MUMBAI: UK pubcaster The BBC and Science Channel are co-producing a new factual drama starring award-winning actor William Hurt.
Hurt will play the brilliant US physicist Richard Feynman, who was instrumental in uncovering the truth behind the space shuttle Challenger disaster of 1986.
When Challenger exploded 73 seconds into its flight on the morning of 28 January 1986, it represented one of the most shocking events in the history of American spaceflight.
A Presidential Commission was immediately convened to explore what had gone wrong, but with the vast complexity of the space shuttle and so many vested interests involved in the investigation, discovering the truth was an almost impossible challenge.
A truly independent member of the investigation was Richard Feynman. One of the most accomplished scientists of his generation, he worked on the Manhattan Project building the first atom bomb and won the Nobel Prize for his breakthroughs in quantum physics. Feynman deployed exceptional integrity, charm and relentless scientific logic to investigate the secrets of the shuttle disaster and, in doing so, helped make the US space program safer.
BBC Commissioning Editor, Science and Natural History Kim Shillinglaw said, "This is the gripping story of a brilliant physicist‘s battle for scientific truth in the dark corridors of big government. With an impressive cast, including award-winning actor William Hurt, it promises to be a powerful factual drama for BBC Two and part of our mission to make science programmes ever more surprising and ambitious."
Science Channel GM, executive VP Debbie Myers said, "The Challenger disaster represents an indelible moment in American history - anyone who is old enough to recall it remembers exactly where they were when this terrible tragedy occurred. Science Channel is honoured to work with the incomparable William Hurt to tell the story of Richard Feynman, a true-life hero and one of most controversial scientific minds of our time."
Other cast confirmed include Canadian actor Bruce Greenwood who plays fellow Commissioner US Air Force General Donald Kutyna in the second lead role. He is joined by American actor Brian Dennehy who is playing William Rogers, Chairman of the Presidential Commission and English actress Joanne Whalley who is playing Feynman‘s wife Gweneth.