10+ Behind-The-Scenes Secrets From HBO's 'Chernobyl'

Today, we're going to talk about the surprise hit show Chernobyl.

I'm telling you, this thing came out of nowhere and it's taking the world by storm.

Gear up, folks.


Throw on your radiation suits, clean out those respirators and watch out for mutants, because we're heading into the world of Chernobyl.

The new hit HBO show has some secrets, and we're gonna share em'!

1. They got the time right.


Turns out, the show is actually pretty accurate.

The name of the first episode, 1:23:45 AM, is the exact time that the core of reactor 4 exploded in the real-life Chernobyl.

2. Valery Legasov is real.


The series starts with Valery Legasov recording tapes of the true events of what happened at Chernobyl, a way to combat the failed cover-up by the Soviet Union.

He was a real person who was eventually awarded the title of Hero of the Russian Federation by Russian president Boris Yeltsin.

3. Anatoly Dyatlov is real too.


Once Legasov dies, we cut to mid-explosion, where we see Anatoly Dyatlov trying to order everyone around in the control room.

He was there in real life and in fact, died in the explosion.

4. They used real dialogue.


During the scene where the plant is finally going up, they used things people really said.

It was all from the book Voices of Chernobyl, by Svetlana Alexievich, and the detail is pretty frightening.

5. One thing they didn't include was even stranger.


According to Mazin (via The Chernobyl Podcast), there was a man who's Chernobyl story is disturbing and strange.

Apparently, there was one man who realized the reactor exploded, went home and took a nap, then returned to work!

6. Two people were immediately in charge of the situation.


Viktor Bryukhanov (Con O'Neill) and Nikolai Fomin (Adrian Rawlins) were some of the only engineers aware of the initial explosion in reactor 4.

Fomin ordered Anatoly Sitnikov (Jaime Sives) to observe the reactor hall from the roof, and Sitnikov received a fatal dosage of radiation poisoning for his trouble.

7. Pripyat wasn't evacuated immediately.


The events of episode 2 actually happened, at least when it comes to the citizens of the nearby town of Pripyat.

In fact, just like in the show, the town wasn't evacuated until approximately 36 hours after the disaster began.

8. The citizens of Pripyat had no idea how long they were being evacuated for.


Apparently, they thought this was a short term deal, nothing permanent.

We now know this wasn't the case, and that the people of that small Russian town wouldn't be seeing their homes for a long time.

9. The episode title is a real quote.


As they loaded onto the buses, the people of Pripyat were given this message:

"Please keep calm and orderly in the process of this short-term evacuation." That's where episode 2, "Please Remain Calm" gets its name.

10. Ulana Khomyuk


Apparently, one of the few characters not based on a real person in the miniseries is Emily Watson's character, the Soviet nuclear physicist Ulana Khomyuk.

11. She's probably actually a bunch of scientists.


As in her character is based on a bunch of real-life people.

Chernobyl writer Mazin created her to reflect all the women who were in medical and science fields in the Soviet Union.

12. The torches.


In Episode 3, three scientists use dynamo torches to light their way to the valves.

In real life, however, the engineers had to hold on to nearby pipes to guide their way to their destination.

13. Lyudmilla Ignatenko's children.


Lyudmilla Ignatenko and her story are focused upon in Episode 3.

One change from real life is that she tells the nurse she's not pregnant, whereas in real life she said she already had two children.

14. Lyudmilla and her husband.


On the show, Lyudmilla is seen touching and hugging her husband Vasily.

In real life, however, Lyudmilla told people that they weren't allowed to come into contact at all.