Chernobyl on HBO and Sky Atlantic dramatises the real story of the Chernobyl nuclear plant disaster in Ukraine, 1986. The five-part series will conclude on Monday, June 3 on HBO and Tuesday, June 4 on Sky Atlantic. Viewers in the UK can watch the highly anticipated series on NOW TV right now and the Sky Go app.
Where is Chernobyl set?
Chernobyl is set in the small town of Pripyat, Ukraine, 1986.
Pripyat was home to the Chernobyl nuclear power plant and was mainly home to those who were employed at the plant.
The series kicks off exactly two years and one day after the explosion occurred in April 1986, at the home of Soviet inorganic scientist Valery Legasov (played by Jarred Harris).
The miniseries then flashes back to the initial explosion and the five-episode series dramatises the aftermath of the man-made disaster.
Not only is the human scale of the disaster portrayed, but the Soviet government’s coverup of the disaster is also played out on screen.
Ukraine at the time was under Soviet rule and therefore it was the Soviet government which headed the investigation into the Chernobyl disaster.
Soviet satellite states such as Belarus feature in the series alongside the USSR’s capital, Moscow.
Other countries also appear including Sweden, Germany and the UK.
WHO IS IN THE CAST OF CHERNOBYL?
The actors in Chernobyl do not speak with a Russian accent, a conscious choice made by the shows creator Craig Mazin and director Johan Renck.
The Russian language is intentionally included in each episode with no subtitles and the actors speak with their native accents.
Speaking to press in London, including Express.co.uk, Mazin explained: “If we make it in a different language, we are narrowing it to people that speak that language and we don’t, so right off the bat there is a bit of a disconnect there and we felt that not only did we not want to get performances and performers we could connect with and so move them through the story together.
“Even talking about accents we didn’t want to mess around with any of that either really and just to speak in a way that felt natural to you because, in the end, the language should disappear.”
HOW MANY EPISODES ARE IN CHERNOBYL?
Where is Chernobyl filmed?
Chernobyl was mainly filmed at Chernobyl’s sister power plant, Ignalina in Lithuania.
Filming took place in the spring and summer of 2018.
Ignalina is situated in the town of Vilnius, which represented Pripyat in the seires.
The powerplant is currently in the stages of decommissioning as part of the country’s condition to join the European Union.
Mazin revealed to press including Express.co.uk that shooting in Lithuania was at time difficult.
He explained: “It was difficult. They are decommissioning it [Ignalina]. I think they had said they had decommissioned it but one day we couldn’t shoot there because they were moving stuff around, so sounds like they are still decommissioning it but it is not a normal shoot day when you show up and work and you hand over your passport and they keep it. It was pretty intense.”
Mazin said that, as Lithuania has come so far from Soviet rule, the crew were tasked with transforming areas back into the Soviet era of the 1980s.
He said: “The Lithuanians are amazing. They gave us a great head start. They have become a part of Europe, they have come a long long way and it was about going backwards and peeling things away. We could not have done that without all of them.”
WHEN WILL CHERNOBYL BE SAFE TO LIVE IN?
Director Johan Renck revealed to press in London that he even filmed on top of the power plant’s roof.
He said filming at Ignalina guaranteed Chernobyl’s authenticity, something which was very important.
Some members of the cast and crew got to film some scenes in the real reactor room itself at Ignalina.
The city of Kaunas in Lithuania was chosen to replicate Soviet Moscow, where many of the hospital scenes were filmed.
In the hospital, the firemen were asked to dump their clothes in a room which is still there today,
Mazin explained: “You cannot walk around the basement of the hospital unattended. It is weird because you walk around there and below is something mildly radioactive, very radioactive, there. A piece of the boot has a huge amount of fuel, that is how exposed those guys were. “
Chernobyl airs Mondays on HBO and Tuesdays on Sky Atlantic
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