Genius, National Geographic Channel’s first scripted series, which stars Oscar winner Geoffrey Rush as Albert Einstein, doesn’t premier until April 25, but you can watch a four-minute clip from that first hour, directed by executive producer Ron Howard, now.
In it, Rush’s wild-haired Einstein lectures a standing-room-only class about the concept of time and the “stubborn illusion” of the distinction between the past, present, and future. As he urges the young men to close their eyes and journey with him to the sun to understand how light travels, he flashes back to his youth as a student (played by Johnny Flynn) in 1894 Munich who clashes with his math teacher when he’d rather be contemplating “the secrets of the cosmos.”
The 10-episode series, based on the Walter Isaacson book Einstein: His Life and Universe, follows Einstein’s rise from rebellious thinker to global celebrity, exploring his equally explosive personal life as a lover of women (including his second wife, Emily Watson’s Elsa, who was also his first cousin) and as a Jewish immigrant to America. As the Nat Geo synopsis explains, “Living and teaching in Princeton, New Jersey, Einstein continues to be besieged on all sides. His fractious relationship with his children and grandchildren weighs on him, he ends up in bed with Russian spy Margarita Konenkova (Ania Bukstein, Game of Thrones) and he must cope with J. Edgar Hoover’s (T.R. Knight, Grey’s Anatomy) personal vendetta to bring him down. He also faces possibly his biggest challenge ever: the pressure to set aside his lifelong pacifism in the hopes of stopping Hitler’s conquest of Europe.”
Genius premiers April 25 at 9 p.m. on National Geographic Channel.
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