Sky Atlantic has just released its first disturbing trailer for Chernobyl, the drama based on the 1986 power plant disaster.
Featuring Jessie Buckley (Taboo), Emily Watson (Apple Tree Yard) and Stellan Skarsgård (Mamma Mia!), the preview gives a hard-hitting look into the nuclear meltdown that caused catastrophic radiation damage across the Soviet Union and beyond.
As The Crown’s Jared Harris, who plays leading Soviet nuclear physicist Valery Legasov, says at the trailer’s start: “Chernobyl is on fire. Every atom of uranium is like a bullet penetrating anything in its path. Metal. Concrete. Flesh. Chernobyl holds three million of these bullets. Some of them will not stop firing for 50,000 years.”
To the backdrop of geiger counter crackling, we then see the deaths, deformities and environmental destruction across the now-abandoned town of Pripyat, Ukraine.
Over five episodes, the drama – which will air on HBO in the US – will examine how the accident happened and “the shocking, remarkable stories” of the men and women who risked their lives attempting to curtail the disaster.
Watson will play one of these in her role as Ulana Khomyuk, a Soviet nuclear physicist driven to find the cause of the disaster.
Elsewhere, Skarsgård will play Deputy Prime Minister Boris Shcherbina, while Buckley will feature as Lyudmilla Ignatenko, whose husband was one of the first firefighters on the scene. Adrian Rawlins (Harry Potter) and Paul Ritter (Cold Feet) will also star.