Uranium: Twisting the Dragon's Tail
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Courtesy of Josephine Wright

Watch January 11, 2017 at 10pm on WMHT-TV​

 The year 2015 marks the 70th anniversary of the most profound turning point in the history of human enterprise: the detonation of the atomic bomb and the revelation of the destructive force contained within its primary element, uranium. PBS premieres URANIUM: TWISTING THE DRAGON’S TAIL, a two-part program that provides a fascinating journey through the complex history of the most controversial substance on Earth, on Tuesday, July 28, and Wednesday, July 29, 2015, 10:00-11:00 p.m. ET (check local listings). 

URANIUM: TWISTING THE DRAGON’S TAIL takes viewers through place and time, touching on the cultural, scientific and natural significance of uranium and its many uses — from weaponry to medicine. Part science and part history, the story of uranium is brought to life by host Dr. Derek Muller, a physicist and creator of the popular YouTube channel “Veritasium.” The special follows Muller down mineshafts and across arid deserts, and through the vast silence of an abandoned city resulting from the world’s worst nuclear accident. Muller relates how uranium crackles with the violence of creation and shapes life on Earth.

“We are who we are because of uranium,” Muller says. “It unlocks the secrets of the universe and reveals the nature of reality. It’s both a dream of clean limitless power and a nightmare of a silent, poisoned Earth.”  

“On the eve of the 70th anniversary of the first detonation of the atomic bomb, this special spans the globe to shed light on humans’ complicated history and relationship with a uniquely intriguing element,” said Bill Gardner, Vice President of Programming and Development for PBS. “As always, PBS is the place to explore complicated issues like harnessing nuclear power and the use of destructive forces. In this gripping series, audiences will be surprised to learn how prevalent a dangerous yet life-giving element is in our daily lives.” 

URANIUM: TWISTING THE DRAGON’S TAIL, a Genepool Production for PBS, is written and directed by Wain Fimeri and produced by Emmy® Award-winning filmmaker Sonya Pemberton.  It is produced with support from SBS Australia, Film Victoria and Screen Australia.

PBS continues to offer timely, relevant programs that look at history and the human experience. Along with the premiere of URANIUM – TWISTING THE DRAGON’S TAIL, is THE BOMB, a history of nuclear weapons and how they shaped our world, on July 28 at 8:00 p.m. ET. Additionally, NOVA “Nuclear Meltdown Disaster”, which airs on July 29 at 9:00 p.m. ET, pays homage to the brave workers who stayed behind as an earthquake and tsunami crippled the nuclear power plant in one of history’s worst nuclear accidents.