Manhattan on WGN

Just watched the series opener and thought it was pretty tight. It’s about the teams that worked on the Manhattan Project, in case you’re wondering. Pretty good acting, and some familiar faces from other series. It has a good hook, and I’ll be sticking with it until or if it becomes tiresome.

I’m apparently the only human watching this show then? Doesn’t bode well for it’s staying power.

DVR’d it & will watch tonight. Sorry, just too many good things to watch or record on Sunday night.

There were anachronisms (sometimes that doesn’t bother me, but in this case, it did) and overall it just struck me as a soap opera that happened to be set in Los Alamos.

The one good line was the exchange about the Gollum of Warsaw.

I didn’t notice them, and I’m usually a nitpicker on such things. Examples?

Early in the episode the two scientists are in the desert, looking at a golf ball, and one of them says “Putt Putt?”

Miniature golf as a game certainly existed before World War 2, but the Putt Putt franchise didn’t come into being until 1954. A tiny nitpick to be sure, but it started taking me out of the show almost immediately. It’s like having the characters stop at McDonalds on the way home.

Unless, like “Johnny B. Goode” in Back to the Future, the scientist who said “putt putt” was the founder of Putt Putt or at least gave the founder the name/idea. :wink:

Not having seen the show, I’m more interested in this Gollum of Warsaw. Would that be anything like the Golem of Prague? :slight_smile:

According to its Wiki entry they’re deliberately putting drama ahead of 100% historical accuracy. Even so, I found it a well made show. And I think it has already been picked up for 13 episodes.

More than the ‘putt-putt’ line, I don’t think it’s true that both the Army and Oppenheimer were committed to the thin man (i.e. plutonium gun) design. Because I seem to remember that they were positive that the Little Boy design (uranium gun) would work, but would require a lot of uranium 235 and be much less efficient, so they initially also gave equal effort to thin man and fat man (implosion). They knew implosion was going to be an immensely more complex design, but they then proved mathematically that not only would thin man require more plutonium but that in fact thin man would never work at all. The plutonium would fission so fast that the cylindrical ‘bullet’ core would blow apart before significant energy was released (i.e. it would always fizzle).

It’s possible I misheard. The reference was one scientist fearing they were creating a Golem that would destroy them as well as their enemies. The other replied “Have you heard about Warsaw?” – i.e., that the Jews there had already been destroyed.

As I said, I thought it was the best moment of the show. Had the other scenes had that much impact, I wouldn’t be picking nits over miniature golf.

Hail Ants, I didn’t question the debate over the designs, because I wasn’t sure at what stage of the project the series is set.

It was Prague, not Warsaw, that was mentioned. I didn’t hear the “putt-putt” line.

There were a couple of other anachronistic phrases and typefaces, but on balance I decided to probably watch again next week. I’ve always been fascinated by Los Alamos.

Spoiler !

Turns out he IS the f**ing hall monitor!

I watched about the first 2/3…and then fell asleep (it was a long day at Comic con). I was not terribly impressed nor “grabbed” by any of the characters. It kind of felt like a “pre-Mad Men” spinoff - an excuse to have soap opera drama in an even earlier period.
I was kind of put off by the location they picked for Los Alamos. The real Los Alamos is much more in the mountains, and not desert-like.

When the accusations of a spy were announced in the show (the missing pages from the file), one of the scientists says “we better alert Interpol”. So I wondered if Interpol was even around at that time. Which it was (US joining in 1938). BUT according to Wiki, Interpol was under the control of Nazi Germany at the time ! Oops !

I think the setting is potentially quite interesting, and the acting and production values and dialog was generally quite good. I was pretty put out at the Bad News Bears aspect of the ragtag gain of misfit nuclear scientists vs the slick overconfident other gang of nuclear scientists. Is there any truth to that at all?

My wife, who is a science educator, is convinced that there’s going to be some seriously-bad-science bullshit involving the flowers being the wrong color… another plot point where I’m unclear if it comes from actual history.

I think right at the opening (when the guy’s playing golf in the sandstorm) there’s a title graphic which states it’s 1943. And I think the idea of implosion was thought of earlier than that.

I too wasn’t crazy about the flower color thing. That plus the earlier scene with the army guy telling her they’re not allowed to grow vegetables in the soil. I’d hoped that the flower-color thing was just going to be a metaphor but it’s looking like it;s going to be a kind of cheesy, preachy ‘they didn’t know radiation was bad’ sort of thing…

Just watched it, it’s still getting set up so I’ll give it a go for a bit.

I’m hoping for the best. Radioactivity was known to be a mutagen in plants for 15 or 16 years. She’s a botanist married to a physicist working on a top-secret project. She’ll add two and two and want to get her kid out of there.

Yeah, I just watched it on DVR - the one fellow talked about the Golem of Prague, and the other fellow said “Have you been to Prague lately; there are no Jews there any more.”

there was a WWII, there was a military facility created at Los Alamos, Oppenheimer was the scientific director. they made a bomb.

the rest is fictional and loosely inspired by history.

The project also included Edward Teller, who was a certifiable loony who downplayed the dangers of fallout. I’m hoping that he’ll crop up in the series.