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NFT: HBO Series - Chernobyl

bc4life : 5/20/2019 1:09 pm
Episode 3 on tonight. Thoughts about it so far?

Powerful series so far, IMO.
My only complaint is the english accents  
BH28 : 5/20/2019 1:26 pm : link
I get that it was co-produced by UK and American companies, but couldn't they do russian-english accents?
yeah the English accents  
bluepepper : 5/20/2019 1:43 pm : link
are not so great. Also I was taken aback by the admission that the Emily Watson character is an invention. The Jared Harris character is at least based on a real person.

Still fantastic television. My only regret is I wished I hadn't watched it until it was over so I could binge it rather having to wait.
The English accents are distracting  
widmerseyebrow : 5/20/2019 1:48 pm : link
but pretty gripping and horrifying so far.
They discussed the accents on the podcast  
Davisian : 5/20/2019 1:50 pm : link
Director wanted them to use their normal accents so their performances were more natural instead of having to focus on doing a Russian accent or worse, doing a shitty Russian accent.

Emily Watson character  
NYGIANTS86 : 5/20/2019 1:54 pm : link
is an amalgamation of many female characters. I would rather that, then just ignoring the female scientists.
Was too young to remember the deets  
gmen9892 : 5/20/2019 1:55 pm : link
About Chernobyl, so this series has been pretty eye-opening for me. Feel like it is done very well and has a certain creepiness to it that I love. Dark and realistic. I am a fan and I am looking forward to tonight's episode.
I was doing ok with the  
MBavaro : 5/20/2019 2:08 pm : link
content until the very end of Episode 2. That REALLY freaked me out.

It's a pretty good show.
If the accents bother you  
X : 5/20/2019 2:10 pm : link
put your TV on Mute and use closed captioning. Its a good series, you can overlook accents I would think.
RE: yeah the English accents  
santacruzom : 5/20/2019 2:14 pm : link
In comment 14449978 bluepepper said:
Quote:
are not so great. Also I was taken aback by the admission that the Emily Watson character is an invention. The Jared Harris character is at least based on a real person.


Yeah, I read that about Emily Watson's character too but it seems to have been a decision based on necessity. The discoveries she made were made by various people, and for narrative purposes it seems like creating one fictionalized person to charge through the bureaucratic bullshit and deliver the warning was the right way to go.
The Podcast is a must listen too  
BigBlueDownTheShore : 5/20/2019 2:15 pm : link
the after the show.
I read that the helicopter crash was an embellishment too  
santacruzom : 5/20/2019 2:20 pm : link
They clearly leveraged it to highlight the danger of the radiation, but in reality it didn't happen for months after (I believe in October) and may not have been caused by radiation.

Still, it was a super effective scene.
best and worst of humanity  
bc4life : 5/20/2019 2:29 pm : link
stupidity, arrogance, callous disregard for human life - but also some unbelievably courageous actions
Don't understand the the complaints about the English accents  
Ron from Ninerland : 5/20/2019 3:24 pm : link
Its understood by the audience that they are speaking Russian to one another. To present this drama to an English speaking audience they have two choices; English subtitles or English language. Anyone remember the "The Hunt for Red October" ? Initially the Russians are speaking Russian among themselves with English subtitles. Once its understood by the audience that they are speaking Russian, they switch to Oxford English, just as in Chernobyl. Later on in the movie when the Russians are speaking to the Americans , then they are speaking English with a Russian accent.
Pissed it's only a 5 part miniseries  
Knineteen : 5/20/2019 3:26 pm : link
Wouldn't mind if they stretched it out a few more episodes.
RE: My only complaint is the english accents  
Sonic Youth : 5/20/2019 3:29 pm : link
In comment 14449951 BH28 said:
Quote:
I get that it was co-produced by UK and American companies, but couldn't they do russian-english accents?
This does take me out of the immersion a little bit.

As someone who previously thought was well versed in Cheronobyl (to a degree), I'm pretty shocked by how much worse it could have potentially become and what it was like on the ground as people fought the fires/did damage control on the plant. It's truly an eye opening series and definitely has that HBO polish to it.

Love the show.... HBO is really killing it lately (and that's as someone who's never even watched GoT).
This is one of the most upsetting videos I've ever seen  
Ron from Ninerland : 5/20/2019 3:38 pm : link
I don't know if it will be shown in this series, but the Russians decided that they needed to remove the radioactive graphite debris from the roof. They attempted but failed to do this with robots so they decided that they'd have to send men onto the roof to shovel it off or remove it by hand. It was so radioactive that even by Russian standards, individual men, even in lead suits could only be on the roof for two minutes. They brought in an entire army division for the task. They'd send a couple of men up for two minutes, get them off, then send in the next couple of men. Somehow they managed to make this film. The video itself is horrifying. The Russians didn't even have quality lead suits. What these men were wearing was crap. It looked to be like heavy canvas with lead sheets held on by rope. Many of these men, including the narrator of the video and the cameraman died early deaths.
Chernobyl 3228 - ( New Window )
English accents  
JerseyCityJoe : 5/20/2019 3:41 pm : link
Not trying to put on fake accents is I think becoming a thing. IMV I'd rather this then bad fake accents.
One more thought on english accents  
Sonic Youth : 5/20/2019 4:01 pm : link
One simple scene that showed people talking in Russian and then faded to English, akin to the Tom Cruise movie Valkyrie, would have made it more immersive
RE: This is one of the most upsetting videos I've ever seen  
Sonic Youth : 5/20/2019 4:04 pm : link
In comment 14450104 Ron from Ninerland said:
Quote:
I don't know if it will be shown in this series, but the Russians decided that they needed to remove the radioactive graphite debris from the roof. They attempted but failed to do this with robots so they decided that they'd have to send men onto the roof to shovel it off or remove it by hand. It was so radioactive that even by Russian standards, individual men, even in lead suits could only be on the roof for two minutes. They brought in an entire army division for the task. They'd send a couple of men up for two minutes, get them off, then send in the next couple of men. Somehow they managed to make this film. The video itself is horrifying. The Russians didn't even have quality lead suits. What these men were wearing was crap. It looked to be like heavy canvas with lead sheets held on by rope. Many of these men, including the narrator of the video and the cameraman died early deaths. Chernobyl 3228 - ( New Window )
That is extremely upsetting. I read about it on Wikipedia after I watched the show and went on a research binge.

What's striking to me (and is something I wonder if it's accurately portrayed) is the general Russian leadership's lassaiez-faire attitude towards radiation in 1986. This was not something that took place that long ago... the aloofness portrayed in the HBO show is tough to comprehend. The dangers of radiation was not an unknown quantity at this point, at least to my knowledge (I was born in 89 so what do I know, but that's what I had always assumed being that the atomic bombs were dropped in 1945).
It is weird the day after watching episode #1  
Knineteen : 5/20/2019 4:07 pm : link
I was watching stuff falling from the trees on my property and immediately thought of Chernobyl?
RE: RE: My only complaint is the english accents  
bluepepper : 5/20/2019 4:15 pm : link
In comment 14450097 Sonic Youth said:
Quote:
In comment 14449951 BH28 said:


Quote:


I get that it was co-produced by UK and American companies, but couldn't they do russian-english accents?

This does take me out of the immersion a little bit.

As someone who previously thought was well versed in Cheronobyl (to a degree), I'm pretty shocked by how much worse it could have potentially become and what it was like on the ground as people fought the fires/did damage control on the plant. It's truly an eye opening series and definitely has that HBO polish to it.

Love the show.... HBO is really killing it lately (and that's as someone who's never even watched GoT).

I was shocked when they were talking about Kiev possibly being wiped out if they couldn't get the sluices open in like 48 hours. I knew it was bad but didn't realize how close it came to being truly apocalyptic. Scary.
I am hooked...  
Pete in CO : 5/20/2019 4:19 pm : link
...I really like historical fiction anyway. But this is a really gripping miniseries. Zero over-acting by the cast - or to me, at least.
This series has changed the way I view nuclear power.  
Ron from Ninerland : 5/20/2019 5:25 pm : link
Not just the series, actually, but since I've been watching I've been doing research on Chernobyl and Fukushima. Back when this happened in the 80's I thought to myself, "Those stupid corrupt Soviets, it could never happen here".

A look at the actual events does show that the Soviets were guilty of bad engineering, bureaucracy and institutionalized denial, but at another level they showed great heroism and great efficiency. We see a low level physicist directly telling Gorbachov and the Politburo what's what and being taken seriously. We see them evacuating a city of 50,000 in a few hours. Would that happen in America ? As explained in the podcast, one of the positive aspects of Soviet society is that scientists and engineers were very well respected.

From an engineering point of view the problem with Chernobyl is that it was a positive void coefficient reactor without an outer containment building, but even if had been designed like an American light water reactor, if there is a coolant pumping failure, the core is going to melt down and have disastrous effects.

Decades after Chernobyl we had Fukishima. IMHO the ineptitude demonstrated by the Japanese with Fukishima was worse than the Soviets. They built a nuclear reactor on a fault line and had no contingency plan to pump water to the core in case of an electrical failure ! The death toll from Fukishima was worse than Chernobyl although most of those deaths likely due to the tsunami itself.

So where do we stand with nuclear power today ? It is no longer economically or politically feasible to build reactors in America, Western Europe or even Japan, but reactor construction is going full tilt in third world countries. Although I'm sure the construction of these reactors is being supervised by Western engineers, the day to day operation will be supervised by governments that make the Soviets look like a model of efficiency.
RE: RE: This is one of the most upsetting videos I've ever seen  
santacruzom : 5/20/2019 5:25 pm : link
In comment 14450141 Sonic Youth said:
Quote:

What's striking to me (and is something I wonder if it's accurately portrayed) is the general Russian leadership's lassaiez-faire attitude towards radiation in 1986. This was not something that took place that long ago... the aloofness portrayed in the HBO show is tough to comprehend. The dangers of radiation was not an unknown quantity at this point, at least to my knowledge (I was born in 89 so what do I know, but that's what I had always assumed being that the atomic bombs were dropped in 1945).


I don't think dismissal of the dangers of radiation itself was as much of an issue as was their reluctance/refusal to believe anything they'd designed or oversaw could accidentally discharge such a dangerous amount of it in the first place, or their inability/refusal to properly prepare for and protect from it.
RE: RE: RE: My only complaint is the english accents  
santacruzom : 5/20/2019 5:30 pm : link
In comment 14450167 bluepepper said:
Quote:

I was shocked when they were talking about Kiev possibly being wiped out if they couldn't get the sluices open in like 48 hours. I knew it was bad but didn't realize how close it came to being truly apocalyptic. Scary.


Yep. There were a few articles written prior to the miniseries about the "Suicide Squad" that, in the words of some headlines, "saved Europe." Obviously no one can know what the magnitude of what they prevented truly would have been, but at least they took the risk seriously to act upon it.
A Chernobyl 'suicide squad' of volunteers helped save Europe ó here's their amazing true story - ( New Window )
RE: This series has changed the way I view nuclear power.  
widmerseyebrow : 5/20/2019 6:14 pm : link
In comment 14450260 Ron from Ninerland said:
Quote:
So where do we stand with nuclear power today ? It is no longer economically or politically feasible to build reactors in America, Western Europe or even Japan, but reactor construction is going full tilt in third world countries. Although I'm sure the construction of these reactors is being supervised by Western engineers, the day to day operation will be supervised by governments that make the Soviets look like a model of efficiency.


Hope this doesn't veer too far into the political realm, but nuclear is back on the discussion table in America, as it should be imo. The reactor designs you're referencing are 50+ years old. Today there are walk away safe fission reactor designs that are also very difficult to weaponize. It's something that should be considered on both sides of the aisle, and doubly so if you believe that there needs to be a drastic reduction of emissions in the next 10 years.

The director of Chernobyl, Craig Mazin:

"The lesson of Chernobyl isnít that modern nuclear power is dangerous. The lesson is that lying, arrogance, and suppression of criticism are dangerous."

"I'm pro-nuclear power, I think that nuclear power is essential to combat climate change."
RE: If the accents bother you  
BH28 : 5/20/2019 6:33 pm : link
In comment 14450012 X said:
Quote:
put your TV on Mute and use closed captioning. Its a good series, you can overlook accents I would think.


It is a good series an I can overlook the accents, its just a minor critique. I just thought it was a weird choice. I'd rather the whole thing be in russian with closed captioning.

RE: RE: This series has changed the way I view nuclear power.  
Ron from Ninerland : 5/20/2019 6:56 pm : link
In comment 14450298 widmerseyebrow said:
Quote:
In comment 14450260 Ron from Ninerland said:


Quote:


So where do we stand with nuclear power today ? It is no longer economically or politically feasible to build reactors in America, Western Europe or even Japan, but reactor construction is going full tilt in third world countries. Although I'm sure the construction of these reactors is being supervised by Western engineers, the day to day operation will be supervised by governments that make the Soviets look like a model of efficiency.



Hope this doesn't veer too far into the political realm, but nuclear is back on the discussion table in America, as it should be imo. The reactor designs you're referencing are 50+ years old. Today there are walk away safe fission reactor designs that are also very difficult to weaponize. It's something that should be considered on both sides of the aisle, and doubly so if you believe that there needs to be a drastic reduction of emissions in the next 10 years.

The director of Chernobyl, Craig Mazin:

"The lesson of Chernobyl isnít that modern nuclear power is dangerous. The lesson is that lying, arrogance, and suppression of criticism are dangerous."

"I'm pro-nuclear power, I think that nuclear power is essential to combat climate change."
I might agree with you if nuclear technology was being advanced in Western countries, but its not. Please correct me if I'm wrong, but only two nuclear power plants, both in Georgia are on the drawing board in America. No new nuclear power plants are being build in France, Germany or Japan. Even the Chinese who are choking on coal pollution are moving slowly. That brings up another problem. If nuclear power is not being advanced in the West, where are the engineers going to come from to build and supervise reactors in "developing" countries ? What I fear is, that despite Western oversight, these countries are going to build and maintain reactors as cheaply as possible. The West may insist that they use the latest technology, but ultimately the host countries will have maintain their own nuclear programs.
Such a frightening situation  
jgambrosio : 5/20/2019 10:12 pm : link
It's portrayal of death in shows like this that make me fear the process of dying. Such a brutal and grotesque process.
So interesting this I noticed  
Bramton1 : 5/21/2019 8:53 am : link
Finished Episode 2 last night. There is concern about how much of the sand/boron mixture would make it to the core, as they couldn't actually fly directly over. I've read that studies have concluded that very little, if any, actually make it to the core.

Meanwhile, there is an official website for the power plant, now operated by the Ukrainian government, and available in English and Ukrainian. The page about the disaster says that 1-15 meters covered the central hall and isolated the core from the environment.

Curious. Is this just a matter of semantics, or is the misinformation wheel still spinning?
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