The story behind the creation of the Atomic Bomb at Los Alamos during the Second World War has been told in many fashions, the story itself has subtlety changed over the years, as gradually more and more information has been declassified. So secret was this project that not even the Vice president at the time Harry Truman was privy to the very existence of this blackest of black operations.

While much is now known about the Manhattan Project, not so much is known about the lead scientist J. Robert Oppenheimer.

Director Jon Else has taken a very unique approach to the subject, he weaves in and out of a documentary about the lead up to the Trinity test, and an experimental Opera created by composer John Adams and renown director Peter Sellars. Adams and Sellars toil tirelessly to bring the story to the operatic stage. Both sides of this story could be a documentary on their own, but joining them together adds a new dimension, an opportunity to view the story from two very different perspectives.

This unlikely combination of historical fact and modern entertainment works surprisingly well, no doubt in part because of filmmaker Immy Humes, she certainly has a style that is outstanding, and a way of bringing seemingly disparate subjects together.

Wonders Are Many premiers on your favorite PBS station at 9PM on Tuesday Dec/16.  You can get some more information about this show from the Web Site.

Simon Barrett

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