The Cold War – 01 – Comrades
Cold War is a twenty-four episode television documentary series about the Cold War that aired in 1998. It features interviews and footage of the events that shaped the tense relationships between the Soviet Union and the United States. The series was produced by Pat Mitchell and Jeremy Isaacs, who had earlier in 1973 produced the World War II documentary series The World at War in a similar style.
Ted Turner funded the series as a joint production between the Turner Broadcasting System and the BBC, and was first broadcast on CNN in the United States and BBC Two in the United Kingdom. Writers included Hella Pick, Jeremy Isaacs, Lawrence Freedman, Neal Ascherson, Hugh O’Shaughnessy and Germaine Greer. Kenneth Branagh was the narrator, and Carl Davis (who also collaborated with Isaacs with The World at War) composed the theme music.
Each episode would feature historical footage and interviews from both significant figures and others who had witnessed particular events. Both the United States and the Soviet Union drifted apart after the Russian Revolution of 1917, the Russian Civil War and the Paris Peace Conference. Diplomatic and extensive trading relationships were established under Roosevelt, but relations soured following the Soviet occupation of the Baltic States and eastern Poland. After Hitler broke the Molotov–Ribbentrop Pact the Western powers worked closely with the Soviet Union during the Second World War. Distrust reemerged as Stalin’s plans for placing Eastern Europe in the Soviet Union’s sphere of influence became apparent towards the war’s end, and came to the fore at the Potsdam Conference, just before the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.
Interviewees include George F. Kennan, Zoya Zarubina, Hugh Lunghi and George Elsey. The pre-credits scene shows the US Congress nuclear bunker at The Greenbrier, and introduces the television series by explaining how for several decades the world was close to a nuclear holocaust.
The global superpower stand-off that brought the world to the brink of destruction.
BBC Two’s new Cold War Season explores the cultural and political impact of a conflict that divided the world.
The Korean War 1950 – 1953
Kennedy and the Cuban Missile Crisis 1962
Weapons of the Cold War
The Fall of the Soviet Union 1985 – 1991