HBO’s Chernobyl - Nightmare Fuel


Really impressed with the first episode. They don’t beat around the bush; the explosion happens right after the prologue, and from there it’s a nightmarish descent into hell, made all the more chilling because this was a real event. And what’s possibly even more terrifying than the radiation spewing everything on screen is the official response/denial by the authorities.

Definite must-watch.


Ars had a very positive review


This book was incredible. I’m all in for an HBO level rendition of its contents.


There’s a podcast that goes with the show, by the creator. It goes into the changes they made for drama, like consolidating a bunch of real scientists into Emily Watson’s character, and the technical stuff they simplified for the audience.


In addition to Emily Watson, it also stars Jared Harris and Stellan Skarsgård. The first episode features Jared Harris a bit.

Apparently the real Valery Legasov did do what’s in the prologue on the second anniversary in real life, though the exact words he used aren’t known from what I understand. I’ve read up on Chernobyl some previously, but bits like this and exactly how the people in the control room and such reacted to the immediate disaster weren’t things I had previously read, but apparently were written about by those involved after the fall of the Soviet Union.


I thought the first episode was excellent. Wish I could have gone right to the second.


This was an excellent and comprehensive Chernobyl documentary. My God, the scale of the cleanup was immense.


Here is another excellent documentary that serves as a follow up to the above:


Now that HBO has done WW2, fantasy, and Chernobyl, if they can just do demon slaying and 1950s-style post-apocalypse, that will cover most of my favorite videogames. Netflix will take care of The Witcher for us.


Was looking forward to this one, was pretty good. Not going to feel bad for some of those asshole characters dying from radiation. I can bitch about my job but at least my boss never asked me to look into an exploded reactor before.

Hope we get some Pripyat amusement park action. That Ferris Wheel is really iconic.


This is good but man has Netflix really trained me. I was all ready to binge it only to realize they only release one episode per week. Looking forward to the next ones.


This got me reading “Midnight at Chernobyl,” which is also very good.


P.S. it’s the number one Amazon bestseller (… in nuclear engineering) 🤓


I love looking up off the wall books only to be told they are the “#1 bestseller in East Asian Mountain Asceticism” or whatever.


Except the assholes don’t die from radiation. The boss who told the guy to look into the reactor is the one who lived to get a 10 year jail term. Meanwhile, anyone who gets line-of-site to the burning core gets a lethal dose in seconds.


Episode 2 was pretty crazy, such a fantastic miniseries. We didn’t really get to see the leads last episode, but they all did a great job in this one. Stellan Skarsgård is the man. The soundtrack during the evacuation of Pripyat was giving me mad STALKER vibes. The thread title is pretty apt for the last scene of the episode.


I agree completely. It’s been excellent so far. I know it sounds a bit macabre but I’m really enjoying it. To see the event from such a well executed perspective. Chernobyl was an extraordinary catastrophe. I never realized the sheer scale of it until recently.


HBO is going to hammerlock the Best Limited Series Emmy. So well done, and the production values are fantastic.

That Red Army general was the total man, too.

“Tell your men that even with the lead shielding, that may not be enough.”

“Then I’ll do it myself.”

And then he does.

On another note, this was written by the guy who wrote The Hangover movies. Not the original, mind you, but the lame sequels.

I guess his talents were more in drama than comedy.

I also remember that one of those helicopter pilots who dumped sand and boron directly atop the reactor died at Seattle’s Fred Hutchinson Cancer Center a few years later. He had been awarded as a Hero of the Soviet Union, and flown West for treatment. I can’t even imagine hovering over an open nuclear reactor like they did.


Actually he was treated at the Seattle
Cancer Care Alliance since Fred Hutch is primarily concerned with research. Yeah I know, minor detail that probably nobody but me cares about, but it’s kind of important to me.


I think that changed a bit over the years with the establishment of the Cancer Care Alliance, which occurred in 1998.

The newspaper reports at that time said it was Fred Hutch.

Random aside, Carl Sagan also died at Fred Hutch.


You’re right, the timing of that would probably have put him at the Hutch.