Our fixation with space and what’s beyond the stars passes from one generation to the next – standing as a beacon of hope in a dark time during the cold war and as the seeds for a future in the stars that we feel we are owed today.
Now, a few of the writers from AMC’s Mad Men may be readying a new drama series with the working title, Cocoa Beach, that would play heavily on that fixation and the goings on in the Launch Operations Center (now the Kennedy Space Center) during the space race of the 1960s.
This won’t be “Don Draper in space,” though, as the show is reportedly set to focus on the journalists who covered the seemingly ordinary engineers, scientists, and astronauts who would go on to do extraordinary things.
How much we’ll see of extraordinary things like John Glenn’s first orbit around the Earth, President John F. Kennedy’s vow that we would send a man to the moon, and the moon landing itself remains to be seen.
Mad Men juggles the task of commenting on the more turbulent parts of the ’60s through the lives of their characters without lingering on them. But seeing an ad executive react to the assassination of JFK is different from seeing someone who lived – day in and day out – within spitting distance of Neil Armstrong.
That begs another question: Would the show make Armstrong, Glenn, and even Kennedy major or recurring characters? How about Walter Cronkite, who had a strong hand in conveying the progress and efforts of the space program to the masses? So many other journalists from that era have receded into the margins of these events. Would the writers try to unearth and dramatize these people and their actions, or would they simply sprinkle in a few real life personalities while mostly filling the show with their own creations?
Sadly, details on the show are slim right now, but it seems clear that the viewing public has an interest in the events that this show would orbit around. The success of projects like From the Earth to the Moon and Apollo 13 seem like a lifetime ago (debuting in 1995 and 1998, respectively), but these were substantial successes.
Besides that, recent interest in the Curiosity rover and even our fixation with science fiction and the early embers of privatized space travel bolsters the belief that this show could have a built in audience beyond Mad Men fans and retrophiles, so maybe this won’t be the last we hear about Cocoa Beach (or whatever they wind up calling it).
Keep and eye on Screen Rant for future updates on Cocoa Beach.