Disney Junior’s Miles from Tomorrowland was renamed Mission Force One last fall and just made history as the first TV show to premiere in outer space! I would like to point out that Disney previously made history with the first concert in space from the singer Proto Zoa in the DCOM Zenon: Girl of the 21st Century, but that was science fiction. This time around, the record breaker is science fact!
The episode “The Space Station Situation” finds Miles and his friends traveling back in time to the first International Space Station orbiting Earth, the ISS. But when they accidentally break a piece of it, they might rewrite history to erase the existence of the Tomorrowland Transit Authority. They have a short window of time to repair the ISS before history is rewritten and they get stuck in the past, also known as our present.
Another reason this episode is so special is that real astronauts are featured in the episode and provide their own voices. NASA astronauts Scott Kelly, Jeanette Epps and Yvonne Cagle; the European Space Agency’s astronaut Samantha Cristoforetti from Italy; Russian cosmonaut Mikhail Kornienko; NASA space station flight director Holly Ridings; and NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory’s Randii Wessen, Diana Trujillo, Bobak Ferdowsi and Kevin Hand.
The episode debuted on the International Space Station this weekend and also enjoyed an early screening at NASA’s Johnson Space Station in Houston, both locations in the episode. It made its Disney Junior debut on Monday, May 7th, and is streaming on DisneyNOW.
Disney Parks fans will enjoy the new rendition of “It’s a Great Big Beautiful Tomorrow” at the end of the episode, performed by Matt Mahaffey with a banjo solo by Bela Fleck. You should also keep an ear out for a familiar voice, Bill Nye the Science Guy, as Professor Rubicon. Many of his lines appear to be a nod to his preshow spiel from Dinosaur, including the name of the time travel device, the Time Window, which sounds a lot like the Time Rover.
Mission Force One may be aimed at preschoolers, but this special episode is one that all Disney fans should celebrate. It’s fun, educational, and expands beyond Tomorrowland to pay homage to other Disney Park favorites. Now if you’ll excuse me, I need to page Mr. Morrow. Mr. Tom Morrow.