American Experience: The Trials of J. Robert Oppenheimer

As head of the team that developed America’s atomic bomb, J. Robert Oppenheimer was a household name and a national hero. After World War II, he warned about the dangers­ of nuclear war and stood up against McCarthyism—and was publicly tried as a threat to national security. Both a nuanced portrait of a complex man and a taut courtroom drama, this documentary combines archival footage and interviews with re-enactments taken directly from transcripts. Actor David Strathairn plays Oppenheimer, and his physical resemblance to the scientist adds to the seamlessness of this portrait of a brilliant but enigmatic figure. Monday, Jan. 26, at 9 p.m., PBS; check local listings