Atomic Age Declassified: Series 1
The discovery of nuclear fission in 1938 had explosive ramifications around the globe during WWII and the decades that followed. From the moment it became clear that the splitting of atoms could create a huge new source of energy, America was committed to win the nuclear arms race at any cost. Recently declassified government files reveal just how far they were willing to go to fight the Cold War and protect their secrets.
Part 1: Born with the Bomb
The flash of the first atomic blasts exposes a multi-billion dollar clandestine operation: The Manhattan Project. A modern state secrecy apparatus emerges directly out of Los Alamos – only to find itself immediately compromised as Russia announces its own atomic arsenal. Radiation testing on unsuspecting civilians. An 800 page American World War III battle plan that targeted 600 million civilians. Broken Arrows. And the real stories of the Cuban Missile Crisis.
Part 2: Spies in Space
Just two years ago, the National Reconnaissance Office (NRO) declassified a top-secret 1960s program to put a manned spy platform into orbit. While Apollo got all the attention and the glory in its race to the Moon, the men and women behind MOL worked in the shadows to give America the eyes and ears it needed. After 50 years of secrecy, Spies in Space will be the first television program to weave together rarely seen footage from America’s secret spy satellite systems.
Part 3: Filming the Bomb
In 2017, the U.S. released films from a generation of nuclear tests allowing scientists to study the last images of thermonuclear explosions we hope we’ll ever see. But just getting them took years of trying and dozens of nuclear explosions. In Los Angeles, a secret film studio, Lookout Mountain, staffed by Hollywood professionals, produced countless films aimed at diverse audiences from policymakers to soldiers, scientists to civilians. The goal: convince anyone who will listen.