James May On The Moon

The BBC have just started with their ‘Moon’ series and they kicked it off last night on BBC Two with the utterly amazing ‘James May on the Moon’.

James May On The Moon

As part of a season of programming on BBC Two and BBC Four to celebrate 40 years since the first moon landing, James May takes a “giant leap” into space history to discover the stories of the heroes behind this auspicious historical event.

In James May On The Moon, the BBC’s Top Gear presenter learns to use an astronaut’s space suit as he trains for three days with the United States Air Force before travelling to the edge of space in a U2 spy plane. At 70,000 feet, James looks up into the blackness of space and down at the thin blue atmosphere beneath him, an experience that he says “changed his life”.

It may only be a small leap into space for James, but it helps him to understand the achievements of the Apollo astronauts. Along the way he meets some of the men who went to the moon, experiences zero gravity and endures the force of a Saturn V rocket launch in a centrifuge.

I don’t know about anyone else, but I instantly felt like a 5 year old as soon as I saw the rocket and the shots of NASA HQ. I found myself staring at the screen in utter amazement and all of the childhood dreams of blasting off into space instantly came flooding back to me.

The programme was geared with a geeky tech-y edge too, though there were also the ‘So, what was it like to walk on the moon?’ bits with some of the astronauts from other Apollo missions too… despite their efforts to try and avoid the question (of course they couldn’t!!). I found it so hard to believe that I was actually looking at someone who had walked on the moon! Mind-boggling.

The shots from the U2 spy plane at 70,000 feet were staggering and somewhat emotive.




A very well put-together docu I thought, James May was fantastic too, and if you missed it I would heartily recommend you look it up on BBC iPlayer!

This documentary was followed up with ‘James May At The Edge Of Space’ on BBC Four, which serves to provide more information on the ‘On the Moon’ programme – I recorded this one and plan to watch it tonight.

There was an exciting moment at work earlier, when I was going through our old Purchase Ledger and noticed that we’d bought something from ‘Astronaut Boulevard, Cape Canaveral’ – I actually squealed! Alas, looking at the the value of the order, it doesn’t seem to have been anything space-related (and is infact non-alien telephony equipment that has had no contact with an astronaut or a rocket), which was a HUGE disappointment heh! Freaky timing though!

I am very excited for what’s in store from the rest of the ‘Moon’ series now – though the Beeb seem to be pushing most of the content online and over radio instead of on the TV – which is disappointing.

One main gripe on the BBC’s Moon series, I really wish that they would broadcast the original moon landing in full on 21st July! Now that would be truly amazing!

About Gari

Northern lad; living out in the Peak District and rediscovering life after having had a brain tumour.

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