Join Apollo 11 on the ultimate human adventure, “8 Days: To the Moon and Back” airing Sunday, July 16 at 5:30 pm

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Co-Produced with the BBC, the Film on the Ultimate Human Adventure Airs Sunday, July 16 at 5:30 p.m.


Three actors playing astronauts in the command module of Apollo 11
Michael Collins (Patrick Kennedy), Neil Armstrong (Rufus Wright) and Buzz Aldrin (Jack Tarlton) in the Command Service Module.

PBS is taking viewers on a unique adventure with the crew of Apollo 11 for their eight-day, three-hour, 18-minute and 35-second mission in 8 DAYS: TO THE MOON AND BACK, a film co-produced with BBC Studios. The documentary seamlessly blends authentic rare mission audio featuring candid conversations between Neil Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin and Michael Collins with newly shot studio footage, NASA and news archives, and stunning CGI recreation of the historic journey and landing to bring this adventure back to life.

“With access to previously classified and little-heard, rare audio recordings and using amazing re-enactment and special effects, 8 DAYS: TO THE MOON AND BACK captures the story of Apollo 11 as it really happened,” said Bill Margol, Senior Director of Programming and Development, PBS. “From these unique audio recordings, we hear, and now can see, the Apollo 11 crew’s real fears and excitement from within the spacecraft, offering an intimate look into the breathtaking and awe-inspiring journey of the most important and celebrated mission ever flown.”

actor Jack Tarlton plays Buzz Aldrin in Apollo 11
Jack Tarlton plays Buzz Aldrin

8 DAYS: TO THE MOON AND BACK chronicles the Apollo 11 mission timer, beginning with the countdown (Day 1) and ending with the final splashdown (Day 8). Using a vast library of data and the recently declassified audio recordings, the film tells the entire story as “never seen before’’ by recreating the scenes that were not filmed. Reenactments featuring Rufus Wright (Rogue One: A Star Wars Story) as Commander Neil Armstrong, Jack Tarlton (The Imitation Game) as Lunar Module Pilot Buzz Aldrin and Patrick Kennedy (“Mrs. Wilson”) as Command Module Pilot Michael Collins use the crew’s original audio coupled with archival live television news footage and photographs, allowing viewers to feel as if the mission happened last week, not 50 years ago.

“It’s been truly thrilling to use the most innovative production techniques of the 21st century to bring the Apollo 11 story to life like never before,” said Andrew Cohen, Executive Producer and Head of Science, BBC Studios. “For the first time, this film takes audiences inside the mission to experience the actual journey of those three astronauts in the most intimate and spectacular of fashions. This is the ultimate documentary of the moon shot; it’s as if we’ve gone back 50 years and made the film we’d always dreamt of.”

Computer image of Apollo 11 in space, headed towards the moon
Computer image of Apollo 11 in space, headed towards the moon

8 DAYS: TO THE MOON AND BACK, a BBC Studios Science Unit production for BBC and PBS, in association with Canal+, is executive produced by Andrew Cohen and Jonathan Renouf. Commissioned by Tom McDonald, Head of Commissioning, Specialist Factual and Natural History, BBC and Bill Margol, Senior Director of Programming and Development at PBS. Distributed by BBC Studios, the Commissioning Editor is Craig Hunter.