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

Nov 15, 2017
4,251
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.
Oh wow, I figured they had taken some creative liberties but didn't think they would do something that drastic. Thanks for the info.
 
Oct 25, 2017
1,545
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.
I think the peace I've made with this is the alternative would probably be various scenes of Legasov talking on a phone. Which I can understand not being an appealing approach for telling the story.

I do think they should have brought her assistant along just to get the idea across they represent many voices rather than channeling it all through a single person. Maybe she will phone him once or twice, which will be good enough for me.
 
Oct 29, 2017
3,801
Barely halfway through the 2nd episode and I feel like traveling back in time to give the real versions of these gross bureaucrats a good throttling. Fucking slugs watched multiple men turn as red as boiled lobsters before fainting and vomiting in alternating order and still try so desperately to treat this shit with all the seriousness and urgency of accidentally spilling table salt. I knew this fucking show was gonna rile me up but didn't expect my blood to boil this much. More than likely because this show is strikingly poignant in a time where men and women who've devoted their entire lives to making sure they can tell the difference between a minor and severe environmental crisis are met with an overwhelming number of US politicians and citizens scoffing at and ridiculing their decades and decades of research and data.
 
oh wow, the lady is not real? Damn.
Correct, she isn't a real person but instead is meant to be an amalgamation of several scientific minds that assisted in the cleanup.

I also think Boris Shcherbina is a made-up character. I can't find much on him. I was curious if he indeed did die within 5 years.

edit: Boris was real per the info below. Thanks for the info!
 
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Oct 25, 2017
1,545
I also think Boris Shcherbina is a made-up character. I can't find much on him. I was curious if he indeed did die within 5 years.
https://www.nytimes.com/1984/01/15/world/soviet-pipeline-official-made-deputy-premier.html
Definitely a real person. Not entirely sure but details around him may have come from the declassified KGB documents in the 90s but they are a little hard to read first hand, lol.

I do wish the podcast had gotten more into him and what they sourced. Maybe next episode.
 
Oct 27, 2017
610
Oh wow, I figured they had taken some creative liberties but didn't think they would do something that drastic. Thanks for the info.
I was watching online through amazon prime and they have little bits right after the credits where the actors and creators talk for a little bit about the events and the actress explains why they invented this singular character to represent the larger numbers of scientists that could not be fit into a TV show. Hopefully they do the same thing on the live TV broadcast because it seems necessary for info like this given how realistic the show is elsewhere.
 
Nov 15, 2017
4,251
I was watching online through amazon prime and they have little bits right after the credits where the actors and creators talk for a little bit about the events and the actress explains why they invented this singular character to represent the larger numbers of scientists that could not be fit into a TV show. Hopefully they do the same thing on the live TV broadcast because it seems necessary for info like this given how realistic the show is elsewhere.
HBO has that as well but I never bother to watch them. Time for that to change lol
 
Oct 28, 2017
1,548
Barely halfway through the 2nd episode and I feel like traveling back in time to give the real versions of these gross bureaucrats a good throttling. Fucking slugs watched multiple men turn as red as boiled lobsters before fainting and vomiting in alternating order and still try so desperately to treat this shit with all the seriousness and urgency of accidentally spilling table salt. I knew this fucking show was gonna rile me up but didn't expect my blood to boil this much. More than likely because this show is strikingly poignant in a time where men and women who've devoted their entire lives to making sure they can tell the difference between a minor and severe environmental crisis are met with an overwhelming number of US politicians and citizens scoffing at and ridiculing their decades and decades of research and data.
If you're this riled up, wait until they finally get back to showing how the reactor actually exploded, in detail.

Stop fretting. This technology is plenty safe. *proceeds to deliberately ignore no less than a half-dozen explicit safety guidelines and warnings on a nuclear reactor that is already poorly documented*
 
Oct 29, 2017
102
After reading this thread, I felt compelled to go watch the first episode. Holy shit, this is some of the most unsettling television I've ever seen. It's so compelling. I know not all the details are real, and I'll need to listen to the podcast for more, but I'm loving it.
 
Oct 25, 2017
22,304
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.
Moneyball did something similar, his character doesn't exist, instead he's an amalgam of a bunch of people where it was easier narratively to condense them into one person.
 
Oct 25, 2017
1,545
If you're this riled up, wait until they finally get back to showing how the reactor actually exploded, in detail.

Stop fretting. This technology is plenty safe. *proceeds to deliberately ignore no less than a half-dozen explicit safety guidelines and warnings on a nuclear reactor that is already poorly documented*
My spoiler policy has been if it hasn't happened in the show yet but seems almost certain to be in a future episode I try to be considerate and use the spoiler tag so people can make their own decision. I imagine most people have heard of Chernobyl and may have a vague sense of what happened but may not know specifics so very possible this is new and fresh material.
 
Oct 29, 2017
3,801
I for one am thankful!
Same. We need more focused tight shows. These bloated multi-million dollar, multi-season epics aren't necessary for entertainment to still be compelling.

If you're this riled up, wait until they finally get back to showing how the reactor actually exploded, in detail.

Stop fretting. This technology is plenty safe. *proceeds to deliberately ignore no less than a half-dozen explicit safety guidelines and warnings on a nuclear reactor that is already poorly documented*
Ugh all that false bravado of Soviet propaganda seems to seep everywhere making many people overconfident to the point of negligence.
 
Nov 13, 2017
1,669
Halfway through episode 2, this is honestly one of the most upsetting and infuriating shows I've ever watched just knowing this is fucking real

edit: well the end just about gave me a fucking panic attack. Wow I love this show.
 
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Pikachu

Traded his Bone Marrow for Pizza
Member
Oct 25, 2017
2,822
I'm being distracted from the show by how much I love the font of the title cards, as well as the subtle chromatic effect it has.

Can I get this font somewhere?

Edit: I mean, it looks like Futura but I really want that color it's going for.
 
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Oct 29, 2017
156
This is a terrific show. Have to wonder how many people this show prompted to turn to looking up info on the Internet and spending hours looking into Chernobyl and other events.

For me personally, I got to reading more about Hanford out in Eastern Washington. I'm about 240 miles away and from what I read, WOW. I didn't know some specifics, around how they need to stir the mixture "periodically" that is kept there to keep it from exploding?!

Some fun reading:

https://www.nbcnews.com/news/us-news/welcome-most-toxic-place-america-n689141
https://thebulletin.org/2017/05/a-predictable-nuclear-accident-at-hanford/
 
The grim and understated heroism of Colonel-General Pikalov volunteering to take the close-up reading from the truck, the calm voice of the Lead One pilot before things go wrong and the engineers stepping up to drain the tanks from under the reactor... all these things could have been schmaltzy, underlined moments but they're perfectly pitched and depicted. Very Russian too.

I like how they use actual spoken Ukrainian here and there.

Series continues to chill to the bone.
 
Oct 28, 2017
982
I did the math and the extra 400 rubles the guys were promised going into the waters at the end of the episode would translate to about $286 USD at the time.

Per year. (Also, side note: capitalism has not been kind to Russian currency lol)
 

Sinder

Banned
Member
Jul 24, 2018
6,854
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.
The creative license they took with the Khomyuk character makes a lot of sense, it's just better to do it this way than show some disorganized mess of scientists.
 
Oct 27, 2017
4,544
I like how all the title cards are very slightly out of focus and have a bit of distortion towards the edges, rather like an old slide projector.
That's called chromatic aberration:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chromatic_aberration

It's an effect used a ton on the far sides of the left and right of most first-person shooter games today and a few others not in that genre. I lost count, honestly lol It's also used (shoddily, gaudily, and annoyingly) in many movies today.

The effect rarely looks good because it's over done and over used – but I am pleased to say this is how it should be used. Styllistically, it works perfectly considering the circumstances with radiation.
 
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Oct 27, 2017
1,938
Did they exaggarate the seriousness of the molten core hitting the water beneath? Of course the potential steam explosion would be bad, but would it really be 4 megatons? That's like a massive nuke going off. Did they mean 4 kilotons rather?
 
Oct 28, 2017
5,329
Its surreal every time someone learning about the radiation asks if it is the Americans. Today it seems ludicrous for the United States to stealth nuke someone that it hasn't declared war against, and even then we would hesitate to use it until it is a last resort, but it was the cold war.

Those 2 physicists and those 3 guys, if based on actual events are some of the biggest heroes in human history.
 
Oct 28, 2017
5,329
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.
Oh God dammit why did they have to stretch things.
 
Oct 26, 2017
2,364
Its surreal every time someone learning about the radiation asks if it is the Americans. Today it seems ludicrous for the United States to stealth nuke someone that it hasn't declared war against, and even then we would hesitate to use it until it is a last resort, but it was the cold war.

Those 2 physicists and those 3 guys, if based on actual events are some of the biggest heroes in human history.
The female physicist is a composite character representing the hundreds of scientists in the USSR who rallied to help manage the Chernobyl disaster.

It’s not mentioned on screen, but Craig Mazin (the writer/showrunner) mentioned in the podcast Legasov didn’t know that much about the design of the reactor. He dealt more with theory than engineering. So other experts were needed to keep him in the know.
 
How bad would it have been if the reactors blew up? I know that they said that the Ukraine and Belarus would be uninhabitable for a century but what else would've happened? Would the Soviet Union ended shortly thereafter instead of in '91? Would there have been a refugee crisis in Europe that is ten times worse than what is going on today? How would America be affected?
 
Oct 25, 2017
1,360
Did they exaggarate the seriousness of the molten core hitting the water beneath? Of course the potential steam explosion would be bad, but would it really be 4 megatons? That's like a massive nuke going off. Did they mean 4 kilotons rather?
Yeah megaton seems to be orders of magnitude off, as that is a lot more powerful explosion than Hiroshima bomb. It would still have destroyed all the reactors, though, rendering massive parts of Belorus and Ukraine uninhabitable.
 
Oct 25, 2017
5,830
How bad would it have been if the reactors blew up? I know that they said that the Ukraine and Belarus would be uninhabitable for a century but what else would've happened? Would the Soviet Union ended shortly thereafter instead of in '91? Would there have been a refugee crisis in Europe that is ten times worse than what is going on today? How would America be affected?
Hard to really say. That large of an explosion and fallout would collapse the USSR, wipeout the food supply of Western Europe, and displace untold amount of people.

It would probably lead to a worldwide economic collapse with it. We, today, would still be recovering from it.
 
Oct 30, 2017
470
2nd episode was great as well, it's crazy how Chernobyl is still dangerous today and will be for a long time. With the new sarcophagus in place, at least the possible danger in the next time is under control. It's crazy how huge that thing is and what had to be done to move it in place, as they could not build it directly over the old one (radiation still too high)


The show made me remember my childhood in Germany, when we were told to not play outside, the local playgrounds were closed (sand was removed/replaced) and mushrooms were not to be eaten/collected in the woods.
 
Oct 25, 2017
1,545
2nd episode was great as well, it's crazy how Chernobyl is still dangerous today and will be for a long time. With the new sarcophagus in place, at least the possible danger in the next time is under control. It's crazy how huge that thing is and what had to be done to move it in place, as they could not build it directly over the old one (radiation still too high)


The show made me remember my childhood in Germany, when we were told to not play outside, the local playgrounds were closed (sand was removed/replaced) and mushrooms were not to be eaten/collected in the woods.
This shot from inside is incredibly surreal to look at.