Set in the 1940s and inspired by real events, the program follows a group of scientists hired by the U.S. government to develop the first atomic bomb and forced to keep their work secret from the wives and children who live with them on the military-guarded compound where the lab is located.
Asked by UPI during a recent visit to the show's set if he could relate to how his character was uprooted and brought to Los Alamos to work on a mysterious project for an indefinite amount of time, actor John Benjamin Hickey replied, "Oh, could we ever!"
"I was standing around in a dust storm trying to work out how to get from the set to my trailer in hail, wind, rain... and they were trying to live domestic lives and raise babies and cook meals and create a nuclear bomb in these bizarre conditions and it was a crazy plan, but brilliant and it worked and that's the bottom line," noted Hickey's co-star Olivia Williams. "The wonderful thing about doing a factual drama is that you are creating drama when everyone knows the end of the story, but [we are showing] what happened on the way there."
"I packed up my truck and drove my wife and me and our dogs to this strange place to take part in a project I knew a little bit about when I started, but I had no idea what it was going to develop into," Daniel Stern said about his real-life experience in re-locating for several months to work on Manhattan.
"I miss my wife, who's not here, and I'm not really allowed to tell her that much about this story and there are plot twists and things that I can't talk about. The stakes are much lower for us than it was for the physicists, but there is this sense of mis-communication," added cast member Christopher Denham.
Manhattan airs Sunday nights on WGN America. Episodes are also available for streaming on Hulu Plus the day after they run on television.