"That's one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind."
This is a drama with documentary-ish elements mini-series of 12 episodes about the space race of the 1960's from USA's perspective, that gave us one of the biggest achievements in mankind's history, landing man on the moon.
Being a huge fan of the subject matter and space in general, I was surprised that I didn't watch this series sooner. It is an HBO series, so you know it will be quality, and along with that, Tom Hanks is the producer, acts as the narrator at the start of each episode and acts in one of the episodes, and is an avid space fan to top it off. Just one more reason to love the guy.
The series covers different aspects, different major events and different people involved in the whole ordeal, from Kennedy's wish and promise to land a man on the moon by the end of the decade, to the last apollo mission in the 70's. And it did all that masterfully. The attention to detail was outstanding. Tons of actual footage was used alongside very well acted dramatized scenes detailing important decisions and personalities. It looked really great with amazing huge detailed sets. The only thing that felt off was some of the rare CGI shots, which feels dated now but considering they are from 1998, and that too from a series, I'm not complaining much. It was great to see how many different things, how much effort, how much dedication it took to make this all happen. It was also great to see different side of it all, political, manufacturing, the astronauts themselves etc.
"We choose to go to the moon. We choose to go to the moon. We choose to go to the moon, in this decade and do the other thing. Not because it is easy, but because it is hard." -John F. Kennedy.
The series also had a great soundtrack, really uplifting the whole thing to that magical feeling of space exploration and the ability to do the impossible. Probably my favourite thing about the series, it just really gave me that feeling that I often look for in such series/movies.
The only real gripe, or rather a nitpick, from my part for this series is that since each episode focused on a specific topic, the enjoyment factor varied quite a much sometimes for me. Some episodes were truly great, while others were pretty good. Even the least enjoyable episode was still good though.
All in all, it was a great experience, something I wished I had watched long ago. Easily one of the best mini-series I have ever watched. You could just tell how much effort was put to make this series and tell the story in a faithful way, as well as in an enjoyable way and not make it a full on documentary. It is amazing to see what we are capable of when working towards a common goal and when we have proper driving force behind us.