Trinity and Beyond — In the salad days of nuclear-weapons testing, the United States detonated 331 atomic, hydrogen, and thermonuclear bombs. Many of those explosions appear in Trinity and Beyond, which utilizes a lot of ... more »declassified footage, most of it in color. Standouts include the United States' South Pacific detonation of an atom bomb 90 feet below the water to study the effects on a fleet of ships. Surprise, surprise, they sink! If that wasn't enough, the navy also loaded the decks with sheep to study the effects of the blast on life forms. Surprise, surprise, they die! Glowing leg of lamb anyone? This film will alternately amuse and horrify you at the rampant irresponsibility of the Soviets and Americans in their quest for nuclear domination. The Russians have the honor of having detonated the largest nuclear bomb ever at a whopping 58 megatons. The Hiroshima bomb was barely a kiloton. Of course, after the U.S. and Russia ceased their activities, the Chinese decided to get in on the act. But that's a different story for a different documentary. --Kristian St. Clair Nukes in Space: Rainbow Bombs
Boasting material that was recently declassified, this documentary presents some startling information about how the United States detonated a number of atomic bombs in space during a top-secret cold war weapons program. The history of military rockets is detailed, beginning with the Nazi V2 rockets that attacked England late in World War II. The problems encountered in America's cold war rocketry program are dramatically illustrated with a film montage of U.S. missiles spectacularly blowing up on their launch pads. After the Soviets launched Sputnik, America's resolve to be able to wage war in space stiffened, and test detonations of atomic weapons in space began. The effects of these little-known tests were bizarre and included electromagnetic disturbances that blew fuses in Hawaii while creating beautiful, if dangerous, artificial auroras that gave the tests the nickname of the "Rainbow Bombs." Of particular interest in this documentary are tapes of White House meetings at which President John F. Kennedy and his top science and military advisers discussed the atomic tests in space. The bomb detonations caused radiation problems in space, damaging fledgling communications satellites, and the government eventually called an end to the program. This is an entertaining and very informative look at a piece of cold war history that seems like vintage science fiction, yet it's all real. --Robert J. McNamara Atomic Journeys: Welcome to Ground Zero
Our atomic heritage resides in sites all over the country--from the Trinity test area to natural-gas wells in Colorado--and many of them are open to the public. Plan your vacation with Atomic Journeys: Welcome to Ground Zero, a blast through memory lane narrated by the perfectly suited William Shatner. Never- before-seen footage of test explosions and top-secret work labs explores the history of America's nuclear programs, and interviews with current and former atomic scientists and engineers give depth to sights such as "the most bombed place on Earth" in Nevada. Learn about nonmilitary uses of nuclear weapons, the rationales behind the different programs, and where you can find these strange places. The musical score is a special bonus, performed by the Moscow Symphony Orchestra in a goodwill gesture of post-cold-war cooperation. --Rob Lightner« less
"This set of 3 documentaries is both visually stunning and very engaging. All 3 movies are very interesting, but i would say that Trinity And Beyond is the coolest of the bunch. It is a little more sweeping than the others, and covers a more broad amount of general information on the history of nuclear weapons. It also has the most actual bomb footage, and the DVD extras- like the 3D short movie on a Nevada test site, are fantastic. Nukes In Space has some startling footage of atmospheric nuclear testing which resulted in rainbow auroras and electromagnetic disturbances. It also dives into the space race and how it was connected to the nuclear arms race, very interesting stuff. Atomic Journeys is pretty cool too, but just not quite as exciting. The movie returns to ground zero at several different nuclear sites, and then proceeds to dive into the history of the site. Both Nukes In Space and Atomic Journeys have great DVD extras as well. All in all, this set contain 3 great documentaries with some truly spectacular and frightening footage. All 3 DVDs are presented wonderfully- from the way cool DVD menus to all the extras they packed on, Goldhil Home Media and Peter Kuran have presented a wonderful addition to anyones DVD collection."
The definitive story of our atomic weapons program
Kyle Tolle | Phoenix, Arizona USA | 04/10/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)
"In what is probably the most dramatic look ever at the U.S. atomic weapons program, the Atomic Bomb Collection is a stunning and oftentimes frightening realization of what man can create. Using declassified footage from government archives, you can now view material never shown or reported to the public.The material shown on all the discs is remarkably clear, well defined, and visually impressive. The audio for all programs are in Dolby 5.1 surround sound and, believe me, will give your home theater system a serious workout. Each disc also contains a large amount of special features that make this set a very worthwhile value. Trinity And Beyond is the starting point of it all. You are treated to the inside story of our atomic program from it's infant stages at the Trinity site in Alamagordo, New Mexico and continuing on to designing, making, and producing hydrogen thermonuclear weapons. The footage of hydrogen bomb testing in the Marshall Islands in the Pacific ocean is truly astonishing and disturbing both at the same time.Atomic Journeys: Welcome to Ground Zero is probably the most outstanding of the lot showing dozens of bomb detonations in startling detail. Much footage is relegated to the Nevada Test Site which was openly known in those days to conduct such tests. What wasn't widely known to the public is that subterranean detonations were also performed in Mississippi and Alaska and some other areas. This footage is featured also and is quite unbelievable. One subterranean detonation in Alaska was so large (incredible footage here), it permanently changed the landscape of the surrounding area.Lastly, we have Nukes in Space: The Rainbow Bombs. This is the least interesting of the 3 discs but still has good material to offer. You are shown nuclear detonations, performed by the U.S. and Russia, in our upper atmosphere. Whatever the intentions were by our scientists, this was probably not the best of locations to test atomic weapons especially considering the bombs affected radiation belts around our planet. Pretty scary.If you're interested in the entire history of our atomic program from start to finish, look no farther than here. This is the premier collection that won't ever be matched. Highly recommended to everyone."
noj2075 | High Wycombe, UK | 01/11/2004
(4 out of 5 stars)
"If atomic bomb explosions fascinate you, then this is a must-have collection. There are three DVDs: 1. Trinity & Beyond
2. Atomic Journeys
3. Nukes in Space.Trinity & Beyond documents the history of the A-Bomb tests from
July 16 1945 (Trinity test) to the last atmospheric Test (by China in 1964)Atomic Journeys visits numerous US & a few Soviet Test sites and there is plenty of footage of explosions at each site.Nukes In Space deals with among others the Rainbow series of space atom tests - some of which knocked out communications (and worse) in the USA for many hours afterwards.This collection would have gotten five stars from me but for a couple of minor niggles. 1. Particularly in Trinity & Beyond, the DVD could have done with being an extra half-hour longer to allow longer footage of the various A/H-Bomb tests. As it stands some of the sequences appear very hurried. For instance, the footage of the first H-Bomb test (Ivy Mike) is butchered to hell and the superb original soundtrack is ruined, which IMO spoils some of the most spectacular footage of a nuclear test ever shot. And on occasions the original footage of some tests has been dubbed with CGI enhancements which don't enhance but detract from the viewing experience.2. There is a heavy USA bias and at times a slightly nauseating USA patriotism portrayed in the DVDs. Understandable I suppose considering they are made in the USA!But don't let these gripes put you off buying. This is on the whole a well-made, informative and strangely compelling set of DVDs which contain a lot of atom test footage that has never been shown elsewhere. The collection comes highly recommended!"
Interesting and Historically Important Films
The Lone Stranger | Salida, CA | 09/30/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"The Cold War is a very interesting period in history. For the US and the world, many important events were happening, and these events tell us much about the key historical figures of the times. And, like all good hsitory, they tell us a lot about human nature, strenghts, and frailties.
The nuclear weapons race was a key part of the Cold War. The development of these weapons and the technologies associated with them are an interesting story of science, engineering, and politics wokring together to address the difficult issues of the day. Having said this, this forms the backdrop for the films in this package, which focus mainly on the development of the weapons and their testing. This presents a fascinating story and provides the opportunity to show many mesmerizing and nightmare-inducing images.
The explosions and tests in these films visually show the power of these weapons. I found myself getting chills down my spine numerous times as the power and destructive ability of the bombs were shown. And, at the same time, many of the images are hauntingly beautiful, kind of like seeing a huge tidal wave or powerful storm.
These films are also interesting documentaries about the types of testing and data collection needed to develop a technology like this and understand its impact. Experimentation is needed to validate theorectical scientific understanding, and much was unknown about nuclear technology when these weapons were being developed. It's interesting to get a sense for what was done to build the knowledge base needed to understand this technology and its implications.
For anyone who wants to understand the Cold War, scientific development, or nuclear technology, these films are highly recommended. The music and narration also help to make them compelling and enjoyable to watch.
I thought that this information was presented with little or no detectable political bias. The films were focused mainly on the US programs, and they did not empahsize much the developments in the Soviet Union or China, etc., as context, but they did not seem to be strongly pro or con to the US and it's work. That's how documentaries like this should be done."
M. Gandolfo | Kent, Great Britain | 05/15/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This collection is essential viewing for anyone interested in this subject.I live in England and had heard of these DVDs but was never able to find them. I finally found them... and ordered them. Boy was it worth it.The images of the detonations are spectacular, beautiful, and absolutely terrifying. Couple this with superb narration, research, and extra features, and you have probably the best all-round documentary on the history, science and politics of nuclear warfare around."