Cold War (TV Series) Ep.22 - The Wall Comes Down - Supporting Worksheet for the BBC / CNN co-production, narrated by Kenneth Brannagh - Written as a extension and enrichment task for GCSE, it would also be appropriate for A Level studies.
It is written in Publisher formatted for A3 printing, but can be amended and saved as a PDF for A4 printing.
Reagan's 1983 Evil Empire speech sets the tone for a more aggressive US posture against the Soviet Union, and the costly arms race is renewed. He hopes that space-based anti-missile systems known as Strategic Defense Initiative (SDI) could render nuclear weapons obsolete, but the Soviet Union is concerned of upsetting the MAD paradigm that had kept the world safe. Gorbachev assumes power in the Soviet Union, setting to reform the Soviet economy and encourage greater openness. He bonds well with both Reagan and Margaret Thatcher, charismatic to Soviet sensibilities, but the SDI issue prevents arms control agreements being made in Geneva Summit or Reykjavík. The weakness of the Soviet system is revealed by the Chernobyl disaster and Mathias Rust's Red Square stunt. Knowing the Soviet Union could not compete with SDI without the economic welfare of its people being severely curtailed, whose exposure to popular culture and foreign media has led to raised expectations, Gorbachev eventually agrees to a landmark agreement, the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty. Disarmament commences, under the maxim of doveryai, no proveryai. Interviewees include Donald Regan, Sir Charles Powell, Roald Sagdeev and Mikhail Gorbachev. The pre-credits scene shows an advertisement for Reagan's 1984 election campaign.