Transcript: The Space Suite | Nov 04, 1998

An opening slate reads "The Space Suite."

Against a blue Earth with swirling white clouds, set in a starry sky, an
animation shows a pink object approaching. A caption reads "Mars Pathfinder
Mission." As the object passes, it is a short, pointed cylinder with a pink
tip and blue base.

(Kiri Te Kanawa sings an Aria from Puccini)

A real photo of a gibbous "red planet" shows the animated spaceship approaching.
A caption reads "A seven-month journey." Further animations show the pink
space vehicle opening a gray chute as it approaches the planet. A caption reads
"Landed July 4, 1997." The vehicle splits into two parts, the Rover, which fires
three small rockets to break its fall and the Lander, suspended from it and
covered with large bubblewrap. The Lander drops, bounces and comes to a stop. The
bubblewrap deflates and a tetrahedron opens up three triangular blue flaps to reveal
a six-wheel vehicle with a platform on its top... the Lander. in an animation, the vehicle
performs a number of tasks, including taking photos and sampling soil. A caption reads
"the next day." Over real shots of the Martian desert landscape, a black and white
animation in a square frame shows the Lander rolling over rocky surfaces and
sampling. A caption reads "In 83 days of operations on Mars the Lander transmitted
16,000 images and relayed 550 images from the Rover. 15 rocks were approached and
analysed." Over the triangular shape of the blue-winged transportation case
lying on the desert floor, a caption reads "The Lander operated three times longer
than expected. Final transmission from Mars, March 10, 1998. The condition of the
Rover is unknown." The camera zooms out of the animation to a real picture of the
surrounding area and then to the gibbous image of Mars. The image fades to black.

A full Moon appears.

(Debussy's "Clair de Lune" plays)

A huge white rocket sits on a launching pad.

The first three Moon astronauts in their transparent helmets are seen in close-up.
They and other crew members walk to the launching pad. the camera travels up the
full length of the impressive rocket. Clouds of smoke and flame rise as the
support gear is moved to one side. A period clip shows the rocket, conspicuously
marked "U.S.A." rising on a pillar of fire and slowly gathering momentum. Observation
post and Control Room scientists watch the launch and follow the rocket with binoculars.
Once in dark blue space, an onboard camera shows the separation of the launch section.
The Earth appears at a distance. A caption reads "24 astronauts flew to the Moon."
A clip shows the widely publicized shots of the Earth rising over the horizon
of the Moon, the Lander being launched, etcetera. A caption reads "First landing
Apollo 11... July 20, 1969. 12 men walked on the moon." Other well-publicized shots
show Armstrong setting foot on the Moon, the footprints on the dusty surface, astronauts
jumping in slow motion to demonstrate the lack of gravity, etcetera. The
stiffened U.S. flag is planted on the lunar surface and seems to wave slightly.
Other well-publicized photos appear, including an astronaut driving the Moon
Rover vehicle. A caption reads "Last departure Apollo 17... December 14, 1972."
The Earth is shown approaching, then the capsule lands in the ocean, fall cushioned by
three orange parachutes. The full Moon appears, then fades to a dark screen.

A Space Shuttle stands on a pad, attached to its giant launch vehicle. The
main rockets ignite.

(J.Pachelbel's "Canon in D Major" plays)

The Shuttle slowly ascends on a pillar of flame. A caption reads "Space Shuttle flights
started April 12, 1981." The booster rocket separates and the Shuttle's rockets
ignite. From above, a camera shows the Shuttle in orbit above the Earth. Astronauts
in space suits move around it, making adjustments. Its bay is shown open. A pair
of suited astronauts hold up a cartel showing an ace of spades and reading "Ace
Tool Testers." A camera on an extensible arm is shown. Different shots show the Shuttle
by day and by night. Over a desert landscape, an experimental device consisting of
a collapsed circular antenna attached to a receptor by three long telescoping rods
unfolds in space. From orbit, the Earth's minimally curved horizon is seen rimmed
by a luminous blue band of atmosphere. Other impressive orbital views show different
aspects of the Earth. The Shuttle is seen in orbit, then landing. A caption reads
"Shuttle flights will continue well into the 21st Century." The screen fades to black.

A fast clip shows an animation of the Sun, Earth and Moon.

(J. Clarke's "Trumpet Voluntary" plays)

An animation shows the planets of the Solar System.

Over an enhanced photo of its fiery, flaring surface, a caption reads "the Sun."
An animation shows a space vehicle with a strange shape rotating as it approaches
the Sun. A caption reads "Ulysses 1994." It is then shown going through the solar
wind. The image fades to black.

A photo shows the pockmarked surface of Venus. A caption reads "Venus."
An animation shows a rotating vehicle with an antenna dish and solar panels
over Venus. A caption reads "Magellan, 1990." Other animations show mountainous
landscapes on Venus, then cloud formations on Earth's globe. A caption reads
"Earth... Population 6 billion." The Moon appears. A caption reads "the Moon...
Manned landing July 20, 1969." An animation shows Mars, with the Mars Observer
approaching. A caption reads "Mars Observer, 1993." An animation shows features on Mars.
An animation of the planet reads "Jupiter and its moons." Against an image of
Jupiter, a caption reads "Voyager 1 and 2, 1979." Against an image of a moon,
a caption reads "Callisto." Ganymede and Europa appear in quick succession,
with their observing craft. Another animation captioned "Saturn" shows the planet
with its rings and an approaching spaceship. A caption reads "Voyager 1 and 2,
1980." Over an image of Uranus, a caption reads "Voyager 2, 1986." Over an image of
cloudy Neptune, a caption reads "Voyager 2, 1989." the animated planets do a kind of
dance, ending with a close-up of the Sun. The screen fades to black.

A caption reads "The dawn goddess Aurora sets out before the sun to proclaim the
coming day. A full-screen caption reads "Aurora Borealis."

(Erik Satie's "3rd Gymnopédie" plays)

A caption reads "The aurora has meant many things to many peoples... Viking Lore,
"the light of young women's souls"... Lakota Sioux, "the Spirits of future generations
waiting to be born"... Aristotle thought the aurora was caused by vapor from the
Earth colliding with fire... Hippocrates theorized that it was reflected sunlight...
During the Middle Ages, a brilliant display of aurora caused panic... in the
19th Century, the aurora was thought to be thunderstorms. The aurora is a child
of the Sun and the Earth. A solar flare is seen in close-up. Particles from the
Sun are drawn around the magnetic poles. When the particles collide with the Earth's
atmosphere they produce a lightshow." The aurora plays, swirling in green eddies over
a northern pine forest. "The aurora has one thousand times the power of Niagara Falls."
A Japanese belief reads "A child conceived under the glow of aurora will have good fortune."
The screen fades to black.

A satellite clip shows views of the Earth.

(Bach's "Jesu, Joy of Man's Desiring" plays)

Captions read "There are no passengers on "Spaceship Earth, we are all crew... Marshall
McLuhan." "God likes girls and tomorrow and the Earth... E.E. Cummings."
"There is nothing new under the Sun... Ecclesiastes." "Life is too short...
Bart Gold." "I want to be alone... Greta Garbo." "Dream as if you'll live forever,
live as if you'll die today... James Dean." "the optimist thinks this is the best of
all possible worlds, the pessimist fears it is true... Robert Oppenheimer."
"Planet Earth is blue, and there's nothing I can do... David Bowie." "I shall never
believe the God plays dice with the world... Albert Einstein." "Don't take life
too seriously, you'll never get out alive... Bugs Bunny." "the future belongs to
those who believe in the beauty of their dreams... Eleanor Roosevelt." "The game
isn't over until it's over... Yogi Berra."

(Bach ends in the flourish)

An end credit reads "Executive Producer, Rudy Buttignol."

The end credits roll.

Producer, Murray Battle.

Editor, Michael Morningstar.


A Production of TV Ontario. 1998.

Watch: The Space Suite