Chernobyl: What’s it about? Who’s in the cast and how can I watch?

Jared Harris, Stellan Skarsgård, Emily Watson and Jessie Buckley lead the cast of this five-part mini-series about the catastrophic 1986 nuclear disaster

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Chernobyl

Jared Harris, Stellan Skarsgård, Emily Watson and Jessie Buckley lead the cast of this critically acclaimed Sky TV drama, telling the human story behind this catastrophic nuclear disaster.

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How can I watch Chernobyl?

Chernobyl is available in the UK on Sky box sets and on NOW TV (with a 7 day free trial for new customers).

This Sky original drama is a co-production with US broadcaster HBO.


What is Chernobyl about? 

CHERNOBYL, UKRAINE, USSR - 1986: Chernobyl nuclear power plant a few months after the disaster. Chernobyl, Ukraine, USSR, 1986. (Photo by Laski Diffusion/Getty Images)

Chernobyl is a tale of “lies and conspiracy” as well as “courage and conviction”, focusing on the nuclear accident in Ukraine in 1986 which has had such far-reaching consequences for the Soviet Union, Europe and the world.

Over five episodes, the drama explores how and why the accident happened, and tells “the shocking, remarkable stories” of the men and women who risked their lives (and often actually lost their lives) to limit the scale of the disaster.

Written by Craig Mazin and directed by The Walking Dead’s Johan Renck, Chernobyl promises to “bring to life the true story of the unprecedented tragedy”.



Who stars in Chernobyl?

As seen in these photos released exclusively to RadioTimes.com, The Crown and Mad Men actor Jared Harris plays Valery Legasov, a leading Soviet nuclear physicist who is one of the first to grasp the scope of the nuclear disaster.

He is chosen by the Kremlin to investigate the accident, but becomes bitterly disillusioned with the failure of the authorities to face up to the design flaws in the reactors.

Jared Harris as Valery Legasov in Chernobyl (Liam Daniel, HBO)

Stellan Skarsgård (below) plays Soviet Deputy Prime Minister Boris Shcherbina, who is assigned by the Kremlin to lead the government commission on Chernobyl in the hours immediately following the accident.

Stellan Skarsgård plays Soviet Deputy Prime Minister Boris Shcherbina in Chernobyl

Apple Tree Yard actress Emily Watson portrays Ulana Khomyuk, a Soviet nuclear physicist committed to solving the mystery of what led to the Chernobyl disaster and getting to the bottom of this deadly accident.

Emily Watson portrays Ulana Khomyuk in Chernobyl

Jessie Buckley, who rose to fame in talent contest I’d Do Anything and recently starred in War and Peace and The Woman in White, will play a character called Lyudmilla Ignatenko – the wife of firefighter Vasily Ignatenko, who was one of the first on the scene when the reactor exploded. 

On joining the cast, she said: “It is a real honour to be part of this important piece of work and share with the world the real truth about the unbelievable bravery and sacrifice that the people of Chernobyl made in order to stop an even greater disaster. I feel incredibly humbled.”

Jessie Buckley as Lyudmilla Ignatenko in Chernobyl

The cast also includes Adrian Rawlins (Harry Potter, Innocent, Girlfriends), Paul Ritter (Cold Feet, Friday Night Dinner) and Ralph Ineson – best known for his roles as Amycus Carrow in Harry Potter and Dagmer Cleftjaw in Game of Thrones.

How many Emmys has Chernobyl been nominated for?

In July 2019, Chernobyl was nominated for a staggering 19 Emmy awards.

The mini-series has been hugely well-received, both by critics and viewers – in fact, the final episode was watched by an audience of 4.12 million, making it the first Sky original to reach an audience of over 4 million.

Jared Harris has been nominated for Outstanding Lead Actor, with Emily Watson and Stellan Skarsgård up for Supporting Actress and Supporting Actor. Craig Mazin has been nominated for Outstanding Writing and the show is also nominated in the Oustanding Limited Series category, competing with shows including When They See Us and Fosse/Verdon

Sky UK and Ireland’s Zai Bennett said: “We are delighted that Chernobyl, our most successful ever Sky original drama,  has been nominated for a phenomenal 19 Emmys. It is testament to the brilliant vision and script of Craig Mazin, the direction of Johan Renck and the dedication of Jane Featherstone, Carolyn Strauss and the talented team at Sister Pictures who produced such a gripping series.”


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