Move Over Game of Thrones
The human imagination is ingeniously inventive with creating Army’s of the Dead or heroes-tragically-turned-to-villains, but what’s truly terrifying are real historical events that no one thought possible.
Enter Chernobyl: Worst Nuclear Disaster in Human History
April 26, 1986. A botched safety test of the nuclear reactor’s backup power generators and water cooling system resulted in a catastrophic explosion at the Chernobyl Power Plant located near Pripyat in Soviet Ukraine.
The explosion “released nearly 400 times more radioactive material into Earth’s atmosphere than the atomic bomb dropped on Hiroshima,” and in terms of casualties and economic costs, is the worst nuclear power plant disaster in modern history.
But why did the reactor explode? And how did the soviets respond? And just how bad was it? The truth is both shocking and compelling, and so far, the Chernobyl Miniseries is right on cue with telling this epic disaster story.
Fear. Lies. Misinformation.
There is no beating around the bush with this mini series, created by Craig Mazin and directed by Johan Renck, and right away they establish that a nuclear reactor has exploded and is releasing unimaginable amounts of lethal radiation.
What is more shocking is what immediately follows the accident: the head engineer and plant manager’s denial of facts. Consequently, they report misinformation and lies to both their comrades, superiors, and the local civilian population, hiding the truth of just how dire the situation really is. Perhaps motivated out of fear of reprisals from superiors as a consequence of the soviet, bureaucratic system, or perhaps ignorance (or both), what is painfully clear is that lies cannot stop the deadly truth of radiation.
Did that really happen?
This disaster could have only happened in the Soviet Union, but only the Soviet Union could have solved this problem. —Craig Mazin
On their face, some of the scenes are unbelievable and I was left wondering, did that really happen? This is just Hollywood being Hollywood, right? Wrong! The creators and producers have done their homework. It’s documented and well researched. This really happened folks.
Of course they have taken a few creative liberties. For instance Ulana Khomyuk, a Soviet Nuclear Physicist played by Emily Watson, is a fictional character, yet she enshrines several real stories of soviet scientists and physicists who responded to the Chernobyl disaster and stopped what potentially could have been far worse.
If there is any doubt, feel free to research. The Chernobyl Podcast is a good place to start. Just watching each episode is not enough and don’t be surprised if you find yourself spending several hours and even less sleep absorbing everything you can find out about Chernobyl.
Three Million Billion Trillion Bullets
“Chernobyl” is a monumental docudrama based on facts and real people masterfully interwoven together into a compelling story that will leave you on the edge, starving for more. The acting is flawless, and coupled with the set designs and superb attention to detail, presents a rawness that also captures the Soviet soul. It begins with a bang and delivers a tour de force of suspense and drama.
Move over GOT, you’ve just been usurped by what I think is the pinnacle HBO series of 2019.