Apollo 13

Moons everywhere, is how it feels right now. We only discovered Eoin Colfer’s Half Moon Investigations on television, because Daughter was googling the moon for her GCSE coursework. In the course of said GCSE we have looked out for the moon for weeks. Have you ever considered how inconvenient the moon is? Sometimes it’s cloudy and you don’t see it, which to be fair isn’t the moon’s fault. And when it’s clear the moon is sometimes so small you can’t see it anyway, or it’s too close to the horizon. Then there is the times at which the moon makes itself available, like appearing after you’ve gone to bed or going away before you’ve woken up. And sometimes it shines and shines in just the right place.

A week or so ago, Daughter gave up on school work for the evening and turned up clutching the video of Apollo 13 with Tom Hanks. She reckoned it was halfway to doing coursework. I wasn’t going to watch, but found myself doing so anyway. The power of Tom Hanks, and the power of the moon.

Having written a long essay at school about Apollo 13 back in 1970, I have a lot of interest in it myself. I used to sit in front of the television all the time watching everything to do with the moon landings, and combed the paper for anything Apollo-ish. I thought it was a stupid idea to make a film of it, but when you see it you realise it’s not.

If it wasn’t a film of a real event, you wouldn’t believe what happens, or that it could have a happy ending. Each time I see the film, I expect the outcome to be different. It’s the nerd’s perfect action movie.

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4 responses to “Apollo 13

  1. Another Anne

    Hanks got so interested in the whole thing that he subsequently executive-produced a 12-part HBO docudrama series about 10 years ago called From the Earth to the Moon, about the entire Apollo programme and the Mercury and Gemini programmes preceding it. Which is one of the best TV shows I have ever seen. Seriously, it’s the only time I’ve ever worn out a video through overwatching.

  2. Another Anne

    Oh, and I forgot to mention: the grumpy hardass commander of Apollo 7? Played by Mark Harmon.

  3. I know, I know. About Mark, I mean. Didn’t realise it was a Hanks series, but that would explain things.

    You mean it’s so worn out I can’t come over to your house and watch? I have looked into buying it, because I am enough of a space freak to want it.

  4. Another Anne

    It’s really just the first ten minutes or so that’s hard to make out any more … up until Alan Shepard gets into space, the whole picture keeps jumping up and down uncontrollably. Then the zero-gravity seems to calm it down!

    I am in the process of figuring out how to set up the new PVR and the new (second-hand) DVD recorder and still be able to watch and maybe even record videos, because I am a nerd and still own a record player exclusively for 78s. I will let you know how that goes!

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