Cuban Missile Crisis 50th anniversary TV specials shed new light on the events of October 1962 that put the U.S. and Soviet Union on the brink of nuclear war.
Commander in Chief: Inside the Oval Office “Kennedy and the Cuban Missile Crisis”
Re-airs Sunday, Oct. 21, at 12pm ET/PT on Military Channel
(from Military Channel press release): COMMANDER IN CHIEF: INSIDE THE OVAL OFFICE is a gripping television mini-series that reveals the untold stories behind the critical military decisions in different presidencies. Produced by Stephen David Entertainment, known for its acclaimed History Channel specials THE MEN WHO BUILT AMERICA and SECRET ACCESS: THE VATICAN, the program uses never-before-seen footage, newly-released presidential documents, and exclusive interviews with those who witnessed history in the making to reveal what it’s like to be inside the Oval Office when the Commander in Chief makes a life or death decision.
“Kennedy and the Cuban Missile Crisis” – In marking the 50th anniversary of the Cuban Missile Crisis, this episode brings viewers inside the tense and contentious debates that took place in the White House in October of 1962 as the U.S. and the Soviet Union teetered on the brink of nuclear war. Using rare images and declassified audio recordings, this behind-the-scenes story takes viewers deep into chambers of power where President John F. Kennedy resisted forces pushing him towards war and pulled the world back from the edge of destruction.
Cuban Missile Crisis: Three Men Go to War
Tuesday, Oct. 23, 8pm ET (check local listings) on PBS
(from PBS press release): CUBAN MISSILE CRISIS — THREE MEN GO TO WAR explores the roles the three iconic leaders played during some of the most dangerous moments in history, set against the human stories of ordinary men in the field, such as the first-ever interview with the Soviet soldier who shot down the U2 piloted by U.S. Air Force Major Rudolf Anderson on the worst day of the crisis. The film features revealing interviews with key witnesses and experts including Sergei Khrushchev, son of the former Soviet premier; Ted Sorensen, former member of the renowned Executive Committee of the U.S. National Security Council; former KGB and CIA operatives, and Captain Jerry Coffee, the reconnaissance pilot who made a split second decision to veer off course in Cuba and photograph a new type of nuclear weapon which could have annihilated invading American forces, the import of which was not realized for over 30 years. An edge-of-your-seat tale of espionage and intrigue at the highest level, CUBAN MISSILE CRISIS — THREE MEN GO TO WAR offers a fascinating perspective on one of the most harrowing times in modern history. A production of Crossing the Line Productions, the film is produced by John Murray and Siobhan Ward, and co-directed by Murray and Emer Reynolds.
Secrets of the Dead: “The Man Who Saved the World”
Tuesday, Oct. 23, 9:00pm ET (check local listings) on PBS
(from PBS press release): SECRETS OF THE DEAD “The Man Who Saved the World” is an intimate and intense film exploring the dramatic and little-known events that unfolded inside a Soviet B-59 submarine in the waters off the coast of Florida. While politicians desperately sought a solution to the standoff between Russia, the U.S. and Cuba, no one was aware of what was happening beneath the waves. The story of Vasili Arkhipov, the man who refused to fire the nuclear missile, was hidden for decades, only emerging in Russia in recent years. With most of the action set in a claustrophobic submarine running out of air, “The Man Who Saved the World” combines tense drama with eyewitness accounts and expert testimony about some of the most critical events in the Cold War. A Bedlam Production for THIRTEEN in association with WNET and Channel 1 Russia; executive producer for WNET is Steve Burns; coordinating producer for WNET is Stephanie Carter; and executive producer for Bedlam Productions is Simon Breen.