(Above source: YouTube video)
Tom Wolfe’s bestseller The Right Stuff is the subject of a new adaptation, an eight-episode series debuting today, October 9, on Disney+.
Produced by National Geographic, The Right Stuff presents NASA’s early days against the backdrop of a space race and Cold War with the former Soviet Union. The newly created space agency selects seven of the military’s best test pilots from more than 100 applicants to become astronauts in the US Mercury program. They include Scott Carpenter (James Lafferty), Gordon Cooper (Colin O’Donoghue), John Glenn (Patrick J. Adams), Gus Grissom (Michael Trotter), Wally Schirra (Aaron Staton), Alan Shepard (Jake McDorman) and Deke Slayton (Micah Stock).
The three-hour 1983 motion picture The Right Stuff won four Academy awards and was nominated for best picture. The film profiles the competitive personalities and politics of the original Mercury team, including Glenn’s (Ed Harris) freshman orbital triumph and Grissom’s (Fred Ward) sophomore flight misfortune that foreshadows future tragedy. The cast also includes Dennis Quaid, Sam Shepard, Scott Glenn, Lance Henriksen, Charles Frank and Scott Paulin.
Finally, for the unsung heroes of the early US space efforts, we recommend Hidden Figures (2016), also available on Disney+. Hidden Figures tells the story of the female African American mathematicians who endured discrimination while helping NASA behind-the-scenes to overcome some of its biggest challenges. The film stars Taraji P. Henson, Academy Award nominee Octavia Spencer, Janelle Monáe, Kevin Costner, Kirsten Dunst, Jim Parsons, Mahershala Ali, and Glen Powell as John Glenn.
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