Movie: Uranium: Twisting the Dragon’s Tail premieres SBS 9 August

Uranium – Twisting the Dragon’s Tail

The untold story of the most controversial rock on earth.

Premieres in Australia on SBS 8.30pm Sunday 9th, 16th & 23rd of August

Uranium Twisting the Dragon's Tail

The untold story of the most wondrous and terrifying rock on Earth.

Legends say there’s a world beneath this one where a dragon lies sleeping. They say be careful how you wake the dragon. The year 2015 marks the seventieth anniversary of the most profound change in the history of human enterprise on Earth: the unleashing of the elemental force within uranium, the explosion of an atomic bomb, the unleashing of the dragon. Come on an epic journey with physicist and YouTube phenomenon Dr Derek Muller to discover the untold story of the most wondrous and terrifying rock on Earth.

Love it or loathe it, whatever your views on uranium, this series will challenge them.

Uranium – twisting the dragon’s tail is an Australian made series, an epic journey through nine countries and over a century of stories. Part science and part history, it’s an adventure brought to life by an exciting new personality in television science: Australian-born Canadian raised, Dr Derek Muller. Creator of the hit YouTube channel Veritasium, this is his first appearance as host of an international television documentary series.

In Uranium – twisting the dragon’s tail Derek unleashes a historian’s passion for detail, a physicist’s understanding of science, and a journalist’s nose for a good story. Derek takes a fresh path through the story of uranium, the most desired and the most hated rock on Earth.

Across three fascinating episodes, Derek follows uranium from its birth, forged in an exploding star six billion years ago, through the ancient dreamtime stories of Australia’s indigenous people, and into the laboratories of the first nuclear physicists. Derek takes us down medieval mines and across the arid beauty of a New Mexico desert where the power of uranium was unleashed in the first atomic bomb.

Derek explores the birth of the Atomic Age and the dreamy promise of uranium’s clean limitless power. For a time, uranium even becomes sexy. We learn how thousands of lives are saved through its ability to diagnose and treat cancer. But the price of uranium is anxiety. New words enter the language, such as ‘fallout’ and ‘Mutually Assured Destruction’. Uranium becomes a nightmare.

Derek takes us through the scary silence of abandoned radioactive cities – places such as Chernobyl and Fukushima, where uranium has poisoned the earth. He helps us understand the nature of the extraordinary power in uranium, a power that can bring us energy without end, or kill every one of us. Uranium changes everything.

Destroyer and saviour, dream and nightmare: the extraordinary paradox of uranium.

Uranium – twisting the dragon’s tail is produced by Emmy Award-wining Australian science television specialists Genepool Productions, for SBS Australia, PBS America, and ZDF/Arte (France/Germany).

The series was filmed in 2014-2015 across England, France, Germany, Switzerland, the Czech Republic, Ukraine, the United States, Japan and Australia.