Original Air Date
May 6, 2019
April 26, 1986, Ukrainian SSR. Plant workers and firefighters put their lives on the line to control a catastrophic 1986 explosion at a Soviet nuclear power plant.
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Anatoly Dyatlov: We need water moving through the core. That is all that matters.
Perevozschenko: There is no core. It exploded, the core exploded.
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SINCE THE DAWN OF MAN
I do not know where to begin. Probably I should start with the very beginning. With the big bang and the creation of time itself.
Homo Sapiens are walking this Planet since only 200,000 years approximately. And in only so little time compared to 4.6 billion years, man has evolved so quickly that is started to play with tools bigger and bigger, until they discovered nuclear power.
By that moment, man is playing God. Man is playing with tools so powerful that this can easily lead to the destruction of life itself. This only proves one of my theories. The end of evolution is destruction of life itself. Any final step of any process is its termination.
And here comes Chernobyl. Everyone knows about the catastrophe of the Russian power plant from Chernobyl, but almost no one knows what actually happened. This eponymous mini-series from Amazon Prime is the depiction of that story, in five episodes of one hour each.
What I learned is that the main reason from the catastrophe. It happened because of an exercise that went wrong.
Second, in an era before social media and the Internet, it was decided to keep it a secret by cutting off the phone lines and sealing the city.
But while we could get shocked about this story and talk about it endlessly, I do believe that the main point is not actually Chernobyl. Chernobyl doesn't exist anymore, as a power plant. We all remember Fukushima. How many cataclysmic events do we need before ensuring that we don't play with things we cannot control? At the moment of me writing these words, there are currently 450 nuclear power reactors on our tiny little planet. I believe it is 450 ones too much. And I am really ashamed to be part of the same species that decides to build these atomic time bombs.
We have all been shocked when terrorists killed 3,000 lives on 9/11. How many lives would be destroyed if someone decided to hijack a plane and crash it into an old nuclear plant? How many more lives will need to die? How many more...
History keeps on repeating itself. And I strongly believe that Chernobyl and Fukushima will not be the only ones on the list. This is statistically impossible. And death is inevitable, if we don't act NOW.
On a more technical level, the soundtrack of the first episode – and I imagine the entire series – is very clever. There is no melodies or anything of the sort. The soundtrack is rough, with equally rough sounds.
The main problem is very tangible. The actors do not speak Russian. And it may be very dumb to say that I believe a mini-series on Chernobyl should be re-enacted by Russian actors. Especially in today's globalized world, where everyone can easily add subtitles when streaming a series.
A big focus of the episode is on the apparatchik and other leaders of the plant not believing what has actually happened – that the core no longer exists. I do wonder if it really happened that way and if it was exaggerated. I'll probably search for more information and perhaps find a book or a documentary about this subject, as I am very much interested about nuclear, but with little knowledge of it all.
I give it 8 out of 10. It was truly superb. But I won't give it an 9, as I do believe that it could have been told in an even more visual way.
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