In Brief

Moon landing anniversary: ten films and TV shows to celebrate Apollo 11

From Apollo 11 to The Martian watch these for the 20th anniversary of the moon landing Saturday

This Saturday marks the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 moon landings, when Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin made their “giant leap for mankind”.

But if a giant leap sounds like a bit much for a lazy summer weekend, you can always celebrate space exploration from your sofa with one of these iconic television shows and movies:

First Man

This (mostly) factual Neil Armstrong biopic stars Ryan Gosling as the first man to walk on the moon, and portrays the hectic run-up to the famous mission as well as its effects on his relationships with his children and wife (played by The Crown star Claire Foy).

Available on Now TV from Saturday 20 July 

Apollo 11

This 2019 documentary details the Apollo 11 mission from conception to execution. What sets it apart from most documentaries is the absence of narration and talking head interviews, instead consisting entirely of archive footage, including previously unreleased film.

Available on Amazon Prime

Moon Landing Live
moon_landing_live.jpg

Channel 4 and Little Dot Studios bring a reconstructed, livestream of the historic moon landing, using archive footage from Nasa and images taken by crew aboard the spaceship, accompanied by unedited audio feedback between the astronauts and mission control.

Channel 4 on Saturday 20 July at 8pm

Apollo 13

Based on the legendary 1970 lunar mission, in which astronauts miraculously returned to Earth unharmed, despite their main engine exploding, this classic blockbuster perfectly portrays the tension and terror of disaster in space.

Available on Netflix

Approaching the Unknown

This sci-fi movie follows Captain William Stanaforth (Mark Strong) as he embarks on a one-way solo mission to Mars, where is he forced to make impossible decisions, test his sanity, and even question the existence of both himself and everyone he left behind on Earth.

Available on Netflix

Hidden Figures

This inspiring movie tells the real-life story of three black women who worked for Nasa in the 1960s, fighting discrimination and hostility as they worked on the project which would ultimately put the first man on the moon.

Available on Amazon Prime

Interstellar

Christopher Nolan’s time-warping epic paints a bleak picture of a not-to-distant future in which human civilisation is threatened by devastating crop blights, prompting Nasa to launch a universe-wide search for a new home for humanity.

Engineer Joseph Cooper (Matthew McConaughey) is tasked with leading the search to find a habitable planet using wormholes as shortcuts through space - what follows is a visually stunning and often deeply moving exploration of the potential wonders of the universe beyond our Solar System, and an unnerving treatise on mankind’s willingness to destroy itself and its surroundings.

Available on Amazon Prime

The Martian

Based on Andy Weir’s 2011 novel of the same name, The Martian follows an astronaut (Matt Damon) wrongly assumed dead after a mission gone wrong and left behind on Mars, where he must struggle to survive alone on the barren, hostile landscape.

Available on Amazon Prime

Neil Armstrong - First Man on the Moon

This in-depth documentary includes interviews as well as unbroadcast archive footage of the first man on the moon, offering an intimate portrayal of the astronaut’s life, from his childhood to his astronaut career and beyond.

BBC Four on Saturday 20 July at 7pm

The Right Stuff

This 1983 American historical drama adapted from Tom Wolfe’s best-selling book of the same name pays tribute to the pioneering Navy, Marine, and Airforce test pilots in the first years of the American space program. 

Available on Amazon Prime

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