The series "Chernobyl": watch and think

The series "Chernobyl": watch and think

The bitter experience of TV shows that start well and end disappointingly kept me from writing an enthusiastic review of the Chernobyl series until this week. And now, when the last, fifth series came out, unfortunately, I have to say that this is an excellent series, this is a great reason to learn more about the Chernobyl disaster, you should definitely see it, if you haven't, but if the first three series, in my look, rise to the level of my favorite movie "Apollo 13", the last two, again, in my opinion, turn out to be much worse.

Shot from the series

Spoilers under the cut, as strange as it sounds for the series based on real history.

When the American HBO made a film about the tragic page of Soviet history, I was afraid of two things - the “cranberries” and the deliberately biased presentation of material in favor of the political moment. Moreover, the second is much worse than the first - the hat with balalaikas in the reactor hall is ridiculous, but the constructions in the style of “bloody gebni under machine guns are driving some people to the reactor, and others to the May Day demonstration, but all to certain death” may seem plausible, especially since such charges sounded. And, on the whole, I sincerely rejoiced at the first three episodes that this was not the case (even the story that the May Day demonstrations did not cancel was not shown!). Unfortunately, further ideology became more, and in the final, for the sake of wanting to tell a good and correct parable, they began to directly distort historical facts. And now more or less in order.

Series One

The film begins with the academic Valery Legasov ends up dictating memoirs, feeds the cat and commits suicide on the anniversary of the Chernobyl accident. Suicide and films were in reality, and, given that on Wikipedia the circumstances of his death were filed with the possibility of different interpretations, many thanks to HBO that Legasova does not hang a “bloody geba”. On the contrary, the bloody handkerchief in the film hints at the fact that the academician had cancer, and suicide appears in a completely different light. There is no proof of reprogramming with hidden cassettes in sources, their decryption is available on the Internet , and there is no talk of "what is the price of truth" not there. But, in my opinion, this can be forgiven.

Then the action goes immediately to the time of the destruction of the reactor. As a promoter, I very much regretted that an important moment of the accident - that it was the result of actions that were perceived by staff as the successful completion of the experiment, was not shown. But this is good and popular science (albeit not ideally accurate) explained in the last, fifth series, so this deficiency is largely neutralized.

A slight distraction to the side. Speaking in very simple language, the Chernobyl accident occurred due to a combination of personnel actions and reactor design features. An experiment was conducted at the plant, designed to improve safety and repeatedly conducted, including at other NPPs. But specifically in this case, the actions of personnel and changes in the program of the experiment led to the fact that the reactor became unsafe. And the final decision, the discharge of emergency protection AZ-5 - the standard jamming of the reactor, due to design errors, led to the opposite effect, the acceleration of the reactor, the sequence of explosions and the release of radioactive substances.

In the film, the operators of the fourth reactor act as if they do not quite understand what is happening, conduct reconnaissance without dosimeters, irradiate and try to supply water to the already destroyed reactor. And in the memoirs of a nuclear engineer and liquidator Grigory Medvedev “Chernobyl Notebook” this is confirmed. Indeed, people from the shift that conducted the experiment first put forward the wrong version of the hydrogen explosion in the control and protection system (CPS) tank and for quite a long time refused to realize that the reactor was destroyed even despite pieces of graphite lying around, which could only come from the active zone . And there really wasn’t any dosimeters for large values ​​- one turned out to be in a cameter full of rubble, and the second burned down when turned on. In Medvedev's memoirs, he even tells about the head of the civil defense of a nuclear power plant, who had a dosimeter with an x-ray of 250, but they simply did not believe his testimony. Fortunately, this person reported on the measurement results not only Bryukhanov (Director of the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant), but also duplicated information to the civil defense services.

The story is also realistic with the deputy chief operating engineer Sitnikov, who was asked to evaluate the damage. Unlike the film, he was summoned from home, but he did receive a lethal dose, surveying the destruction with his own eyes. Of course, it was hardly worth portraying the accompanying soldier (he just wasn’t present).

The effects of radiation are shown well - in the memoirs there are also stories about the taste of iron in the mouth, and descriptions of nuclear tan. But instantly appearing bleeding ulcers are already a re-dramatization that has no relation to reality.

It is a pity that the film does not reflect the heroism of the staff working in the engine room under the guidance of Razim Davletbaev. These people managed to prevent the ignition of the generators, extinguished the local fires and, acting simultaneously with the firemen, did not allow the flame to pass to the third power unit. The scene with Palamarchuk carrying the burned Shashenk (the names are not called, but most likely they are) sounds a fake note, which simply puts the wounded comrade at the wall to help the reconnaissance sent for reconnaissance.

Causes respect the attention of the creators of the series to detail. Yes, somewhere you can see plastic windows or intercoms, but against the background of very carefully selected and appropriate time machines, clothes and other things are really small things.

You can find fault with the fact that the closed Ignalina NPP, where the shooting was going on, looks too shabby to work, but these are trifles. In general, the picture of the accident and the first, not always correct actions, is shown very well. And the view of the burning reactor is truly flawless, but at the same time irrationally attractive - the power of megawatts released from the bridle of a person and thousands of X-rays cannot but evoke emotions.

Second series

The second series begins with a piercing and very relevant quotation from poems by Konstantin Simonov. The first fictional character appears - Uliana Homyuk, the collective image of many scientists and entire commissions who participated in the investigation of the accident. Of course, I would like to see that the investigation required the efforts of many specialists, but I can understand the limitations of the film. It is beautifully shown and clearly explained how such an accident can be seen hundreds and thousands of kilometers away.

Real Legasov learned about the accident in other conditions, but in general it is not so important. But created by the plot duet "techie" Legasova and "politics" Shcherbina really beautiful.Yes, this is a simplification of the real situation and the interaction of people, but, in my opinion, essentially correct - in a situation where you need to quickly make unclear decisions, you need different people with different abilities. And the scene with Shcherbina, quickly using the knowledge gained from Legasov, is not particularly realistic, but causes real admiration. A condemnable behavior of Bryukhanov and Fomin, albeit a slightly revised, nevertheless is confirmed in Medvedev's “Chernobyl notebook”, which very critically responds to their actions both before and after the accident. In general, working together with a “technician” who knows what to do abstractly and cannot directly send people to a certain death, and the “politician” who fights for him and knows how to motivate people shows not just specific episodes of eliminating the accident, but tells a parable that “all kinds of people are needed, all kinds of people are important,” and it is the synergy of their work that allows us to do amazing things.

In reality, the helicopter crash occurred six months later, but this is again perceived as trifles.

A separate pressing issue concerns evacuation. Repeatedly were heard accusations of being late. But it is clear to us now, in the conditions of after-knowledge. Real Legas dictated:

on the evening of the 26th, the radiation situation in it was more or less prosperous. Measured from milli-rtengens per hour to maximum values ​​- tens of milli-rtgens per hour, of course, this is not a healthy situation, but it still seemed to allow some reflections.

Here, in these conditions, on the one hand, repetitive radiation measurements, on the other hand, in conditions where medicine was limited by established procedures, instructions, according to which evacuation could be started if there was a danger for civilians to receive 25 biological x-rays per person for a certain period of time staying in this zone, and such evacuation would become mandatory only if the threat of a population receiving 75 biological x-rays per person while staying in the affected area.

And in the range from 25 to 75 roentgens the right to make a decision belonged to local authorities. It was in these conditions that there were discussions, but here I must say that physicists, especially Viktor Alekseevich SIDORENKO, sensing that the dynamics would not change for the better, insisted on making the evacuation decision, but also, that means the doctors here, or something, they gave way to physicists and somewhere at 10 or 11 pm on April 26, Boris Evdokimovich & lt; Scherbina & gt; having listened to our discussion, he made a decision about mandatory evacuation.

Medvedev in the “Chernobyl notebook” also noted that, unfortunately, during the evacuation mistakes were made, for example, it was worth changing the buses on buses when leaving the contaminated zone - this was not done, and the radioactive dirt was spread along roads for long distances.

In general, the second series sounds like a sure crescendo, and the series wants to look further even stronger.

Third series

Heroes-liquidators from the end of the second series, contrary to expectations, will not die like firefighters and personnel of the fourth block, but will live for a long time (two are still alive). But this does not detract from their heroism.

The third series focuses on his wife Lyudmila and her fatally irradiated husband, the fireman Vasily Ignatenko. This is an almost literal film adaptation of Lyudmila's direct speech from the book by Svetlana Aleksievich “Chernobyl Prayer” . The development of radiation sickness is shown as a whole correctly, and if there is excessive dramatization here, then it is impossible to complain about it - people died a really very unpleasant death.

The story of the miners is fictional, but correct and appropriate. People go to risk their lives, not because they were ordered or intimidated, but because they understand the need to prevent even more trouble.Of course, there were various people among the liquidators, someone directly said that he wanted to make money, but there were stories like a veteran of Afghanistan who said “So what, what is dangerous? In Afghanistan, too, was not a walk. I want to help the country. "

Even the fictional head of the KGB, Charkov, does not look like a ghoul, which struck me in a good way.

In general, in my opinion, the third series is the real culmination of the series. And, no matter how paradoxical it may be, it involuntarily sets up a life-affirming mood — the state and public machine began to work. Yes, it does not act absolutely efficiently, some parts spin for nothing or break, but in general there is movement in the right direction. It is the organization and systematic work of many people that allows us to do the most complicated things and, in general, gives hope for the future of mankind.

Fourth Series

The fourth series has two main sources - the story of the hunter from the “Chernobyl prayer” Aleksiyevich and the documentary film “Chernobyl 3828”.

And, in general, in my opinion, here the level begins to fall. Pavel from the liquidation squad is shown too slender; he only lacks the violin. Yes, of course, there were such people among the liquidators, but he is almost caricatured. And in the record Aleksiyevich still says a hunter who has experience. However, thanks to the creators of the series, the most terrible moments from his story were removed. And I also have a complaint that it is not shown that feral dogs have huddled in packs and have begun to pose a danger to people. Their shooting was unpleasant, but necessary.

The Shcherbina’s hysteria doesn’t look very good, but, indeed, according to his recollections, when buying a robot from Germany, the wrong figure was voiced, because of which he precisely could not work.

And in the history of Lyudmila Ignatenko there is one unpleasant change. The fact that the daughter of Lyudmila, who died shortly after birth, “took upon herself the radiation” is the direct speech of Lyudmila herself, not necessarily the truth. And in the film it is presented as the opinion of doctors. According to the recording in the book of Aleksiyevich, one can clearly see the emotions, and, honestly, I can understand, but I cannot agree with the violation of the safety rules that was in this story, and just in case told my wife that if doctors suddenly forbid me to touch, it is better to perform. Saying goodbye is an important thing, but don't make yourself worse.

The final scene with the raising of the flag from today seems to be a spreading cranberry, but it really was in reality and shown in “Chernobyl 3828”. Other times, other people, other characters ...

Fifth Series

The fifth, final series goes as far as possible from the real story. This Legasov spoke in Vienna and said that the cause of the accident was a combination of serious problems in the design of the reactor and human errors ( source < (a - Christian Science Monitor, September 1, 1986). In the film, he blamed only the operators for everything and managed to overpower himself only at a meeting of the Soviet court. However, the fictional head of the KGB still becomes a ghoul and, in Orwell’s tradition, promises Legasov non-existence (which in reality, of course, did not exist).

The series is good almost a documentary reconstruction of the accident with popular science explanations, but this is practically its only advantage. Alas, the creators go away from the real story and begin to tell their own parable that a lie creates a debt that one day will surely be paid, even if you have long forgotten about a lie.This is a good, correct human morality, but was it worth it to break a very realistic story for this?

A rare translation error. In Russian, the variant “steam coefficient of reactivity” is more often used, but the “void coefficient” is also found.

Medvedev, who worked in the nuclear industry, in the “Chernobyl notebook” sharply criticizes the competence of not only Dyatlov, but also Bryukhanov and Fomin, so that if the scenes in the control room are repromatized, it is not fatal.

If you are upsetting in reality
. But the "bridge of death" has no reliable evidence.

If the third series ends on a life-affirming note and sings out the heroism and professionalism of the liquidators, the final final is much more minor, which I personally liked less.


Personally, my opinion is to look (if you are not yet), but then look for and study additional information in order to have a more accurate idea of ​​what happened in reality.

Additional materials

Grigory Medvedev. Chernobyl Notebook
A detailed article on the causes of the accident in the Science and Technology , the human factor question and in general a good resource about the topic.

Interview Dyatlova recorded in the 90th.

Interview with Stolyarchuk (you have to endure a completely nightmarish interruption)

Source text: The series "Chernobyl": watch and think