Monday, December 22, 2014
FAIRFIELD-SUISUN, CALIFORNIA
99 CENTS

Scientists make love, war weapons in ‘Manhattan’

John Benjamin Hickey

This photo released by WGN America shows, John Benjamin Hickey as Frank Winter, in a scene from the TV series, "Manhattan." The show debuts 9 p.m. ET/8 p.m. CT, Sunday, July 27, 2014, on cable channel WGN America. The drama is set in a makeshift, desolate New Mexico desert community, one of several that sprang up as part of the Manhattan Project aiming to beat Nazi Germany to the bomb. (AP Photo/WGN America, Greg Peters)

By
From page A7 | July 26, 2014 |

LOS ANGELES — Writer-producer Sam Shaw was grappling with how to craft a TV drama about the war on terror and the price it exacts from those who keep its secrets.

He found the answer by looking back to the early 1940s, when U.S. scientists and others working in isolation created the first atomic bombs without the knowledge of Congress, the vice president or the American public.

The result is “Manhattan,” debuting Sunday (9 p.m.) on cable channel WGN America. The drama is set in a makeshift, desolate Southwestern desert community, one of several that sprang up as part of the Manhattan Project aiming to beat Nazi Germany to the bomb.

“I wound up shelving the modern idea, in part because it’s really difficult to write about history in the making with any kind of objectivity and moral clarity,” Shaw said.

But his research showed him that the birth of the atomic bomb was “the birth of a huge number of issues and problems … we’re still trying to parse 70 years later.”

Among the questions “Manhattan” raises: to what extent do we trust our leaders, and how much freedom and privacy are we willing to surrender to protect the nation and its ideals, including those primary ones?

Thomas Schlamme (“The West Wing”) is an executive producer and directed the pilot. The cast includes John Benjamin Hickey (“Transformers,” ”The Good Wife”), Rachel Brosnahan (“House of Cards”), Ashley Zukerman (“Terra Nova,” ”Rush”) and Olivia Williams (“Rushmore”).

The World War II-era drama is the second original series for WGN America, part of its initiative to expand beyond Chicago sports and broadcast network reruns. It follows last spring’s debut of “Salem,” set in the 17th-century witch-obsessed village.

“Manhattan” fulfills WGN America’s goal of entertaining viewers while taking them to “a time and place, with a palpable sense of what it was like to live in that moment,” said Matt Cherniss, president and general manager.

The scientists who were gathered by President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s administration in Los Alamos, New Mexico, were the best and the brightest, Shaw said. They became part of a very young settlement, with the average age of Manhattan Project workers there about 25, he said.

Families, the military and locals are part of the combustible mix in “Manhattan.”

The real scientists were fervently dedicated to the cause, even if some later came to regret the deadly force they helped unleash, Shaw said.

“Almost everyone there was completely convinced that if they didn’t get there first, (German) atomic bombs would rain down on the cities of Europe and America, as well,” he said.

Shaw came to “Manhattan” from Showtime’s very different “Masters of Sex,” on which he was a writer until he got the greenlight for his own series.

“I don’t know how I traded sex and nudity for nuclear apocalypse,” he said, jokingly. But he noted that life isn’t entirely staid for the characters of “Manhattan,” despite the dark mushroom cloud in their future.

“All those physicists had a lot of steam to blow off, so there was a fair amount of misbehavior. … It’s part of the human dimension of what it was like to live in this place,” he said.

___

Lynn Elber is a national television columnist for The Associated Press. She can be reached at lelber@ap.org and on Twitter at http://twitter.com/lynnelber

___

Online:

http://www.wgnamerica.com

 

The Associated Press

The Associated Press

LEAVE A COMMENT

Discussion | No comments

The Daily Republic does not necessarily condone the comments here, nor does it review every post. Read our full policy

.

Solano News

Christmas comes early to San Marco Street park

By Ryan McCarthy | From Page: A1, 5 Comments | Gallery

 
Travis squadron delivers Christmas gifts to East Tabor

By Ryan McCarthy | From Page: A1 | Gallery

 
Multiple car accident blocks I-80 in Vacaville

By Glen Faison | From Page: A3, 2 Comments | Gallery

 
 
 
 
Kitchen fire dislocates family for Christmas

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A4, 3 Comments | Gallery

Famous Creations’ toy drive and cupcake sale

By Daily Republic staff | From Page: A4 | Gallery

 
Last-minute shopping at Vacaville Premium Outlets

By Daily Republic staff | From Page: A4, 1 Comment | Gallery

Fairfield police log: Dec. 20, 2014

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A9

 
Suisun City police log: Dec. 20, 2014

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A9

Weather for Dec. 22, 2014

By Daily Republic | From Page: B10

 
.

US / World

Killer of 2 NYC officers had long criminal history

By The Associated Press | From Page: A1, 4 Comments

 
Killings of 2 New York officers trigger backlash

By The Associated Press | From Page: A1, 7 Comments

California puzzles over safety of driverless cars

By The Associated Press | From Page: A1, 4 Comments

 
Timeline of events before and after NY cop deaths

By The Associated Press | From Page: A1

A look at the 2 NYC officers killed in ambush

By The Associated Press | From Page: A1

 
Pakistan makes arrests in Taliban school carnage

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

 
Tent city sprouts in shadow of downtown Detroit

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

 
US mulls putting NKorea on terrorism sponsor list

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

Satanic Temple puts up display at Michigan Capitol

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5, 7 Comments

 
Australian woman charged with murder of 8 children

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

Exit poll: Ex-regime official is Tunisia’s new president

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

 
.

Opinion

Faust and the 2015 federal budget

By Mike Kirchubel | From Page: A8, 17 Comments

 
Obama, surgeon general still losing to NRA

By Francis Wilkinson | From Page: A8, 5 Comments

Let the music begin

By Colleen Britton | From Page: A8, 4 Comments

 
Editorial Cartoon: Dec. 22, 2014

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
.

Living

Community Calendar: Dec. 22, 2014

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A2, 1 Comment

 
Today in History: Dec. 22, 2014

By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

Horoscopes: Dec. 23, 2014

By Holiday Mathis | From Page: B5

 
 
Horoscopes: Dec. 22, 2014

By Holiday Mathis | From Page: A7

.

Entertainment

TVGrid Dec 22

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

 
‘Hobbit’ goes out on top with $90.6 million 5-day debut

By The Associated Press | From Page: B7

Good news from Tom Brokaw: His cancer is in remission

By The Associated Press | From Page: B7

 
Review: ‘The Interview’ deserves to be seen

By Jake Coyle | From Page: B7

Happy day: Elton John, David Furnish marry in England

By The Associated Press | From Page: B7

 
TVGrid Dec 23

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B7

.

Sports

Kings snap 5-game losing skid, beat Lakers 108-101

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1 | Gallery

 
Burns gives Sharks late-night win over Blues in OT

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

The Week Ahead: Not much of a break for Christmas

By Paul Farmer | From Page: B1

 
Steelers, Packers win, move into playoffs

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1 | Gallery

Raiders knock Bills out of playoffs with 26-24 win

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1 | Gallery

 
Super-G crash makes Vonn wait in bid for record

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

NFL Roundup: Cowboys end 4-year drought, make playoffs

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2 | Gallery

 
7 hurt when lightning strikes near Tampa Bay game

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

India’s Arjun Atwal wins Dubai Open

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Documents: FSU QB Winston cleared in conduct hearing

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

.

Business

US companies eager to embrace Cuba face hurdles

By The Associated Press | From Page: B6

 
Survey: US gas prices fall 25 cents per gallon

By The Associated Press | From Page: B6

.

Obituaries

Marian Kay Zutz

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

 
Bart Ferro

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

.

Comics

Wizard of Id Dec 23

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

 
Baby Blues Dec 23

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

Zits Dec 23

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

 
Get Fuzzy Dec 23

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

Pickles Dec 23

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

 
Rose is Rose Dec 23

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

Beetle Bailey Dec 23

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

 
Peanuts Dec 23

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

Garfield Dec 23

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

 
For Better or Worse Dec 23

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

Baldo Dec 23

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

 
Blondie Dec 23

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

Dilbert Dec 23

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

 
Frank and Ernest Dec 23

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

Sally Forth Dec 23

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

 
B.C. Dec 23

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

Crossword Dec 23

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

 
Cryptoquote Dec 23

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

Sudoku Dec 23

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

 
Bridge Dec 23

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

Word Sleuth Dec 23

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

 
Blondie Dec 22

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

Beetle Bailey Dec 22

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

 
Garfield Dec 22

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

B.C. Dec 22

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

 
Wizard of Id Dec 22

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

For Better or Worse Dec 22

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

 
Get Fuzzy Dec 22

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

Baby Blues Dec 22

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

 
Baldo Dec 22

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

Zits Dec 22

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

 
Peanuts Dec 22

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

Dilbert Dec 22

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

 
Sally Forth Dec 22

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

Pickles Dec 22

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

 
Rose is Rose Dec 22

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

Frank and Ernest Dec 22

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

 
Word Sleuth Dec 22

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A7

Crossword Dec 22

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A7

 
Sudoku Dec 22

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A7

Cryptoquote Dec 22

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A7

 
Bridge Dec 22

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A7