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

bill crystals

Member
Oct 25, 2017
387
I just finished. Fantastic show.

Did you guys already talk about them doubling down on the "bridge of death" in the epilogue text scroll? When the show first aired I remember the tone in the r/AskHistorians thread was pretty unanimous that that whole scene and the implication that all those people died was some Hollywood sensationalism.

The actual text they used was quite ambiguous as well. "None survived." Like did they all die of cancer 40 years later or something? Was wondering if anyone had any idea where they might have gotten the notion for the "bridge of death."
Answering my own question: confirmed 100% Hollywood sensationalism, as all the historical experts initially asserted. Very irresponsible of this otherwise very well researched show to double down on that pernicious rumor.
 

KimiNewt

Member
Oct 27, 2017
897
I just finished the last episodes. The entire theme of it and the last sentences in particular gave me echoes of the Challenger Disaster or at the very least Feynman's half-of-a-book account of it.

There's a famous quote of his that is very fitting for this as well: "For a successful technology, reality must take precedence over public relations, for Nature cannot be fooled "
 

Orwell

Banned
Jun 6, 2019
345
Superb series. Stellan Skarsgård deserves a Golden Globe. How he depicted his character's transition from staunch party apparatchik to skeptic and then soon-to-be dissident was riveting. Harris and Watson were amazing, as well. Hell, every actor did a remarkable job.
 

Budi

Member
Oct 25, 2017
9,009
Finland
If people want to see Watson and Skarsgård together in earlier project, I'd strongly recommend Breaking the Waves.
 

Krejlooc

Member
Oct 27, 2017
17,177
The first episode was so fucked up good lord. Scariest thing I've seen all year.
I found episode 2 and 3 to be the scariest. The way they describe the destruction that would have happened is terrifying. It would have essentially destroyed the entire planet. Even those who weren't immediately vaporized would have died from the radiation poisoning that would have affected the entire world.

Those 3 men who went into the water saved the planet.
 

ibyea

Member
Oct 25, 2017
1,670
I found episode 2 and 3 to be the scariest. The way they describe the destruction that would have happened is terrifying. It would have essentially destroyed the entire planet. Even those who weren't immediately vaporized would have died from the radiation poisoning that would have affected the entire world.

Those 3 men who went into the water saved the planet.
Saying it would have destroyed the entire planet is a huge misunderstanding of the text. The show tells you, it would have made vast portions of Ukraine and Byelorussia uninhabitable, and contaminated Europe. They said nothing about "destroying the planet". Also you misunderstand the nature of the explosion. It is not an atomic explosion that would have vaporized people. It was going to be a steam explosion that was going to destroy all four reactors of Chernobyl and spread around the radioactive material.
 
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Krejlooc

Member
Oct 27, 2017
17,177
Saying it would have destroyed the entire planet is a huge misunderstanding of the text. The show tells you, it would have made vast portions of Ukraine and Byelorussia uninhabitable, and contaminated Europe. They said nothing about "destroying the planet".
I'm talking about the potential second explosion. They said it would have left most of europe uninhabitable, quote, "impact all of Soviet Ukraine, Latvia, Lithuania, Belarusia, Poland, Czechoslovakia, Hungary, Romania, and most of East Germany." They then talk about global contamination and the problem extending beyond the immediate areas mentioned. It would have fucked up the entire planet, rendering most of europe uninhabitable would very obviously have global effects.
 

ibyea

Member
Oct 25, 2017
1,670
I'm talking about the potential second explosion. They said it would have left most of europe uninhabitable, quote, "impact all of Soviet Ukraine, Latvia, Lithuania, Belarusia, Poland, Czechoslovakia, Hungary, Romania, and most of East Germany." They then talk about global contamination and the problem extending beyond the immediate areas mentioned. It would have fucked up the entire planet, rendering most of europe uninhabitable would very obviously have global effects.
They clearly stated, Byelorussia and Ukraine was going to be uninhabitable, while eastern Europe would have major impact in terms of cancer and birth defect incidences for the second explosion, which was going to be a steam explosion that destroyed containment for all 4 reactors.
 

Daingurse

Member
Oct 25, 2017
1,768
AZ
The first episode was so fucked up good lord. Scariest thing I've seen all year.
That first episode had me on the literal edge of my seat. I couldn't have relaxed if I wanted to. That shit made me so anxious. I hadn't experienced that kind of terror in recent memory. I just wasn't prepared for it. I was completely captivated and horrified.
 

Krejlooc

Member
Oct 27, 2017
17,177
They clearly stated, Byelorussia and Ukraine was going to be uninhabitable, while eastern Europe would have major impact in terms of cancer and birth defect incidences for the second explosion, which was going to be a steam explosion that destroyed containment for all 4 reactors.
Iiterally quoted the line from the show.

They talk about how the explosion would cause other similar explosions in a chain at other plants as well. They make the case very clearly that this would be a global disaster.
 

ibyea

Member
Oct 25, 2017
1,670
They talk about how the explosion would cause other similar explosions in a chain at other plants as well. They make the case very clearly that this would be a global disaster.
The other plants they were talking about were the other three reactors at Chernobyl. Chernobyl has four reactors. The one that exploded in episode one is reactor 4. What they feared was that the steam explosion would have blown up the rest of the containment of reactor 4 and blown up all the other three reactors.
 

Tainted

Member
Oct 25, 2017
401
Australia
They talk about how the explosion would cause other similar explosions in a chain at other plants as well. They make the case very clearly that this would be a global disaster.
They did not say it would be a global disaster, but I agree there would have had global knock on effects.

Here is the extracts from the script of that meeting with Gorbachev and co.

Everything within a 30-kilometer radius will be completely destroyed, including the three remaining reactors at Chernobyl.

The entirety of the radioactive material in all of the cores will be ejected at force and dispersed by a massive shock wave, which will extend approximately 200 kilometers and likely be fatal to the entire population of Kiev as well as a portion of Minsk.

The release of radiation will be severe and will impact all of Soviet Ukraine, Latvia, Lithuania, Byelorussia, as well as Poland, Czechoslovakia, Hungary, Romania, and most of East Germany.

For much of the area, a nearly permanent disruption of the food and water supply, a steep increase in the rates of cancer and birth defects.

For Byelorussia and the Ukraine, "impact" means completely uninhabitable for a minimum of 100 years.
 

SmiteOfHand

Member
Oct 25, 2017
1,911
The second (technically third) explosion would have only made matters worse but the show uses the extreme upper end of incredibly unlikely overestimates from what we know today, and then stretches it even further, so it is a moot point anyway. Don't use the show as a source for what may have happened across Europe. Mazin is not a nuclear physicist.

Here is an attempt to calculate the realistic energy potential.

In any case the 3 workers are heroes regardless if the explosion would have been bad news for Kiev or a continent.
 
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Doom_Bringer

Member
Oct 31, 2017
2,274
Just finished it. What an incredible show!! This has shot up to one of my favorites

Plz release on Blu Ray HBO!!
 

papertowel

Member
Nov 6, 2017
254
I can't believe that 1. Chernobyl memes exists and 2. That they're actually pretty good.

And HBO please release this in 4k bluray soon.
 

Tainted

Member
Oct 25, 2017
401
Australia
Am I the only one here who finds Chernobyl memes in extremely poor taste ? We are not talking a piss poor final season of Game of Thrones here but the worst nuclear disaster in history which killed thousands of people...
 

DBT85

Member
Oct 26, 2017
7,852
Am I the only one here who finds Chernobyl memes in extremely poor taste ? We are not talking a piss poor final season of Game of Thrones here but the worst nuclear disaster in history which killed thousands of people...
Honestly the taste isn't my issue. Them being way out there or just plain not funny. They are so bad they could be in the funny picture thread.
 

KimiNewt

Member
Oct 27, 2017
897
Am I the only one here who finds Chernobyl memes in extremely poor taste ? We are not talking a piss poor final season of Game of Thrones here but the worst nuclear disaster in history which killed thousands of people...
Eh, it's okay. No one is mocking the victims, let people have their fun.
 

Orwell

Banned
Jun 6, 2019
345
Eh, it's okay. No one is mocking the victims, let people have their fun.
Umm, using scenes from this critically acclaimed drama about Chernobyl to create memes is kind of insensitive to the victims. I doubt the living relatives of the dead or displaced residents of the city who are still living would find any of them amusing.
 

lvl 99 Pixel

Member
Oct 25, 2017
13,802
Am I the only one here who finds Chernobyl memes in extremely poor taste ? We are not talking a piss poor final season of Game of Thrones here but the worst nuclear disaster in history which killed thousands of people...
It is kinda gross, but what can you do. Sometimes I do feel like internet culture breeds apathy.
 

Avitus

Member
Oct 25, 2017
4,102
Am I the only one here who finds Chernobyl memes in extremely poor taste ? We are not talking a piss poor final season of Game of Thrones here but the worst nuclear disaster in history which killed thousands of people...
Yeah it's gross. Memes about real life tragedies aren't encouraged here so I'm not sure why a TV show with the same subject is any different.
 

More_Badass

Member
Oct 25, 2017
15,964
Yeah it's gross. Memes about real life tragedies aren't encouraged here so I'm not sure why a TV show with the same subject is any different.
Because they’re memes about a TV show, not the actual events. The memes aren’t making fun of the tragedy; they’re co-opting the dialogue/plot/characters of the show.
 

Orwell

Banned
Jun 6, 2019
345
Because they’re memes about a TV show, not the actual events. The memes aren’t making fun of the tragedy; they’re co-opting the dialogue/plot/characters of the show.
They're memes created off of content pulled from a serious and unironic dramatization of a real tragedy. There isn't a wide enough line that divides this mini series from a documentary of the event to excuse that kind of humor. Like someone said, it's gross and insulting.
 

More_Badass

Member
Oct 25, 2017
15,964
They're memes created off of content pulled from a serious and unironic dramatization of a real tragedy. There isn't a wide enough line that divides this mini series from a documentary of the event to excuse that kind of humor. Like someone said, it's gross and insulting.
It’s a historical drama that turns the events into a horror movie/disaster movie/political thriller, shifting and combining characters and events to create an entertaining and compelling narrative

There’s a pretty wide line between something like Band of Brothers and They Shall Not Grow Old, as there is between this and an actual documentary.

The memes aren’t about the actual events or victims; they’re drawing from the dialogue and characterizations of the show

Also this isn’t a Downfall situation, where the memes are probably most people’s only knowledge of the work.
 
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Televator

Member
Oct 25, 2017
5,028
Jesus Christ! Just binged to whole thing. As bad as it was (it was absolutely catastrophic) it could have been a looooooooooot worse?! And they handled it with manual labor of 600,000 people, mass scale terraforming, an army on naked angry dudes, all the liquid nitrogen in Russia, and letting people just get straight blasted with radiation. Fuck!
 

Orwell

Banned
Jun 6, 2019
345
It’s a historical drama that turns the events into a horror movie/disaster movie/political thriller, shifting and combining characters and events to create an entertaining and compelling narrative

There’s a pretty wide line between something like Band of Brothers and They Shall Not Grow Old, as there is between this and an actual documentary.

The memes aren’t about the actual events or victims; they’re drawing from the dialogue and characterizations of the show

Also this isn’t a Downfall situation, where the memes are probably most people’s only knowledge of the work.
I mean, the horror and political theater was as true to the real events as the creators of the series were able to make it. It wasn't as if there was anything exploitative about their telling of what occurred. And I don't believe the composite characters provide any kind of cover to people using scenes from the series to create memes. They were characters whose depictions were the narrative sum of people who were actually involved in the crisis, some of them dying, others still suffering from the fallout. I don't think it matters if the memes were about the actual victims. They're still tacky attempts at drawing humor from a sobering dramatization of a catastrophe that killed thousands of people and is still affecting many more to this day. Downfall didn't tackle the Holocaust, so I don't think it's analogous.