Docs

Extra: ZDF aviation doc “Race for the Sky”; Discovery+ slates Viagra documentary

ZDF Studios to distribute aviation doc Race for the Sky ZDF Studios has unveiled a new documentary about the evolution of aviation, Race to the Sky, that it will distribute internationally as ...
July 26, 2022

ZDF Studios to distribute aviation doc Race for the Sky

ZDF Studios has unveiled a new documentary about the evolution of aviation, Race to the Sky, that it will distribute internationally as part of its co-production participation in the project.

Produced by Spiegel TV in association with ZDF, Arte and ZDF Studios, the 2 x 50-minute doc (pictured) covers the pathbreaking developments of such early aviation pioneers as the German “father of flight” Otto Lilienthal, the first man to make successful repeated flights with a glider; Americans Orville and Wilbur Wright, the first to build and fly a motor-operated airplane; and the Frenchman Louis Blériot, who developed the now-standard joystick-and-rudder control and also became the first man to fly across the English Channel. The doc also spotlights the often-overlooked contributions of early women aviators, of whom the American Amelia Earhart was only the most well-known.

The second part of Race to the Sky shifts to a darker note, as the destructive, military potential of aircraft is first realized on a truly mass scale in World War II. As it moves towards the present day, the doc chronicles how the focus on airplanes as weapons of war spurred technological breakthroughs that revolutionized the field of aviation as a whole.

“Travelling by plane, for many people, is such a common means of transport today that you take it for granted and forget that as recently as the beginning of the 20th century, attempting to fly was usually akin to calculated suicide,” Ralf Rueckauer, VP of unscripted at ZDF Studios, said in a news release. “Race for the Sky makes you realize how fast aviation has developed in such a short space of time.”

Discovery+ adds Viagra documentary to August slate

Discovery+ has revealed a new title for its August programming slate in the Discovery+ Original documentary Viagra: The Little Blue Pill That Changed the World.

Recounting the history of the male potency drug that launched in the 1990s with an unprecedented marketing push — which generated a flood of controversy that only further cemented its place in public consciousness and discourse — the doc will feature a generous amount of ’90s archive along with exclusive interviews with many of those who were involved in the drug’s development and promotion. These include Dr. David Brown, the “father of Viagra”; the Pfizer team leader Ian Osterloh, who oversaw the drug’s top-secret clinical trials; and members of the marketing team that spearheaded its full-spectrum publicity campaign, which famously included an endorsement from former Republican presidential candidate Bob Dole.

Viagra: The Little Blue Pill That Changed the World will premiere on Discovery+ on August 12.

About The Author
Andrew Jeffrey joined Realscreen in 2021 as its news editor. Here, he helps to oversee assignment, reporting and editing for Realscreen's daily newsletter. Prior to his work covering documentary and non-fiction film and TV, he worked as a reporter and associate producer for CBC Edmonton, and as a reporter for The Star Calgary, where he covered daily news on beats such as local and provincial politics, health care and harm reduction, sports and education. His work has appeared in other Canadian news outlets such as TVO, the Edmonton Journal and Avenue Magazine.

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