In 1986, the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant in Ukraine, Soviet Union suffered a massive explosion that released radioactive material across Belarus, Russia and Ukraine and as far as Scandinavia and western Europe.
HBO’s upcoming miniseries, Chernobyl, starring Jared Harris, Stellan Skarsgård and Emily Watson, dramatizes the story of that horrific accident, one of the worst man-made catastrophes in history, and the sacrifices made to save Europe from unimaginable disaster. Meanwhile, the Soviets created a culture of disinformation and lies that only added to the problem.
Writer, creator and executive producer Craig Mazin started researching the nuclear meltdown for this project five years ago.
“When you’re reading the personal stories of people who were there – people who lived near the plant, people who worked at the plant, people who were sent to Chernobyl as part of the effort to clean it up – in those individual accounts, that’s really where the story came alive,” Mazin said in a statement.
In the series, Jared Harris (Mad Men, The Crown) portrays Soviet nuclear physicist Valery Legasov, one of the first people to grasp the true scope of the catastrophe.
Stellan Skarsgård plays Soviet Deputy Prime Minister Boris Shcherbina, assigned by the Kremlin to lead the government commission on Chernobyl in the hours immediately following the accident.
Emily Watson portrays Ulana Khomyuk, a Soviet nuclear physicist committed to solving the mystery of what led to the disaster.
The miniseries also stars Jessie Buckley, David Dencik, Fares Fares, Ralph Ineson, Mark Lewis Jones, Barry Keoghan, Adam Nagaitis, Con O’Neill, Adrian Rawlins, Paul Ritter and Sam Troughton.
Chernobyl is directed by Johan Renck (Breaking Bad) and produced by Sister Pictures, The Mighty Mint and Word Games as an HBO/Sky co-production. Carolyn Strauss and Jane Featherstone executive produce; Johan Renck and Chris Fry co-executive produce; Sanne Wohlenberg produces.
Chernobyl premieres Monday, May 6 at 9 p.m. ET/PT on HBO.
Creative Director: Badger Denehy
Senior Writer/Producer: Sarah Yuro
Associate Writer/Producer: Meghan Daccord