The Right Stuff is a new TV series from National Geographic on Disney+. The first season spans the time between the start of the space program and sending the first American into space. I can’t compare The Right Stuff TV series to the movie (1983) or the book (by Tom Wolfe, 1979) of the same name. I haven’t watched or read either. So I won’t be commenting on how it compares.
What I can say is that as someone that has a mild interest in space history, I really enjoyed watching season 1 of The Right Stuff. It’s definitely leaning more into the historical drama route as opposed to being factually correct, but I think that’s a common course for historical dramas. Plus, after (and sometimes during) watching an episode, I was typically on Google researching things, like is Alan Shepard actually that private, or what is Mercury 13? So it definitely made my mind more inquisitive to seek out additional information on the topics presented.
I loved the entire cast and especially the dynamic between Patrick J. Adams and Jake McDorman as John Glenn and Alan Shepard respectively. I have only seen Adams on Suits and McDorman on Greek previously, so it was fun watching them play completely different roles. Also, the show definitely centered on the rivalry between the two characters.
The one scene that stuck out to me that I thought was bizarre was when Alan Shepard’s family took in his wife’s sister’s daughter, Judith, and renamed her Martha because it was too similar to their daughter’s name Julie. My understanding is that Judith was indeed renamed, but the sequence of events was different. Regardless, it feels like it’d be morally questionable to rename a child you’re taking in simply because their name sounds similar to your own child, especially when that child is still grieving the passing of their mom.
Anyway, those are my brief thoughts on The Right Stuff, Season 1 on Disney+. If you enjoy historical dramas and have access to Disney+, I’d recommend giving it a try.
Have you watched the series? Or are you a space history buff? I’d love to hear your thoughts!