“A just world is a sane world,” intones the potent terrifying voiceover in the trailer for Chernobyl, HBOls 5-part mini-series of disaster. “There was nothing sane about Chernobyl.” So the opposite of sane? The insane. And that’s what HBO will deliver in its brutally gruesome exploration of the after-effects of the 1986 nuclear disaster that still defines for some the ultimate ineptitude of the Soviet Union. Want scary? “Every atom of uranium is like a bullet penetrating everything in path — metal, concrete, flesh. Chernobyl holds over 3 trillion of these bullets. Some of them will not stop firing for 50,000 years.”
Nothing — even from the mind of Stephen King — can quite compare with the reality exposed in this spooky, haunting exploration by HBO and writer Craig Mazin. “The pain is unimaginable. In three days to three weeks, you’re dead,” the trailer says. The images will make you understand that the lucky ones are those who die more quickly. Three weeks is a horrible sentence. The trailer concludes with one word: “madness.”
The entire episode brings to mind that other powerful terrifying nuclear revelation wrought by the American and allied scientists at Los Alamos under the guidance of J. Robert Oppenheimer. Oppenheimer guided the efforts to build the nuclear bombs that were eventually dropped on Japan by the Allied Forces in World War II. When Oppenheimer witnessed the first successful test of the nuclear explosion he uttered these words from the Bhagavad-Gita: “Now I am become Death, the destroyer of worlds. ” Chernobyl debuts on HBO on Monday, May 6.