In April 1986, a huge explosion erupted at the Chernobyl nuclear power station in northern Ukraine. This series follows the stories of the men and women, who tried to contain the disaster, as well as those who gave their lives preventing a subsequent and unthinkably worse one.
The city of Pripyat - about 1.2 miles (2 km) from the power plant - sits almost exactly as it was left on April 27, 1986, at 2 p.m. Soviet authorities initially ordered a temporary three-day evacuation just three hours in advance, and advised residents to pack only their vital personal belongings. Believing they would be returning shortly, the city was essentially abandoned in place. During the clean-up operation, though, most of the furniture, cars and other belongings were looted and illegally removed from the exclusion zone. When the people of Chernobyl were evacuated, they were informed that they would only be going away for a few weeks while the Power Plant was fixed. That turned out to not be what happened, and so the city sits exactly as it was left in 1986. See more »
My husband grew up near Kyiv and his father drove one of the buses that evacuated the civilians from Pripyat. I have heard his stories of the disaster; the people's concerns, fears and sacrifices. We watch this together and he is amazed at it's authenticity. The set detail, the way the Soviet regime hierarchy functioned, the denial and secrecy surrounding the disaster. He tried (as he usually does when watching a Western production based in or about that part of the world) to find errors or inconsistencies but has not been able to - yet.
The acting is impeccable by all, the filming is top notch, the sounds used to heighten the tension versus music. The way they are able to capture that exact feeling of anxiety, horror, disgust and sadness all rolled into one is admirable.
I have completed the series and it definitely ranks as one of the best. This story has been waiting to be told and there is hands down no one better than HBO to do it. Russia has said it intends to produce its own Chernobyl program, it will be interesting to compare the two. Theirs will purportedly label the CIA as the perpetrator....
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