Chernobyl mini-series on HBO - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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post #1 of 46 Old 03-29-2019, 04:17 AM - Thread Starter
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Chernobyl mini-series on HBO

See the chilling first trailer for HBO's Chernobyl miniseries


HBO has released the first trailer for its miniseries Chernobyl, and it’s predictably intense. The trailer features nigh-apocalyptic imagery–birds falling out of the air, skies filled with smoke and fire–and plenty of chilling dialogue to match.


“A just world is a sane world,” intones the opening voice-over. “There was nothing sane about Chernobyl.”
The trailer also shows off the prestigious cast, including Stellan Skarsgård as the Soviet deputy prime minister, along with two-time Oscar nominee Emily Watson, and Mad Men‘s Jared Harris as nuclear physicists.


The five-episode miniseries is a dramatization of the 1986 Chernobyl disaster, during which a massive explosion at the Chernobyl power plant in the Soviet Union released radioactive material across the country and into Western Europe. The disaster remains the deadliest and costliest nuclear power plant accident in history.


Chernobyl premieres on HBO May 6. Watch the full trailer above.


https://ew.com/tv/2019/03/28/hbo-che...eries-trailer/

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post #2 of 46 Old 03-29-2019, 04:18 AM - Thread Starter
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Looks pretty good.


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post #3 of 46 Old 05-07-2019, 04:31 AM - Thread Starter
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Chernobyl is totally bleak and totally essential: EW review

Not a laugh riot, Chernobyl is not a title that prepares you for good times and happy puppies. Though there are some puppies — oh god, I can’t talk about it! The horror of the 1986 Chernobyl disaster is unthinkable, a cosmic event that infects the atmosphere and invades the blood. And yet I enjoyed the five-episode HBO miniseries, debuting tonight at 9 p.m. in the network shadow of Game of Thrones. It stares straight into the core of the matter. It makes the horror thinkable.

If you’re a Thrones viewer, you’ve seen those previews of Chernobyl, all frowny-freaky images of bespectacled Jared Harris pondering unfathomable radiation horror. Be scared, but don’t be scared away. The series is a vivid and detailed retelling of the cataclysm. It begins as a near-real-time thriller, following the confused reactions of various people standing way too close to the nuclear reactor. The timeline expands as the episodes progress, encompassing the official actions of the Soviet government and the attempt to understand what went wrong.

Harris plays Valery Legasov, a true-life chemist who helped lead the response to the calamity. Valery dies by suicide in the first scene, setting a deathly tone that lingers as the series flashes back to the titular power plant on the night everything went wrong.

There’s a scene that occurs constantly in the opening episodes. Someone will walk into a room — an engineer, a scientist, Valery, maybe a nuclear physicist — and they will say something like: The reactor has exploded. And the other person in the room — a middle manager, a boss, some Soviet functionary or other — will say something like: That’s not possible. Radiation seeps into the atmosphere, and fireman spray water hoses. Skin turns burnt red, and then turns other colors, and officials insist everything is going fine. Chernobyl takes pains to portray the event as a specific disaster of anti-expertise, of egotistical politicians disregarding every smart thing every smart person around them is saying.

Sound timely? Chernobyl becomes a compelling dark comedy when its attention shifts to the hallways of power, where Mikhail Gorbachev (David Dencik) and the Soviet apparatus constantly fails to respond appropriately. Russia circa 1986 is “a nation that is obsessed with not being humiliated,” says Borys Shcherbyna (splendid Stellan Skarsgård), a grandee at Gorbachev’s table paired with the bookish Valery for a mission that will more or less kill them both.

I know, I know, this all sounds depressing, and I haven’t even mentioned Vasily (Adam Nagaitis), the fireman from Pripyat called with his company to the reactor, or Vasily’s wife Lyudmila (Jessie Buckley), whose own tragic journey is one of many ticking time bombs throughout the miniseries. They’re both true-life people, and the dense realism of Chernobyl gives the show a freakish close-up terror. The director is Johan Renck, who helmed an early episode of The Walking Dead and some hours of Breaking Bad. This miniseries doesn’t have too many flourishes, and doesn’t need them. Whenever Vasily explains the statistics involved — the scope of the environmental disaster, the possibility of a meltdown seeping into the water supply — the scares are tangible.

Creator-writer Craig Mazin finds several intriguing approaches onto his subject matter. Valery and Borys make a compelling duo, the former a totalitarian lifer facing a tragedy that propaganda can’t fix, the latter a sensitive man of science adrift in a political environment that’s plenty invasive without the radiation. They’re trying to fix a busted nuclear power plant — and being followed all along by the KGB. Chernobyl spreads its attention to the local residents, and the miners called in to quick-fix a meltdown deterrent, and the soldiers tasked with clearing out the infected creatures from the dead zone.

Emily Watson also stars as Ulyana Khomyuk, a physicist who becomes the key figure in the investigation (and another target for the KGB). I gather that Ulyana is a composite character, and her arc tries to staple the show’s disparate parts together, wandering freely into other subplots. Watson’s giving a sincere performance, but you feel the character’s been given the most painfully loadbearing lines. “Someone has to start telling the truth,” she says in the fourth episode — a hopeful statement, almost a tagline, but by that point the surveillance is so omnipresent you can’t quite believe anyone would say words that direct. (For an entirely factual look at the event, I recommend Adam Higginbotham’s urgent, exciting Midnight in Chernobyl.)


The show’s best in small moments, suggesting subtly how Chernobyl revealed the existing horrors of a political system that would flail off history’s stage just a few years later. A man dying from radiation poisoning in a Moscow hospital asks his wife to describe what she sees out the window. She describes Red Square, the Kremlin, St. Basil’s — and we see, from her perspective, a bland building. “I told you I’d show you Moscow,” the man says. Maybe he knows she’s lying; either way, it’s a poem.

I found myself crying at random moments for not-so-obvious reasons: A master shot of the poisonous reactor, men wearing surgical masks that are obviously impotent against atomic invasion, Stalinist dormitories left empty after evacuation. This is the subject matter of science-fiction, of enviro-freakouts like Stalker or Annihilation. And it is a story of government cover-ups, of inconvenient facts controlled toward oblivion by the powerful.

The most compelling figure in the miniseries is the coal miners’ crew chief, a character whose name I’m not even sure we ever properly hear. (It’s “Glukhov,” HBO informs me.) He’s played by Alex Ferns with gruff fatalism, a look in his eyes like the slow creep of radiation sickness isn’t the worst death he’s imagined for himself. His men are working right underneath the Chernobyl plant, with fragile protective gear they have to toss when the supernova heat becomes unbearable. “When this is over,” he says, pointing toward his men, “Will they be looked after?” “I don’t know,” Borys says. Sad words, but at least someone’s being honest, for once. A-

https://ew.com/tv-reviews/2019/05/06...rnobyl-review/
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post #4 of 46 Old 05-07-2019, 05:23 AM
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This is one one the best things on tv I have ever seen based on watching the first episode. I love these true life accounts and this is one of the best. I also recommend the HBO produced podcast after each episode where they interview the writer and director. He tried to keep everything as close to actual as possible to honor the dead and the podcast explains what is different from the real events (not much). The acting was great. After a brief prelude it starts right in at the moment of the explosion at 1:23:45 am. The events leading up to this are in a later episode. Horrific and disturbing yet fascinating and riveting.
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post #5 of 46 Old 05-08-2019, 07:22 AM
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I'm hooked... first episode rocked. Very intense... even scary. Looking forward to the rest.

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post #6 of 46 Old 05-08-2019, 09:34 AM - Thread Starter
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This actually is kind of scary, knowing that place is not that far away.
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post #7 of 46 Old 05-08-2019, 10:27 AM
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Not to worry. Everything there will be fine again in about 20,000 years.




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post #8 of 46 Old 05-08-2019, 07:53 PM
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Not to worry. Everything there will be fine again in about 20,000 years.




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I just had this crazy urge to take my shirt off.
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post #9 of 46 Old 05-10-2019, 12:10 PM
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I just had this crazy urge to take my shirt off.
Might just as well -- it won't protect from radiation burns anyway.

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post #10 of 46 Old 05-10-2019, 12:23 PM
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Might just as well -- it won't protect from radiation burns anyway.
Did anyone else listen to the podcast? Wow - that makes me want to go back and watch the first episode again. It has had me Googling Chernobyl stories all day long.

During one of the control room scenes, my wife commented on how old everything looked. The podcast shares how they used photos from the original control room, and they designed this one to look as exact as possible. The director said that some folks from Chernobyl survived this encounter, and they would watch this miniseries - and he wanted them to notice the attention to detail and say, "Wow - these folks really cared about the accuracy of this." They really did have accounts of a fireman picking up a block of graphite. They really did report tasting metal. Even lines used in the actual control room were used in the series.

They explain that they chose not to use Russian accents when filming, because they can often sound comical, like Boris and Natasha. This was not a funny story, so they elected to skip accents entirely. The podcast, just like the show, was extremely well done.
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post #11 of 46 Old 05-10-2019, 12:56 PM
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I just had this crazy urge to take my shirt off.
I know I speak for all your friends here when I say we appreciate your restraint.
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post #12 of 46 Old 05-10-2019, 01:28 PM
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post #13 of 46 Old 05-10-2019, 03:08 PM
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yeah that DF Oink would say you "demonizing the bear".

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post #14 of 46 Old 05-10-2019, 03:18 PM
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Saw an article recently about tourism there. Looks like someone did their baby photos lol.

https://www.chicagotribune.com/lifes...416-story.html

This show sounds good but I don't have HBO, any legal way to see it without HBO?

Dang its $15 a month? Man that seems steep. Maybe I will just wait until the show has aired and then watch it during the free trial.
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post #15 of 46 Old 05-10-2019, 04:33 PM
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you can get a free 7 day trial of HBO Now, then $14.99 month.
https://www.hbo.com/order

Just wait til the 5 episodes of Chernobyl are over then sign up. You can binge watch Game of Thrones and Chernobyl in 7 days if you're dedicated enough
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post #16 of 46 Old 05-11-2019, 12:16 PM
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you can get a free 7 day trial of HBO Now, then $14.99 month.
https://www.hbo.com/order

Just wait til the 5 episodes of Chernobyl are over then sign up. You can binge watch Game of Thrones and Chernobyl in 7 days if you're dedicated enough
Yeah I will probably do that. Not a GoT fan so no worries there.
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post #17 of 46 Old 05-13-2019, 07:17 PM
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The 1st two episodes have been A+ television on nearly all accounts. I’m not sure it even matters if it’s not 100% accurate, because in the end the message is one that everyone (I hope) can understand.
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post #18 of 46 Old 05-14-2019, 04:10 AM - Thread Starter
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The 1st two episodes have been A+ television on nearly all accounts. I’m not sure it even matters if it’s not 100% accurate, because in the end the message is one that everyone (I hope) can understand.
Agreed, this show is amazing. Sooooo well done. Kudos to all involved, they knocked it out of the park.

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post #19 of 46 Old 05-14-2019, 07:38 AM
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I'm agreeing as well. It says a lot that the show is seemingly minimizing the SFX shots - no big fireballs, no booming music - just trying to show the events as those involved experienced it. After last night's episode, I watched the "Inside the episode" feature, where the creators talked about filming the sluice gate scene using only the workers' flashlights to light it, so it really pulls you into the action. I gotta tell you - that was scary to me!

And I had done quite a bit of Wikipedia reading after last week's episode too, which made last night's ep even more fun to watch. When the helicopter was flying around the reactor to dump the sand and boron, I noticed that the tower was painted red and white just like the photos I had seen of the actual site. It was impressive!
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post #20 of 46 Old 05-14-2019, 08:30 AM
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You guys have me interested for sure. Sounds like HBO still does things the broadcast way and drops shows once a week.
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post #21 of 46 Old 05-14-2019, 09:08 AM - Thread Starter
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This show gets my wife's must watch show of the week. When it was done she turned to me and said, "Please tell me we have another one to watch."

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Very well done show, lots of ignorance and denial on the Russians part.

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post #23 of 46 Old 05-14-2019, 10:08 AM
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Re the denials, it was also interesting to see that when the member of Gorbachev's investigatory committee (who flew to Chernobyl with the professor) did finally recognize the danger the professor was espousing, it was incredible how quickly the Russians pulled together a large bus caravan to evacuate the city AND set up the sand/boron drops; seemingly within the course of a day or so, based on the timeline I think I recall from the second episode.
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Re the denials, it was also interesting to see that when the member of Gorbachev's investigatory committee (who flew to Chernobyl with the professor) did finally recognize the danger the professor was espousing, it was incredible how quickly the Russians pulled together a large bus caravan to evacuate the city AND set up the sand/boron drops; seemingly within the course of a day or so, based on the timeline I think I recall from the second episode.


Once they couldn’t contain it, the actions were all but necessary. The comment “we are only as strong as we look” hit the nail on the head for what happened. The icing was that the scientists finally had someone in power to back them up. Once the inevitable (your death) is given to you in a finite timeline it does change your perspective while those on the outside may see things as “not so bad”. It’s “scary” how quickly things fell in line and subversion of what was “in your face” to ensure that the nation remained “strong” looking.
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post #25 of 46 Old 05-15-2019, 12:06 PM
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Gorbachev did say that Chernobyl was the beginning of the fall of the Soviet Union. The writer did say in the episode podcast that the bus convoy consisted of 2000 buses, all the buses in Kiev. The people did as they were told and got on the buses with no problems even though no pets were allowed.

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Amazingly good show on some seriously upsetting subject matter. I was 14 when this originally went down so I wasn't paying a lot of attention to it. I do remember it coming out later about the attempt to cover it up and deny it to the world but that's pretty hard to do when nuclear winter blows in and starts killing people. Glad there's discussion here. Regarding the show specifically I'm just aghast at the lack of understanding what they're dealing with on most people's parts and I'm talking about how everyone except for the one nurse has no clue that they're being hit with super toxic levels of radiation. I'm not claiming to be captain encyclopedia, far from it actually, but if I were living next to a nuclear power plant I'd make it my business to read up as best as I could on how it works. Or even common sense like the fireman's wife saying how it didn't "look right". You think? The air is glowing!! And then the futility of the first res ponders, the firefighters, soldiers, paramedics, hospital workers. Very sad. Yet I can't wait to see the next episode. Blah, there's human nature for you.

Very lazy question, what is the source of the PodCast? Thank you!

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Amazingly good show on some seriously upsetting subject matter. I was 14 when this originally went down so I wasn't paying a lot of attention to it. I do remember it coming out later about the attempt to cover it up and deny it to the world but that's pretty hard to do when nuclear winter blows in and starts killing people. Glad there's discussion here. Regarding the show specifically I'm just aghast at the lack of understanding what they're dealing with on most people's parts and I'm talking about how everyone except for the one nurse has no clue that they're being hit with super toxic levels of radiation. I'm not claiming to be captain encyclopedia, far from it actually, but if I were living next to a nuclear power plant I'd make it my business to read up as best as I could on how it works. Or even common sense like the fireman's wife saying how it didn't "look right". You think? The air is glowing!! And then the futility of the first res ponders, the firefighters, soldiers, paramedics, hospital workers. Very sad. Yet I can't wait to see the next episode. Blah, there's human nature for you.

Very lazy question, what is the source of the PodCast? Thank you!
It is an HBO produced podcast. Available on iTunes, HBOgo, HBONow, etc. It is called “The Chernobyl Podcast”.

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Thank you.

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post #29 of 46 Old 05-15-2019, 06:02 PM
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The first two episodes are stellar. The music is perfect, a kind of unsettling drone. And I'm glad they shot it in an almost documentary style, it really makes everything feel that much more real.

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post #30 of 46 Old 05-15-2019, 11:13 PM
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The first two episodes are stellar. The music is perfect, a kind of unsettling drone. And I'm glad they shot it in an almost documentary style, it really makes everything feel that much more real.
Hildur Gudnadottir to Score HBO’s & Sky’s ‘Chernobyl’

https://filmmusicreporter.com/2019/0...o-be-released/
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