Buzz Aldrin on the Moon

Once Upon a Time in Space – the human story of space exploration

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A new BBC documentary series looks at the past, present and future of the space race. 

BBC Factual have announced the commission of a new series which promises to tell the human story of space exploration.

The show, titled Once Upon a Time in Space, comes from the award-winning team behind Once Upon a Time in Northern Ireland and Once Upon a Time in Iraq.

William Anders, Earthrise, 1968; from Seeing Science (Aperture, 2019)

Here’s the synopsis for Once Upon a Time in Space:

On the 14 December 1972, Eugene Cernan became the eleventh person to walk on the Moon. Leaving the lunar surface, he proclaimed, ‘We shall return’. These remain the last words to have been spoken on the Moon. In the decades since, the moon has become alien once again to direct human contact. However, that’s all about to change.

Humans are once again looking up and heading out, back into space… and we’re taking our power struggles with us. China, Russia, America, India, Saudi Arabia and Japan are all investing heavily in lunar exploration, jostling for power and influence amongst the stars. A new Space Race has begun.

The series will connect the past with the present and examine what the consequences are for the future of humankind as we once again head into space. It will hear compelling new testimony from pioneering astronauts, visionary scientists, remarkable engineers, daring space tourists, maverick billionaires, romantic dreamers and astro-theorists spellbound by the wonder of possibility.

James Bluemel
James Bluemel (c) BBC

Director James Bluemel says:

“It’s been great to work with the BBC on both Once Upon a Time in Iraq and Once Upon a Time in Northern Ireland, and I’m really excited to be starting this new one. It will be interesting creatively to take the Once Upon a Time approach and focus it on a subject like space, to move the strand on in an unexpected and refreshing way.”

The series, comprised of four hour-long episodes, comes from director James Bluemel and Keo Films. Produced by Keo Films, a Passion Pictures company, it’s destined for for BBC Two and iPlayer.

Director James Bluemel also serves as Executive Producer alongside Will Anderson and Andrew Palmer for Keo Films. Vicky Mitchell is Series Producer. The series is produced in partnership with the Open University.

We’ll keep you posted on Once Upon a Time in Space.