Tell Nobody, Not Even Her – Manhattan WGN Season 1 Premiere
Manhattan SO1E01: What are We Going to do Out Here in This Desert? People like me who enjoy reading history approach any new television series dealing with historical events with dread. What “facts” will be added to make the story more dramatic? Will I decide to stop watching by turning off the TV the way Elvis Presley once did? Most importantly, will I not be able to tell what is accurate?
The new series “Manhattan” deals with a major turning point in history. This WGN program depicts the two years of the Manhattan Project, the development of the first atomic bomb. Although an indisputable major historical event, how dramatic can a bunch of scientists working in a lab be? Especially when we know they are going to succeed?
The path to drama for this series runs through the New Mexico desert where the project operated. The people of nearby Los Alamos did not have any inkling of what experiments were being carried out in the isolated laboratory in their midst. Not only the townsmen were living in ignorance, but so too were the scientists’ families. While the storyline will not work if they live their lives in happy ignorance, the premiere episode shows the necessary dark storm clouds caused by the mystery of their reasons for moving there.
Most promising is the story of the Winters, Frank (John Benjamin Hickey), the lead scientist on the project, and his botanist wife Liza (Olivia Williams). These two performers create a believable couple who understand they have to live with the secret between them – for now. While I’m not sure this show can sustain two years of suspense and drama, the premiere was promising enough that I’ll check in and report back here after each new episode.
– Louis Burklow (aka, Hollywood Country Boy), Staff Writer, Phoenix Genesis
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