Chernobyl : Please Remain Calm

After the explosion what happens?

In the city of Pripyat life goes on for those who weren’t close enough to have ended up with radiation poisoning and are in the hospital.

It is up to the politicians to decide whether their citizens or pride mean more to them.

It is only because of Legasov constantly trying his best to get people to listen to him that Gorbachev agrees to let him and Shcherbina go to Chernobyl and see for themselves whether or not the core has been breached.

36 hours after the explosion and you suddenly see buses arrive and confused and scared people ushered into buses away from their homes still with absolutely no idea what is going on and again it hits hard that this isn’t some made up story with super heroes and dragons in it, it might be a dramatic retelling of something but this is all based in history. A horrifying accident that then saw the greed of people come before the people themselves.

It feels weird to say this whilst reviewing a show like this but I absolutely loved the relationship between Legasov, Shcherbina and Khomyuk. Played by Jared Harris, Stellan Skarsgard and Emily Watson a trio of amazing talent that managed to make these characters so human. Watching as Legasov slowly brought to light just what happened and what it means and Shcherbina slowly turning from hand waving away the incident to being the biggest force to try and sort it out was fascinating to watch. Both personalities clashing constantly but in the end being the only two along with Khomyuk who actually understood the danger of what was happening. The second meeting with Gorbachev was hard to watch as you saw in Shcherbina’s eyes just what lay in store if they couldn’t get Gorbachev to understand their plight.

It was a episode that had much going on but every individual story, every second was painful to watch.

Lyudmilla trying to find her husband in the hospital, even walking by a neighbour who was in there after going to see the fire up close, watching as the doctor realised that they had kept the firemen in radioactive clothing and removing it by hand later showing the burns she sustained in trying to help others, just the entirety of watching the people evacuated and then the ending.

Chernobyl isn’t something I was taught in school, it is something I vaguely know about but have little to no knowledge of so to find out that three men had to be sacrificed to save millions was a shock to me. I honestly didn’t think it could have got worse and then it did.

That closing scene of Alexei Ananenko, Valeri Bezpalov and Boris Baranov in the water under Chernobyl, scared but there as volunteers to do the right thing and save so many actually made me incapable of even moving. Made even better by the fact that credits don’t start with any sound behind them so their breathing was the last thing we heard before it faded to nothing.

Everything that gets brought up in this show I instantly want to know more about but it is so hard to watch something so real that happened only years before I was born.

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