Why you should be watching Sky's Chernobyl

Chernobyl is the latest Original Series from Sky and it has taken the TV world by storm. This miniseries (which is the result of a collaboration between Sky and HBO) tells the true and untold story of the Chernobyl disaster in 1986. The 5-part series has been heavily praised by viewers and critics, with the final episode set to air at 9pm on Tuesday, June 4th. Here’s why you should catch up with what is already the most essential show of 2019.

What is Chernobyl about?

Chernobyl follows the events of the 1986 Chernobyl Nuclear Disaster and the men and women who attempted to stop Europe succumbing to radiation poisoning whilst also dealing with the tyrannical Soviet Union leadership. 

The series starts right at the beginning of the disaster and charts the efforts of Valery Legasov (Jared Harris) and Ulana Khomyuk (Emily Watson) to sort out the problem whilst also fighting against their own government. Chernobyl depicts the effects on the people surrounding the disaster, having to struggle with an event that has never happened on Earth before.

Who is in Chernobyl?

One of the best aspects of Chernobyl is it's absolutely stacked cast. Jared Harris (who you might know from Mad Men and The Terror) plays the main role and is supported by Stellan Skarsgard as the deputy chairman Boris Shcherbina and Emily Watson as Ulana Khomyuk, a nuclear physicist who is one of the first to notice the true dangers of Chernobyl. 

They’re joined by a whole host of quality British actors including Ralph Ineson, Paul Ritter, Sam Troughton and Robert Emms. Despite being set in Soviet Ukraine and parts of Russia, the actors play the roles in their native accents, giving the show a more personal feel than if they were struggling with Russain accents.

Why did Sky and HBO make a series about Chernobyl?

The series took shape due to a deal between Sky and the US premium cable channel HBO, with the two companies working together to create new drama. Chernobyl is the first of these collaborations, with the show airing at the same time in both the US and the UK.

Chernobyl was created by Craig Mazin, who has written all 5 episodes. Mazin hosts a podcast alongside the airing of each episode that gives some insight into the research he did for the series, as well as offering a look at the aspects he left out and scenes that were cut. It makes for fascinating listening and is essential if you’re interested in finding out more about the history of the period surrounding the disaster.

Is Chernobyl historically accurate? 

When creating Chernobyl, writer Craig Mazin first conducted a lot of research about the event. He’s stated that whilst some liberties had to be taken in order to make the show dramatically satisfying, the majority of events depicted did actually occur.

Chernobyl includes real-life characters that were actually part of the disaster, as well as depicting things like how radiation affects the human body in horrifically accurate detail. Whilst Chernobyl is frequently a tough and harrowing watch, it’s fascinating to real-life events unfold on-screen.

Where can I watch Chernobyl?

There are a few ways you can watch Chernobyl. The show is available via Sky Atlantic, which is exclusive to Sky TV. If you don’t have Sky TV, you can also watch it via streaming with the NOW TV Entertainment Pass, with the previous 4 episodes available to watch right now.

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