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05.13.2019

SMITHSONIAN CHANNEL UNCOVERS THE SECRETS OF AN ERA IN ATOMIC AGE DECLASSIFIED

NEW SERIES EXPLORING THE HIDDEN TRUTHS OF THE ATOMIC ERA PREMIERES SUNDAY, JUNE 16 AT 9 PM ET/PT

 

NEW YORK – May 13, 2019  Smithsonian Channel will shed light on years of America’s history that were shrouded in secrecy and deception in ATOMIC AGE DECLASSIFIED. The three-part series takes viewers back to the Atomic Age of the mid-20th century, a time when there was excitement about the potential of nuclear planes, trains and automobiles and private programs were on a mission to identify the endless possibilities of atoms as an energy source. But recently declassified materials show that our atomic dreams had a dark side, with paranoia and secrecy leading to many near-disasters and raising the question, “How far was America willing to go?” in the volatile atomic race. ATOMIC AGE DECLASSIFIED premieres Sunday, June 16 at 9 PM ET/PT on Smithsonian Channel.

 

In the premiere episode, 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 emerged directly out of Los Alamos, only to find itself immediately compromised as the Soviet Union announces its own atomic arsenal. Was Ethel Rosenberg, who was executed for spying for the Soviets, framed by her own brother? Who conspired to bring down Robert Oppenheimer, father of the bomb? Suspicion will come to define the Atomic Age and justify some of its darkest moments: radiation testing on unsuspecting civilians, an 800-page American World War III battle plan that targeted 600 million civilians and the Cuban Missile Crisis, when what both sides didn’t know almost killed everyone.

 

Subsequent episodes of ATOMIC AGE DECLASSIFIED are:

 

SPIES IN SPACE

Premieres Sunday, June 23 at 9 p.m.

For 50 years, one of America’s most closely guarded secrets – a military spy station in space called the Manned Orbiting Laboratory – remained a mystery. But now, with recently declassified interviews and footage, SPIES IN SPACE is the first to reveal the key role this program played in the Cold War. While Apollo grabbed the public spotlight in the race to the Moon, the team behind the Manned Orbiting Laboratory worked in the shadows to give America the eyes and ears it needed to navigate an increasingly dangerous world. SPIES IN SPACE will be the first television program to showcase rare footage of the U-2 planes; GRAB and POPPY SIGINT satellites and the CORONA, GAMBIT and HEXAGON imaging satellite systems; as well as air interviews from Manned Orbiting Laboratory crew members and other top experts in the field to tell the story of the space race’s unsung heroes.

 

FILMING THE BOMB

Premieres Sunday, June 30 at 9 p.m.

On July 16, 1945, the United States successfully conducted its first nuclear test and ushered the world into the Atomic Age. It was a time of American innovation and superiority in the fields of science and national security – a Cold War narrative that’s been repeated for the better part of a century. But one aspect of the Atomic Age receives far less attention: the rapid and revolutionary advancements in photography and film. FILMING THE BOMB tells the story of an unlikely partnership between the U.S. government and Hollywood. It’s a story that’s been shrouded in secrecy for decades, yet thanks to a recent declassification effort, many films are being made public for the first time and FILMING THE BOMB gives television audiences a first glance at some of the most important films of the time.

 

ATOMIC AGE DECLASSIFIED is produced by Smithsonian Channel. Art Binkowski and Peter Coan serve as series editors; Ed Fields and Tim Dilworth as producers. John Cavanagh and David Royle serve as executive producers.