This is part of my section on alternative film recommendations, check out the Films to See category for other recommendations.
As Neil Armstrong was taking his first steps on the moon, the radio signals carrying the television pictures were being received by Parkes radio telescope in Australia, the largest of several radio telescopes that were drafted into the space program (and remain part of it). The Dish tells the story (based on real events) of the team who ran Parkes telescope during that historic mission. All is going well at Parkes, until they’re hit by a power cut and the backup generators don’t work, which wipes their computer and they lose track of Apollo 11. The team suffer from a mild inferiority complex, and so don’t admit their mistake to NASA, even convincing the on site representative to go along with it. They gel together to overcome the problem and recover the signal from space. Meanwhile, the local inhabitants are learning how to deal with the American Ambassador and a visit from the Prime Minister. It’s a wonderful comedy about small town Australia dealing with the wider world and being part of the global mission to the moon. Sam Neil heads a great cast who hit their marks perfectly and will have you laughing out loud.