'Manhattan' strives for intimate view of the Project

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Television > Fictional drama will air on WGN on July 27

By Arin McKenna

When “Manhattan” premieres on WGN on July 27, Los Alamos residents should bear in mind that it is a fiction based on the Manhattan Project, not a history of that event.
“It’s been very important to us writers and to the directors and cast, too, to really steep themselves in the history. And at the same time, this is a work of fiction,” said Creator/Writer/Executive Producer Sam Shaw. “The project has never involved being forensically accurate about every aspect of the daily life of this place, but to capture an emotional truth.”
Overall, Shaw and Director/Executive Producer Thomas Schlamme succeed in that objective. Shaw was a writer for the critically acclaimed “Masters of Sex” on Showtime and Schlamme won an Emmy Award as director for “The West Wing.”
The period details of the sets, the well-researched scenes depicting everyday life on The Hill and a company of highly skilled actors all coalesce to immerse the audience in the world of the Manhattan Project.
However, some of the production choices will jar Los Alamos residents in particular out of that carefully created world.

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