Scopes documentary to air on History Channel
March 29, 2006

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A new documentary on the Scopes Trial, produced with the cooperation of Bryan College and the Rhea County community, will air on The History Channel Wednesday, April 12.
            “We were impressed with the production company’s attention to detail, even to the point of having a platform built outside the courthouse to film Darrow’s interrogation of Bryan, just like it happened in 1925,” Tom Davis, Bryan’s director of public information, said. “This is the first time that we have seen anyone do that.”
            “Scopes: The Battle over America’s Soul” will air on The History Channel April 12, at 9 p.m. eastern time, as part of a series titled “Ten Days that Unexpectedly Changed America.” The series runs April 9 to 13.
            According to the web site The History Channel selected 10 teams of award-winning documentary filmmakers to spotlight “10 historic events that triggered seismic shifts in America’s political, cultural or social landscape.” The programs, including the one filmed in Dayton, include archival footage, reenactments, historic artifacts and interviews.
            About the Scopes program, producer David Heilbroner and director Kate Davis said on The History Channel web site, “The debate between science and religion is still very much with us 80 years later, as we grapple with stem-cell research and teaching intelligent design. What we tried to do in this film is refute the myth that science won at the Scopes trial. If anything, Scopes’ conviction proved that organized religion could become an influential political force, one that persists to this day, stronger than ever.”
            Dr. Richard Cornelius, Bryan College Scopes liaison, served as a consultant to the production. Members of the cast of the annual Scopes Festival reenactment played their parts as William Jennings Bryan and Clarence Darrow, the judge, lawyers and townspeople in the film.