Chernobyl – HBO Series


We’ve established that historical fiction is my jam. And we can’t really talk about historical fiction right now without mentioning the recently popular miniseries on HBO, Chernobyl.

We all know Chernobyl, don’t we? Major disaster, radiation for thousands of years to come and an abandoned city within an exclusion zone. 

However, do we really know what happened? How it happened? Were people even aware of what was happening? And what about the pets left behind? 

As we started the show we weren’t really sure what the story was going to be about for an entire series, and if it would stay interesting throughout. We needn’t have worried; it was gripping from episode one right up until the end. I think this was in part because you knew what was coming for the characters and it was gut wrenching to realise just how clueless they all were about what had happened and what it would mean for them.

The acting is absolutely stellar, which isn’t unexpected from a cast comprised of Stellan Skarsgard, Emily Watson and Jared Harris. Stellan Skarsgarn (and his sons) need no introduction I’m sure. Emily Watson is a staple in British movies and television; you’ll probably recognise her most as Rosa Hubermann from The Book Thief. Jared Harris has also been in just about everything – Mad Men, The Crown, Fringe, The Expanse and Sherlock Holmes (The RDJ movie version). With this trio at the helm of the cast, as well as some excellent writing and directing it’s unsurprising that the show has been nominated for nineteen Emmy Awards. Yup NINETEEN. The big nominations being :

  • Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Limited Series or Movie 2019 (Stellan Skarsgaard)
  • Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Limited Series or Movie 2019 (Emily Watson)
  • Outstanding Lead Actor in a Limited Series or Movie 2019 (Jared Harris)
  • Outstanding Period Costumes 2019
  • Outstanding Directing for a Limited Series, Movie or Dramatic Special 2019
  • Outstanding Cinematography For a Limited Series or Movie 2019
  • Outstanding Writing for a Limited Series, Movie or Dramatic Special 2019
  • Outstanding Limited Series

The rest include hairstyling, makeup, single-camera picture editing, prosthetic makeup, music composition, sound editing, sound mixing, production design, special visual effects, and casting.

See? I have award nominations to back me up when I say this series good! It’s a definite must for history buffs and fans of historical fiction.

In case you’re wondering, hundreds of descendants of the pets of Chernobyl still live in the exclusion zone today. The Clean Futures Fund has been caring for the animals and checking their radiation levels. Last year for the first time, a litter of puppies was removed from the exclusion zone and sent to adoptive families in the US.



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