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HBO's Chernobyl |OT| Do you taste something metallic?

Jun 24, 2018
843
Scattered thoughts as I watch.
Spoilered just in case
  • Huh this General Secretary guy is surprisingly decent. Much better than Dyatlov, Fomin and that Viktor guy at least.
  • Yay Nuclear Reactor 101 for dummies. This will be very much appreciated by most audience.
  • Wow this military brass who volunteered to drive the truck with measurements is badass.
  • Well Scherbina is effective at least. I'm guessing the burying head in sand part is over and we're switching to crisis response finally.
  • Ah there's the Vnimanie loop from the trailer...that shit was haunting.
  • "We're asking for your permission to kill 3 men." The tension and the weight is suffocating.
  • What happened at the end there? They got disoriented and lost somehow? That ever rising crackle of the dosimeter is going straight up my ranking for hellish noises goddamn.
They panicked because the radiation is too high. Then the flashlight stopped working because of the high radiation.
 
Nov 3, 2018
1,153
Croatia
Amazing series. Always been fascinated with Chernobyl, Pripyat and the surrounding exclusion zone, especially through the S.T.A.L.K.E.R games. Hope we will get the see the Elephant's foot in the show as well.

I hope to go on a tour in Pripyat this or next year and see the famous Duga radar, the Azure swimming pool, the Ferris wheel, Red Forrest... Can't wait.
 
Oct 25, 2017
15,372
The whole thing has horror movie vibes and more or less personifies the radiation itself as an invisible killer, so there's no way they won't go for a monster reveal eventually.
It's been impressive how they've imbued this story with the style and sense of dread of a horror film. The story is already horrifying, but couching it in horror movie atmosphere is pretty ingenious
 
Oct 25, 2017
4,183
It's been impressive how they've imbued this story with the style and sense of dread of a horror film. The story is already horrifying, but couching it in horror movie atmosphere is pretty ingenious
Which isn't a trivial feat, considering radiation isn't something you can see or even feel the direct effects of immediately.
 
Another great episode.
The scene where the guy who drove the truck came back and hit them all with the 15,000 Rontgen number was great. Legasov pretty much knew what was up before that but after hearing this and having it confirmed how f'd things are he wasn't taking any more crap from anyone.
"What does that number mean?"
"Means the reactor is open. That it releases twice the radiation of the bomb dropped on Hiroshima. And that's every hour. It's been [checks watch] 20 hours, so that's 40 nuclear bombs. Tomorrow there will be another 48 and it won't stop in days or weeks."
Haunting stuff. Both briefings scenes were great, and the ending was one of the most tension-inducing things I've ever watched. I love how Shcherbina pretty much flips 180 when Legasov tells them they have already received a fatal dosage. The despair is palpable.
Loved it, but if I were to nitpick I'd be curious to know why they went with Russian for the evacuation announcement. The rest of the series is in English, and I felt like it could have been more unnerving to actually know what was being said. But a poster gave a transcript above so that was cool to read. And I agree that it was hard to tell the wire caused the helicopter crash. If I hadn't known that happened I would have missed it.
 
Oct 28, 2017
454
Besides the brilliant conveying of the threat, I'd like to compliment the authenticity of the props (altough these aren't hard to come by even today).
Like the cars an the motorcycles from my childhood. The same kind of lamps in ep1 bunker scene as there are in the basement back at home. Also had very similar light switches in my elementary school as it was shown in the lab.
Hearing my country listed at the water tank explanation was a big OOF moment as well.
 
Oct 27, 2017
610
Another great episode.
The scene where the guy who drove the truck came back and hit them all with the 15,000 Rontgen number was great. Legasov pretty much knew what was up before that but after hearing this and having it confirmed how f'd things are he wasn't taking any more crap from anyone.
"What does that number mean?"
"Means the reactor is open. That it releases twice the radiation of the bomb dropped on Hiroshima. And that's every hour. It's been [checks watch] 20 hours, so that's 40 nuclear bombs. Tomorrow there will be another 48 and it won't stop in days or weeks."
Haunting stuff. Both briefings scenes were great, and the ending was one of the most tension-inducing things I've ever watched. I love how Shcherbina pretty much flips 180 when Legasov tells them they have already received a fatal dosage. The despair is palpable.
Loved it, but if I were to nitpick I'd be curious to know why they went with Russian for the evacuation announcement. The rest of the series is in English, and I felt like it could have been more unnerving to actually know what was being said. But a poster gave a transcript above so that was cool to read. And I agree that it was hard to tell the wire caused the helicopter crash. If I hadn't known that happened I would have missed it.
The evacuation announcement and the fire department call from the first episode are in Russian because we have the actual audio for both of these.

Turn on subtitles for the evacuation announcement.
 
Oct 25, 2017
1,545
Since it was mentioned in the podcast it seems likely it won't be featured in the show. Slavutych, the city that was built for the refugees from Pripyat. Demonstrates the relative distance to Kiev and Pripyat.

The train tracks that run under the Bridge of Death leads directly to Slavutych, as well.


From the articles I read earlier - apparently the whole flashlight thing might have been a myth as its not well documented. Thought I read that all the men survived. There was a misunderstanding about the 3rd guy as he had the same name another employee who die of radiation poisoning
https://www.businessinsider.com/chernobyl-volunteers-divers-nuclear-mission-2016-4
Thanks. The source here is Chernobyl 01:23:40, which gives me pause. Only because to my knowledge Leatherbarrow has no background in investigative journalism and this is more writings around his personal study and trip/s to Ukraine as a self-published epub. Which to be very clear does not make it meaningless. Independent research can be incredibly helpful for capturing and discovering many aspects of history. I just hesitate to trust it alone on topics where there is dissonance and where a person with more experience would be in a better position to verify their sources.
 
Oct 26, 2017
1,294
Slovenia
Thanks. The source here is Chernobyl 01:23:40, which gives me pause. Only because to my knowledge Leatherbarrow has no background in investigative journalism and this is more writings around his personal study and trip/s to Ukraine as a self-published epub. Which to be very clear does not make it meaningless. Independent research can be incredibly helpful for capturing and discovering many aspects of history. I just hesitate to trust it alone on topics where there is dissonance and where a person with more experience would be in a better position to verify their sources.
Only a page is written about the three men opening the valve in Midnight in Chernobyl.
 
Mar 30, 2018
126
France
Does episode 2 gets more horror-ish and more jumpscare-ish though? Cause I didn't find episode 1 to be that horrible to watch, it didn't rely that much on horror, not like I thought it would. It was much more realist I think and that's what I enjoyed about it. Such a story needs to be told with through a realist lens, not a horrifying one.
 
Oct 25, 2017
3,019
Does episode 2 gets more horror-ish and more jumpscare-ish though? Cause I didn't find episode 1 to be that horrible to watch, it didn't rely that much on horror, not like I thought it would. It was much more realist I think and that's what I enjoyed about it. Such a story needs to be told with through a realist lens, not a horrifying one.
No jump scares, more just the dread of impending doom.
 
Oct 28, 2017
454
Does episode 2 gets more horror-ish and more jumpscare-ish though? Cause I didn't find episode 1 to be that horrible to watch, it didn't rely that much on horror, not like I thought it would. It was much more realist I think and that's what I enjoyed about it. Such a story needs to be told with through a realist lens, not a horrifying one.
So far this show is the best kind of horror IMHO. No silly jumpscares, only thick atmosphere and it's grounded in reality.
 
Oct 25, 2017
5,830
Does episode 2 gets more horror-ish and more jumpscare-ish though? Cause I didn't find episode 1 to be that horrible to watch, it didn't rely that much on horror, not like I thought it would. It was much more realist I think and that's what I enjoyed about it. Such a story needs to be told with through a realist lens, not a horrifying one.
It's horror where the monster is invisible and inaudible, the sense of dread that it is everywhere and spreading is the terror aspect of it. No jump scares in this.
 
Oct 29, 2017
5,235
Season 2 was an amazing episode.
It was nice to see the one guy actually listen to the scientist and not just try to play it off (though he did slightly at first) like many of the other bureaucrats. That ending, man could you imagine being there? Knowing you had one job to do, had sacrificed everything for it and thien that happens.

BTW does anyone watch Bald and Bankrupt on youtube? He's a travel vlogger I recently got into because of this video where he travels into the Belarus zone and runs into people living there. It's eerie seeing the empty homes/ruins and the strangely quiet/peaceful (and quite beautiful) countryside but also amazing to see people that live in such a place after the accident and how they are getting along, they talk about what happened back then for a little bit too and how the stupidity of where they said it was "safe" and not safe.

(he went back to see them again which he posted just yesterday, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ISToBIkSNbM ).
 
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Oct 31, 2017
2,020
I'm really loving this series two eps in. I thought the way they addressed explaining how the nuclear reactor and nuclear energy works was well done.

It seems like a lot of times when people attempt to explain something to the audience it comes across as forced but I liked the way they set up the explanation in the previous scene, then did a callback on the plane.

The last shot of this episode was TERRIFYING.
 
Oct 25, 2017
15,372
Also, seems like HBO's marketing might have been a little wonky on this one or there's a frequent correlation between Chernobyl and horror settings in media that are stuck in people's brains now. A lot of people I know also think the show is a fictional horror story.
...really? How old are those people? I knew about Chernobyl when I was in high school and I'm only 26
 
Oct 31, 2017
2,020
...really? How old are those people? I knew about Chernobyl when I was in high school and I'm only 26
I mean they think the set up is for a horror movie, as in the trope where the radiation turns the people and creatures in the zone into brain dead monsters and the unaffected inhabitants have to deal with it.

They know what Chernobyl is lol.
 
Nov 15, 2017
4,251
Fuck, I had no idea the potential consequences to this were so catastrophic. This show has done a great job of pulling me in and selling the sheer terror of everything. Not knowing much of the details besides the event happening itself, I can't wait to see how they pulled it off.
 
Finally got to watch the first episode (available today on Sky Deutschland), I don't know why each episode will be a week behind when this is a HBO/Sky co-production and that Sky Deutschland have official rights to HBO and of course Sky content... everything else is available same day (like GoT)
 
Oct 25, 2017
15,372
Fuck, I had no idea the potential consequences to this were so catastrophic. This show has done a great job of pulling me in and selling the sheer terror of everything. Not knowing much of the details besides the event happening itself, I can't wait to see how they pulled it off.
That’s part of why the show has reminded me of Sorcerer, and other films like it such as First Man and Black Sea. That tense thrill of overcoming escalating problems through tricky logistics and technical challenges

Except here it isn’t the logistics of stealing from a sunken Nazi u-boat or landing on the moon or transporting unstable dynamite through treacherous jungle. It’s trying to prevent and contain apocalyptic catastrophe, as well as the horrific human cost and logistical challenge of that task. The escalating disasters on this show so far has been like people trying to defuse an avalanche of ticking time bombs.
 
Nov 15, 2017
4,251
That’s part of why the show has reminded me of Sorcerer, and other films like it such as First Man and Black Sea. That tense thrill of overcoming escalating problems through tricky logistics and technical challenges

Except here it isn’t the logistics of stealing from a sunken Nazi u-boat or landing on the moon or transporting unstable dynamite through treacherous jungle. It’s trying to prevent and contain apocalyptic catastrophe, as well as the horrific human cost and logistical challenge of that task. The escalating disasters on this show so far has been like people trying to defuse an avalanche of ticking time bombs.
The real world consequences it what has me so enamored by this story. I'm just thankful that there was someone there with the courage to speak up and call out the state officials on their BS. As it stands now based on these two episodes, Legasov and Khomyuk are probably two of the biggest heroes in the history of the world, along with those 3 volunteers. Really gripping stuff.

I can't help but think about how the modern US government would handle a situation like this. Obviously, communication has changed drastically since the time this took place but would they try and deny it until they couldn't or would they be forthcoming.

Also, I wonder if this is successful if they will do a season based on the Fukushima accident.
 
Oct 25, 2017
3,176
Promo for Episode 3, "Open Wide, O Earth" for those who haven't seen it:


Anyone got a good Chernobyl documentary they can recommend?
Zero Hour: Disaster at Chernobyl from the Discovery Channel (2004):


Using a real-time split-screen format reminiscent of the hit series, 24, this programme examines the 60 critical minutes leading up to the explosion at the power station on 26th April 1986. Each minute unfolds narrating the events from the perspectives of key characters involved including Chernobyl's deputy chief engineer and his staff in the control room as well as innocent bystanders, the wife of one of Chernobyl's workers and two fishermen working in Chernobyl's warm waste waters.

With an extraordinary combination of drama and state of the art CGI graphics, Disaster at Chernobyl climaxes with the reconstructon of the final seconds leading to the disaster, the explosion itself and its terrifying aftermath.
 
Oct 27, 2017
610
This scene was really powerful to me, his reaction to Legasov's "And we'll be dead in 5 years!" was really something to behold.
The episode was really great for Shcherbina and Legasov's transformation over the course of the episode.

Shcherbina went from annoying bureaucrat to incredibly helpful coordinator and motivator, willing to make sacrifices for the Soviet Union.
Legasov went from heroic scientist to scientist who is fully part of the system, lying to people and making mistakes.

The contrast of the two and how they change over the episode while not losing who they were was really great. Khomyuk's appearance just puts the change in Legasov into sharper contrast. This will probably become more important as the investigation begins and we start seeing the corruption and decisions that led to the mess and the problems that may cause the Soviet Union.
 
Oct 28, 2017
1,548
As it stands now based on these two episodes, Legasov and Khomyuk are probably two of the biggest heroes in the history of the world, along with those 3 volunteers. Really gripping stuff.
Khomyuk isn't real. And so far her position in the story is really the most fantastical. Breaking into the exclusion zone, demanding to be escorted to the officials in charge, and then being present for a meeting between Gorbachev and his ministers all in the span of a day is quite a lot for the script to sell.

In the broader scope of things, she represents the contributions made by much of the Soviet scientific community in adding clarity to the disaster for Legasov and his team. According to the director in the podcast, Legasov was more of a chemist than a mechanic when it came to his understanding of nuclear power; he was well-versed in the theoretical underpinnings of the technology and fully aware of the danger that the accident posed, but he wasn't exactly familiar with the nuts and bolts of the RBMK reactor itself. Legasov had to rely a lot on external scientific sources to chart a course of action, some of which might actually have taken extra-legal measures to deliver that information to him.