A Russian television channel is reportedly producing a series to challenge HBO’s Chernobyl
Moscow Times, writer Ilya Shepelin states director Aleksei Muradov is working with Russian network NTV on its own Chernobyl programme.
There is a theory that the Americans had infiltrated the Chernobyl nuclear power plant and many historians do not deny that on the day of the explosion an agent of the enemy’s intelligence services was present at the station.
Shepelin states the competing series will not present the same conclusions as Craig Mazin‘s drama: that a combination of reckless individual actions and the unchecked pride of the Soviet political system led to the explosion of a faulty nuclear reactor in the former Soviet Ukraine. Craig Mazin, the creator of the HBO series, famously obsessed over minor details such as shoelaces and telephones, and adopted first-hand accounts of survivors to authentically recreate the Soviet Union of the 1980s.
NTV’s Chernobyl, filmed in Belarus, takes far more liberties. A description of the show says that the plot revolves around a CIA agent dispatched to Pripyat to gather intelligence on the Chernobyl nuclear power plant and the Russian counterintelligence agent sent to track him down. If it sounds like fiction, that’s because it is. But the director, Alexey Muradov, said the show “will tell viewers about what really happened back then”.
Sky Original’s Chernobyl was dismissed as a “caricature” in Russia by pro-Kremlin media who said “only we have the right to talk about our history”, according to the Moscow Times. There’s no air date for the series but it’ll be broadcast on state-funded station NTV, known for its pro-Kremlin programming. It received 30 million ($460,000) in funding from the culture ministry, the outlet said.