Manhattan Historical Consultant Alex Wellerstein (left) and Science Consultant David Saltzberg on the Trinity Test set. Visit lamonitor.com for video interviews with Wellerstein and others.
‘Alternate reality’ has roots in history

WGN America’s popular series “Manhattan” premiers its second season at 7 p.m. MDT Tuesday. The Los Alamos Historical Society again will host weekly viewing parties of “Manhattan” at Time Out Pizza, with question and answer sessions afterward.
The Los Alamos Monitor decided to ask some of those questions directly of the show’s historical consultant, Alex Wellerstein. Wellerstein loves ferreting out little known facts about the Manhattan Project for writers to incorporate into this fictionalized account of the project.
“This is sort of in an alternate reality. It’s a different timeline. It’s not meant to be documentary. It’s meant to be fictional. I think they try to make that pretty clear,” Wellerstein said.
“And it’s about taking the elements that actually existed in that time period and sometimes dialing it up a bit. You dial it up to 10 or 11, when in reality that element was only a five or a six. It’s usually not going from zero to 11, which would make it too absurd. It wouldn’t be believable.”
Wellerstein addressed one of the elements that rub many people the wrong way: the “cloak and dagger” depiction of the military.