Patriotic retelling of Chernobyl disaster will reportedly air on Russian TV soon


The binge-worthy five-episode series recently jumped to the top of IMDb's all-time rankings of television shows with a 9.7 average score out of 10, nudging aside longtime favorites like "Breaking Bad", "Planet Earth" and "The Wire", Variety reported on Wednesday.

And now reports from Russian Federation suggest that the Kremlin is keen to put things right, in remaking the show with a rather different angle on the meltdown of the nuclear plant in Soviet Ukraine.

According to the The Hollywood Reporter, the show will air on NTV, a Russian network known for their pro-Kremlin programming. The government has also reportedly invested 30 million rubles ($460,000) in the production budget.

It's still debated how many people died due to radiation and long-term health effects as a result of the nuclear accident, with estimates ranging from 4000 to a whopping 90,000. The United Nations has linked almost 20,000 cases of thyroid cancer in patients who were under the age of 18 at the time of the incident.

Whether you believe the HBO series is an accurate account of the event or a heap of sensationalist nonsense, it's widely recognised that Mikhail Gorbachev, Russian leader at the time, cited the disaster as evidence for what he regarded as widespread problems in Soviet society, like shoddy workmanship and workplace idleness.

The show will depict an American CIA operative at Chernobyl conducting sabotage. However, there's a rather large entity that isn't a fan of the miniseries: the Russian government.

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Alexei Muradov, director of the upcoming feature, told the newspaper his story will be based on a conspiracy theory that "Americans had infiltrated the Chernobyl nuclear power plant" and likely had a hand in the explosion.

The series follows KGB officers tracking the Central Intelligence Agency agent, and uncovering his espionage efforts, according to The Hollywood Reporter.

The World Nuclear Association makes it clear that Chernobyl disaster was caused by a mix of faulty reactor design and human error.

Less delicate is a piece by The Moscow Times, which launched a media-led "mini-crusade" against the series, which has become a national obsession in Russian Federation. "The fact that an American, not a Russian, TV channel tells us about our own heroes is a source of shame that the pro-Kremlin media apparently can not live down", writes the Times' Ilya Shepelin.

The HBO series, which focuses mainly on the Soviet Union's coverup following the accident and the heroic actions of the plant workers, has been widely praised not only by Americans but by Russians, as well.