Chernobyl is an HBO limited serie which was a real success after its release in 2019.
The story takes place in Chernobyl in Ukraine, starring Jared Harris, Stellan Skarsgard and Emily Watson, it traces the events of one of the most dramatic disasters in history : the explosion, in 1986, of a reactor at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant in the Soviet Union.
The series received a lot of Golden Globes and Emmy nominations for Best Music, Best Actors and Actress, Best Directing and Best Mini Series . Despite its success and reputation for reconstructing the Chernobyl disaster, some moments of the show are modified and don’t correspond to the reality of the true events. Changes in certain facts sparked discontent and controversy, with Russia accusing the series of exaggerating the responsability of the Soviet authorities in the disaster. Some journalists even said that the series is made only to criticize and devalue the Soviet Union.
The series focuses on three characters who helped not only prevent further disasters but also understand how such a catastrophe could have happened. Valeri Legassov, a scientist specialized in reactors, Boris Schcherbina and Ulana Khomyuk (who is fictional character cretaed to represent the group of researchers who helped Legassov in order to simplify the series) arguably played the most important role in this case. Thanks to them we now know that the accident which struck Chernobyl was not a coincidence but a mistake due to the incompetence of the nuclear power plant chiefs. Moreover, the last episode mainly focuses on the trial of the three men who were responsible for the disaster : the two plant chiefs and the chief engineer.
During the five episodes, Chernobyl traces the events of what happened before and after the explosion as well as government pressure to hide the case from the rest of the world.
It’s a dark and moving series that really wants to show the harsh reality. Its authenticity and its connection to history allows us to truly immerse ourselves in one of the greatest catastrophes of the twentieth century.
I was very surprised to love this series so much and to have followed it to the end because the scientific field is not something I am particularly interested in. But I eventually ended up being really captivated by the show which I think, will leave anyone speechless after every single scene.