Blue Sky Metropolis

Now Streaming

"Blue Sky Metropolis" is the untold story of how aerospace was central to the growth of California and its emergence as an economic power. The documentary miniseries focuses on the people behind the aerospace movement and will feature many of the current major players in the aerospace industry in California, which is the hub of modern day aerospace engineering. (official site)

Featured Videos


See all Extras for Blue Sky Metropolis

About the Show

How did Southern California become the aerospace capital of the world? What were the consequences of this development for the region, for the nation and for aerospace itself?

Narrated by Emmy Award-winning actor Tony Goldwyn and written and directed by two-time Primetime- and Peabody Award-winning filmmaker Peter Jones, “Blue Sky Metropolis" examines the largest Southern California-grown industry that, nevertheless, has received only a fraction of the attention heaped upon the Hollywood entertainment business. Like its counterpart, aerospace was an industry created by dreamers drawn to a region that was invented by dreamers — civic boosters comprised of newspaper publishers, real estate developers and Hollywood moguls. Their entrepreneurial spirit surely resonated with those imaginations attuned to the possibilities of flight. “Blue Sky Metropolis” explores the intersection of aerospace and Southern California from multiple perspectives: technology, popular culture, politics, race, business, labor, environment and gender.

Throughout the 20 century, millions flocked to Southern California to claim aviation/aerospace jobs, forever changing the social and physical landscape. Did the “blue sky” environment nurture that combination of vision and technical know-how as it did for Walt Disney and his Imagineers?

Explore the Aerospace Century as it unfolds through the lives, often in the words, of the men and women who created it: John Northrop, Glenn Martin, Donald Douglas, Amelia Earhart, Howard Hughes, Walt Disney and Wernher Von Braun. From the pivotal 1910 Los Angeles Air Meet, the second public showcase of powered flight in the world, through World War II; the Cold War and onward to the rebirth of the industry thanks to New Space companies such as Virgin Orbit, SpaceX and Relativity, “Blue Sky Metropolis” is a sweeping look at the century in Southern California that brought humankind to the skies and beyond.

More Science and Nature Shows

Sign into PBS

By creating an account, you acknowledge that PBS may share your information with our member stations and our respective service providers, and that you have read and understand the Privacy Policy and Terms of Use.

Confirm Your Local Station

To help you find your favorite shows and great local content, we've selected a PBS station in your area.

Please confirm that WETA is your preferred local station, or choose another station below.