In the wake of the fire that claimed the lives of the crew of Apollo 1, NASA places new emphasis on crew safety and emergency procedures. An evacuation drill catches Wally Schirra and his two Apollo 7 crewmates off guard, as well as a visiting documentary film crew led by skeptical director Frank Burns. Following the intense public scrutiny of NASA that the Apollo 1 investigation brought, Burns and his team are granted unprecedented access to the astronauts and their ground crew in the weeks leading up to the critical launch that will hopefully get the Apollo program back on track. But as Burns and his team find out, there is nothing routine about the flight – and Wally Schirra is concerned enough about the safety of his crewmates to scrub the mission at any moment, even right up to the final countdown.
Cast: Krista Adair (Jo Shirra), Jay T. Becker (Jim Lewis), Virginia Ellen Chappell (Concerned spectator), Marcelo Durnt (Documentary cameraman), Joe Farago (Dr. Fred Kelly), Lowell Fenner (Russ Lawrence), Keith Graham (Skip Chauvin), Mark Harmon (Wally Schirra), Holland Hayes (Tech #1), Steve Hofvendahl (Thomas Stafford), George Hoggard (Evac supervisor), Jay Honeycutt (Launch Director), Peter Horton (Documentary director), Daniel Hugh Kelly (Gene Cernan), Frederic Lane (Walt Cunningham), Ann Magnuson (Dee O’Hara), Joshua Malina (Tim Messick), Cindy Maranne (Deke’s secretary), John Mese (Donn Eisele), Mati Moralejo (Editor), Philip Nolen (Nerd #1), John Posey (John Young), Steve Purnick (Clyde Teague), Mark Rolston (Gus Grissom), Steve Sands (Nerd #2), Nick Searcy (Deke Slayton), Brandon Smith (John Healey), Randy G. Stephens (Curious spectator), Max Wright (Guenter Wendt)
Note: Is it a M*A*S*H homage or is it a blooper? In a brief shot of the documentary crew’s clapperboard, the name “Mark Burns” is clearly visible under “director,” contradicting the character name Frank Burns heard throughout the episode – a name shared by Larry Linville’s paranoid M*A*S*H character. To add to the confusion, the character, played by thirtysomething star Peter Horton, was billed simply as “documentary director.” Writer Remi Aubuchon later pitched a series idea to the Sci-Fi Channel that became the Battlestar Galactica spinoff Caprica.
LogBook entry by Earl Green