Once opened, the Pandora’s box of atomic secrets can never be closed

A five part drama documentary series of spy thrillers exploring key turning points in the race for nuclear supremacy Starts Monday 15th January on BBC2 at 9pm 
An international co-production between BBC worldwide, National Geographic, and NDR (Germany) and the BBC.

Monday 15 th January      'The Spy from Moscow' Oleg Penkovsky, the Soviet Colonel who spied in the build up to the gravest nuclear crisis of all time when the world came close to all-out nuclear war in 1962

Monday 22nd January     'Superspy'  In the 1940’s, superspy Klaus Fuchs, helped launch the world on the path of nuclear proliferation. He broke the US nuclear monopoly and helped three different countries get the bomb.

Monday 29th January     'Superbomb' The father of the American atomic bomb, Robert Oppenheimer tried to stop the race for the Superbomb in the 1950s – the race to create the most powerful explosion ever seen on the surface of the planet - a weapon, he believed, ‘not of war but of genocide.’ 

Monday 5th February 'Vanunu and the Bomb' In the 1980’s Mordechai Va'anunu revealed that the Israeli’s had secretly built a huge nuclear arsenal, highlighting the spread of nuclear weapons to the Middle East

Monday 12th February (TBC) 'The Terror Trader' And in the 21st century, A.Q. Khan, father of Pakistan’s nuclear bomb, was caught selling nuclear technology to Libya and Iran. His smuggling ring raises the terrifying prospect that the spread of nuclear weapons could now be in the hands of black market dealers.

According to Jonathan, he is playing a German scientist working on the Manhattan project. He hasn't seen the programme and has no idea if it is any good, but said it was great to work on. In the cast is Jon's friend Marco Hofschnieder who you may remember from Luther. Nuclear Secrets was shot partly in Arizona and partly in England over the summer.  It will be shown in the US in thenear future, probably on the Discovery Channel, but no firm word yet when.

Episode in detail;

2. Superspy: The dawn of the nuclear age, and the superspy who helped give the secrets of the bomb to three different countries, launching the world on a path to nuclear proliferation. During the Second World War German refugee, Klaus Fuchs, was urgently summoned to Los Alamos, the heart of America’s biggest wartime secret – the Manhattan project to create the world’s first nuclear bomb. As Fuchs became an expert on how to explode plutonium, he plotted how to contact his Soviet spymasters. Evading security, he smuggled out of Los Alamos the complete blueprint of the Nagasaki A-bomb in 1945. Time and again he outwitted security, even landing a job at the heart of the British atomic bomb project after the war. In six meetings in north London he handed over 90 secret documents to his Soviet agent, Alexander Feklisov. His downfall came through a crisis of conscience. ‘Its as though my mind has two compartments’ he said, allowing one part to control the other in a schizophrenic way to manage the deception. Drawing on recently released MI5 files stored in the Kew Records Office, it is clear that eventually, he faced a crisis and Fuchs the superspy, paid a high price for his treachery as MI5 closed in. 

Principle Cast: 

Rudolf Peierls  JONATHAN FIRTH
Genia Peierls  LUCY GASKELL

Photos copyright BBC, used with permission

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