Press release from Smithsonian Channel, Oct. 24, 2018:
Smithsonian Channel’s hit series THE LOST TAPES returns this fall with all-new episodes, transporting viewers back in time to relive iconic moments in American history. From the chaos of the 2002 sniper shootings in Washington, D.C. and catastrophic super tornado outbreak of 1974 to the harrowing and heroic Apollo 13 mission, THE LOST TAPES retells these unforgettable stories solely through contemporary footage, audio recordings and news reports. The effect is like channel-surfing through history – live, as it happens. As viewers experience the story break, rare and never-before-broadcast materials, seen exclusively in the series, add new depth and dimension to the screaming headlines, capturing the mood and instant reactions of Americans who found themselves, suddenly, a part of history. Beginning with the previously announced TET OFFENSIVE episode on Sunday, November 18, THE LOST TAPES continues airing new installments on Sundays at 9 p.m. ET/PT on Smithsonian Channel.
Like all installments of THE LOST TAPES, this new season foregoes narration, reenactments or outside commentary, giving viewers an immersive look back at these events and uncovering moments that were either lost to time or never seen at all. Previous episodes of season two include MALCOLM X, which debuted on February 26 and CLINTON IMPEACHMENT, which will bow on October 29.
Premieres Sunday, November 25 at 9 p.m.
Apollo 13 was launched in April 1970 on a mission to the moon. At nearly 56 hours into the flight, a sudden and large explosion left the astronauts on board in grave danger – an oxygen tank had exploded in the service module and another was rapidly leaking its contents into space. While the spacecraft was successfully steered onto a new trajectory directly back to Earth, the fight for survival was just beginning. The lunar module, the portion of the spacecraft that the crew was now dependent on, was only designed to support two humans for 40 hours, not three crew members for the over 70 hours it would take them to get back to Earth. What was to come was a tense and chaotic three days for the Apollo crew, Mission Control and the American people – now glued to their televisions waiting to hear the fate of the doomed astronauts. THE LOST TAPES: APOLLO 13 features never before heard audio of Apollo 13 from the onboard recorder in the command module during launch, rare television news and radio reports of the mission as it occurred, images from the newly scanned flight director’s logbook and forgotten Voice of America interviews with the crew members – digitized for the first time from the National Archives.
Premieres Sunday, December 2 at 9 p.m.
In October 2002, the D.C. area, still reeling from the September 11th attacks a year prior, was once again rocked by the face of terrorism – this time by a string of sudden and mysterious shootings that left the region on edge and civilians in fear for their lives. In the first 24 hours of the attack five people are dead – some murdered in parking lots, others pumping gas outside of their cars. Hysteria quickly grabs Washington by the throat, and in the days that follow, unrelenting news coverage of the events will leave D.C., Maryland and Virginia paralyzed. After a 23-day manhunt spanning the entire country, the gunmen are finally apprehended. In total, 10 people are killed, and the nation is left grappling with a different kind of terrorism, equally as senseless as ones seen before. THE LOST TAPES: DC SNIPER uses rare audio from the snipers themselves as well as never-before-broadcast 911 calls, police dash-camera footage, crime scene video and the FBI’s reconstruction footage of the snipers’ rigged car to relive the month of fear.
TORNADO SUPER OUTBREAK
Premieres Sunday, December 9 at 9 p.m.
On the afternoon of April 3, 1974, once-in-a-lifetime tornado conditions formed over the “Tornado Alley” of the American Midwest. When a massive twister flattened Xenia, Ohio with a category F5 tornado, news outlets rushed to cover the devastation in the small farming town of 27,000. What many did not realize, however, is that dozens of other tornadoes were sprouting up from Illinois to Alabama, and nearly every state in between. By the early morning hours of April 4, the final twisters of the frenzied outbreak have cleared and reporters descended upon the devastated areas to report on the damage. In total, 148 tornadoes were recorded over an 18-hour period, causing more than $600 million in damage, the loss of 315 lives and over 5,000 more injured. THE LOST TAPES: TORNADO SUPER OUTBREAK utilizes rare radio and television broadcasts recorded along the tornado outbreak’s path – including accounts in Tanner, Alabama taken before and after a F5 tornado destroys the town, live reporting from WCKY in Cincinnati as twisters move through the city and radio air checks from WHAS in Louisville, to capture the tumultuous day. The episode also features newly transferred 8mm film of an F5 in Ohio as well as new scans of remarkable photo archives and sequences of the storms in action.
THE LOST TAPES series is produced by Tom Jennings and Rob Kirk of 1895 Films. Executive producers for Smithsonian Channel are John Cavanagh, David Royle and Charles Poe.