1 9 8 5 (USA)
1 9 8 7 (USA)
5 x 150 minute episodes
Originally aired as a 13-hour miniseries in five parts in April 1985, a re-edited nine-hour version of James A Michener’s Space was re-run on CBS during the summer of 1987.
This novelisation of the evolution of the American space program began at the end of World War II when the US and Russians both sought to obtain the best German rocket scientists and continued through to the exploration of the moon in the early 1970s.
The central focus of Space was WWII naval hero and lawyer Norman Grant (James Garner) who, after becoming a senator, used the space program as a platform to build a long-term power base.
Norman’s wife, Elinor (Susan Anspach), who never liked politics, became an alcoholic and got herself involved with con man Leopold Strabismus (David Dukes), who concealed his real name of Martin Scorcella to take advantage of the public’s fascination with outer space, UFO’s and extraterrestrials.
Penny Pope (Blair Brown) was an ambitious lawyer working for the Senate Space Committee, chaired by Grant, with whom she had an affair.
Her husband, John (Harry Hamlin), and his buddy Randy Claggett (Beau Bridges) were fighter pilots in Korea, test pilots, and later astronauts.
Most important to the success of the space program were the German rocket scientists, led by Dieter Kolff (Michael York), who had been brought to America after the war.
The man responsible for liberating the Germans, Georgia Tech astrophysicist Stanley Mott (Bruce Dern), continued to work with them over the years, despite the inherent problems dealing with both the federal bureaucracy and the rivalries among the different military services.
It was their perseverance, along with the changing political climate, that eventually led to the creation of NASA under the Eisenhower administration and the highly successful space program of the 1960s.
In the climactic episode of Space, astronauts Pope and Claggett were teamed on the successful voyage to the dark side of the moon.
Senator Norman Grant
Penny Hardesty Pope
Leopold Strabismus (Martin Scorcella)
Debbie Dee Claggett
G D Spradlin