HBO's 2019 limited TV series Chernobyl starts with dramatic footage of the nuclear power plant exploding in the distance, viewed from the window of Lyudmilla and first-responder firefighter Vasily Ignateko's apartment window in Pripyat.
Vasily and Lyudmilla's story of the Chernobyl Disaster is just one of the touching stories told in the book that gave the inspiration to the TV series, called "Voices from Chernobyl". The 2019 mini-series would come to rely on the first account witnesses for many stories told, especially the ones told by the Lyudmilla who was pregnant at the time of the disaster.
Vasily would be rewarded with the medal Hero of Ukraine two decades later for his noble deeds working the Reactor fires, the highest award you can receive in Ukraine.
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In the series, Stellan Skarsgård plays the vice-chairman of the Council of Ministers, a politician in charge of dealing with the disaster. He works closely with Valery Legasov, here depicted by Jared Harris, a scientist that was brought in to give expert advice on how to deal with the nuclear hazards and investigating the cause of the disaster and how to best avoid the disaster from happening once more.
Though most of the characters are based on real persons, one main role is made up. The role Emily Watson plays, Ulana Khomyuk, has never existed. A nuclear physicist from Minsk, the character is made up of many Soviet scientists’ historical accounts and background. She acts as a Sherlock Holmes-type character who is determined to find out the truth of what went down in Pripyat, as she is suspicious something is not right about what the reports are saying what happened.
Part of the actors’ hard work and the excellent work by director Johan Renck and Craig Mazin’s writing, the limited TV series gained much praise for the creeping dread of the horrific scenes caused by the consequences of the explosion, both of what happened in Pripyat and in the meeting rooms with politicians and leaders who seem to not grasp the reality of the situation, not acting properly.
The limited 2019 TV series received much critical acclaim and winning Emmys for Best Director for Limited Series and Writing, and also Best Limited Series and Stellan Skarsgård receiving Best Supporting Actor at the Golden Globes.
The directing, acting, writing, and historical accuracy makes this a fascinating and gripping show to watch, giving much insight into the unimaginable events and what people went through. Especially the people working at the site itself. Medical personnel, firefighters, the coal miners having to work naked due to the immense heat, the liquidators whose job was to do clean-up at and around the site, stopping long-term and immediate dangers.
The amazing music that sets these pictures to life is composed by Hildur Guðnadóttir, a classically trained cellist from Iceland. She is the first woman in 20 years to win an Oscar in this category, and one in seven total. For "Chernobyl" she has won numerous awards, just like all of her work for movies and TV series. For the score, she has used field recordings of actual sounds coming from nuclear power plants.
But you should know, as this is an HBO production, it is only available for instant streaming through them, not that it is a problem since they are a fantastic streaming service and pretty much only good content! To watch "Chernobyl" simply click on HBO above and you will be able to start streaming online from them their site right away!