Chernobyl, a five-part miniseries co-production from HBO and Sky, dramatizes the story of the 1986 nuclear accident, one of the worst man-made catastrophes in history — and of the sacrifices made to save Europe from unimaginable disaster.
Premiering May 6, and followed by subsequent episodes each Monday, Chernobyl stars Emmy-nominee Jared Harris (The Crown, Mad Men), Stellan Skarsgård (Melancholia, Good Will Hunting) and Oscar-nominee Emily Watson (Hilary and Jackie, Breaking the Waves).
Chernobyl is written and executive produced by Craig Mazin (The Huntsman: Winter’s War) and directed by Johan Renck (Breaking Bad). Produced by Sister Pictures and The Mighty Mint as an HBO/Sky co-production, Emmy-winner Carolyn Strauss (Game of Thrones) and Jane Featherstone (Broadchurch) serve as executive producers while Johan Renck and Chris Fry (Humans) co-executive produce. Sanne Wohlenberg (Black Mirror) also produces.
On April 26, 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.
Jared Harris portrays Valery Legasov, a leading Soviet nuclear physicist. As part of the response team, he was one of the first to grasp the scope of the unparalleled disaster that occurred. Stellan Skarsgård plays Soviet Deputy Prime Minister Boris Shcherbina, who is 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 Chernobyl disaster.
The miniseries also features Paul Ritter (Lovesick) as Chernobyl deputy chief engineer Anatoly Dyatlov; Jessie Buckley (Beast) as Lyudmilla Ignatenko, a Pripyat resident married to a firefighter on the first response team; Adrian Rawlins (Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows) as Chernobyl chief engineer Nikolai Fomin; and Con O’Neill (Harlots) as plant director Viktor Bryukhanov. Sam Troughton (The Ritual), Adam Nagaitis (The Terror), Barry Keoghan (Dunkirk), Ralph Ineson (Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince), Mark Lewis Jones (Star Wars: Episode VIII – The Last Jedi), Fares Fares (Westworld) and David Densik (McMafia) also star.
Writer, creator and executive producer Craig Mazin began researching the Chernobyl disaster in 2014, using a wide variety of materials, including several books, government reports from inside and outside of the Soviet Union and first-person accounts. He spoke to nuclear scientists to learn how a reactor works and interviewed former Soviet citizens to gain a better sense of the culture in 1986.
Chernobyl was filmed on location in Lithuania and Ukraine, with a creative team including director of photography Jakob Ihre (Thelma); production designer Luke Hull (Howards End); editors Jinx Godfrey (The Theory of Everything) and Simon Smith (Endeavor); costume designer Odile Dicks-Mireaux (Brooklyn); two-time Emmy-winners Nina Gold and Robert Sterne as casting directors (Game of Thrones); and composer Hildur Gudnadóttir (Trapped).