The National Geographic Channel is dipping its toe into two possible scripted series based on popular films that depicted the early years of the space program, each from a slightly different perspective. “Hidden Figures,” the story of three African American Women math geniuses whose efforts were crucial to America’s success in flying into space is being executive produced by Peter Chernin and Jenno Topping of Chernin Entertainment. They also produced the movie. Leonardo Dicaprio is executive producing a series version of “The Right Stuff,” based on a 1983 film depicting the lives of test pilots, some of whom became the original Mercury 7 astronauts.

‘Hidden Figures’ a once unknown story of how America entered space.

The 2016 film “Hidden Figures” was based on a book by the same name, depicting the lives of three African American women who worked as “computers,” human beings who were charged with doing the calculations needed to fly in space. The movie was an awe-inspiring story that provided an intersection of two historical developments of the early 1960s, the race to the moon and the civil rights struggle. One of the hitherto unknown and magnificent revelations that the movie and the book it was based on demonstrated was how the early space program was empowering for the African American women who worked in it, opening opportunities that hitherto had been denied them.

‘The Right Stuff’ told the human side of the conquest of space

‘The Right Stuff” was based on a book by the same name that examined the roots of the space –program in the post-World War II effort to develop high-performance aircraft to help win the Cold War. The film started with Chuck Yeager’s first flight that broke the sound barrier and continued through the Mercury program that featured spacecraft flown by test pilots who participated in that earlier era.

The movie was based on a book by Tom Wolfe, who has been quoted as saying that he had enough material to extend the story through the Skylab missions, though he has never published what might have been an exciting sequel.

Scripted series at the National Geographic Channel

The National Geographic Channel has had a number of significant scripted TV shows.

One, depicting the future colonization of Mars, is part documentary and part science fiction series. “Genius” completed a first season focusing on Albert Einstein and is starting a second about the life of Picasso. “The Long Road Home” was a miniseries that told the story of a crucial battle in the Iraq War and the aftermath, featuring the effects on the lives of some of the participants.