(LOS ANGELES) — The new HBO mini-series Chernobyl premieres tonight, focusing on the 1986 nuclear disaster in the town of Chernobyl in Soviet Ukraine and its aftermath. Creator Craig Mazin tells ABC Radio the historical drama series dives deep into the lesser-known aspects of the catastrophe.
“The explosion is the least of it,” he says. “What happened with the people there, and what people did to fix it, and what people did to cause it, is mind-blowing.”
He was inspired to tell the story because of the mysterious circumstances surrounding the event, which was the most disastrous nuclear accident in history. Mazin says he knew almost nothing about Chernobyl until about five years ago, when he went down an internet rabbit hole looking for info.
“I knew Chernobyl exploded the way I knew that the Titanic sank, but if you say to people, ‘How did the Titanic sink?’ they’ll tell you it was an iceberg,” he says. “No one knows how Chernobyl exploded, nobody knows why.”
On top of that, Mazin feels the story – particularly the spread of lies and misinformation that occurred – is especially timely given what’s happening today with climate change.
“I mean now we’re talking about our entire planet as a kind of Chernobyl, and we’re talking about the people running major nations acting in the way that the least informed and the least heroic people in Chernobyl act,” he says.
Chernobyl, starring Jared Harris, Stellan Skarsgard and Emily Watson, premieres tonight at 9 p.m. ET on HBO.
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