I can’t recall writing a review for a TV series, but having just finished one of the highest rated TV series on IMDB, I felt like writing one. I’e kept it relatively spoiler free.
On April 26, 1986, the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant in Ukraine, Soviet Union suffered a massive explosion that released radioactive material across Belarus, Russia and Ukraine and as far as Scandinavia and western Europe. Chernobyl dramatizes the story of the 1986 accident, one of the worst man-made catastrophes in history, and the sacrifices made to save Europe from the unimaginable disaster.
I think we have all heard about the disaster at Chernobyl. Pripyat has been featured in tonnes of movies and games and the ferris wheel there is visible.
Chernobyl, which featured on Sky and HBO, is a five-part drama that focuses on one of the worst nuclear disasters in history. The series tells the story of several individuals who helped out during the disaster, most of whom died in the years that followed.
Two of the main characters are Valery Legasov (played by Jared Harris) and Boris Shcherbina (Stellan Skarsgård) who were both responsible for the clean-up efforts as well as investigating the cause behind the explosion.
What really hit me about the series was the fear, not of dying due to nuclear radiation, but of the repercussions of failure in the old Soviet Union. Mistakes were punished and the fear of punishment took a disaster that should been rectified in 24 hours ended up taking 9 days. 9 days of nuclear radiation spreading with the wind which has today created an Exclusion Zone covering over 2,600 square kilometres!
What really amazed me is the selfless acts of many, especially the miners and the three “divers” who did it less out of fear and more out of love.
The story is relatively slow paced and has been designed to patiently watch it. I think it could have been slightly faster paced. The acting is good especially given the seriousness throughout. And the display of the sick people was uncomfortable a lot of time given how real it all looked. I don’t think I’m taking a tour of Chernobyl or the Exclusion anytime soon.
If you haven’t watched it yet, try to grab it while you still can. It’s on NOW TV for those in the UK and have a subscription. Else hopefully it finds its way to Netflix or Amazon Prime in the near future.
My rating: 9/10