Winner 1987

NOVA: Spy Machines

WGBH-TV, Boston, Massachusetts, KCET-TV, Los Angeles, California

Simply by tracing the history of aerial reconnaissance in the United States, Spy Machines neatly recounts the key events of the Cold War and looks into the future of American/Soviet SDI competition. The strong, fast-paced script begins with Civil War spy balloons and goes up to state-of-the-art satellite technology. Still it never becomes too technical and it always maintains historical perspective. The body of the show seamlessly blends old footage with recent interviews involving key players, while the conclusion incorporates some truly dazzling computer-generated effects. For a clear, comprehensive look at an intriguing subject that maintains a sense of awe throughout, a Peabody Award to NOVA: Spy Machines, presented on PBS jointly by WGBH-TV, Boston, and KCET, Los Angeles.