SANTA FE, New Mexico — FatMan and Little Boy ended WWII and saved countless American lives, but most people don’t know anything about the secret race to create the first nuclear weapons before our enemies.
Every Sunday night, tune in to WREG as ‘Manhatten’ takes you back to the Cold War and the race for atomic and nuclear weapons.
“At its heart, this is not a show about nuclear physics or even history. This is a show about the complications in the lives of people doing their very best to try and get by in a really complicated circumstance,” said series creator Sam Shaw.
In today’s society, there’s another race involving nuclear material: how to get rid of it, and who should be responsible.
Mississippi is one of several states proposing a nuclear waste facility.
It would store and recycle the dangerous material in the southern part of the state.
While the project would bring in lots of cash, environmentalists are worried about the dangers that come with it.
Actor John Benjamin Hickey says the concern shows how much America changed in the last 70 years when nobody even knew about the Manhattan Project in Los Alamos, New Mexico.
“The fact that we could build a town in the middle of the country and no one knew what we were doing is an interesting look back at our not-so-distant history,” said Hickey.
The set in Santa Fe is actually 45 minutes from Los Alamos where the Manhattan project took place, and before it was turned into a television set, it was a real hospital where some of the scientists, their families and the troops were treated if they had medical emergencies.
Environmentalist fear future emergencies due to possible nuclear waste plant in Mississippi.
The show also focuses on the secrets governments keep, and that’s something producer and director Thomas Schlamme says is still happening.
“We were just reading the paper today about Wikileaks and Edward Snowden and the NSA and transparency and what you should know and whenever you talk about those things, it leads right back here to the desert in 1943 where all this took place,” said Schlamme.
Series star Daniel Stern also feels the show brings to light questions everyone should at least consider.
“As artists and television makers if we do anything to help move the conversation along and I think this brings that up and you can’t have a better time to have that conversation,” said Stern.
The Manhattan project was a secret for a long time, but the secret is out and you can catch it Sunday night after the 10 p.m. news on WREG.