It is evident that the set and costume designers of the WGN America drama Manhattan put much thought into staying true to the 1943 era. The series premiered in July 2014 and follows the lives of those in Los Alamos, NM, as they race to build the world’s first nuclear bomb to help end World War II. The second season is set to debut in the fall.
In this feaurette, the cast and crew express the importance of such a set being surrounded by authentic scenery. “Every piece of the set is a piece of history,” says Rachel Brosnahan, who plays Abby Isaacs, about Ruth Ammon’s production design. “It adds a layer of authenticity that you can’t pretend into existence.” Costume designer Alonzo V. Wilson adds: “It’s dusty, so the shoes are dusty, everything is real. … You can’t avoid it, so you have to embrace it and then figure out how it becomes part of the character.”