Tuesday, July 30, 2019


I've finally caught up with the amazing HBO/Sky mini-series Chernobyl, a gruelling experience because the horror is so perfectly executed. No wonder it's up for all of the awards.

Everything about it - the writing, the realisation - is absolutely right. But I especially like The Chernobyl Podcast that accompanies each episode, in which writer Craig Mazin explains to host Peter Segal how much of what we're watching comes from primary sources or dramatic licence. It's full of insight into the real history, including more about the real people involved. But it's also fascinating to hear how judgments were made in the story-telling: what events and relationships to omit (such as Legasov's family) and how much of the stomach-churning detail to actually show.

I'd dearly love more of this: episode-by-episode interviews with the director Johan Renck, produce Sanne Wohlenberg or costume designer Odile Dicks-Mireaux on how you make this history, this whole world, so convincing. And I'd love it done for other drama based in real history: Russell T Davies on A Very English Scandal; Sally Wainwright on Gentleman Jack.

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