In the nearly two years that it took to produce the eight-hour documentary Avoiding Armageddon the world was dramatically transformed.
When media visionary Ted Turner tapped television legend Robert Wussler to head his new documentary company in early 2001, they shared a simple goal: make people aware of the threats from weapons of mass destruction. It was a topic that Turner had been publicly concerned about for nearly two decades.
Wussler pulled together a documentary team and began researching and filming. That was before September 11th.
"On September 12th we ripped up everything that we had done and started all over," recalls Wussler. "We knew right then that we were working on a very unusual documentary."
Then came the Anthrax attacks, then the war against al Qaeda in Afghanistan, then nuclear neighbors India and Pakistan came to the brink of war, then North Korea resumed its nuclear weapons program, then Saddam Hussein defied the United Nations, then coalition forces invaded Iraq.
Through all of this, as issues about weapons of mass destruction and terrorism played out on the evening news Ted Turner Documentaries and PBS presenting station WETA remained nimble with in-depth research and coverage of these issues. More than 300 interviews were conducted in 18 nations.
To keep the documentary current with the changing news, Wussler brought on
news veterans Frank Sesno and Chris Guarino to be co-executive producers.
Walter Cronkite hosts and narrates this timely film and Frank Sesno leads a panel discussion at the conclusion of each night on the provocative issues that are raised.