Many are hailing HBO’s Chernobyl drama after its debut this past May, but Russian TV is about to present a different take on the dramatized events.
According to multiple international publications, and confirmed by The Hollywood Reporter, Russian state TV network NTV is developing its own, more pro-Russia version of the 1986 nuclear disaster. The series, which reportedly already shot last year in Belarus, was partially financed by the Russian Culture Ministry with a grant worth 30 million rubles ($460,000).
HBO’s Chernobyl, the five-episode miniseries which came to a finale on June 3, chronicled the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant disaster of 1986 when a massive explosion, caused by a failed nuclear reactor, spread radioactive material across Belarus, Russia, and Ukraine, and as far as Scandinavia and western Europe.
Russian director Alexey Muradov says his new show “proposes an alternative view on the tragedy in Pripyat.”
“There is a theory that Americans infiltrated the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant,” he told Russian newspaper Komsomolskaya Pravda (via BBC News). “Many historians do not rule out the possibility that on the day of the explosion, an agent of the enemy’s intelligence services was working at the station.”
A network description, mentioned by THR, states the NTV series will follow a group of Soviet KGB officers working to uncover the CIA agent stationed at the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant and involved in espionage.
The Moscow Times reported on multiple Russian media outlets that criticized Chernobyl for what they claim to be inaccuracies. KP ran a headline read, “Chernobyl did not show the most important part – our victory,” while newspaper Argumenty i Fakty reportedly called the show “a caricature and not the truth.” The Moscow Times also quotes a Rossia 24 news anchor as saying, “The only things missing are the bears and accordions!”
Chernobyl, starring Jared Harris and Stellan Skarsgård, is currently the highest-rated TV program on IMDb.