BBC DOCS AND SPECIALS

Each month, the BBC World Service offers new documentaries and specials selected specifically for U.S. audiences, with in-depth, relevant reporting. Typically one-hour, or two half-hours on a similar topic, they offer great content for any time of day, and satisfy audiences' needs for deeper narratives and more reflective listening.

Monthly offerings are available via ContentDepot, complete with promos and billboards. Click on individual titles to visit and subscribe to unique ContentDepot pages, where you can access programs as air windows open.

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The Bomb

August 1 - 28
Two one-hour documentaries
Episode one available August 1, Episode two available August 8

On the 75th anniversary of Hiroshima, historian Emily Strasser uncovers the story of one man’s battle to stop the world’s biggest bomb.

In a moment of terrible inspiration, a little-known Hungarian scientist called Leo Szilard uncovers the destructive possibilities of an atomic bomb. Fearing the Nazis would figure out how to produce the bomb first, Szilard turns to his friend Albert Einstein to help convince the US President to invest in a uranium research program. That program becomes the Manhattan Project, and as America tries to end the Second World War, Szilard fears his vision is about to become reality.

Recruiting other scientists from across the Manhattan Project, he launches a campaign to save the world from the horror of a nuclear bomb, a campaign that will fail on August 6, 1945, when the United States drops an atomic bomb on Hiroshima. For Emily Strasser this is a personal story. Her grandfather worked on the Manhattan Project. All her life she’s been grappling with what her grandfather was a part of, and how she’s meant to feel about it today.

Vaccine, Money and Politics

August 18 - 24
One hour

A vivid exploration of the whole ecosystem involved in the discovery, development and distribution necessary for a vaccination program to immunize a world of more than seven billion people.

Red State Refugees

August 25 - 31
Half hour

Katy Long tells the story of one small, poor, conservative town — Cactus, Texas — where hundreds of refugees have settled. Drawn by the well-paid jobs in meatpacking, they’ve shifted the demographics of the community and saved the town from disaster. But for all that they represent change, some of the refugees’ views and values are more in line with small conservative towns than liberal cities.

The Ballads of Emmett Till

August 22 - 28
One hour

Emmett Till, fourteen and black, was put on the train from Chicago by his mother Mamie in August 1955. She got his corpse back, mutilated and stinking. Emmett had been beaten, shot and dumped in the Tallahatchie River for supposedly whistling at a white woman. His killers would forever escape justice.

Taken up by the mothers and fathers of those killed in the Black Lives Matter movement, this story is the subject of new documentaries, a trio of forthcoming Hollywood films and a new FBI investigation as the search for justice continues. His coffin lies at the heart of the Washington's new museum of African American history - a secular shrine and symbol of the enduring pain of America's racism. Maria Margaronis travels through landscape and memory across Mississippi and Chicago to reveal the many ways Emmett's story has been told and retold.

Air Windows

The BBC World Service has blanket contractual arrangements in place, typically offering a seven-day rebroadcasting window for non-news programs. If you would like to request an air window extension, please contact your Station Relations Representative. Extensions are considered on a case-by-case basis and may be granted subject to rights.

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