Smithsonian Channel to Premiere THE REAL STORY - Season 5, 6/30
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Epic sci-fi space exploration, cutting-edge cyber-crimes, heart-pounding warfare, thrilling historical mysteries and a shocking serial killing spree combine in a documentary series to reveal some of the real-life events that have inspired Hollywood's most famous blockbusters. Separating fact from fiction and real life from reel life, the Smithsonian Channel original series THE REAL STORY launches its fifth season on Sunday, June 30 at 8 p.m. ET/PT.
The new season kicks off with an exploration of the "Star Trek" film and TV franchise, with "Star Trek into Darkness" currently on broad release. It follows with the true stories behind box office hits "Live Free or Die Hard," "Platoon," "The Da Vinci Code" and "Scream."
THE REAL STORY: STAR TREK Premieres Sunday, June 30 at 8 p.m. ET/PT With 12 films and multiple television series in its 30-year history, "Star Trek" is one of the most successful franchises in film history. THE REAL STORY investigates the life of "Star Trek" creator Gene Roddenberry and reveals actual scientific advances that inspired the series or were inspired by its fiction. Featuring interviews with actor Leonard Nimoy ("Mr. Spock"); the producer of the "Star Trek" TV series; Roddenberry's son, Rod; and original members of the Star Trek fan club, the program charts Roddenberry's meteoric rise to fame and extreme tactics to keep his series on the air. THE REAL STORY also investigates how Star Trek inspired the scientific world and NASA scientists--from the concept of antimatter in experiments at CERN in Switzerland to the development of the first scientific principles of teleportation, to the replication of human organs by 3D printers and the creation of artificially intelligent androids.
THE REAL STORY: LIVE FREE OR DIE HARD Premieres Sunday, July 7 at 8 p.m. ET/PT In the fourth film in the "Die Hard" franchise, New York cop John McClane takes on a sophisticated cyber-criminal mastermind who shuts down the USA remotely via the Internet. It's a story that is chillingly topical. THE REAL STORY shows how a similar cyber-attack could be a real possibility. Featuring interviews with real-life cyber-criminals, FBI investigators and computer specialists, the program uncovers the shadowy world of hacking on a scale that could shutdown entire countries. Meet the government officials and former hackers who are tasked with ensuring it never does.
THE REAL STORY: PLATOON Premieres Sunday, July 14 at 8 p.m. ET/PT THE REAL STORY examines the soldiers and events behind Oliver Stone's Academy Award-winning movie, which opened the world's eyes to the horrors of the Vietnam conflict. With exclusive interviews with Stone and actor Willem Dafoe, the program features exclusive recordings from the fierce firefight that inspired the movie's climactic battle, and speaks to former Vietnam veterans about the portrayal of actual events. THE REAL STORY also explores how much of the movie was based on Stone's own experiences as a rookie soldier serving in Vietnam and reveals the identities of the soldiers who fought alongside him during the conflict. The program recreates one of the most memorable scenes in movie history to learn whether a person could survive an assault and reach a helicopter evacuation zone, as depicted in "Platoon."
THE REAL STORY: THE DA VINCI CODE Premieres Sunday, July 21 at 8 p.m. ET/PT The REAL STORY investigates Ron Howard's controversial 2003 box office hit and reveals that it was based on more real organizations and events than previously thought. "The Da Vinci Code" film follows Harvard professor Robert Langdon's attempt to solve a series of puzzles and codes left behind by the great Renaissance artist, Leonardo da Vinci, to find the true nature and final resting place of the Holy Grail. THE REAL STORY meets with leading theologians, da Vinci experts, art restorers and Coptic scholars to examine the film's assertions. Did Jesus have a sexual relationship with Mary Magdalene? Does da Vinci's The Last Supper painting contain intentional coded references to Mary Magdalene? Is the film's cryptex a real da Vinci invention? What is the truth behind da Vinci's mirror writing? THE REAL STORY explores these questions and travels to the ancient Rosslyn Chapel in Scotland to analyze the function of the cryptic messages and hidden chambers that exist there.
THE REAL STORY: SCREAM Premieres Sunday, July 28 at 8 p.m. ET/PT Slasher movie "Scream," which portrays a brutal serial killer who terrorizes an entire town, has spawned one of the most commercially successful horror franchises in movie history. THE REAL STORY reveals that the facts are far more terrifying than Hollywood fiction. Over a week in the summer of 1990, 36-year-old masked serial killer Danny Harold Rolling stalked, tortured and murdered five young students in Gainesville, Florida. The "Gainesville Ripper" serial killings sparked mass panic, a student exodus and the largest manhunt in Florida's history. THE REAL STORY explores the impact Rolling's shocking killing spree had on the university town, from the media frenzy to the mass paranoia that swept across the small community, and follows the trials and tribulations of the year-long investigation to track down the murderer. Viewers will hear from firsthand witnesses, homicide investigators and scientists how the forensic team finally pieced together the murderer's methodology, and learn the trail of evidence that finally led police to unmask the killer.
THE REAL STORY is a co-production of Blink Films and Smithsonian Channel. Executive Producer for Blink Films is Dan Chambers. Executive Producers for Smithsonian Channel are David Royle and Charles Poe.
ABOUT SMITHSONIAN CHANNEL
Smithsonian Channel is owned by Smithsonian Networks, a joint venture between Showtime Networks Inc. and the Smithsonian Institution. Its programs are largely inspired by the assets of the Smithsonian Institution, the world's largest museum complex. Smithsonian Channel features award-winning original documentaries, series, and groundbreaking programs highlighting America's historical, cultural and scientific heritage. Smithsonian Channel brings the American Experience home in high definition and Dolby Digital 5.1 and is available to customers of DirecTV, Comcast, Time Warner Cable, Charter Communications, Cablevision, Verizon, AT&T, and more. Learn more at www.smithsonianchannel.com .