From the Earth to the Moon

Season 1 Episode 3

We Have Cleared The Tower

Aired Sunday 8:00 PM Apr 12, 1998 on HBO
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Episode Summary

We Have Cleared The Tower
Nineteen months and six unmanned flights after the Apollo 1 tragedy, Wally Schirra, Don Eisele and Walt Cunningham are set to become the first Apollo astronauts to go into space. Their preparations are followed every step of the way by a documentary film crew. With the countdown under way, every element is in place, every safety precaution checked and double-checked, and every member of the crew prepared - body and soul - for the mission they are about to undertake. No one can afford to make a mistake that might endanger the life of the mission...or the lives of the men.moreless

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    Mark Harmon

    Mark Harmon

    Astronaut Walter Schirra

    Mark Rolston

    Mark Rolston

    Astronaut Gus Grissom

    Steve Hofvendahl

    Steve Hofvendahl

    Astronaut Tom Stafford

    Daniel Hugh Kelly

    Daniel Hugh Kelly

    Gene Cernan

    John Mese

    John Mese

    Astronaut Don Eisle

    John Posey

    John Posey

    Astronaut John Young

    Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


    • TRIVIA (1)

      • The line, "I wonder where Guenter Wendt," was also spoken in the 1995 movie Apollo 13. Jim Lovell (Tom Hanks) says it to the Pad Leader while he's getting suited up for the flight.

    • QUOTES (9)

      • Frank Burns: Can you tell us about Captain Schirra at all?
        Dee O'Hara: "Jolly Wally" is what we've always called him. Always a jokester. I'm sure you know about the tricks he's played on us.
        Frank Burns: No.
        Dee O'Hara: Well, he's got these "gotcha" games he always plays. Like the time he dropped off his urine sample on my desk, in a five-gallon jar.

      • Jo Schirra: I think the reason we've been married for so long is because Wally's been away half the time.

      • Don Eisle: (on being the unknown member of Apollo 7 crew) I can just see Cronkite sayin' (impersonates Walter Cronkite) "And as the brave crew of Apollo 7 blasts off, we bid our fond farewell to Wally, Walt and What's His Name."

      • John Young: (the situation is) Like being the only cowboy in a team ropin' competition.
        Guenter Wendt: I wouldn't know, John. The rodeo rarely came to Berlin.

      • Wally Schirra: (about Apollo One) We're all test pilots. We're accustomed to things going wrong at times. You're sad. You mourn the loss. But you don't wear the black armband forever.

      • Frank Burns: If this mission is successful, do you feel confident you'll be going to the moon? That you'll be going sometime soon?
        Walt Cunningham: We're gonna be playin' golf on the moon in the next ten years.

      • Master Sargeant Lawrence: Ultimately the most important tool available to us for predicting the local weather is this window.

      • (Shortly before Apollo 7 lifts off)
        Walt Cunningham: (after the pad crew has left the tower) It's so quiet.
        Donn Eisele: Yeah. I wonder where Guenter Wendt.
        (The astronauts laugh)
        Wally Schirra: I'm gonna steal that!

      • Guenter Wendt: We drill! We drill the hell out of everything. We drill and we drill until we know every step in our sleep - and then we drill some more.

    • NOTES (0)

    • ALLUSIONS (3)

      • Wally Schirra: To me, the most important thing in rocket travel is the blastoff. I always take a blast before I take off. Otherwise, I wouldn't get in that thing!

        Schirra impersonates Jose Jimenez, comedian Bill Dana's character who was less than enthusiastic about being an astronaut. In the 1983 film The Right Stuff, Alan Shepard (Scott Glenn) recites the same lines.

      • John Young asks Wally Schirra if he thinks Navy will win against Air Force. The Navy - Air Force game is an important rivalry in American College football. Young and Schirra are both Naval officers and graduates of the Naval Academy.

      • Don Eisle impersonates Walter Cronkite.
        Walter Cronkite was the anchor of the CBS Evening news from 1952 through 1981.