The Challenger BBC 2 9pm.

The Challenger Space Shuttle exploded on 28th January 1996. All seven crew members lost their life. There was the American equivalent of a public enquiry. Brian Dennehy is an actor that looks more American than the Americans, so it was only right and proper he played the chair in the presidential commission. Ronald Reagan another wooden actor was seen in wide screen TV playing the role of President. William Hurt, that Accidental Tourist, got to play the lead role of Richard Feynman. I must admit to a proprietary interest here. I’ve read two books of autobiographical anecdotes about how he became a physicist and what his role was in the development of the Atomic bomb. When he started out there wasn’t enough theory for most universities to have a physic department. Chemistry was the big boy. He was impossible young to be a physics professor at Cal Tech, but after the big bang anything was possible. He won the Noble Prize. He was also a polymath, artist and musician. These are all reasons to hate him, but in any interviews he shines through as a guy just loving and making the most of his life. The Challenger was his last challenge. This programme was made with his wife and daughter’s approval. Feynman solves the problem of the O-ring, that everyone dare not speak its name in the kind of eccentric way that had me thinking of Columbo. Just when the big cheeses at Nasa look as if they’re getting away with the scam Feyman/Hurt/Columbo has that moment with a glass of iced water and an O-ring that doesn’t somehow ring true.