A Trip to the Moon, Powercoin’s latest issue, celebrates its 1902 movie namesake, the first true science-fiction film

Alien, Blade Runner, Star Wars, Star Trek, Flash Gordon, and 2001: A Space Odyssey. Science Fiction is without question the most visually spectacular, and inventive movie genre out there, where writers and directors get to imagine anything and everything. But where did it all start? Earlier than you think – way back in 1902, some 25 years before the first ‘talkie’ film premiered.

French director, Georges Méliès, created a short adventure film called ‘A Trip to the Moon’, inspired by the literary works of Jules Verne, and H.G. Wells. The film tells the story of a team of astronomers who are literally fired at the moon in a giant cannon. They are there to explore, but soon encounter the alien Selenites, who are hostile, but explode when struck. They eventually escape and fall back to Earth, along with a captive Selenite. You can see the movie, in colourised form, lower down.

The film is rightly seen today as a masterpiece of its era. It’s incredibly inventive, packed with marvellous sets, costumes and special effects. This isn’t some short film knocked together that barely qualifies as science-fiction, but a bona-fide classic that ticks all the right boxes when it comes to the genre, and inspired countless others to bring their own imaginations to the fledgling movie industry.

The most iconic scene in ‘A Trip to the Moon’ is unquestionably the face in the moon being struck in its eye by the capsule that transported the astronomers there. It’s all a bit weird, of course, but even if you don’t know this film, you’ll recognise that image. Powercoin’s latest coin will make it even more recognisable, taking that scene and enhancing it using modern minting techniques, in this case Smartminting.

The face in the moon is perfectly realised, right down to the expression, but the moon surface is rendered much closer to reality than the movie. It’s a great touch. The ‘bullet’ capsule is right in the eye, but whereas the coin is antique-finished, the capsule is coloured. You can just make out the Powercoin logo on the bottom of it. It’s barely noticeable here and well integrated into the design, but not something we’d like to see expanded to wider use. The obverse is the usual nautically-themed national coat-of-arms of Palau, one of the nicer ones out there.

A super idea for a coin, and it would be great to see the 1927 Fritz Lang classic, Metropolis, get a similar treatment. A two-ounce silver coin, it comes presented in a display frame, and has a mintage of 500 pieces. It’s available to order now, and will ship in late December. One for classic sci-fi enthusiasts, and there are plenty of those, including us.

COMPOSITION 0.999 silver
WEIGHT 62.2 grams
FINISH Antique
MODIFICATIONS Ultra high-relief, Colour
BOX / C.O.A. Yes / Yes