The Bomb

The Bomb

By BBC World Service

After Oppenheimer’s success at the Oscars, delve into the wider story of the atomic bomb. Told through the scientists and spies who changed history. Season 1 follows the scientist who discovers the destructive possibilities of harnessing nuclear power. It leads to the race to beat the Nazis to the first atomic bomb. Season 2 tells of a brilliant scientist who lives a double life, stealing atomic secrets for the Soviet Union. Season 3 is coming soon.


S2.10 Fallout

Jail awaits - Klaus Fuchs is going down. But will he take Ursula with him? British intelligence wants names. As Fuchs is forced to face his past, Ursula tries to run from hers. Presenter Rosa Ellis questions how their actions have shaped today's nuclear tensions. #thebomb
09/09/2233m 23s

S2.9 Dead cat, live cat

A double life implodes. Fuchs faces judge and jury, but will he confess? A future as an eminent physicist is slipping away. And the friends who took him in as a young scientist are blindsided - they want answers. But first he must face the court. #thebomb
02/09/2230m 57s

S2.8 The uncertainty principle

The spy catchers close in. Klaus Fuchs is caught in the crosshairs. Spymaster Ursula has outwitted the interrogators - but can he? As he settles down in England, British intelligence services are following him at every turn. He is caught in a web of surveillance - and his faith in the Soviets is faltering. How long can he run for? #thebomb
26/08/2230m 51s

S2.7 Critical mass

The interrogation of a spymaster. Ursula is questioned as Klaus Fuchs returns to England. Secrets threaten to be spilled and loyalties are tested. The war has ended, and the physicist could have a promising future. But will his past catch up with him? Could British intelligence services be on to him? #thebomb
19/08/2229m 59s

S2.6 Camp Y

Lives on the line. The Fuchs family is drawn into the espionage as the atomic bomb project takes a deadly turn. Klaus is at the covert Manhattan Project laboratory in Los Alamos, New Mexico. In this desert terrain, he has lost contact with the Soviets. As the countdown to detonation begins, there's only one person who can be trusted. #thebomb
12/08/2238m 45s

S2.5 An irreversible reaction

A double life gets more dangerous. Fuchs joins America's bomb project and the race with Russia is on. But as the nuclear mission ramps up, security tightens too. Now at the heart of the mission, his skills in science and espionage are tested to the limit. #thebomb
05/08/2228m 55s

S2.4 A stable bond

The spy meets his spymaster - presenter Rosa Ellis' great-aunt Ursula. She's a housewife and mother living in the English countryside. And she also works for the Soviets. Fuchs and Ursula have a secret list of information that Russia urgently needs to win the nuclear race. Together, they could be the most dangerous spies on the planet. #thebomb
29/07/2237m 25s

S2.3 Unstable elements

The fate of the world is decided: Klaus Fuchs joins a top-secret atomic mission. The race to build the bomb is on. In Birmingham, England, Klaus Fuchs is working on “TUBE ALLOYS” – the codename for the British atomic bomb project. But at the same time, he’s slipping secrets to the Soviets. Host Rosa Ellis finds out how he did it. #thebomb
22/07/2231m 24s

S2.2 A split life

The world’s most dangerous spy? A young scientist’s journey into espionage. From a German pacifist family to a Soviet spy ring. Physicist Klaus Fuchs flees Nazi rule for England and joins the race to develop an atomic bomb – whoever gets there first wins the war. Presenter Rosa Ellis discovers how Fuchs’ double life begins. #thebombThis podcast has been edited for accuracy. Audio was updated on 20th July 2022.
15/07/2240m 2s

S2.1 A grave matter

The man who stole the atomic bomb. And why he did it. Klaus Fuchs was a talented scientist - but he was also a Soviet spy. He worked on the British American atomic bomb project, whilst handing nuclear secrets to the Russians. Host Rosa Ellis uncovers the double lives of Klaus Fuchs and her great-aunt Ursula. #thebomb
08/07/2220m 38s

Bonus: The sound design

What does the inside of an atom sound like? Meet our sound designer for Season 2. How Tim Nielsen is using cinematic design. He says he draws inspiration from the human heartbeat. Season 2 begins on 9 July 2022.
26/06/223m 59s

Bonus: Introducing Rosa Ellis

"She was not just a spy - she was a spymaster". The family secret of Rosa Ellis, host of season 2 of The Bomb. Emily Strasser takes us behind the scenes of this espionage thriller, as Rosa talks about her great-aunt's double life. Season 2 begins on 9 July 2022.
19/06/224m 5s

Introducing The Bomb season 2

The spy who changed history. And a great-aunt's double life. The Bomb is returning with season 2. Klaus Fuchs was a brilliant scientist, but he was also a dangerous spy, stealing atomic secrets and handing them over to the Soviet Union. In this special episode, Emily Strasser takes us behind the scenes. Producer Zak Brophy tells her all about the man who stole the bomb. Season 2 begins on 9 July 2022.
12/06/224m 24s

S1.7 The doomsday clock

The world’s first nuclear bomb drops on the unsuspecting city of Hiroshima. On 7 August 1945, the world is changed forever. In this final episode, featuring first-hand accounts of the attack that day, Emily Strasser asks how the bomb changed humanity. Have we really come to terms with it? #thebomb
11/09/2028m 56s

S1.6 The first atomic bomb

Time is running out. As Manhattan Project scientists test the world’s first nuclear bomb, Leo Szilard knows it’s the last chance to stop the US government from dropping the bomb on Japanese civilians. Working with colleagues at Chicago’s Met Lab, Szilard does all he can to alert the US president. But will his message get there in time? #thebomb
04/09/2026m 15s

S1.5 Enemy alien

The FBI pursues Leo Szilard as he loses control of the project to create a nuclear bomb. With his influence waning, the leaders of the Manhattan Project now threaten his liberty. But as the world’s first nuclear bomb comes within touching distance, Szilard fears it might soon be used on a city in Japan. #thebomb
28/08/2024m 47s

S1.4 Pearl Harbour

An attack on Pearl Harbour changes everything. After a surprise Japanese attack destroys US ships, the US declares war on Japan, and intensifies its efforts to create the first nuclear bomb. Caught in the middle of it all, Leo Szilard starts to lose his grip on the project. #thebomb
21/08/2031m 53s

S1.3 The Einstein letter

A vital message must be delivered to US President Franklin D. Roosevelt. Fearing the Nazis are on the verge of creating the first nuclear bomb, Leo Szilard needs to convince the US Government to take the threat seriously. In his hour of need, he reaches out to an old friend, Albert Einstein. #thebomb
14/08/2021m 10s

S1.2 Race to the bomb

It’s a race against time to beat the Nazis to the first nuclear bomb. After his epiphany in London, Leo Szilard must convince the scientific establishment to take the nuclear threat seriously. He turns to Frederick Lindemann, a friend of Winston Churchill. Meanwhile, in Germany, two scientists are about to make a discovery that will change the rules of science. #thebomb
07/08/2018m 20s

S1.1 Moonshine

A little-known scientist discovers something that will change the course of human history.After befriending some of the world’s greatest physicists in 1920s Berlin, Albert Einstein among them, Leo Szilard is forced to flee when the Nazis come to power. In London, he discovers the destructive possibilities of harnessing nuclear power; setting the course for the world’s first atomic bomb.#thebomb
31/07/2027m 58s

The prologue

“My grandfather in front of a mushroom cloud”. This is the story of why I wanted to know if the Bomb could have been stopped. Episode 1 available from 1 August. #thebomb
23/07/202m 57s
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