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  National Geographic: Seconds From Disaster

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Author Topic:   National Geographic: Seconds From Disaster
Robert Pearlman
Editor

Posts: 27327
From: Houston, TX
Registered: Nov 1999

posted 06-28-2005 01:47 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
National Geographic Channel, Tuesday, July 5, 2005
Seconds from Disaster: Columbia's Last Flight

After a successful 16-day mission in space, the shuttle Columbia blows apart re-entering the Earth's atmosphere. Could the tragedy have been prevented?

John McGauley
Member

Posts: 144
From: Fort Wayne, Indiana USA
Registered: May 2001

posted 06-28-2005 09:14 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for John McGauley   Click Here to Email John McGauley     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I don't often comment on television shows, but I felt compelled to write after seeing this. I don't believe I've ever witnessed such a poorly researched and tacky presentation. The factual errors, overdramatization and sloppiness just blew me away. To put it bluntly, this was a thinly disguised snuff film. Depict the crew stuggling with the stick while "Columbia, Houston, UHF com check" blares in their ears made me sick.

OV-105
Member

Posts: 589
From: Ridgecrest, CA USA
Registered: Sep 2000

posted 06-28-2005 10:19 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for OV-105   Click Here to Email OV-105     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I didn't like it too much. I thought it was going to be a lot better than it was. Being on National Geographic Channel I expected a better show. Searfoss and Husban's wife were the best part and only thing worth watching.

Robert Pearlman
Editor

Posts: 27327
From: Houston, TX
Registered: Nov 1999

posted 06-28-2005 10:33 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
The effects and reenactments did leave something to be desired. Having seen other episodes of this particular series, I was prepared for the approach it would take but still felt they were at times trying to create tension or suspense where none existed (the whole "go for throttle up" sequence was a tad forced).

In addition to the interviews with Searfoss and Evelyn Husband as mentioned, I thought the comments by John Clark, Scott Hubbard, and Adm. Gehman were of interest and value.

It was interesting to see what they chose to omit. For a show concerned with reconstructing the accident, I thought it was odd that they didn't show the reassembly of the debris in Florida or make mention of any of the other initial theories as to why or how Columbia broke apart. I thought they might show through their computer model of Columbia the progression of the break-up as it had been postulated to have occurred but instead we were shown a rather non-specific explosion of parts.

John McGauley
Member

Posts: 144
From: Fort Wayne, Indiana USA
Registered: May 2001

posted 06-28-2005 10:34 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for John McGauley   Click Here to Email John McGauley     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by OV-105:
Searfoss and Husban's wife were the best part and only thing worth watching.
I agree, they were the only part that added anything to the story.

But I found the fact errors to be absolutely incredible. And those completely inaccurate CGI and live action "recreations" were absolutely ghoulish. Some of it was right up there with the 1990 Challenger movie for historical accuracy.

Cape Kennedy? (spoken two or three times) — hasn't been called that since the '70s. And I especially loved the part where they claimed that main engine throttle up is the part of ascent that everyone fears the most!

Right... and this program has been nominated for an Emmy.

tegwilym
Member

Posts: 2284
From: Renton, WA USA
Registered: Jan 2000

posted 06-29-2005 12:30 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for tegwilym   Click Here to Email tegwilym     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I haven't seen it yet, but taped it. From what you guys are saying about this, maybe I shouldn't bother rewinding the tape to watch it.

KSCartist
Member

Posts: 2488
From: Titusville, FL USA
Registered: Feb 2005

posted 06-29-2005 02:43 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for KSCartist   Click Here to Email KSCartist     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I did tape it and was very disappointed. For many of the same reasons mentioned above. I will tape over it. It doesn't deserve any award.

Scott
Member

Posts: 3293
From: Houston, TX
Registered: May 2001

posted 06-29-2005 10:06 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Scott   Click Here to Email Scott     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
It didn't really seem all that bad to me. I thought the interviews were enlightening and the graphics were well done. For a one hour documentary, on a scale of 1 to 10 I'd give it a 7 or 8. Just my opinion!

KSCartist
Member

Posts: 2488
From: Titusville, FL USA
Registered: Feb 2005

posted 06-30-2005 05:46 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for KSCartist   Click Here to Email KSCartist     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
What I was disappointed about is the re-enactment and the graphics. Do you remember the photograph released that showed Columbia as it passed over (I think) Hawaii. It was a silhouette only and it clearly showed the damage to the left wing. The graphics of the show didn't show the progression of damage very accurately. I'm not looking to be salacious but I hoped National Geographic would have put more care into their product.

The reenactment of the crew activities wasn't accurate time-wise. When Rick Husband responds to the call from Houston and is cut off, it's because the orbiter is breaking up. They showed him still struggling to maintain the attitude of the orbiter.

The interviews were the best part. I'm just saying it could have been so much better.

Fra Mauro
Member

Posts: 1015
From: Maspeth, NY
Registered: Jul 2002

posted 08-23-2011 02:53 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Fra Mauro   Click Here to Email Fra Mauro     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I saw today two shows on the National Geographic Channel called "Seconds from Disaster," one on Columbia, the other on Challenger. Both were very informative — I wish they had done a show on Apollo 1.

Editor's note: Threads merged.

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