Normally when I talk about a binge at the beach weekend it is either romcom’s or maybe some good dramatic series that you need to check out but this time I am suggesting a trip back to 1969 for some space travel along with the music of the greatest concert of its time. As a young boy growing up in the Tampa Bay area the summer of 1969 meant watching a moon landing and hearing about the great rock concert that ever was Woodstock.
Both events were held 50 years ago but PBS has brought them back to life. I am recommending that you get your PBS Passport app to watch Summer of Space series as well as Woodstock it is some of the best TV of the year.
Bill Margol who serves as Sr. Director, Programming and Development for PBS talked with me in detail about The Summer in Space series which he was so excited and proud about massive project. Some of the highlights of the series include. “Chasing the Moon,” written, produced and directed by Academy Award nominee Robert Stone for PBS.
8 Days: The Journey of Apollo 11 new documentary from BBC Studios, co-produced with PBS. It is an amazing show that I have watched twice and highly recommend. It is clever as a feature film but it crafts real life audio from the spacecraft on its historic journey with audio from Mission Control in Houston. We get to hear the real voices of Neil Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin and Michael Collins with newly shot studio footage of the trio being played by actors.
They also use NASA and news archive, and stunning CGI recreation of the journey and landing. As I have said this is a truly one of a kind film that is just amazing in its mixing of the real audio and acting of the crew.
NOVA has two outstanding binge-worthy series that hopefully will spawn a new generation of space lovers starting with“Back to the Moon” which takes us inside the Mars mission all the to the Asteroid Belt and beyond.
Finally, we have a stunning series called “The Planets” viewers to an up-close look at some faraway worlds, including the dark side of Pluto, an ancient Martian waterfall and the storm twice the size of Earth seen from high above Saturn, revealing how each of them has affected our own planet.
After you have spent the summer in space how about some classic rock music. PBS does a great job celebrating the 50th Anniversary of another historic milestone and that, of course, is Woodstock.
PBS offers another program perfect for a weekend at the beach Woodstock: Three Days that Would Define a Generation. It is a glorious mixture of music and some never before seen video from that along with a look at how it changed history.
Interestingly Woodstock took place just one week after the moon landing. On that rainy August weekend back in 1969, nearly half a million people gathered at a farm in upstate New York to hear music. What happened over the next three days, however, was far more than a concert. It would become a legendary event, one that would define a generation and mark the end of one of the most turbulent decades in modern history.
Be sure to check out my full conversation with Bill Margol who serves as Sr. Director, Programming and Development for PBS.