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We're gonna need a bigger boat.

Anyone here manage to catch HBO's 5-part Chernobyl miniseries? It's a dramatization of the worst nuclear power disaster in history. Extremely well done from start to finish, and probably one of the most disturbing, terrifying things I've ever watched. I'd definitely recommend taking the time to watch it, even if you aren't familiar with or aware of the disaster.



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I've heard of Chernobyl through Exploring With Josh. He has a three part series up on his channel, thought you might be interested.
https://youtu.be/1pX0GCd_ig0

Edited June 4th by Castrael

Ya know, I didn't think I was interested, but I've been seeing a lot of people whose opinions I respect indicate they all thought it was good. Then saw your post, and I decided to start it today.

I'm definitely going to be in bed by midnight, but suffice it to say, I'm on the third episode and I find it incredibly captivating.

Posted June 4th by Jet Presto

Like, I thought at first that this thing might be a bit slow. It starts pretty quickly, but there's a lot of characters and events that feel a bit like they mean more if you know about the historical event. And then...ten minutes in I realized I'm just completely hooked. It's one of those, I think. And yeah, absolutely terrifying.

Posted June 4th by Jet Presto

Thanks for the recommendation Cas!

Glad you're 'enjoying' it Jet. I wasn't really even planning to watch it myself, but it had hooked me within the first few minutes.

The more I think about it, the more impressed I am by how much of a sense of impending doom nearly every scene managed to convey. I suspect a lot of it had to do with the soundtrack, which seemed very otherworldly and oppressive despite not really having a lot 'going on' for it, but it was truly some of the most gripping TV I've ever watched. I'd be interested to hear any insights you might have on the subject once you've finished.

Posted June 5th by Count Dooku

Yeah, the score is just so great and foreboding. I was especially into the way they used the radiation detectors, both mixed with the score and just as a sound effect. (I think it was the end of episode 2 maybe when they send three men into the plant to turn off the valves or whatever? I watched it all yesterday, so can't totally place what happens in what episode right now. That was tense, and I loved the audio mixing there.)

The final episode was a little on the nose and cliche. Felt a little preachy.

I appreciated that the show took into account and pinned a fair amount of responsibility on the Soviet political machinery, because it very much was a big factor. But what made Chernobyl so terrifying was just the way that so much of it, too, was just stuff that feels like it could happen literally anywhere. Cost-cutting measures for construction or not having adequately trained staff, pushing them too hard, leaders passing the buck, political or financial corruption, government cover-ups for the sake of maintaining a reputation or avoiding panic: these can and do happen literally everywhere.

It was also just beautifully shot, too. But damn, the way those closest to the plant died...god...so disturbing.

Posted June 5th by Jet Presto

Outside of HBO how can one watch this series?

There was a Vice Documentary not to long ago where they interviewed an older woman and her son who live on the outskirts of chernobyl (literally 20-30 feet from the highest point of radiation) It was fascinating to watch.

Posted June 5th by S.O.H.
S.O.H.
 

I think it was the end of episode 2 maybe when they send three men into the plant to turn off the valves or whatever? I watched it all yesterday, so can't totally place what happens in what episode right now. That was tense, and I loved the audio mixing there.

The diver sequence and the rooftop liquidator sequence were two of my favorite scenes. It's strange how incredibly tense the dosimeter noises make the whole thing, because otherwise you're basically just watching people walk around. But you add those dosimeter noises and it almost functions like the music swelling as the monster gets closer.

The final episode was a little on the nose and cliche. Felt a little preachy.

How so, the whole "lies" thing they hammered on just in case you missed it? Probably went a bit heavy on it, but otherwise I'd probably rank the 5th episode close to 1 and 2, with 3 and 4 close behind. I thought the courtroom sequence where they explained how and why everything happened, coupled with the flashbacks, was very well done (if historically bogus). If they had tried to do the recap in some other context I'm not sure it would have been as effective.

It was also just beautifully shot, too.

The scene with the giant line of evacuation buses comes to mind as one of my favorites. And just about any of the flyover sequences where you've got fifty people walking a field in spacesuits.

But what made Chernobyl so terrifying was just the way that so much of it, too, was just stuff that feels like it could happen literally anywhere.

Absolutely. I mean, within our lifetimes we've already had the Fukushima disaster, which released a significant amount of radiation and required mandatory evacuations. The circumstances are different, but that almost makes it worse. It doesn't just require blatant disregard for safety procedures to have a disaster like Chernobyl.

Outside of HBO how can one watch this series?

I think HBO is your only option right now. That said, a lot of platforms like Amazon Prime video, Hulu, etc, offer a free one week trial of HBO. This show only runs about 5-6 hours total, maybe less, so you could probably watch it within that time frame.

Posted June 7th by Count Dooku
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