some of the music becomes a little irritating. A selection from Orff's Carmina Burana was used. It is okay but Gustav Holtz's 'Jupiter' from the 'Planet Suite' was played to death. I couldn't understand why 'Jupiter' was used for the Moon! Surely a piece by Beethoven or even Debussy would have been more appropriate.

The fortieth anniversary of the Moon landing will be a momentous event but this DVD does not really commemorate the fortieth anniversary. It's a repackaged documentary from 14 years ago! There will be lots of other more up-to-date, comprehensive and interesting offerings available for this anniversary. I certainly would not buy this DVD. Had I purchased it without realising the actual content, I would have been quite disappointed. I would not recommend anyone to purchase this DVD.

Rod MacDonald

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