Usually, historical stories of unforeseen tragedies have a hero who is ready to come and save the day. Given what we now know about the nuclear meltdown that led to the new HBO series “Chernobyl,” that moment of triumph will certainly be harder to come by.
After the physical and psychological tumult experienced by his character Francis Crozier in last year’s “The Terror,” Jared Harris is back playing another role packed with peril. Here, he’s Valery Legasov, a real-life individual tasked with determining what led to the massive power plant failure.
As evidenced in this trailer, “Chernobyl” is set at the title facility in Pripyat during the final years of the Soviet Union, but the show takes a modified “Death of Stalin” approach to accents. Still, even in carefully selected images from the series, it supports what series writer and creator Craig Mazin has said about “Chernobyl” being a real-life horror story.
In addition to Harris, the series is also led by an ensemble featuring Emily Watson, Stellan Skarsgård, Ralph Ineson, Fares Fares, Adam Nagaitis, and David Dencik.
All five installments of the series were directed by Johan Renck (who directed the SundanceTV series “The Last Panthers” and the first two installments of “Bloodline”) and will air on consecutive Mondays beginning at the start of May.
“Chernobyl” is part of HBO’s last stretch of programming premiering before the Emmys eligibility window closes on May 31. In addition to this potential entry in the limited series category, HBO also has the Anne Lister series “Gentleman Jack.” “Deadwood: The Movie” is also set to premiere on that final day before the awards calendar turns over.
Watch the full trailer for “Chernobyl” below:
“Chernobyl” premieres May 6 on HBO.