TV Week

Aldrin Helps Mark His Own Milestone

  Enlarge Photo    
Washington Post Staff Writer
Sunday, July 19, 2009

Buzz Aldrin grew up a fan of such adventurous characters as Flash Gordon and Buck Rogers. As an adult, Aldrin would become the second man to walk on the moon.

And Aldrin sees a connection between fiction and reality when it comes to how movies may have influenced the country's wanderlust for venturing into space.

"The whole idea was pushing the frontiers of knowledge and of storytelling and [the] existence of human beings in advanced-technology situations," Aldrin said. "Certainly it really does stimulate curiosity."

On Monday, the 40th anniversary of when he and Neil Armstrong touched down during the first manned lunar landing as part of the Apollo 11 mission, Aldrin will help host a marathon of space films on TCM.

He joins TCM's Robert Osborne to introduce a 24-hour slate of films about the moon and astronauts beginning at 6 a.m.

Aldrin said science fiction at its best can reflect what's possible today and realistically anticipate what may come in the future -- "technology projection," he called it. What he has less tolerance for, however, are the futuristic devices at the heart of films such as "Star Trek."

"I think I maybe irritated a few science fiction writers by saying that I think that many times they're leading a younger generation into really totally unrealistic expectations," he said.

Aldrin, 79, said he's trying to "initiate a new generation" into space travel. On top of a busy schedule of anniversary events nationwide, he has been promoting a new memoir, "Magnificent Desolation," and can be seen in a rap video with Snoop Dogg and Talib Kweli on

"I'm not just closeting myself. I'm out there open to learning new and different things," he said. "Who knows what will come next?"

© 2009 The Washington Post Company