The Trials Of JR Oppenheimer - premieres 9pm, Thursday 5 March on Sky 534 and Virgin Media 243
Award-winning producer David Grubin presents a complex and revealing portrait of one of the most important American scientists of the twentieth century.
J Robert Oppenheimer was picked to head The Manhattan Project in Los Alamos, New Mexico, which developed the atomic bombs that ended the Second World War. Oppenheimer was transformed into a national hero, but his newfound fame did not relieve his anguish over the destructive power he had helped to unleash. After the war, as chief advisor to the US Atomic Energy Commission, Oppenheimer spoke out for moderation as tensions between the Soviet Union and the US began to escalate. He advised against the development of the hydrogen bomb and took a stand against further nuclear proliferation. This was the era of the Red Scare and McCarthyism, and his stance put him in direct opposition with powerful forces in Washington. His top security clearance was revoked, effectively preventing him from continuing his work. The decision constituted a public humiliation from which Oppenheimer never recovered. Featuring interviews with former colleagues and dramatic reconstructions with actor David Strathairn, this film tells the story of a proud and charismatic man who served his country better than it served him.