Law & Order (1990–2010)
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Big Bang 

A woman is killed after opening a mail bomb. The investigation leads to the discovery of a bitter research dispute between her ex-husband, a noted physicist, and a younger researcher that he double-crossed.


Dann Florek


Dick Wolf (created by), Ed Zuckerman




Episode cast overview, first billed only:
Jerry Orbach ... Detective Lennie Briscoe
Chris Noth ... Detective Mike Logan
S. Epatha Merkerson ... Lieutenant Anita Van Buren
Michael Moriarty ... E.A.D.A. Ben Stone
Jill Hennessy ... A.D.A. Claire Kincaid
Steven Hill ... D.A. Adam Schiff
Carolyn McCormick ... Dr. Elizabeth Olivet (credit only)
Randle Mell ... Max Weiss
Jennifer Van Dyck ... Shelly Conners
Bill Moor Bill Moor ... Bill Patton
Harris Yulin ... Edward Manning
Karen Sillas ... Cynthia Thomas
Vince Viverito Vince Viverito ... Frank Rossi
Ellen Lancaster Ellen Lancaster ... Alice Weiss
Jeff Gendelman ... Barry Ramsey


Detectives Briscoe and Logan investigate when Florence Manning is severely injured and later dies in hospital when a letter bomb explodes in her apartment. When trace evidence of a radioactive material is found among the debris, the police naturally suspect the dead woman's estranged husband Edward Manning, a renowned physicist. He denies having anything to do with the crime and the police continue their investigation of those who may have had access to nuclear material. The focus is on Max Weiss whose post-doctoral fellowship recently expired and is now working as an apartment building doorman. During questioning he claims that Manning hired him to build and send the bomb but ADA Stone uncovers a different motive: Manning had turned down Weiss' application for a research grant and intended to steal his idea leading Weiss to seek revenge. Getting Manning to testify in court to academic theft will not be easy however. Written by garykmcd

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis





Release Date:

2 March 1994 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Big Bang See more »

Filming Locations:

New York City, New York, USA

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:




Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


Jennifer Van Dyck has played five different characters over the course of the series: See more »


When the detectives go to the physics lab to gather information on Weiss, his desk drawer is locked. When the police move to force it open, another lab employee steps in and opens it. Later, Weiss is confronted with what was found in the drawer as proof that he is guilty of murder. Would not the lab employee's ability to access Weiss's drawer be grounds to nullify its contents as being tied to Weiss as evidence to murder? See more »


Edward Manning: You're ruining me as a man of science!
Executive A.D.A. Ben Stone: Sir, you did that yourself. I'm just asking you to tell the jury how you did it.
See more »

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User Reviews

Scientific reputation on the line
21 October 2018 | by bkoganbingSee all my reviews

A letter bomb arrives at the address of Harris Yulin's estranged wife and kills her upon her opening the package. Yulin is a professor of physics and at one time a wunderkind in the scientific community. But time has passed him by and he's not a very nice man because of it.

The investigation leads to Randall Mell who is now working as a doorman because Yulin had him blackballed in the scientific community. I can't pretend to know what it must be like for a man of his education to be reduced to that job to pay the rent and put food on the table for his family.

At the same time Yulin is a piece of work more worried about his scientific reputation than anything else including convicting his wife's murderer. Wait until you see what Michael Moriarty has to do to get him in court.

Cosmic justice would have had Yulin as the victim, but the cosmos ain't always just.

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