6. The Pacing
Chernobyl is advertised as a miniseries, meaning the five episodes slated are likely to be all we ever get. No doubt showrunner Craig Mazin has given his career a serious boost, but Chernobyl itself will not return.
Considering Mazin’s writing credits so far consist of the Scary Movies, The Hangovers and Identity Thief, his first venture into serious, gritty drama has been a masterstroke.
With only a five episode run to establish and wrap up the story, every second counts for Chernobyl. So far, every second has been used perfectly.
Not a single scene has been wasted or rushed. The times when the show has lingered, we’ve seen the full scale of the horror the disaster unleashed. The times it’s hurried through different locations, we’ve felt the maddening chaos of the fallout.
That’s the genius of the show’s focus - this is very much about people as a whole, rather than individuals.
While some characters are obviously key players in the events, in general the show never wastes time with introductions or development. One character appears to be set up in episode one as vital, only to succumb to radiation poisoning before the episode is out.