Based on the real-life power failure at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant in 1986, HBO's Chernobyl has attracted a loyal following thanks to its unflinching look at the horrors that the people affected really faced. For many, it's proven to be difficult viewing - but that's what makes it so important. The show has faced some criticism for showing viewers too much, but, now, showrunners have revealed that they do actually have some boundaries when it comes to creating these bleak episodes.
Speaking to Entertainment Weekly, Chernobyl creator, Craig Mazin, broke his silence on the show. And, to those who felt that it went too far, Mazin promised that it could have been far, far worse.
HBO's Chernobyl tells a terrifying (and true) story.It depicts the events immediately following the disaster at the Chernobyl nuclear disaster in the Ukraine in 1986, when a nuclear reactor malfunctioned and caused a catastrophic accident.
The miniseries aired in May 2019.It dealt with the events leading up to the accident, the immediate effects, and the Soviet cover-up that followed. As you may expect, it has proved to be tough viewing for some.
But the show is really about more than this one incident.
via: ShutterstockIt's about abuse of power and how to fairly govern a country. It opens with the iconic line: "A just world is a sane world, and there was nothing sane about Chernobyl".
The series is absolutely harrowing.
via: ShutterstockWriter, Craig Mazin, based the five episodes on real-life accounts of what actually went on as seen by those who were actually there. Much of the series is based on accounts from Svetlana Alexievich's 1997 book, Voices From Chernobyl: The Oral History Of A Nuclear Disaster.
And it's been enormously successful.
Man, Chernobyl is one of those periodic booster shots that inoculate us from the morbid self-loathing that accompan… https://t.co/wXkuS7WQKy— David Simon (@David Simon)1559644437.0
Many have been deeply moved by the series.
CHERNOBYL is a stunning achievement cover to cover. There's not one bad scene. Not one wasted shot. It's an absol… https://t.co/y8oVKJt8fu— Wren Culp (@Wren Culp)1559624011.0
But there's another reason that it may have resonated so much.Many think that the show could work as a cautionary tale about what happens when a government stops regarding truth as something of high importance. In the era of fake news, this is pretty frightening stuff.
Others have had this reaction.
Me after watching Chernobyl explaining how a RBMK reactor works #ChernobylHBO https://t.co/4pueZ9r8Rr— Ehsanum (@Ehsanum)1559627965.0
But there's one aspect of the series that some found particularly hard to watch.
via: ShutterstockIn episode four, Chernobyl focuses the tale on a group of cilvians and military personnel known as "liquidators". This group is widely credited with helping to deal with the nuclear fallout and limiting the damage.
But there's an aspect to their story that was pretty horrific - even by Chernobyl's standards.
via: ShutterstockAfter the disaster, much of Chernobyl was left abandoned by its inhabitants - or at least its human ones. Many were forced to leave behind their dogs, who were too exposed to the radiation to be safe.
As you can probably imagine, the fates of these dogs weren't so pleasant.And, for many, seeing what happened to them was the final straw in terms of how incredibly harrowing Chernobyl could possibly be. Watching the liquidators shooting the stray dogs was too much for some to bear.
The internet has had quite a strange reaction.
Me watching Chernobyl.... Men dying, flesh falling off their bodies: "It happened, that's what radiation does to yo… https://t.co/hUzDpd3c76— Daisy Bennett (@Daisy Bennett)1559074739.0
Many pointed out this fact.
The mother dog with her puppies scene in #Chernobyl tonight was more emotionally devastating than anything in the l… https://t.co/mz7LQzQ7yn— Dustin (@Dustin)1559011786.0
Although some thought that it was a little too much.
Chernobyl: This hasn’t been depressing enough so far so let’s shoot some dogs— Bunkie Perkins (@Bunkie Perkins)1559011002.0
Others took this point of view.
me petting all the radioactive chernobyl dogs https://t.co/TMnvTwF9oe— ashleigh deCarr (@ashleigh deCarr)1559011670.0
The scenes are obviously absolutely horrific.
"Will I have children after this? Exactly now you will! Like any stimulant, like pepper, like a medicine, in small… https://t.co/G66D7Avj0s— Soviet Visuals (@Soviet Visuals)1559133472.0
But writer, Craig Mazin, has more to say on the topic.
via: Getty ImagesSpeaking to Entertainment Weekly, he said, "The scenes with the liquidators and the dogs was really hard for a lot of people to watch, and that story actually got worse [in real life]. And it was a first-person story, I was not making it up. This is an account that somebody told in Svetlana Alexievich’s book Voices From Chernobyl".