When reactor four at the Chernobyl nuclear plant exploded in April 1986 outside of Pripyat, Ukraine, the whole world watched in horror as tidbits of information leaked out of the tightly controlled Soviet Union. But conflicting official and scientific reports made it difficult to know the extent of the disaster.
The piecemeal accounts of how Chernobyl unfolded have made the disaster ripe for over-dramatization and under-dramatization, depending on the storyteller’s politics and attitude toward nuclear energy. But HBO’s new five-part mini-series Chernobyl stands out: it has the benefit of an extremely well-researched script that isn’t afraid to make tasteful modifications to the story to keep the viewer from getting bored and drowning in names.
In short, Chernobyl, which debuts on HBO tonight at 9pm ET, is worth the watch.