Horizon (1964– )
29 user

The Race for the Double Helix 

Life Story (original title)
Watson and Crick race to find the structure of DNA before Linus Pauling, Maurice Wilkins, or Rosalind Franklin can find the key to unlocking the secret.


Mick Jackson


William Nicholson, James Watson (book)
4 wins & 4 nominations. See more awards »


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Episode cast overview, first billed only:
Jeff Goldblum ... Jim Watson
Tim Pigott-Smith ... Francis Crick
Alan Howard ... Maurice Wilkins
Juliet Stevenson ... Rosalind Franklin
Betsy Brantley Betsy Brantley ... Elizabeth Watson
John Moreno John Moreno ... Vittorio Luzzati
Daniel André Pageon Daniel André Pageon ... First Colleague
Yves Aubert Yves Aubert ... Second Colleague
Anthony Benson Anthony Benson ... J.T. Randall
Clive Panto Clive Panto ... Max Perutz
Rupert Massey Rupert Massey ... John Kendrew
Geoffrey Chater ... Sir Lawrence Bragg
Nicholas Fry Nicholas Fry ... Raymond Gosling
Tom McCabe Tom McCabe ... Bill Seeds
Petronella Ford Petronella Ford ... Odile Crick


Watson and Crick race to find the structure of DNA before Linus Pauling, Maurice Wilkins, or Rosalind Franklin can find the key to unlocking the secret. Written by Kathy Li

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Release Date:

14 September 1987 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Race for the Double Helix See more »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Sound Mix:



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Did You Know?


Was originally shown as a "Horizon special" on the BBC, Horizon being the name of BBC2's main science programme. See more »


Francis Crick: Piano, my boy! Softly, softly, catchy monkey!
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Crazy Credits

Cards before the closing credits mention Franklin's early death and Watson, Crick and Wilkins' subsequent award of the Nobel Prize, pointedly adding that Nobel prizes cannot be awarded posthumously. See more »


Grande Chorale
Georges Delerue
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

Excellent Movie-making
25 April 1999 | by J.BondSee all my reviews

This film is among those few which exhibit qualities of clear-cut and exciting movie-making. Although it does not stand out in any brilliant way and I do not consider it to be a "must-see," it is a film I recommend to anyone who has the opportunity to see it. Well-developed characters couple with an intelligent and fascinating plotline and make for a truly gripping film that is, in fact, very educational. I had the honor of watching this film with a good friend of both Watson and Crick and for me, the experience in hearing of the reality of the characters heightened the experience.

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