Oppenheimer is a television miniseries about J. Robert Oppenheimer, produced by the BBC. It was broadcast in the United Kingdom on 29 October 1980 and in the United States on 11 May 1982. The series starred Sam Waterston as Oppenheimer.
|Written by||Peter Prince|
|Directed by||Barry Davis|
|Country of origin||United Kingdom|
|No. of series||1|
|No. of episodes||7|
|Executive producer(s)||Peter Goodchild|
|Original release||29 October –|
10 December 1980
The miniseries had seven episodes and depicted Oppenheimer's wartime role as head of the weapons laboratory of the Manhattan Project, during which he was under constant surveillance by the federal government because of his association with Communists. The teleplay culminates in a U.S. Atomic Energy Commission hearing in 1954, in which Oppenheimer is stripped of his security clearance.
Kenneth Nichols wrote that, contrary to the series which:
- portrayed me serving as a personal aide to Groves on frequent visits to Los Alamos, the only time I ever accompanied him to Los Alamos was during my March 1943 visit. Most of my meetings with Oppenheimer took place at Oak Ridge, Berkeley, New York, Chicago, or Washington, when problems arose.
- Sam Waterston as J. Robert Oppenheimer
- John Carson as Narrator
- Christopher Muncke as Colonel Kenneth Nichols
- Jana Shelden as Kitty Oppenheimer
- Edward Hardwicke as Enrico Fermi
- David Suchet as Edward Teller
- Manning Redwood as General Leslie Groves
- Peter Whitman as Robert Serber
- Matthew Guinness as Hans Bethe
- Bob Sherman as Ernest Lawrence
- John Morton as Robert Wilson
- Garrick Hagon as Frank Oppenheimer
- Barry Dennen as Isidor Rabi
- Peter Marinker as Haakon Chevalier
- Sarah Brackett as Priscilla Duffield
The series was nominated for seven BAFTA Television Awards and won three (Best Drama Series/Serial, Best Film Editor (Tariq Anwar), and Best Original Television Music). It was nominated for two Emmy Awards, for Outstanding Limited Series and for Outstanding Writing in a Limited Series or a Special (Peter Prince). It was nominated for a Golden Globe Award for Best Performance by an Actor in a Mini-Series or Motion Picture Made for TV (Sam Waterston).