Post-Game of Thrones, HBO scores its first unlikely hit (it’s IMDB’s all-time top-rated TV): a no-nonsense, scary-as-hell depiction of the Chernobyl nuclear disaster on Apr 26, 1986.
The five-part miniseries stars Jared Harris as nuclear physicist Valery Legasov and Stellan Skarsgard as Deputy Prime Minister Boris Shcherbina, the architects running the herculean task of containing the calamity (under the watchful eyes of the KGB and Communist Party apparatchiks) and cleaning up its aftermath (in a side story, Dunkirk’s Barry Keoghan plays a ‘liquidator’ assigned to terminate animals in the exclusion site to control the spread of radiation contamination).
Their gallant and harrowing efforts are meticulously re-enacted, told with nuance, free of Hollywood histrionics (and fake Russian accents). The gritty procedural culminates in a hearing where Legasov, like a detective revealing the killer’s identity in a whodunit, recounts the hours leading to the Chernobyl meltdown and explains what caused it. Eye-opening stuff. (****)
Watch it on: HBO Go
Photo: TPG News/Click Photos