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'Chernobyl' Creator On The Meaning Behind That Powerful Final Scene

'Chernobyl' Creator On The Meaning Behind That Powerful Final Scene

The final words in the show, spoken by Legasov, are “the cost of lies,” a phrase mentioned in the first scene of the series.

Ciara Sheppard

Ciara Sheppard

HBO mini-series Chernobyl struck a chord with viewers upon its release for its painful-to-watch retelling of the 1986 nuclear disaster in Soviet Union Ukraine, the disastrous fallout and the clean-up job that followed.

The final episode in the five-part series, which aired on Sky Atlantic on 4th June, cleverly flashed back and forward between the 1987 state trial of Nikolai Fomin (Adrian Rawlins), Anatoly Dyatlov (Paul Ritterand) and Viktor P. Bryukhanov (Con O'Neill) following the disaster, and the evening of 26th April 1986 when the plant workers went ahead with safety check despite being told they were unsafe.


The episode ended on a poignant note, paying tribute to those that lost their lives in the disaster and giving an update on the where they key players are now.

The final words in the show, spoken by chief of the commission investigating the Chernobyl disaster Valery Legasov, are "the cost of lies," a phrase mentioned in the first scene of the series. Legasov was one of the first to respond to the disaster, but his efforts were met with pushback from the Soviet Union.

Chernobyl showrunner Craig Mazin, how spoken about the importance of these words as a reflection on today's political landscape, which he says has a "disconnection from truth".

"Well, we are experiencing something now that I used to think was mostly just a phenomenon in a place like the Soviet Union, which is a disconnection from truth. And the emergence of a cult of personality. And a distrust and debasement of experts who don't go along with whatever the official narrative is," Mazin told Slate.


The director, whose previous works include Scary Movie and The Hangover, continued. "It's so upsetting, and we don't know quite how to handle it. What I want people to consider is that no matter what it is we want to believe, and no matter what story it is we want to jam the world into, the truth is the truth.

"If you organise your life around some political party's list of things you should believe, or an individual that you think is going to come and save you, you are disconnecting yourself from truth. And there is a price to pay."

Mazin finished: "We live on a planet that is under threat, and scientists are warning us, just as they did in the '70s regarding RBMK reactors in the Soviet Union. Governments are choosing to listen or not listen, and people are choosing to listen or not listen.

"But the truth, the globe, the thermometer, doesn't care. And the RBMK didn't care either. It didn't matter what they wanted to do that night.

"It didn't matter that the fatal flaw of the RBMK reactor was a state secret. The reactor didn't care. And that's the problem we struggle with. We are attempting to make ourselves superior to fact, and we are not."

Featured Image Credit: HBO

Topics: Entertainment News, TV & Film, Chernobyl