Produced a year before Ron Howard's film of the doomed space mission hit Hollywood, To the Edge and Back brings the real faces of the Apollo 13 saga to the forefront. Astronauts Jim Lovell and Fred Haise talk about the flight (Jack Swigert died in 1982) while the technicians, including mission operations director Chris Kraft and flight director Gene Kranz, recall the moon shot and the near-fatal explosion. It's still hard to make the story fill an hour, so there's time to examine the space race in general and show previous missions. The "showing" part is the program's weakness. Ron Howard used no real footage in his film, which was smart since there really isn't a lot of interesting footage, just the usual launch and TV transmissions. Simple computer animations fill in the gaps, yet even the money shot--a still picture of the damaged spacecraft--is not shown. Still, this is a key document for those digging to see the "real" behind the story. It works as a wonderful "extra" to the Oscar-winning Hollywood film. --Doug Thomas

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