TV is over the moon with spe­cials re­count­ing his­toric 1969 land­ing

Antelope Valley Press (Sunday) - - News - By LYNN ELBER AP Tele­vi­sion Writer

LOS AN­GE­LES — The 1969 moon land­ing turned an achieve­ment seen only in the imag­i­na­tion and sci-fi movies into a most im­prob­a­ble tele­vi­sion event, a live broad­cast star­ring Neil Arm­strong and a des­o­late land­scape.

The as­tound­ing im­ages from more than 200,000 miles away mes­mer­ized view­ers, a feat TV hopes to repli­cate lead­ing up to the Apollo 11 mis­sion’s 50th an­niver­sary on July 20.

There’s a galaxy of pro­grams about the science, the peo­ple and the sheer won­der of the voy­age, in­clud­ing doc­u­men­taries with footage and au­dio not made pub­lic be­fore and, of course, mod­ern spe­cial ef­fects to make it all the more vivid. Among the high­lights:

• “Apollo: Mis­sions to the Moon,” Na­tional Ge­o­graphic, 9 p.m. to­day. The two-hour film by Tom Jen­nings uses a mix of TV and ra­dio news ac­counts, home movies, NASA footage and previously un­aired mis­sion con­trol au­dio record­ings to re­visit all the manned Apollo mis­sions.

• “The Day We Walked on the Moon,” 9 p.m. to­day, Smith­so­nian Chan­nel. A bythe-minute de­scrip­tion of the day of the moon mis­sion by those who were part of it, in­clud­ing as­tro­naut Michael Collins, and those who viewed it from afar, such as Queen gui­tarist and sci­en­tist Brian May.

• “Amer­i­can Ex­pe­ri­ence: Chas­ing the Moon,” PBS and pbs.org, 9 p.m. Mon­day through Wed­nes­day (check lo­cal list­ings). Robert Stone’s six-hour doc­u­men­tary, nar­ra­tion-free and us­ing only archival footage, tracks the space race from its start to the lu­nar land­ing and be­yond, ex­am­in­ing the sci­en­tific in­no­va­tion, pol­i­tics, per­sonal drama and me­dia spec­ta­cle that pro­pelled it.

• “From the Earth to the Moon,” HBO plat­forms start­ing July 15. The 1998 minis­eries is back with its orig­i­nal vis­ual ef­fects re­placed by com­put­er­gen­er­ated ones based, ac­cord­ing to HBO, on NASA ref­er­ence mod­els. The cast in­cludes Sally Field, Gary Cole and Tom Hanks, who also pro­duced the drama avail­able on HBO Go, HBO Now and HBO On Demand. A HBO chan­nel marathon air­ing of all 12 episodes be­gins at 8:45 a.m. July 20.

• “8 Days: To the Moon and Back,” PBS, 9 p.m. July 17 (check lo­cal list­ings). Co-pro­duced by PBS and BBC Stu­dios, the new film tracks the mis­sion from count­down to splash­down with a com­bi­na­tion of recently de­clas­si­fied au­dio, in­ter­views with the Apollo 11 crew, mis­sion re-en­act­ments, archival TV news footage and pho­to­graphs.

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