YMMV / From the Earth to the Moon

The book:

  • Hilarious in Hindsight: Three brave men step into a capsule in Florida named Columbia, get launched to the moon, survive the trip and return safely to Earth, parachuting into the Pacific Ocean. Did I just describe this book, or the Apollo 11 moon landing?
  • Values Dissonance: Americans are portrayed as egotistical and willing to use any excuse to go to war, and we're supposed to like them. Of course, even though Verne is giving a comic portrait of America, he based it on facts.

The Miniseries:

  • Awesome Music:
    • Michael Kamen's main theme and its reprise over the end credits.
    • The unique score for "Spider", the episode about the development of the Lunar Module. It's a very sweet, slightly haunting oboe melody for the vehicle that would set humans on the surface of another world, being left behind every time.
  • Crowning Moment of Heartwarming
    • The end of "The Original Wives Club," when Jim discovers that all of his kids had his tonsils out without him knowing, along with various other things, which he's very unhappy about until Marilyn explains that she was trying to protect him from being fatally distracted by worries at home.
    Jim: [after a long pause] ...Thank you.
    Marilyn: For what?
    Jim: Everything.
    • From the same episode, Frank and Susan Borman when he visits her at the center where she's being treated for alcoholism. It's not surprising that it's revealed of the "New Nine" couples, only the Bormans and the Lovells remained married.
    • The "You saved 1968" telegram in the Apollo 8 episode.
    • The admiration and devotion that Professor Silver earns froms his pupils.
  • Designated Villain: A well-done, nuanced version in Senator Mondale, who initially seems to want to kill the moon landing just because it will score him political points. When he says that he doesn't really hate NASA, he just thinks the money being spent on it is a waste and could be better used ending poverty at home and a useless war abroad, it's tough to argue with him. (Though perhaps Harsher in Hindsight in that maybe his wants were compelling, but within two years NASA had put a man on the moon, while spending on the programs he describes—hunger, poverty, etc.-long outdistanced NASA entire budget and its success rate has been substantially lower. Even ending the war in Vietnam turned out to be an exercise in failure.)
  • Harsher in Hindsight: The clash in We Interrupt This Program over more tactful news reporting techniques versus more privacy-invading, sensationalistic ones is even more poignant given the rise of celebrity-hounding paparazzi that have only grown even more invasive due thanks to the Internet.
  • Retroactive Recognition: Is that Senator Mondale Roger Sterling?
  • Special Effects Failure: Sure, they didn't have the budget of a feature film to spend, but the cgi used in the miniseries ranged from being amazing to downright laughable.
    • On the other hand, the moonwalking sequences were universally awesome thanks to clever practical effects.
  • Tear Jerker:
    • The entirety of "Apollo One."
    • Especially the last five minutes, where the widows of Grissom, White, and Chaffee present Deke Slayton with an astronaut pin their husbands had planned to give him after the mission, to show the grounded Slayton they considered him a real astronaut even though he'd never flown in spacenote . Made more heart-wrenching by it being Truth in Television, and while the episode suggests it occurred after the hearings and investigation, it actually happened immediately after the accident, when Slayton and other astronauts and their families gathered at Pat White's home to help comfort the bereaved families. Slayton was always moved how when they were suffering the worst losses of their lives, they were thinking of him. It takes a heart of stone to get through the end of this episode without tearing up.
    • The events in "1968". The successful test launch of the Saturn V cuts immediately Martin Luther King Jr.'s assassination. The Borman sons casually discussing the presidential race is halted when they get the newspaper proclaiming that Robert Kennedy was shot. And Susan Borman becomes convinced that the engines on Apollo 8 will fail and leave her husband, Jim Lovell, and Bill Anders orbiting the moon in a flying coffin for the rest of time.