’s was never going to be , breezy , but t’s no way to prepe for what it does to .

The five-pt mini is an unmissable tele event, but it is one that hrow , a in the guise of a historical docu. Each second is riddled with nauseous aniety. King how this ends does not in any way lessen the terror of ing it unf in real

On April 26, 1986, a re eploded at the power plant out of Pripyat in what was then the . The resultant in the re’s graphite moderator led to ive amounts of crying across the local radius through . The incident is regded by many as the most catastrophic accident in hi


So why does chill to the bone? T e several contributing fs – recency, realism, hindsight, hubris. The men in power deal in denial and ; their worst fe is not widespread and gruesome , but humiliation for them and their nation. Ritter plays deputy Anatoly Dyatlov with an unwavering commitment to ackledging anything but the truth. Dyatlov ively gass his to their , telling them what they did or didn’t see, what is and isn’t hening, without so much as a blink of self-doubt.

If nothing else, go into king the answer to its central thematic question: “What is the cost of lies?” In this case, it is the steepest cost of . The person asking is chemist Valery Legasov (Jed Hris), who led the and died by ely two yes later.

On the , creator Crg Mazin compes his to a movie in that an unseen monster is haunting and killing these chers and they can do nothing to stop it. That is the true terror of : This monster has no visible face or form as it stalks its victims. k t e no ghosts or creatures lurking in r at night, but never k, with absolute certnty, what s lurk in the very r ound us. 

The is as unsettling in its breaths as in its ion. At the power plant, ers panic and run to prevent a already in motion – but out in Pripyat, citizens continue quiet lives, ing what they believe from af to be a . One of the episode’s most chilling s is a wordless scene of ren dancing and playing in sy ash ing down from the epanding cloud above their . Some of the most outlandish and ironic s e drawn from ual , such as men dousing the flame in and one of them touching a piece of ed graphite with his be hands. 

Peter Sagal

A silent killer, poisoning announces its presence in graphic, visceral . ion Le Hull described the show as his most disturbing resech to date. Bodies ed to ive material melt in and out; men vomit spontaneously; and more than once, a cher says they taste and leaves us suspended on this ominous note. A shrewd asks if the has iodine , ing a to their potential use to protect the thyroid gland from poisoning (the eplosion led to over a dozen s from hood thyroid ).

Hull’s ion drops right into the and its surroundings, a dire contrast of -esque quntness and calamity. It’s not accidental that scenes from in the power plant Titanic or a treacherous scene from a movie set in (on the , Mazin and host briefly discuss the Chenger eplosion that occur mere months before ).

Mazin began on the as ely as 2015, when lies were not ubiquitous in n s, when power and p’s mounting toll wasn’t dly and a regime seemingly free of consequence. It’s nothing short of hetbreaking to ‘s unfurl. As Mazin himself says: “ can contn . can’t contn isotopes.”

rs Mondays at 9 p.m. on .

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