While some believe the show to be a smear campaign on Russian authorities – such as the Russians who are making their own version that blames the CIA – the general acceptance is that Chernobyl pays the utmost respect to those affected in the incident.
But just how accurate is it? If you were to play side-by-side footage of real documentation and the HBO/Sky show, how different would everything look?
Well, someone’s done that and as it turns out, Craig Mazin did a wonderful job of retelling the story as well as possible…
There are a few changes, obviously, but most of them seem to be a director taking creative liberties for cinematic effect.
In the grand scheme of things, there’s really no difference between normal-dressed men hosing down roads and men dressed in hazmat suits, the latter just looks better.
Similarly, the truck spraying water on the road; while the real one just sprayed ahead, the HBO one sprayed everywhere and in general, makes for a much better shot without actually changing the story.
I’ve not a clue though why they made that buggy have two extra wheels in the show, though.
Speaking on the accompanying Chernobyl Podcast, director Craig Mazin spoke about the research conducted in order to make as reliable a representation as possible. He said:
“If I have a choice between going for something that sounds dramatic or something that sounds less dramatic, I actually try to opt for less because I think what is dramatic about Chernobyl doesn’t need extra.
Believe it or not, this is the restrained version of what actually happened because believe it or not, there are some accounts where it gets even worse.”
Meanwhile, Emily Watson’s Ulana Khomyuk – the nuclear physicist – wasn’t actually a real person, and more of an amalgamation of all of the people who worked to find out what went wrong at Chernobyl and how to fix it as best they could.
Chernobyl is rated the best TV series ever on IMDb, so obviously something Mazin did worked.
Images via HBO, Thomas Flight
Alfie Powell joined as an apprentice and was probably hired because he was likely the only person who applied. He's been blagging his way through writing articles for four years now and he's definitely showing signs of slowing down. When not writing for The Hook, Alfie finds time to indulge in his favourite hobbies, such as drinking and sitting down.Follow