Only 1 Netflix History Series of 2024 Got a Perfect 100% on Rotten Tomatoes

Only 1 Netflix History Series of 2024 Got a Perfect 100% on Rotten Tomatoes
Image credit: Netflix

Using Oppenheimer as a launchpad, this docuseries gets to the heart of the Cold War.


  • Netflix has got it's timing just right on this one.
  • Hear from those at the heart of the Cold War.
  • The show connects history with the present and provokes us to think about what the future holds.

The release of Oppenheimer in the summer of 2023 was always going to spark interest in how the bomb was created, its impact on the WWII, and how it affected global politics.

With the conflict in Ukraine still raging and the eyes of the world on Russia, there was even more interest in the film and the real-world events surrounding it than might otherwise have been expected.

For those seeking answers about Project Manhattan, the atomic bomb and the Cold War, Netflix's new docuseries Turning Point: The Bomb and the Cold War has what you're looking for.

The inside track

Over 9 episodes, the documentary uses the life of Dr Robert J Oppenheimer as a starting point to get into the meat and bones of the Cold War. Starting with the creation of the atomic bomb and the dying embers of the conflict between the US and Japan, one of the strengths of the show is the number of political big hitters that contribute to the story.

This isn't just a voiceover or a few history buffs from prestigious universities telling us the story. Throughout the series we hear from the likes of:

  • Former U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice
  • President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelensky
  • NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg
  • Former CIA Director Robert Gates
  • Daniel Ellsberg, the late Pentagon Papers leaker

Only 1 Netflix History Series of 2024 Got a Perfect 100% on Rotten Tomatoes - image 1

There's also news footage from the height of the Cold War. And interviews with those at the center of it all reveal how close (and how often) the world came to the brink of nuclear war.

A new type of warfare

Watching the show, you get a real sense of what the atomic bomb meant for the way wars would be fought in the future.

In 1918, World War I was called the 'war to end all wars'. Two decades later, the world was at war again. By 1939, military capabilities were more advanced, but warfare itself was largely unchanged.

All that changed when America dropped atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. It was mass destruction at the push of a button. And it soon became clear that nuclear proliferation was the way for ambitious countries to gain global influence.

The Turning Point: The Bomb and the Cold War shows how this took warfare off the battlefield and into new combat zones, and led to a clamor for espionage far beyond anything you could have imagined, no matter how many spy movies you've seen.

An ambitious project that delivers

Director Brian Knappenberger took on a huge project with this docu-series. Trying to tell the story of the Cold War in just 10 hours was never going to be easy. To be fair, trying to unravel all the complexities of the Cold War and make it accessible and engaging is a pretty big challenge no matter how much time you have on your hands.

But it's fair to say that he delivered what he promised. Turning Point: The Bomb and the Cold War dissects the events before, during, and after and presents them in a clear, concise, and coherent manner.

You don't need to have any real idea of the chain of events or the people who played their part. You don't need a degree in history or any prior knowledge of the Cold War. You just need 10 hours and an interest in how the world got from where it was to where it is now - and what that means for the future.