PBS Has “Dug Up” A Brilliant New Work In ‘AmEx: The Race Underground’

Courtesy: PBS/Public Media Distribution

Courtesy: PBS/Public Media Distribution

Mass transportation is one of the most important pieces of any metropolitan region’s infrastructure.  From the wheels on the bus to the wheels on the trolley to the wheels on the subway cars, moving the masses from place to place is just as important to any metro region and its neighbors as anything else.  So it only makes sense that eventually PBS would present a documentary on the history of one major mass transit method.  The last bastion of truly worthwhile programming on television, it did just that earlier this week when it released to DVD American Experience: The Race Underground.  This lesson on the history of America’s subway systems will appeal to everyday audiences just as much as it will people who run America’s major metro regions.  That is due in no small part to its story.  This will be discussed shortly.  The information presented within the story is just as important to discuss as the story itself.  The transitions used to keep the program moving rounds out its most important elements.  Each element plays its own important piece in the program’s overall presentation.  All things considered, they make American Experience: The Race Underground another welcome episode of PBS’ hit history-based series and one more of this year’s top new documentaries.

American Experience: The Race Underground is a program that will appeal just as much to everyday audiences as it will the people who run America’s major metropolitan regions.  It is a presentation that those audiences will want to *ahem* race to see.  Yes, that awful pun was intended.  The story at the center of the program is just one of the elements that makes it such an interesting presentation.  A close, analytical viewing of this episode of American Experience reveals to be a two-part tale.  The primary story presented in this program shows, of course, the birth and evolution of America’s subway systems.  On another level, it presents a story of one man’s dream realized and denied.

The primary story presented in this episode follows the evolution of America’s subway system from a mere dream in Frank Sprague’s mind to one of the most revolutionary means of transportation (if not the single most revolutionary) at the time.  That in itself is its own intriguing history lesson.  The secondary story shows how Sprague’s dream has obviously become realized through the growing evolution of subway transportation across the country (and even across the world) yet denied because he never got the full credit he deserved for his invention thanks to one Thomas Edison.  That story, when coupled with the program’s main story, becomes the stuff of major Hollywood blockbusters.  The combination of those two stories into one whole is just one part of what makes this episode of American Experience such an interesting documentary.  The information that is presented within those stories is just as important to note in examining the program’s presentation as the stories themselves.

The stories that form the foundation of American Experience: The Race Underground are in themselves key to this program’s overall presentation.  That is because they make the program just as interesting as any major historically-based blockbuster ever churned out by Hollywood’s “Big Six” studios.  While they are critical to the program’s presentation, they are not its only key elements.  The information provided within the stories is what makes the stories so interesting.  One of the most intriguing pieces of information that audiences learn over the course of the episode’s nearly hour-long run time is that even after Sprague’s idea was finally taken on by the city of Boston, it didn’t just fly right through.  Instead, there was a lot of opposition from the city’s residents.  That created quite a rift between the city’s residents and its government.  Just as interesting to learn is that for many people, their opposition was based on puritanical religious beliefs.  For others, the opposition rose from concerns about where the city wanted to run the subway.  Even more interesting to learn is that if not for Sprague’s success with his experiment in Richmond, there’s no telling how long it would have taken for America’s first subway station to be developed or where.  So really, while Boston had the first subway system, Richmond should really take credit for being the true birthplace of American’s first subway system.  It’s like the battle between North Carolina and Ohio over which is the true birthplace of aviation.  This is all just the tip of the proverbial iceberg with this story’s information.  Audiences will be shocked to learn that despite the eventual success of the new subway system, Sprague’s dream ultimately was denied thanks to his company being bought out by none other than Thomas Edison.  That ultimately denied Srpague the fame and wealth that he could have had, and shows yet again how Edison profited off of someone else’s success rather than his own.  Between this revelation, the others already noted and so many others, it becomes clear why the information shared throughout this program is so important to its presentation.  When all of that information is coupled with the program’s two-part story, the end result is one that will most definitely keep audiences enthralled right to the end.  Interestingly enough, it still is not the last element to note in examining the program’s overall presentation.  The program’s transitions are just as important to note as its stories and its breadth of information.

The stories shared throughout the course of American Experience: The Race Underground and their companion information are both key pieces of the program’s overall presentation.  Both by themselves and together, they are certain to keep audience engaged from beginning to end.  While they are both clearly important in their own right to the program’s presentation, one cannot ignore the importance of the program’s transitions in keeping audiences’ attention, too.  The transitions used to advance the story are clear and concise from one segment to the next.  They are basic fade-ins and fade-outs. Their placement comes at all of the proper spots, too, never leaving audiences hanging at the end of any segment.  They aren’t hard fades, either.  Rather, they are smooth fades, and in turn make stopping and starting between segments so easy.  The thought put into those transitions adds one more layer of enjoyment to the program’s presentation.  When set against the program’s equally interesting stories and companion information, the whole of the elements makes this program one to which audiences will “race” themselves to watch.  They combine to make it a work that will “race” up any critic’s list of the year’s top new documentaries.

American Experience: The Race Underground is just the latest episode of PBS’ hit history-based series to be released so far in this still young year.  Even being so new to home release, it can be said that it is certain to “race” up any critic’s list of the year’s top new documentaries.  It is available now and can be ordered online direct via PBS’ online store.  More information on this and other episodes of American Experience is available online now at:

 

 

 

Website: http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/americanexperience

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/AmericanExperiencePBS

Twitter: http://twitter.com/AmExperiencePBS

 

 

 

To keep up with the latest sports and entertainment reviews and news, go online to http://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it.  Fans can always keep up with the latest sports and entertainment reviews and news in the Phil’s Picks blog at https://philspicks.wordpress.com.

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PBS Announces Home Release Date For Upcoming ‘AmEx’ Mini-Series

Courtesy: PBS/Public Media Distribution

Courtesy: PBS/Public Media Distribution

Public Media Distribution will release a special American Experience mini-series on DVD this Spring.

American Experience: The Great War will be released on Tuesday, May 16th.  The six-hour event will be spread across three discs and will retail for MSRP of $34.99.  It can be pre-ordered online now via PBS’ online store at a reduced price of $29.99.

The mini-series follow’s America’s neutrality to its eventual entry into what was then known as “The Great War.”  It tells the story of the nation’s involvement from a variety of angles.  Those angles include the experiences of African-Americans, Native American Code Talkers, Latino soldiers, suffragists and others.

The program also examines the leadership of then President Woodrow Wilson as he led America during the world’s first major global conflict.  This angle also examines how the nation’s entry in to the war led to one of the biggest crackdowns on Americans’ civil liberties in the nation’s history along with other items.

American Experience: The Great War premieres on PBS stations nationwide on Monday, April 10 and runs through Wednesday April 12.  Each of the mini-series’ two-hour episodes will run from 9 p.m. ET to 11 p.m. ET.  Audiences should check their local listings for variations in those times.

A trailer for the upcoming event is streaming online now here.  More information on this extended episode of American Experience is available online now along with all of the series’ latest news and more at:

 

 

 

Website: http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/americanexperience

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/AmericanExperiencePBS

Twitter: http://twitter.com/AmExperiencePBS

 

 

 

To keep up with the latest sports and entertainment news and reviews, go online to http://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it.  Fans can always keep up with the latest sports and entertainment news and reviews in the Phil’s Picks blog at https://philspicks.wordpress.com.

PBS Presents The History of America’s First Subway System In New ‘AmEx’ Episode

Courtesy: PBS/Public Media Distribution

Courtesy: PBS/Public Media Distribution

Public Media Distribution has announced it has another new episode of PBS’ hit history-based series American Experience due out later this month.

American Experience: The Race Underground will be released on Tuesday, February 28.  Based on the book by author Doug Most, this episode of American Experience takes audiences back in time to one of the most important eras of the nation’s transportation history—the advent of Boston’s first subway system.

Boston was America’s most crowded city during the 1800s, with almost 400,000 crammed into a downtown region of less than a single square mile.  More than 8,000 horses filled the streets, pulling people around the city.  Between the nuisance of their waste, the general crowding and noise caused lots of problems.

Frank Sprague changed everything when he developed the first model for a modern subway that rivaled that of London.  It wasn’t without its detractors, either.  The subway would eventually be constructed, and lead to the construction of subway systems in New York and Philadelphia, revolutionizing transportation in some of America’s biggest cities.

This episode of American Experience follows the story of how Sprague’s revolutionary idea laid the groundwork for what has become a primary means of mass transportation in those and other cities.  The hour-long program will retail for MSRP of $24.99 and can be pre-ordered online now via PBS’ online store at a reduced price of $19.99.  It is also available in a bundle pack with Most’s book for $31.99.

More information on this and other episodes of American Experience is available online now at:

 

 

 

Website: http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/americanexperience

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/AmericanExperiencePBS

Twitter: http://twitter.com/AmExperiencePBS

 

 

 

To keep up with the latest sports and entertainment news and reviews, go online to http://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it.  Fans can always keep up with the latest sports and entertainment news and reviews in the Phil’s Picks blog at https://philspicks.wordpress.com.

‘Command And Control’ Is An “Explosive” New Episode Of ‘American Experience’

Courtesy: PBS/PBS Distribution

Courtesy: PBS/PBS Distribution

On September 18, 1980 America narrowly escaped what could have been one of the worst nuclear disasters that it has ever experienced when a Titan II ballistic missile exploded in its silo in Damascus, Arkansas.  PBS recently profiled the near catastrophic event in a new episode of its history-based series American Experience titled American Experience: Command And Control.  This two-hour program is a visualization of author Eric Schlosser’s book by the same name.  It is a powerful presentation, too that is certain to keep its audiences enthralled just as easily as any big screen action thriller.  That is due in part to its story, its most important element.  The information that is provided within the story is just as important to note as the story itself in examining the program’s overall presentation.  The program’s dual presentation rounds out its most important elements.  Each element plays its own important part in the program’s presentation.  All things considered, they make this episode of American Experience a documentary that is certain to command and control any critic’s list of the year’s top new documentaries.

American Experience: Command And Control is the first great documentary of 2017.  This two-hour program is certain to command and control any critic’s list of the year’s top new documentaries all year.  That is due in no small part to the story at the center of the program.  The story at the center of this program follows the events that unfolded on September 18, 1980.  It follows the events almost hour-by-hour from the events ahead of the near catastrophe to the fallout (no pun intended) that followed from the event.  It is right up there with some of the biggest action flicks of the 20th century.  In fact, being a real life event and not overly embellished by Hollywood writers, it is even more enthralling. Speaking of Hollywood blockbusters, the story’s transitions are just like something that would be used in a major Hollywood production.  It is a minor element, but even as small as it is, it does so much to keep viewers entertained and engaged in the story.  It should also be noted that the story includes a rather scathing indictment of the military and its protocol as the story is told.  That indictment comes direct from those involved in the event.  It also presents a warning about the dangers of nuclear weapons and relying on nuclear buildup as it provides a history on the nuclear weapons accidents that happened before the Damascus accident.  It should be noted that considering the discussions that are raised by those involved in the accident, not every viewer will want to watch this story because of their views.  But those who are not so set in their ways will enjoy and appreciate this story and all of its elements.  Speaking of those elements, they lead into another important piece of the program’s whole, its information content.

The story at the center of AE: Command and Control is in its own way a key piece of the program’s presentation.  It is a story that is just as engaging as any Hollywood blockbuster of its kind, if not even better.  It is just one of the program’s key elements. The information that is presented throughout the story is just as important to note as the story itself.  Audiences learn over the course of the program’s two-hour run time that the 1980 incident was just one of a number of accident that had happened since the end of World War II.  There is mention of the H-Bomb incident in North Carolina and other accidents that happened before and after.  At the story’s end, audiences learn that between the Damascus incident and others, thousands of incidents had been reported by the military but not made public.  It is even revealed here that the Air Force tried to cover up the Damascus incident, which luckily didn’t turn out to be as bad as it could have been, but still could have been.  Thousands of people could have died not just in Arkansas but across the country had it been worse.  That the military didn’t initially tell the public about what was happening as it happened is understandable to a point.  It is also very troubling considering how bad the situation could have been and how many lives could have been lost.  Audiences also learn of how poorly the men involved in trying to stop the incident were treated by the military after the event as part of the presented informational content.  It probably wasn’t the first time the military has done its officers so wrongly, and definitely not the last time it has ever acted so wrongly toward those who wear the assigned uniform.  Between those revelations and other items presented throughout the program, audiences will find that the information presented throughout this program is indeed just as important to its presentation as its story.  It is not the last important element to note, either.  The program’s dual presentation rounds out its most important elements.

The story at the center of AE: Command and Control and the information that makes up the story are both key elements to the program’s presentation.  That is because of their ability to keep viewers engaged, informed, and entertained.  They combine make the program just as gripping as any big screen presentation crafted by any Hollywood screen writer.  As important as they are to the program’s presentation, they are not its only important elements.  PBS Distribution presents the program in both a standard hour-long presentation and a full two-hour presentation.  Why PBS Distribution would even go that route is anyone’s guess.  Perhaps that has to do with its use at certain levels in high school and beyond.  It is possible maybe younger high school-age viewers would only have an attention span for an hour-long presentation while older audiences would be more apt to sit the entire two-hours.  It would be interesting to find out why exactly the company went this route.  Regardless, giving audiences the option of the program’s hour or two-hour-long presentation is certain to be beneficial in one way or another depending on the setting in which each is used.  When this is set alongside the program’s story and its rich depth of information, it rounds out the program’s most important elements.  It joins with them to show once and for all why this program is such an interesting watch.  It is a piece that students and lovers of military history and history in general will appreciate.  All things considered, it is a program that will command and control any critic’s list of the year’s top new documentaries.

American Experience: Command and Control is a work that students and lovers of military history and history in general will appreciate.  It is a work that is certain to command and control any critic’s list of the year’s top new documentaries.  That is due to its wholly engaging story.  The story presented here is just as enthralling as any major Hollywood action thriller with a similar plot.  Being that it is real life, it is even more enthralling than those movies.  The information that makes up the body of the program adds even more depth to the viewing experience.  It will educate audiences and potentially shock them at the same time.  That is because of the revelations that are made throughout the program.  That audiences are given the choice to watch the program in its abbreviated, hour-long presentation and its full two-hour theatrical presentation makes the experience even more engaging.  Each element plays its own important part to the program’s presentation.  All things considered, they make this episode of American Experience a program that will command and control any critic’s list of the year’s top new documentaries.  It is available now on DVD.  It can be ordered online now via PBS’ store both by itself and in a bundle pack with Schlosser’s book.  More information on this and other episodes of American Experience is available online now at:

 

 

 

Website: http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/americanexperience

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/AmericanExperiencePBS

Twitter: http://twitter.com/AmExperiencePBS

 

 

 

To keep up with the latest sports and entertainment reviews and news, go online to http://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it.  Fans can always keep up with the latest sports and entertainment reviews and news in the Phil’s Picks blog at https://philspicks.wordpress.com.

Ken Burns’ Latest PBS Presentation Is The “Champion” Of Phil’s Picks’ 2016 Top 10 New Documentaries List

Courtesy:  PBS/PBS Distribution

Courtesy: PBS/PBS Distribution

2016 was another great year for documentaries.  From ancient kings to movie magic kings and much more, the field of documentaries had plenty to offer audiences.  Believe it or not PBS showed again with its offerings why it remains the king of the documentary field and why it is the last true bastion of truly worthwhile programming on television.  It wasn’t the only outlet that offered quality documentaries this year, though.  Virgil Films and MVD Visual both had some stand out offerings, too.  Their films are included in this critic’s list of the year’s best new documentaries.

Topping this year’s list of the year’s top new documentaries is Ken Burns’ new profile of MLB great Jackie Robinson.  It isn’t the first of its kind by any means.  But it is one of the most in-depth profiles of the baseball legend.  Also included in this year’s list is a profile of another legend in his own right, Ray Harryhausen from MVD Visual in the form of Ray Harryhausen: Special Effects Titan.  It isn’t the first of its kind, either. But its story, interviews, footage, information and editing all combine to make this presentation stand out.  There is even a pair of documentaries on the “timeless” cinema classic Back to the Future included in this list.

As with each of Phil’s Picks “Best Of” lists, this list features this critic’s top 10 choices in the given category along with five honorable mention titles for a total of 15 titles.  So without any further ado, here for you is Phil’s Picks’ 2016 Top 10 New Documentaries

 

PHIL’S PICKS 2016 TOP 10 NEW DOCUMENTARIES

 

  1. Ken Burns’ Jackie Robinson

 

  1. American Experience: Space Men

 

  1. American Experience: Tesla

 

  1. Nature: Natural Born Hustlers

 

  1. Secrets of the Dead: Cleopatra’s Lost Tomb

 

  1. Secrets of the Dead: Teotihuacan’s Lost Kings

 

  1. Ray Harryhausen: Special Effects Titan

 

  1. American Experience: Bonnie & Clyde

 

  1. Nature: Super Hummingbirds

 

  1. Nature: Moose Life of a Twig Eater

 

  1. NOVA: Vikings Unearthed

 

  1. OUTATIME: Saving The DeLorean Time Machine

 

  1. Back in Time

 

  1. Building Star Trek

 

  1. Zydeco Crossroads: A Tale of Two Cities

 

To keep up with the latest sports and entertainment news and reviews, go online to http://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it.  Fans can always keep up with the latest sports and entertainment news and reviews in the Phil’s Picks blog at https://philspicks.wordpress.com.

PBS’ New Tesla Profile Is An “Electrifying” New Episode Of ‘American Experience”

Courtesy: Public Media Distribution

Courtesy: Public Media Distribution

Nikola Tesla is one of the greatest minds of the 20th century.  It was thanks to his genius that the world enjoys the benefits of alternating current every single day.  That was his greatest accomplishment and certainly not his only accomplishment.  He was a brilliant person.  There is no doubt about that. But for all of his brilliance, he was also a troubled man, as is revealed in a recently released episode of PBS’ hit biography-based program American Experience.  PBS Distribution released American Experience: Tesla on DVD late last month.  The program follows the rise and eventual fall of one of the modern world’s greatest minds.  That story is the most important of the program’s elements.  It will be discussed shortly.  The information presented throughout the program is just as important to note as the program itself.  The interviews used alongside the story’s information round out the most important of the program’s elements.  That is because they further illustrate Tesla’s story even more richly.  Each element is important in its own way to the program’s overall presentation.  All things considered, American Experience: Tesla proves to be one more of this year’s top new documentaries.

American Experience: Tesla is one more of this year’s top new documentaries.  That should come as no surprise being that it is a product of PBS.  Quality programming is exactly what PBS is known for producing, and this program is no exception to that rule.  That is proven in part through its story.  The story takes audiences deeper into Tesla’s life and career than most have likely ever been.  It presents Tesla as the great mind that everyone has come to know him as being through their history classes at every level.  It also presents another side of Tesla that likely few have ever known or been taught about.  That side of Tesla is a man who was extremely naïve.  If he hadn’t torn up his royalty contract with George Westinghouse, he might have been remembered in a much different light today than he is remembered.  At the same time, though that might not be the case.  That is because, as is revealed in this new biography, he apparently suffered from at least one major mental disability—obsessive compulsive disorder—if not others that went undiagnosed.  It’s anyone’s guess if his many obsessive tendencies ultimately played into his downfall.  But considering how many tendencies he had, one can’t help but wonder if there might have been a connection between those tendencies and his ultimate failure.  Those tendencies will be discussed later in the discussion on the program’s information.  Connection or not, the story presented in this episode of AE is one that likely few have ever learned about one of America’s (and the world’s) most important figures.

The story that is presented at the center of American Experience: Tesla is a fully engaging presentation for audiences of all types.  It will interest anyone studying the history of electricity and electrical appliances.  It will also interest students and teachers from middle school on through college level classes as well as history buffs in general.  That is because it shows a side of Tesla that is rarely taught at any level.  While the story itself is so important to the overall presentation of this episode of AE, it is not the program’s only important element.  The information that is presented throughout the hour-long program is just as important to note as the story itself.  That’s because the information presented in the story is what keeps the story interesting.  One of the most interesting pieces of information presented in this story is the revelation of how Tesla first became interested in electricity. The program reveals that Tesla first became interested in electricity as a child one day as he was petting his cat.  That story in itself is certain to surprise audiences.  Just as surprising is the revelation of Tesla’s naivety.  Viewers will learn here that Tesla died penniless of his own doing.  This is despite his genius.  Tesla allegedly, in his short sight, tore up a contract for royalties for his AC patent that could have made him rich beyond belief.  But because of that immaturity and naivety, he would eventually enter a downward spiral from which he would never escape.  Also of interest is the revelation that Tesla suffered from obsessive compulsive disorder.  He didn’t suffer from just one obsessive tendency, either.  Those tendencies included things like staying only in rooms divisible by three when he stayed at hotels (no, that’s not a joke), avoiding human touch and having issues with germs among other issues.  There is no way to definitively connect that issue to his eventual downfall.  Though, making claims late in his life that he had received communication from Mars likely didn’t help any.  It also might have pointed to other potential mental issues along with things like sending packages to Mark Twain after Twain’s death and something having to do with feeding pigeons (yes, feeding pigeons).  Taking all of this into consideration, one still might not be able to definitively connect his obvious mental issues with his downfall.  But it definitely gives ground to a theory that there could have been a connection between his mental issues and his downfall.  One has to wonder at the same time, if OCD had been officially diagnosed during Tesla’s life, and that aside, what could have potentially led to those problems.  Those are definitely matters for another episode of AE that could focus on Tesla.  Hopefully the people at PBS will take that less than subtle hint and look into doing just that.  That aside, it should be clear by now just how important the information presented in American Experience: Tesla is to its story.  It paints a picture in this story, of a man that few people know about or about which few have ever known.  Even with that in mind, it should be clear why this program’s story and its information are both so important to its presentation.  They are just two of its key elements to note, too.  The interviews included in the story add even more insight to the program, and in turn depth and enjoyment.

The story at the center of American Experience: Tesla and the information presented therein are both important in their own right to the program’s overall presentation.  That is because both by themselves and collectively, they present a picture of Tesla that is and has been rarely presented at any level.  They combine to present Tesla both as a brilliant figure, but also as a man with a troubled mind.  It is very possible that troubled mind could have played a part in Tesla’s downfall.  While it can’t be definitely proven, the number of tendencies that he presented in his adult life form a solid base for a theoretical connection between those tendencies and his downfall.  Keeping all of this in mind, the story presented in American Experience: Tesla and its information are both clearly important to its presentation.  However, they are not its only important elements.  The interviews included in the program are just as important as the program’s story and its information.  That is due to the extra depth that they add to the story.  Viewers get to hear from academics and scientists who have deep knowledge of Tesla and his life throughout the program.  Their personal insight into Tesla and his legacy is so important because they explain much of what is in the program in layman’s terms.  This makes the noted information more accessible, and in turn enjoyable, to everyday audiences.  That accessibility is the finishing touch to a program that is already interesting just because it presents one of the world’s greatest minds in a rarely presented portrait.  When this added, easily accessible insight is joined alongside the program’s story and its information, the end result is a program that for many will prove both engaging and shocking (bad pun fully intended).  They also collectively support the statement that this episode of AE is one of this year’s top new documentaries.

American Experience: Tesla is one of 2016’s top new documentaries.  It is also more proof of why PBS remains the last bastion of truly worthwhile programming on television.  That is evidenced primarily through the program’s story.  It is not the standard Tesla story with which most audiences might be familiar.  It presents Tesla both as a man with a brilliant mind and a troubled mind.  Considering all of the information about that troubled mind—which is another one of the program’s key elements—it can at least be theorized that his troubled mind could have played a part in his downfall.  While the story presented in this episode of AE and its information are both key to the program’s presentation, they are not its only important elements.  The interviews included in the program are just as important to note.  That is because they make the program more accessible for everyday audiences through their layman’s explanations of the story’s information.  Each element is clearly important in its own right to the program’s presentation.  All things considered, American Experience: Tesla proves to be one of 2016’s top new documentaries and a truly “shocking” presentation.  It is available now and can be ordered online direct via PBS’ online store.  More information on this and other episodes of American Experience is available online now at:

 

 

 

Website: http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/americanexperience

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/AmericanExperiencePBS

Twitter: http://twitter.com/AmExperiencePBS

 

 

 

To keep up with the latest sports and entertainment reviews and news, go online to http://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it.  Fans can always keep up with the latest sports and entertainment reviews and news in the Phil’s Picks blog at https://philspicks.wordpress.com.

PBS Uncovers A Little Known Piece Of American History In A New Episode Of AmEx

Courtesy: PBS/PBS Distribution

Courtesy: PBS/PBS Distribution

On January 10, 2017, PBS Distribution will take viewers 36 years into the past to a date that while insignificant to most, is much more important to a select few in a new episode of American Experience.

PBS Distribution will release American Experience: Command and Control on Tuesday, January 10. The film follows the events of September 18, 1980, when America almost suffered one of the worst nuclear catastrophes in its history.

It was on that date that a Titan II ballistic missile housed at a complex in Damascus, Arkansas almost caused what would have been one of the nation’s worst nuclear disasters.  The events began when maintenance on the rocket by two men when horribly wrong after a socket from one of the men’s wrenches fell 70 feet down the silo and punctured the missile.

When the rocket was punctured, highly flammable rocket fuel leaked from the missile.  The fuel filled the silo, and over the next eight hours, officials worked to keep the missile, which had a warhead 600 times more powerful than the bomb that destroyed Hiroshima, from exploding inside the silo and causing potentially unheard of damage.

The missile was powerful enough to destroy much of Arkansas and spread radioactive fallout across the East Coast.  Being that nothing of that caliber had ever happened before then, the Air Force had no procedures in place to handle the situation.

The two-hour program mixes into its central story the secondary story of America’s nuclear weapons program from WWII through the Cold War.  It is based largely on recently declassified documents.  In turns it asks some very powerful and important questions, making audiences really think about the nation’s nuclear arsenal.

American Experience: Command and Control will be released Tuesday, January 10.  It runs two hours and will retail for MSRP of $24.99, but can be pre-ordered now at a reduced price of $19.99 via PBS’ online store.  It is also available there in a combo pack that includes author Eric Schlosser’s book on which the program is based.

More information on this and other episodes of American Experience is available online now at:

 

 

 

Website: http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/americanexperience

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/AmericanExperiencePBS

Twitter: http://twitter.com/AmExperiencePBS

 

 

 

To keep up with the latest sports and entertainment news and reviews, go online to http://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it.  Fans can always keep up with the latest sports and entertainment news and reviews in the Phil’s Picks blog at https://philspicks.wordpress.com.