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The Cold War Season 1 Episodes

Season 1 Episode Guide

Season 1

24 Episodes 1998 - 1999

Episode 1

Comrades

60 mins

Chronicling the rise of Communism between 1917 and 1945, including the Soviet Union's role in WWII. Interviewed: U.S. foreign-policy expert George Kennan; British diplomat Frank Roberts; Truman aide George Elsey; and Sergo Beria, son of Stalin's security chief. Kenneth Branagh narrates.

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The Cold War, Season 1 Episode 1 image

Episode 2

The Iron Curtain

60 mins

Part 2: An "Iron Curtain" descends over central Europe between 1945 and '47 as the Cold War heats up. "The Soviet Union is in a mood to expand," diplomat George Kennan warned from Moscow in a cable to the State Department, "and must be contained."

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The Cold War, Season 1 Episode 2 image

Episode 3

The Marshall Plan

60 mins

Part 3 recalls the Marshall Plan, the U.S. aid program that helped put Western Europe back on its feet after WWII---and helped to stave off the spread of Communism. Interviewed: former Italian prime minister Giulio Andreotti; Italian businessman Giovanni Agnelli. Kenneth Branagh narrates.

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The Cold War, Season 1 Episode 3 image

Episode 4

Berlin, 1948-49

60 mins

"Berlin (1948-49)" recalls the Soviet blockade of the city's Western Zones, and the mistrust and maneuvering that led to it. Interviewees include U.S. and Soviet miliary administrators. "Berlin and Germany were the only places where the two sides came into contact," notes one Soviet. "That's why Berlin became a battleground for the Cold War." Kenneth Branagh narrates.

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Episode 5

Korea, 1949-53

60 mins

"Korea (1949-53)" marks a watershed: "The Cold War has become a hot war," says narrator Kenneth Branagh. Veterans from both sides recall the UN "police action." Among them: Sen. John Glenn, who was a fighter pilot at the time. Also interviewed: U.S. and Soviet diplomats.

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Episode 6

Reds, 1947-53

60 mins

"Reds (1947-53)" recalls internal tension on both sides of the Iron Curtain. "In the U.S. and the Soviet Union, the Cold War was fought by fear," says narrator Kenneth Branagh. Interviewed: blacklisted writer Ring Lardner Jr.; former Attorney General Herbert Brownell; Nixon biographer Ralph de Toledano.

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Episode 7

After Stalin, 1953-56

60 mins

"After Stalin (1953-56)" recalls uprisings in East Germany, Poland and Hungary following the Soviet dictator's death. When the smoke cleared, says narrator Kenneth Branagh, "Khrushchev had reinforced the Iron Curtain." Interviewed: Khrushchev's son Sergei; former Hungarian Prime Minister Andras Hegedus.

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Episode 8

Sputnik, 1949-61

60 mins

"Sputnik (1949-61)" chronicles the U.S.-Soviet competition in nuclear arms and missile development. There was indeed a "missile gap," concedes ex-Defense Secretary Robert McNamara. But, he adds, it "was in our favor." Also interviewed: Eisenhower aide Andrew Goodpaster; Soviet cosmonaut Gierman Titov.

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Episode 9

The Wall, 1958-63

60 mins

"The Wall (1958-63)" chronicles events leading up to and following the construction of "the very symbol of the Cold War," says narrator Kenneth Branagh. Interviewed: Soviet diplomat Anatoly Dobrynin; JFK aides Walt Rostow and McGeorge Bundy; and a onetime East German border guard, who is seen in a 1961 clip escaping to the West.

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Episode 10

Cuba, 1959-62

60 mins

"Cuba (1959-62)" recalls the Cuban Missile Crisis. "War appeared imminent," recalls Fidel Castro. Also interviewed: long-time Soviet U.S. ambassador Anatoly Dobrynin and a number of Kennedy Administration officials, including Robert McNamara, Theodore Sorensen and Pierre Salinger. Kenneth Branagh narrates.

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Episode 11

Vietnam

60 mins

Recalling the war in Vietnam. "We concluded that we could fight the Americans and win," says North Vietnamese commander Vo Nguyen Giap. Also interviewed: former Defense Secretary Robert McNamara; U.S. commander William Westmoreland; and author Philip Caputo. Kenneth Branagh narrates.

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Episode 12

MAD

60 mins

Focusing on the years 1960-72, this episode recalls the concept of mutually assured destruction. "It's not mad," former Defense Secretary Robert McNamara asserts, "it's the foundation of deterrence." Also interviewed: former Soviet ambassador to the U.S. Anatoly Dobrynin; former Defense Secretary Harold Brown. Kenneth Branagh narrates.

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Episode 13

Make Love, Not War: The Sixties

60 mins

A review of the 1960s. "The Cold War continues," says narrator Kenneth Branagh, "but for a generation it's time to make love, not war." Complicating that sentiment was Vietnam. Interviewees include poet Alan Ginsberg, Nixon aide John Ehrlichman, black activist Bobby Seale and Hugh Hefner.

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Episode 14

Red Spring: The Sixties

60 mins

In "Red Spring," Soviet and Czech citizens recall the 1960s on their side of the Iron Curtain. Interviewed: Czech President Vaclav Havel; Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev's son Sergei; Czech director Milos Forman; former Soviet ambassador to Czechoslovakia Stepan Chervonenko. Kenneth Branagh narrates.

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Episode 15

China, 1949-72

60 mins

Recalling developments in China from 1949, when the Communists took over, until 1972. "China," Richard Nixon said in 1953, "is the basic cause of all our problems in Asia." Interviewed: Henry Kissinger; Chinese journalists; and the interpreters for Mao Zedong and Nikita Khrushchev. Kenneth Branagh narrates.

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Episode 16

Detente, 1969-75

60 mins

"Detente (1969-75)." Despite Vietnam, "our attitude was to have a more constructive relationship with the U.S.," recalls former Soviet diplomat Anatoly Dobrynin. Also interviewed: former President Gerald Ford; former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger; Brezhnev advisor Georgi Arbatov. Kenneth Branagh narrates.

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Episode 17

Good Guys, Bad Guys, 1967-78

60 mins

"Good Guys, Bad Guys" (1967-78) charts U.S.-Soviet rivalry in the Middle East and Africa. "The developing countries were being courted," says narrator Kenneth Branagh. Interviewed: Fidel Castro, Jimmy Carter, Henry Kissinger and a British mercenary who fought in Angola. "We were a loose band of bandits," he says.

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Episode 18

Backyard, 1954-90

60 mins

"Backyard" (1954-90) charts U.S. efforts to stave off Communist threats---real and perceived---in Latin America. Interviewed: Fidel Castro; former Nicaraguan leaders Daniel Ortega and Violetta Chamorro; and CIA veteran Howard Hunt, who recalls the agency's strategy in Guatemala in 1954: "What we wanted to do was have a terror campaign." Kenneth Branagh narrates.

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Episode 19

Freeze, 1977-81

60 mins

Detente fades and a "Freeze" takes hold in the late 1970s. "Moscow and Washington were clashing over human rights [and] updating their arsenals," says narrator Kenneth Branagh. Interviewed: Jimmy Carter; Lech Walesa; Czech leader Vaclav Havel; former Polish leader Wojciech Jaruzelski; former West German leader Helmut Schmidt.

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Episode 20

Soldiers of God, 1975-88

60 mins

"Soldiers of God (1975-88)" recalls the brutal war in Afghanistan. "It was the Soviet Union's Vietnam syndrome," says Soviet aide Anatoly Cherniayev. Also interviewed: Mikhail Gorbachev; Jimmy Carter; Mujahadeen leader Ahmad Shad Massoud; and two Soviet soldiers. "Often you killed out of boredom," one of them says. "It's like hunting rabbits." Kenneth Branagh narrates.

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Episode 21

Spies, 1945-90

60 mins

"Spies (1944-94)" recalls East-West espionage battles. "For us it was war," says East German spy chief Markus Wolf. Also interviewed: convicted U.S. spies Aldrich Ames and Ted Hall; former CIA head Stansfield Turner; and KGB operatives, one of whom admits: "I love espionage because of the smell of adventure." Kenneth Branagh narrates.

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Episode 22

Star Wars, 1981-88

60 mins

"Star Wars (1981-88)" charts the final years of "the evil empire" and SDI's role in toppling it. "The system," says Mikhail Gorbachev, "was breaking down." Also interviewed: Secretary of State George Shultz; White House Chief of Staff Donald Regan; Soviet foreign minister Eduard Shevardnaze. Kenneth Branagh narrates.

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Episode 23

The Wall Comes Down, 1989

Sun, May 2, 1999 60 mins

"The Wall Comes Down (1989)" recalls the collapse of Communism in eastern Europe. "I felt I could breathe again," says Hungarian revolutionary Erzsbet Hrozova. Also interviewed: Lech Walesa, George Bush, Mikhail Gorbachev and former Hungarian Prime Minister Miklos Nemeth. Kenneth Branagh narrates.

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The Cold War, Season 1 Episode 23 image

Episode 24

Conclusions, 1989-91

60 mins

"Conclusions (1989-91)" recalls the winding down of Cold War tensions and the collapse of the Soviet Union. "Communism," says Czech president Vaclav Havel, "went against life." Also interviewed: George Bush, Mikhail Gorbachev, Fidel Castro, former Soviet foreign minister Eduard Shevardnadze and former Secretary of State James Baker. Kenneth Branagh narrates.

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