In one episode, three characters dramatically volunteer to sacrifice their lives to drain radioactive water, but no such event occurred.
It did occur in the sense that they did volunteer. And they did think they were going to die.
But the amazing thing is that they survived! One of them died recently of old age and he gave an interview about the whole thing shortly before dying, which is how I know. But the story of their tragic death is part of the Chernobyl lore, and many people in Ukraine do think they died, so I don’t blame the series’ writers for getting it wrong.
“Chernobyl” ominously depicts people gathered on a bridge watching the Chernobyl fire. At the end of the series, HBO claims, “it has been reported that none survived. It is now known as the “Bridge of Death.”
That’s another legend. It’s understandable why it came into existence but it’s simply not true.
Chernobyl is still a catastrophe, the responders were unquestionably heroic but it turned out to be less horrific than anybody expected at the time. I’m definitely not trying to downplay the horror but people asked me to point out the factual inaccuracies, and I’m responding to the request.
Poetic license has every right to exist in a work of fiction, which is what the series is. It sounds like the series transmitted how Ukrainians felt about the catastrophe rather than what actually happened, but it’s a crucial story to transmit.