It's the 1940s and the world is at war. People are dying everyday in a land far, far away. And a group of scientists have military orders to figure out a way to stop the violence, end the war, and bring American soldiers back safely. That is the world of the Manhattan project. Physicists, members of the military and their families move to Los Alamos, New Mexico, expecting an exciting new life only to find themselves confined to a small, unknown town unable to reach anyone in the outside world. Dr. Frank Winters leads a small group of misfits working on the implosion theory while Dr. Charlie Isaacs falls in line behind Dr. Reed Akley and his Thinman project. The two of them quickly realize that they are each others opponents and secrets from their pasts begin to surface, slowly building tension between the two groups with each episode. Throw in the fact that their wives are either scared or outraged at their spouses, the military, and themselves because they feel trapped and are unable to do anything about it. And to top it all off, the American government is breathing down everyone's neck, expecting a solution as quickly as possible from the scientists and interrogating anyone who could be working against them. This type of environment breeds instability and every episode demonstrates how close to the brink each character is. What will become of the two teams? Will they succeed? And will there be any "normal" families by the end of it?
Manhattan is super dramatic and emotional which can lure people in but if you are wanting the actual history behind the project, this series is probably not for you. As the television series is loosely based on the lives of the scientists living in Los Alamos, the storyline is a nonstop series of mistakes, affairs and lies and will lead you on a chase to figure out what exactly is truth or fiction. I became hooked but that was mainly because the characters were fascinating to me whereas the science behind it all was over my head. I would suggest this as a show similar to Mad Men.