UK pubcaster The BBC and Science Channel are co-producing
a new factual drama starring award-winning actor William Hurt.
will play the brilliant US physicist Richard Feynman, who
was instrumental in uncovering the truth behind the space
shuttle Challenger disaster of 1986.
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.
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.
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.
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."
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."
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.