Radio: The Mushroom Cloud

What is atomic energy? How is a hydrogen bomb set off? Can the bombs be controlled? A new four-part documentary show called The Quick and the Dead (Thurs. 8 p.m., NBC), with Bob Hope playing the role of inquisitive taxpayer, last week began to answer these questions. "We picked Hope," says 34-year-old Writer-Producer Fred Friendly, "because we figured people would think that if he could understand it, anyone could."

Co-starring Helen Hayes and Paul Lukas, the show boasts dialogue that is limited to "never more than a minute of physics." To Friendly and NBC Vice President William Brooks it is a miracle...

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