If Chernobyl is not yet on your radar, make it so. HBO showed a trailer today at the Television Critics Association press tour, and it looks incredibly intense and haunting. And yet, executive producer and writer Craig Mazin told us during the panel that there is nothing hyped about this portrayal — it’s a realistic as can be achieved. It will shake you up!
The series investigates the 1986 nuclear meltdown of the Chernobyl Power Plant in Ukraine, which was at that time part of the Soviet Union. The meltdown released radioactive material across Europe, and has remained not just a cautionary tale, but one that showed the immense misdeeds within the U.S.S.R.
As HBO describes, the 5-episode miniseries “dramatizes the story of the 1986 nuclear accident, one of the worst man-made catastrophes in history, and of the brave men and women who made incredible sacrifices to save Europe from unimaginable disaster.” Directed in full by Johan Renck (Breaking Bad), Chernobyl stars Jared Harris (The Terror), as Valery Legasov, a leading Soviet nuclear physicist. “As part of the response team, he is one of the first to grasp the scope of the unparalleled disaster that has occurred. Stellan Skarsgård (Melancholia) plays Soviet Deputy Prime Minister Boris Shcherbina, who is assigned by the Kremlin to lead the government commission on Chernobyl in the hours immediately following the accident. Emily Watson (Breaking the Waves) portrays Ulana Khomyuk, a Soviet nuclear physicist committed to solving the mystery of what led to the Chernobyl disaster.”
The miniseries also stars 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.
Chernobyl premieres this May on HBO; check out the images below: