This HBO miniseries started right when Game of Thrones was ending so some may have missed it, but this show deserves as much attention as GoT, simply because it describes one of the worst nuclear disasters in history.
Before watching this show I had only heard of Chernobyl vaguely. I knew that it was some kind of disaster but I didn’t know the details or the scope of the disaster. The name Chernobyl sounded foreign to me so in some ways I must have thought it was fictional. Then the previews for the show started and I knew that I had to watch it. I am very interested in environmental and man-made disasters so this was right up my alley.
For those who may not know, the Chernobyl disaster was a catastrophic nuclear accident that occurred at the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant in April 1986 following a failed safety test which caused a meltdown. The fire, which spewed radiation into the air, went on for days before it was extinguished. Inevitably people were affected by the exposed radiation, but there are only estimates on how many were actually affected. According to the subsequent reading that I did while watching this, people are still showing health affects as a result of the disaster and the area is still within a containment zone that is unlivable.
The first episode of the show is all about the initial explosion, followed by a timeline of events immediately following. I will not lie, watching this made my anxiety go off the charts. There was one point when my fiancé asked if he should change the channel. Like books, when I watch a movie or show I get drawn into the story. I forget that it’s fake and will laugh or cry when it warrants. However, this show is a play-by-play of what actually happened! Watching how the firefighters and emergency personnel were immediately reacting to the radiation was making me upset. And how the higher ups at the plant refused to acknowledge the seriousness of the explosion threw me into fits of rage. Don’t even get me started on how ill prepared the country was for a potential nuclear meltdown.
The rest of the series is all about the challenges in quelling the fire, the impact on the people, agriculture, economy and everything within the containment zone around Chernobyl. Some of the scenes are difficult to get through but it is the lies, deceit and pure ignorance that will absolutely make you scream at the TV.
The directors have done an amazing job in depicting the timeline of events of the catastrophe. I went into this barely knowing anything and now I am so interested in what happened, I am researching if so I can learn more. I am just shocked that I didn’t know more about it. Chernobyl is another disaster that could have been avoided and a disaster that should never be forgotten. But I will let you watch the show to understand why. 😉