A perfect show in every way. It’s a shame Legasov did not live the impact of his heroism, and how he is celebrated and seen in modern culture.
I’m going to assume that the show is mostly true to reality, but if it’s not, it does not take away from the brutal, but beautifully told, 5 episode story that was told.
It really portrayed how everyone in the USSR saw themselves as members of the state, and they dedicated their whole livelihoods to the state. People risked their lives for a few hundred rubles, which was no more than a few months of pay. I later learned from my parents that scientists and engineers had a monthly stipend of 120 rubles a month, whereas those doing physical labour earned upwards of 400 rubles a month. For comparison, University professors were only earning 300 rubles a month at most. Overall though, I could not believe the level of corruption that existed in the USSR, and how worthless human lives really were…
I don’t know how accurate the science was, but I loved the level and quantity of details provided. This series without any scientific context would have definitely been insufficient, but I also was not looking for a 5 hour science lesson. The directors did a great job at integrating a very proper amount of “science” into the show.
A combination of the actors and cinematography really managed to sway my emotions as the directors had probably hoped. Seeing the boy soldier go from barely being able to shoot a dog to killing dozens a day made me challenge question of how desensitized I would be in that situation. Seeing Khomyuk convince Legasov to tell the truth about AZ-5 made me question how I would’ve behaved in that situation. Seeing Gorbachev made me both fear and respect him at the same time.
A few of my favourite scenes were the slow-motion groups of people who enjoyed viewing the “beautiful” explosion, not knowing that they were soaking tons of radiation and bound to die in the very near future.