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BLUE SKY METROPOLIS

Airs Wednesdays, Oct. 23 - Nov. 13, 2019 at 11 p.m. on KPBS TV

BLUE SKY METROPOLIS hero art. An HL-10 on dry lakebed with B-52 flyby, c. 1966

Credit: Courtesy of NASA

Above: BLUE SKY METROPOLIS hero art. An HL-10 on dry lakebed with B-52 flyby, c. 1966

Part of the PBS Summer of Space to commemorate the semi-centennial moon landing anniversary

BLUE SKY METROPOLIS is a 4-part, historical documentary produced in partnership with the Emmy Award®-winning filmmaker Peter Jones (“Johnny Carson: King of Late Night” and the Peabody Award®-winning “Inventing LA: The Chandlers and Their Times”).

This 21st century story looks at the past, present and future of aerospace in Southern California from multiple perspectives including science, culture, politics, race, business, labor, environment and gender.

The miniseries will consist of four one-hour episodes and is narrated by Tony Goldwyn (SCANDAL, "The Last Samurai," "Ghost").

BLUE SKY METROPOLIS: Preview

This is the untold story of how aerospace was central to the growth of California and its emergence as an economic power. The documentary miniseries focuses on the people behind the aerospace movement and will feature many of the current major players in the aerospace industry in California, which is the hub of modern day aerospace engineering.

BLUE SKY METROPOLIS is the untold story of how aerospace was central to the growth of California and its emergence as an economic power.

The documentary miniseries focuses on the people behind the aerospace movement and will feature many of the current major players in the aerospace industry in California, which is the hub of modern day aerospace engineering.

The aerospace century will unfold through the lives and words of the men and women who created it: John Northrop, Glenn Martin, Donald Douglas, Amelia Earhart, Howard Hughes, Walt Disney and Wernher Von Braun.

The Truth of the Early Days of Flight

Aviation can sometimes be glamorized in the public imagination. Understand what it was truly like in those early, precarious days of daredevil antics and wacky creations, and how this birthed a new “blue sky” culture in Southern California.

EPISODE GUIDE:

Episode 1: “Wings: Aviation Takes Flight In Early Los Angeles” repeats Wednesday, Oct. 23 at 11 p.m. on KPBS TV - Aviation takes flight in early Los Angeles, becoming an industry of dreamers, risk takers and entrepreneurs. The region is America's "arsenal of democracy" during World War II, as two million workers build 300,000 aircraft. Critics see an unhealthy alliance developing between the federal government and aircraft manufacturers.

Additional clips: "Women’s Work During WWII" / "Hollywood and the Making of Aviation Celebrities"

Episode 1 Preview | Wings

This episode establishes Southern California as the undisputed aviation capital of the world and introduces the industry founders — Jack Northrop, Glenn Martin and Donald Douglas. Nice weather attracted them but so did a climate friendly to dreamers, risk takers and entrepreneurs. Amelia Earhart learned to fly here, becoming only the 16th woman in the world to earn a pilot’s license.

Episode 2: “The Big Chill: The Cold War Fuels Business and Anxiety” repeats Wednesday, Oct. 30 at 11 p.m. on KPBS TV - The Cold War and Pentagon dollars fuels the explosive growth of modern Los Angeles and creates the military-industrial-complex. Entire suburbs are built in record time to house defense industry workers, but covenants restrict non-white races from living there. Fear of nuclear annihilation spawns a new genre for Hollywood as 'science fiction' movies become a box office goldmine.

Additional clips: "The Real U-2 (Not the Rock Band)" / "Disney Sells the Space Dream" / "The Theater of Duck and Cover"

Episode 2 Preview | The Big Chill

The Cold War and Pentagon dollars fuel the explosive growth of modern Los Angeles and creates the military-industrial-complex. Entire suburbs are built in record time to house defense industry workers, but covenants restrict non-white races from living there. Fear of nuclear annihilation spawns a new genre for Hollywood as ‘ science fiction’ movies become a box office goldmine.

Episode 3: “A Space Odyssey: Southern California Spearheads Mankind’s Greatest Achievement” repeats Wednesday, Nov. 6 at 11 p.m. on KPBS TV - The triumphant and tragic Space Race unfolds in first-hand accounts of those who pioneered the technology and built the hardware that made possible mankind's greatest achievement. Meanwhile, the military-industrial-complex expands unchecked.

Episode 3 Preview | A Space Odyssey

The triumphant and tragic Space Race unfolds in the firsthand accounts of those who pioneered the technology and built the hardware that made possible mankind’s greatest achievement: landing on the moon. Meantime, the military-industrial-complex expands unchecked.

Episode 4: “Back To The Future: A New Space Age Dawns In Southern California” repeats on Wednesday, Nov. 13 at 11 p.m. on KPBS TV - The end of the Cold War brings massive layoffs but tech billionaires choose Southern California to launch their space companies. Though committed to the "democratization" of space, SpaceX and Virgin Orbit include the Pentagon as a major customer.

Episode 4 Preview | Back To The Future

The end of the Cold War brings massive layoffs, but tech billionaires choose Southern California to launch their space companies, injecting new vigor to the industry in the region. Though committed to the “democratization” of space, SpaceX and Virgin Orbit include the Pentagon as a major customer.

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