Cracking the Code

From bizarre ancient markings to random numbers and letters, codes and ciphers have been used for millennia to send secret messages, hide identities and operate  outside the law.  

Unravelling these codes can unlock military secrets, unmask deadly enemies and even decode lost civilizations.  Now, Cracking the Code uncovers some of the world’s most famous – and infamous – encryptions. Revealing how they were decoded, the brilliant minds who cracked them and the mysterious secrets they were hiding…

Series overview:

Episode 1-  The Mob Code
The Mob Code reveals the story of one of history’s greatest codebreakers: Suburban mom – Elizabeth Friedman. Against the odds she cracks the codes which bring down the Mob, saves countless lives in WW2 and prevents a Nazi invasion of America – armed with just a pencil and paper.
Episode 2- The Killer Code
The Zodiac Killer Code reveals the desperate bid to crack the crazed codes sent by America’s most mysterious serial killer. As fear mounts in San Francisco, the only way to stop the death toll growing is to unravel the killer’s complex coded messages. Now 50 years on – can modern technology finally reveal the identity of The Zodiac?
Episode 3-  The Japanese Super Code
The Japanese Super Code reveals the US efforts to crack Japan’s unbreakable WW2 code following the horror of the attack on Pearl Harbour. But can one Naval Officer with a penchant for crosswords really stop the Japanese onslaught and turn the War in the Pacific in America’s favour?
Episode 4- The Lost Civilization
Decoding a Lost Civilization reveals the monumental challenge undertaken by some of the academic world’s most brilliant minds to decipher a mysterious long-lost language. It’s a journey that will take. more than 50 years and lead to tragedy for everyone involved. But their ground-breaking work will ultimately rewrite history.
Episode 4- The Gang Code
The Gang Code reveals the criminal gangs across the world using highly encrypted phones to stay under the radar. The police are always one step behind, until a team of investigators works out how to turn the phones against the criminals and catch them red-handed.
Episode 6 - The Cold War Code
The Uncrackable Spy Code tells the story of America’s cold war codebreakers charged with unravelling a seemingly uncrackable Soviet code. What they uncover is shocking: Soviet spies at the highest levels of the US Government and deep inside America’s top secret atomic weapons programme – the Manhattan Project
Episode 7 - The Code That Won the Great War
The Code that Won the Great War reveals the encryted German telegram that could save Britain in its darkest hour. But can a team of eccentric geniuses decode the message in time? And will revealing its contents damage Britain’s relationship with its ally, America, forever?
Episode 8 - The Human Code
The Human Code reveals the rollercoaster ride of cracking humanity’s most complex and important code – the Human Genome. Unravelling its secrets pushes modern science to its very limits – pitting molecular biologists against big business in the race to stop mankind’s own genetic code being sold.


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Blink Films


Curiosity Stream
Welt Germany
Sky History UK



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