SANTA FE, N.M. -- They lived in a town that had no name, just a zip code. It was such a secret, that even family and friends who didn't live there couldn't know where they were living.
That was Los Alamos, N.M., in 1943, when scientists and their families answered the call to move to join the greatest race against time in science history, though they didn't know it. The race was to be the first to build the atomic bomb, known in the history books as the Manhattan Project.
Manhattan, a new one-hour drama set to release on WGN America, was created by Sam Shaw and directed by Tommy Schlamme, known for the award-winning West Wing. The show premieres 9/8 Central on Sunday, July 27.
It's not a documentary, but the show highlights what it was like for the more than 6,000 men, women, and children who lived on "The Hill" with the world's highest concentration of geniuses.
Everything was a secret; scientists withheld information from their wives. The military kept secrets from their own men and women.
I visited the set back in June and sat down with the actors (listend below) and with Shaw and Schlamme. I was absolutely amazed at how detailed the set was, down to the pictures on the wall, old-fashioned desks and lights, and the cars.
As you watch Manhattan, I think you will forget that it is a television show, because each episode feels so much like a movie.
The ensemble cast of “Manhattan,” the second original series from WGN America, includes John Benjamin Hickey (“The Big C,” “The Good Wife”) as Frank Winter; Olivia Williams (“Rushmore,” “The Ghost Writer”) as Liza Winter; Daniel Stern (“Home Alone,” “Home Alone 2”) as Glen Babbit; Ashley Zukerman (“Rush”) as Charlie Isaacs; Rachel Brosnahan (“House of Cards”) as Abby Isaacs; Katja Herbers (“De Storm”) as Helen Prins; Alexia Fast (“Jack Reacher”) as Callie Winter; Christopher Denham (“Argo,” “Shutter Island”) as Jim Meeks; Harry Lloyd (“Game of Thrones”) as Paul Crosley; Michael Chernus (“The Big C,” “Orange Is The New Black”) as Louis “Fritz” Fedowitz; and Eddie Shin (“Men of a Certain Age”) as Sid Liao.