Tomorrow in the United States is the premiere of WGN America’s new drama Manhattan: A Nuclear Family. Here’s a trailer:
Early publicity for the film has focused on the tensions the scientists and their families face working at Los Alamos as part of the Manhattan Project, which developed America’s first nuclear weapons. The production seems to have done an excellent job of trying to portray both the setting and the time – early 1940’s New Mexico. What I have no idea about – and what I’m most interested in – is the interactions between the scientists and the administrators in Washington. But I suspect, given the trends in dramatic storytelling, that they will not be a major focus of the program. The exception would appear to be the perennial hook of secrets, and how they’re (not) kept. I’d love to be shown wrong.
Thomas Schlamme directs the pilot and is one of the show’s executive producers. He directed several episodes of The West Wing, and isn’t the only connection with that other political show. Richard Schiff can be seen in some of the early publicity, though I suspect that he’ll be a guest star. Hopefully the program will manage to have at least a few light moments interspersed amidst the drama. Otherwise Manhattan might turn out a bit too serious for its own good.