EXPLORE THE LONG-HIDDEN STORY OF ONE OF AMERICA’S MOST DANGEROUS NUCLEAR ACCIDENTS IN THE HIGH-STAKES DOCUMENTARY THRILLER “AMERICAN EXPERIENCE: COMMAND AND CONTROL”

Last Updated by Shannon Wilson on

EXPLORE THE LONG-HIDDEN STORY OF ONE OF AMERICA’S MOST DANGEROUS NUCLEAR ACCIDENTS IN THE HIGH-STAKES DOCUMENTARY THRILLER  AMERICAN EXPERIENCE: COMMAND AND CONTROL

 

Click Here to View a Preview of this Program

Directed by Academy Award-nominated filmmaker Robert Kenner (Food Inc.) And Based on the Critically Acclaimed Book of the Same Title by Eric Schlosser

Released Theatrically in Select Theaters September and October

DVD Release Timed to Coincide with National Broadcast Premiering on PBS January 10th (Check Local Listings)

 

Arlington, Va. – December 5, 2016 – PBS Distribution announced today it is releasing “AMERICAN EXPERIENCE: COMMAND AND CONTROL” on DVD. A cautionary tale of freak accidents, near misses, human fallibility, and extraordinary heroism, the program exposes the terrifying truth about the management of America’s nuclear arsenal and shows what can happen when the weapons built to protect us threaten to destroy us.

The film recounts, in chilling, minute-by-minute detail, the story of a deadly 1980 accident at a Titan II missile complex in Damascus, Arkansas. Through the first-person accounts of Air Force personnel, weapon designers and first responders who were on the scene, the film reveals the unlikely chain of events that caused the accident and the feverish efforts to prevent the explosion of a ballistic missile carrying the most powerful nuclear warhead ever built by the United States — 600 times more powerful than the bomb that destroyed Hiroshima. Directed by Academy Award-nominated filmmaker Robert Kenner (Food Inc.) and based on the critically acclaimed book of the same title by Eric Schlosser (Fast Food Nation).

AMERICAN EXPERIENCE: COMMAND AND CONTROL” will be available on DVD January 10, 2017. The run time of the DVD is approximately 210 minutes and its SRP is $24.99. The program will also be available for digital download.

On the evening of September 18, 1980, Airmen David F. Powell and Jeffrey L. Plumb were performing routine maintenance at the Titan II silo in Damascus, Arkansas. At the age of 21, Powell was considered a highly experienced missile technician; Plumb, who had just turned 19, was still in training. As the two stood on a platform near the top of the Titan II, a socket fell from Powell’s wrench, plummeted 70 feet and, shockingly, punctured the missile. A stream of highly explosive rocket fuel began pouring into the silo.

Nothing like this had ever happened to a Titan II before and the Air Force had no procedures in place to deal with the event. For the next eight hours, the leadership of the Strategic Air Command (SAC) frantically struggled to figure out how to prevent a massive explosion and retain control of the thermonuclear warhead — a weapon so powerful that it could destroy much of Arkansas and deposit lethal radioactive fallout across the East Coast.

Woven through the Damascus story is a riveting history of America’s nuclear weapons program, from World War II through the Cold War, much of it based on recently declassified documents. A cautionary tale filmed in an abandoned Titan II missile silo in Arizona, “COMMAND AND CONTROL” forces viewers to confront the great dilemma that the U.S. has faced since the dawn of the nuclear age: How do we manage weapons of mass destruction without being destroyed by them?

Exclusive corporate funding for AMERICAN EXPERIENCE provided by Liberty Mutual Insurance. Major funding provided by the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation. Additional funding for “COMMAND AND CONTROL provided by the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, the Corporation for Public Broadcasting and public television viewers. AMERICAN EXPERIENCE is produced for PBS by WGBH Boston.

Additional funding for a national impact campaign for “COMMAND AND CONTROL provided by the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation and Carnegie Corporation of New York.

 

About AMERICAN EXPERIENCE

For more than 28 years, AMERICAN EXPERIENCE has been television’s most-watched history series. The series has been hailed as “peerless” (The Wall Street Journal), “the most consistently enriching program on television” (Chicago Tribune) and “a beacon of intelligence and purpose” (Houston Chronicle). On air and online, the series brings to life the incredible characters and epic stories that have shaped America’s past and present. Acclaimed by viewers and critics alike, AMERICAN EXPERIENCE documentaries have been honored with every major broadcast award, including 30 Emmy Awards, four duPont-Columbia Awards and 17 George Foster Peabody Awards; the series received an Academy Award® nomination for Best Documentary Feature in 2015 for Last Days in Vietnam. Visit pbs.org/americanexperience and follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube to learn more. 

 

About PBS Distribution

PBS Distribution is the leading media distributor for the public television community, both domestically and internationally, extending the reach of these programs beyond broadcast while generating revenue for the public television system, stations, and producers.

 

PBS Distribution offers a broad range of high quality content in multiple formats including DVD, Blu-ray, digital download, and digital streaming.  PBS International offers factual content for broadcast, cable, and satellite services internationally.  The PBS Distribution catalog includes films from Ken Burns, documentaries from award-winning series such as NOVA, FRONTLINE, AMERICAN MASTERS, NATURE, and AMERICAN EXPERIENCE, dramas from MASTERPIECE, as well as films from independent producers and popular children’s programming.

 

AMERICAN EXPERIENCE: COMMAND AND CONTROL

Street Date: January 10, 2017

Genre: Documentary

Run Time: Approximately 210 Minutes

SRP: $24.99

Format: DVD