Just the name “Chernobyl” is enough to evoke a sense of dread. The new HBO miniseries Chernobyl is diving deep into why that dread exists. Written and executive produced by Craig Mazin in The Hangover writer’s first foray into drama, and starring Jared Harris, Stellan Skarsgard and Emily Watson, Chernobyl is a five-part miniseries that dramatizes the 1986 nuclear disaster that devastated the small, now-abandoned Ukrainian town of Pripyat and released radioactive material across Belarus, Russia, and Ukraine and as far as Scandinavia and western Europe. The new Chernobyl trailer explores the fallout of that explosion, and the dozens of victims that it claimed during and after the fact.
Hollywood has given plenty of fictional disasters the blockbuster treatment, but when it comes to a real-life disaster, only a sobering and unnerving series like Chernobyl would do it justice. The trailer is as harrowing as they come, with Stellan Skarsgard’s Soviet Deputy Prime Minister Boris Shcherbina, the government official leading the commission on the Chernobyl incident, slowly realizing the gravity of the situation while Jared Harris’ Valery Legasov, the leading Soviet nuclear physicist who was part of the response team, tries to contain the disaster as much as possible. Meanwhile, Emily Watson’s Ulana Khomyuk is Soviet nuclear physicist trying to figure out what caused this situation, in a sort of investigative mystery plot that runs parallel to the steadily escalating disaster of the radiation poisoning.
The rest of the cast includes Paul Ritter (Lovesick) as Chernobyl deputy chief engineer Anatoly Dyatlov; Jessie Buckley (Beast) as Lyudmilla Ignatenko, a Pripyat resident married to a firefighter on the first response team; Adrian Rawlins (Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows) as Chernobyl chief engineer Nikolai Fomin; and Con O’Neill (Harlots) as plant director Viktor Bryukhanov. Sam Troughton (The Ritual), Adam Nagaitis (The Terror), Barry Keoghan (Dunkirk), Ralph Ineson (Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince), Mark Lewis Jones (Star Wars: Episode VIII – The Last Jedi), Fares Fares (Westworld), and David Densik (McMafia) also have supporting roles in the miniseries.
Johan Renck (Breaking Bad) is behind the camera as director, and here’s the official synopsis
On April 26, 1986, the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant in Ukraine, Soviet Union suffered a massive explosion that released radioactive material across Belarus, Russia and Ukraine and as far as Scandinavia and western Europe. Chernobyl dramatizes the story of the 1986 accident, one of the worst man-made catastrophes in history, and the sacrifices made to save Europe from the unimaginable disaster.
Chernobyl premieres on HBO on May 6, 2019.
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