Christopher Riley is a writer and filmmaker specialising in science, engineering and history. His work has been celebrated by BAFTA, the US Television Academy, the Royal Television Society, the Sundance Institute and the Grierson Trust.
He conceived and co-produced the multi-award winning feature documentary 'In the Shadow of the Moon', produced and directed the hit documentary recreation of Gagarin's pioneering space flight 'First Orbit', and wrote the best selling Haynes owner's workshop manual on Apollo. He has written for The Guardian newspaper, the Evening Standard, and presented science documentaries for BBC Radio 4.
His most recent documentary films include:
Back to the Moon, NOVA.
Rise of the Rockets, NOVA.
One Strange Rock, "Survival" - National Geographic. (Winner of Wildscreen and Jackson Hole awards).
The Jet Race, Smithsonian Channel.
The Fantastic Mr Feynman, BBC, Netflix.
Neil Armstrong - First Man on the Moon, BBC, Netflix.
Riley has written and directed commercial shorts for HSBC, Vodafone and the architects Foster & Partners, through agencies The Bank, AKQA and The Moment, and consults to 59Productions. He is a veteran of three total solar eclipses, presenting them for the BBC in 1999 from the channel islands, in 2001 from Zambia and in 2015 from the Faroe Islands.
His VR show of astronaut Tim Peake’s Soyuz Capsule’s return to Earth has been seen by over 10,000 kids and his video installations have been screened around the world; his experiential documentary First Orbit premiering on over 1600 screens in more than 130 countries in 2011, and his collaboration with 59Productions - a commission from the Smithsonian Air and Space Museum - “Go for the Moon” will play on the National Mall, in Washington D.C. in 2019.
He is visiting professor of science & media at the University of Lincoln's School of Film & Media.
Watch more videos
Where once we stood, Harbour Moon Publishing.
A Passion for Science: Stories of Discovery and Invention. Ada Lovelace.
Does my Goldfish Know who I am? Faber and Faber.
Why can't I tickle myself? Faber and Faber.
Gagarin in Britain. British Council
Space Odyssey - voyage to the planets. BBC Books
Encyclopedia of the Universe. Collins
Visit my Amazon author page.
Where once we stood. Federation of Children’s Book Groups
Going back to the Moon is vital for the survival of the human race. The Evening Standard.
Hubble's Unsung Heroes. The Guardian.
The Girl who talked to Dolphins. Radio Times.
The dolphin who loved me. Observer/Guardian.
Richard Feynman: Life, the universe and everything. The Telegraph.
Into the Great Unknown. Air and Space Magazine.
The Maths that made Voyager possible. BBC News.
The Human Imperative. The Financial Chronicle.
Words of Captain Scott: 100 years of hindsight. The Wellcome Trust.
Space Shuttle: An open letter to President Obama. The Guardian.
The Magic of Apollo. BBC News
Twelve Men who have visited another world. The Guardian.
The 400,000 strong backup team. The Guardian, G2
Rendezvous around the Moon. BBC News
Flight of the Spider. BBC News
A missing 'a'. Tumblr
Happy Birthday Earthrise. BBC News
A view from the Cosmic Shoulder. BBC News
We Choose to go to the Planets. BBC News
Pushing Frontiers in TV Space. BBC News
Concorde - a tribute, Tumblr
zero G, Tumblr
Shaken back to Health. BBC News
UK First Impact Crater Discovered. BBC News
Robot Insects Take to the Air. BBC News
Glowing Plants reveal Touch Sensitivity. BBC News
In the Leonids Lair. BBC News
Voyage Through a Comets Tail. BBC News
When Worlds Collide. BBC News
Return to Mission Leonid. BBC News
An invitation to the firework party. BBC News
Take a peek at Venus unveiled and die. The Independent
All the answers from dial-a-boffin. The Independent
Back to the Moon - premiers on NOVA.
“Go for the Moon” announced to play on the National Mall in Washington D.C. for the Apollo 11 anniversary.
My new children’s book Where once we Stood - released.
Working through the page proofs for my new book “Where once we stood”, released in July.
Putting the finishing touches to my second NOVA film on returning to the Moon, to air in July 2019.
Writing my new children’s book - “Where once we stood”, a collaboration with artist Martin Impey.
Writing and editing - a new film commissioned by the Smithsonian Air and Space Museum from 59Productions.
“Breakthroughs” premieres on PBS .
Speaking at UCL’s Your Universe festival about plans to return to the Moon .
Rise of the Rockets - network premiere of my new film for NOVA on the revolution in rocket science that’s transforming access to space - premieres across the US.
Writing an update to my best selling Apollo 11 owner’s workshop manual - for rerelease in 2019.
Writing two NOVA specials for WGBH for 2019.
Chairing Space Age Lectures at Egglescliffe school in County Durham, UK
Filming in New York for Revolutions
Filming in Northern Germany for Revolutions
Filming in US and Italy for PBS Revolutions
Filming in Portugal for PBS Revolutions
Re-broadcast of Riley's Neil Armstrong biopic on BBC2 comes in just outside the top ten factual docs of the week.
Final editing for National Geographic's One Strange Rock.
Voyager's Final Message announces first results for the 40th anniversary of the pioneering mission.
In Oregon for America's great eclipse.
Shooting in Chernobyl for National Geographic's One Strange Rock.
Camera training with astronaut Paolo Nespoli for his upcoming shoot on the International Space Station.
Writing ESA's new film for the 2017 Le Bourget Air show.
Shooting in Tanzania for National Geographic's One Strange Rock.
Shooting in South Africa for National Geographic's One Strange Rock.
Shooting in the Maldives for National Geographic's One Strange Rock.
Riley writes a new Soyuz re-entry VR show for London's Science Museum - to accompany the new exhibition of Tim Peake's spacecraft.
Shooting in the Hebrides for National Geographic's One Strange Rock.
New collaboration with Hammersmith, Ealing and West London College, to re-launch Voyager's Final Message Campaign.
Riley writes a new film for ESA's conference on commercialising Low Earth Orbit.
Riley's miniseries "Survival in the Skies" premieres in Europe on the Discovery Channel.
The Fear of 13 comes to the Calgary Film Festival.
Network premiere of The Fear of 13 on BBC FOUR.
The Fear of 13 released on DVD, Bluray and download. Order here.
The Fear of 13 returns to the cinema across the UK. Check thefearof13.com for screening times.
IN THE MEDIA
BBC FOUR - Sky at Night Hubble Special
BBC ONE - Stargazing Live - Total Eclipse Special.
BBC Radio 4 - Save the Moon
BBC Radio 4 - For All Mankind
BBC Radio 4 - The Cosmic Hunters
INTERVIEWS / REVIEWS
Remember historic lunar landing of 1969. The Telegram
How Apollo 11 brought the world together. BBC News
Wired book lovers guide to the Moon. Wired Magazine
Five best books on Apollo - Five Books
Science in Action - BBC World Service
Talking about Breakthrough Starshot.
Star Ship Sofa - Podcast - Remembering Apollo 14 astronaut Edgar Mitchell
BBC World Service - Newshour - A history of the space suit & Tim Peake's space walk.
BBC News Online - How a British space hero was made.
Jo Good - BBC Radio London - The Fear of 13.
Journali - Voyager's Final Message.
Star Ship Sofa - Podcast - Voyager's Final Message.
Sky News - Greetings Aliens! A final message from Earth.
Channel 5's Conspiracy - Moonlandings.
The Daily Telegraph - Earth to Send Final Postcard to Voyager.
New Scientist - Opinion - A final message to Voyager.
Mind Expanding Monday - Absolute Radio
Hubble at 25 - Sky News
Happy Birthday Hubble - New Scientist
Hubble's Cosmic Journey - London Live
Hubble at 25 - Mail Online
How it Works - Hubble's 25th Anniversary.
Channel 4's End of the World Night.
BBC1's Star Gazing Live Eclipse Special.
The looming total solar eclipse - live two way on BBC Radio 4's Today Programme.
'The trouble with Mars One' - Mail Online - February 2015.
'Golden Age of Spaceflight' - Mail Online - February 2015.
The Girl who talked to Dolphins - Der Spiegel, May 2014.
The Girl who talked to Dolphins - BBC Breakfast, June 2014.
The Girl who talked to Dolphins - FLUX magazine, May 2014.
The Girl who talked to Dolphins - Daily Mail, May 2014.
Neuroscientist John Lilly's vision for a bi-species society. Sunday Express, May 2014.
Celebrating Yuri Gagarin's 80th birthday with Russia Today March 2014
NASA & Japanese Space Agency's plans for a Global Precipitation Satellite Network, on Aljazeera, Feb 2014.
Comet chasing probe wakes up. Aljazeera, Jan 2014.
Comet Ison. BBC World Service TV News. November 2013.
How India Sent a probe to Mars. Newsnight, BBC2, November 2013
New Scientist - Frequency 2013 - Deceptive Digital Art Plays with More than Perception. October 2013.
BBC News Online - Voyager-1 departs to interstellar space.
BBC World Service - Newsday - 13-09-13
El Murcurio - Rusia y China ganan terreno como potencias en el espacio.
BBC World News - Impact - discussing the chances of life beyond Earth.
Al Jazeera - Reflecting on Chris Hadfield's recent mission to the ISS.
The Independent - more reflections on Chris Hadfield's mission to the ISS.
BBC Radio 4 - Debate on the value of human spaceflight.
BBC Radio Lincolnshire - Interview about NASA's Voyager missions at their 35th anniversary.
BBC Radio Oxfordshire - Interview with Malcolm Boyden on Apollo 11.
The Next Web, Interview about Crowdfunding
BBC Radio Berkshire - Anne Diamond interview about the Space Shuttle.
BBC Radio 4 - Today interview about NASA's Ares 1x rocket.
Interview in Astrobiology Magazine , The Shoulder's of Giants
BBC Radio 4 - The Infinite Monkey Cage. 'So you want to be an astronaut'. Download the podcast from the 13th June 2011 here.
Voice of Russia, interview about celebrating Yuri Gagarin's legacy.
BBC Radio 2 Feature on Yuri Gagarin, and First Orbit.
BBC News, interview about the launch of First Orbit, 2011.
Russian Today, New Documentary Shows First Space Trip through Gagarin's Eyes.
BBC News, talk about a six tonne satellite tumbling to Earth.
BBC News, talking about the Russian Progress space freighter lost.
BBC Radio 5 Live - Interview about ISS Debris risks.
BBC Radio 4 - Today Programme - the work of historian Chris Riley and forensic linguist John Olsson on the first words spoken on the Moon.
Guardian Podcast - Apollo 11 anniversary special.
BBC Newsround, Rollout of NASA's new rocket - the Ares 1-X.
BBC News - Armstrong's Poetic Slip on the Moon
BBC Radio 5 live - Debate about the danger of asteroid impact.
BBC World Service Interview about the anniversary of the Apollo 8 Earthrise picture.
BBC Radio 4 - Today programme debate about the value of human spaceflight.
AstroTalk UK - Journey to the Moon.
Guardian Podcast - 'In the Shadow of the Moon'
BBC Radio 4 - Science at 9 - 'Contact Impact' - The 2001 Leonid meteor storm.
BBC Radio 4 - Today programme interview about the Leonids.
BBC Radio 4 - News interview about the Leonids.
BBC Radio 4 - Today - Interview from 1994 about Science Line.
BBC ONE - Inside Out - Light Pollution