Manhattan (2014–2015)
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The Prisoner's Dilemma 

Frank's attempt to save his team brings serious consequences. The scientists' wives find creative ways to survive life on The Hill.

Director:

Thomas Schlamme

Writers:

Sam Shaw (created by), Sam Shaw | 2 more credits »
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Cast

Episode cast overview, first billed only:
Rachel Brosnahan ... Abby Isaacs
Michael Chernus ... Louis 'Fritz' Fedowitz
Christopher Denham ... Jim Meeks
Alexia Fast ... Callie Winter
Katja Herbers ... Helen Prins
John Benjamin Hickey ... Frank Winter
Harry Lloyd ... Paul Crosley
Daniel Stern ... Glen Babbit
Olivia Williams ... Liza Winter
Ashley Zukerman ... Charlie Isaacs
David Harbour ... Reed Akley
Eddie Shin ... Sid Liao
Richard Schiff ... Occam
Mark Moses ... Col. Alden Cox
Carole Weyers ... Elodie
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Storyline

Frank's attempt to save his team brings serious consequences. The scientists' wives find creative ways to survive life on The Hill.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Drama | History | War

Certificate:

TV-14
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

3 August 2014 (USA) See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

16:9 HD
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Although the series is a highly fictionalised version of the story of the making of the atomic bomb, the basic concepts addressed are the same. The competition between the two teams is based around theoretical concepts of how to make a functioning weapon. In order for a mass of radioactive material to explode, it needs to reach criticality, meaning there's so much of it in one place that the chain reaction which drives the explosion can no longer be controlled. The original, "orthodox" concept on which Akley's team is working is the "uranium gun" model, which involved literally building a cannon inside the bomb casing, which then fired a uranium plug into a larger uranium mass, forcing the total mass to reach criticality. This model was based on the weaker element uranium which meant it needed much more material to work, was not very powerful, and it was the bomb-making equivalent of using a sledge hammer to make it go bang. Winter's team is working on a much more advanced concept: the plutonium implosion bomb needed much less radioactive material, and was based on a design which wrapped the plutonium in high explosive. When the explosive detonated, the force was directed inwards, compressing the plutonium and causing it to reach criticality due to the atoms being squashed closer together. It was far more efficient and far more powerful, and is the design on which modern nuclear weapons are based. Historically, the two bomb types were produced in tandem because of doubts that they would both work according to their designs. So in the end, the Trinity test used an implosion design, as was Fat Man dropped on Nagasaki. But they also had a uranium gun weapon called Little Boy, and they dropped that on Hiroshima. Trinity's blast yield was the equivalent of about 22 kilotons of TNT, while Little Boy's was 15 kt, and Fat Man's was 21 kt. See more »

Goofs

Charlie Isaacs says to Frank Winter "You're afraid I'm the meteor that will make you go extinct" and Frank replies "What is it with little boys and dinosaurs?". Both Charlie and Frank refer to the theory that the dinosaurs went extinct because of a meteor impact, but that theory first surfaced in the 1980s, and was certainly not known in the early 1940s when the above dialogue is set. See more »

Connections

References The Wizard of Oz (1939) See more »

Soundtracks

Ramblin' Cowboy
(uncredited)
Traditional
Performed by Carson Robison
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User Reviews

 
My personal experiences at Los Alamos
7 August 2014 | by fvaamvSee all my reviews

As a scientist ,white badge, in 1945 in Los Alamos, I find little in the series that resembles Los Alamos or the Manhattan project I knew. . The road to Los Alamos was paved and the directions given me in Santa Fe were very clear and easy to follow. however the last part of the road was steep and winding up the side of the mesa. We were never prisoners. Many times I drove to Santa Fe, nearby Indian pueblos, or for hikes without interference of any kind. The idea of plutonium samples arriving in a taxi in a crate of oranges is absurd.. The sample would not come from the Met (Metallurgical lab in Chicago,but from the graphite reactor in Oak Ridge. The scientific staff I saw at Los Alamos was a spirited team,led by an inspiring,knowledgeable, and thoughtful leader, Robert Oppenheimer.The security people I saw were tough but respectful of science and the staff. There were many more discordance's in this soap opera.


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