Jared Harris and Emily Watson star in the BAFTA® award-winning Sky original exploring the truth about the Chernobyl disaster.

About Chernobyl

On April 26th, 1986, scientists at the Byelorussian Institute of Nuclear Energy detected a significant amount of radiation on the grounds and presumed there was a leak in one of their own labs. However, no leak could be found. They contacted the closest nuclear plant in lgnalina; they too had detected elevated radiation levels but had found no source of a leak. The next phone call was to the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant, a full 250 miles away in Pripyat, Ukraine. No one answered the phone.

The explosion of Reactor #4 at Chernobyl was the result of the lies, mistakes, cover-ups, ignorance and arrogance that were the hallmarks of the Soviet system. A group of scientists resolved to discover the truth, even as the Soviet system worked to conceal its complicity in the disaster. Together they uncovered the truth of what happened that night.

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The characters

Meet the cast of Chernobyl

Valery Legasov

Jared Harris

Valery Legasov, a leading Soviet academician, was part of the response team. He was one of the first to grasp the scope of the disaster.

Ulana Khomyuk

Emily Watson

Legasov was aided by dozens of scientists who worked tirelessly alongside him at Chernobyl. Some spoke out against the official account of events, and were subject to denunciation, arrest and imprisonment. The character of Ulana Khomyuk was created to represent them all, and to honour their dedication and service to truth and humanity.

Boris Shcherbina

Stellan Skarsgård

Soviet Deputy Chairman Boris Shcherbina was assigned by the Kremlin to lead the government commission on Chernobyl in the hours immediately following the accident. A Party loyalist and long-time bureaucrat, Shcherbina was quickly forced to choose between the demands of the State and the unavoidable facts of the disaster.

Anatoly Dyatlov

Paul Ritter

Lyudmilla Ignatenko

Jessie Buckley

Vasily Ignatenko

Adam Nagaitis

Viktor Bryukhanov

Con O'Neill

Nikolai Fomin

Adrian Rawlins

Episode guide

Check out some more Chernobyl
Check out some more Chernobyl


Jared Harris, Emily Watson and Stellan Skarsgard star in a Sky original telling the story of those who sacrificed everything to save Europe from disaster.

Please Remain Calm

With millions of lives already at risk, Ulana races to warn leading Soviet nuclear physicist Valery Legasov about the threat of a second, devastating explosion.

Open Wide, O Earth

Valery Legasov draws up a plan, but it comes with great human risks. Lyudmilla ignores warnings about her firefighter husband's contamination.

The Happiness of All Mankind

Ulana runs into problems as she investigates the explosion. Valery Legasov and Boris Shcherbina come up with a life-saving idea.

Vichnaya Pamyat

The powerful Sky original concludes as Valery Legasov, Boris Shcherbina and Ulana Khomyuk risk everything to expose the truth about Chernobyl.

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