Netflix’s new documentary series sells the first all-civilian flight to space as an exercise in philanthropy, but it’s little more than a privilege-fuelled puff piece for the billionaire’s adventures

While I’m still able – “allowed” is possibly the verb I want – I would like to register my objection to adverts masquerading as legitimate streaming content on a subscription service for which I pay good money. This is not how that particular model is supposed to work. I realise, of course, that I am Cnut howling at the digital waves. But proving our powerlessness before them is about the only thing left to us.

Netflix’s new documentary series, or “documentary series”, Countdown: Inspiration4 Mission to Space, is the offender in this case. It is designed to track the recruitment process, preparation for and then – in as close to real time as possible – the launch of the first all-civilian flight into space, by Elon Musk’s company SpaceX.

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