Ethics History Justice Politics TV

Saturday Review 15 – Cherynobyl – The Best TV Series Since West Wing

Cherynobyl – The Best TV Series Since West Wing


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Its been a while – thanks to the disruption of moving to the other side of the world, but its time to return to my weekly Saturday review.  This week we look at only one item – the HBO TV series  Cherynobyl .  In fact it was coming to Australia that enabled me to binge watch it on the flight out here.   It made the time go very quickly.  It is utterly brilliant.  The best TV show since the West Wing.   Incredibly moving, realistic and brilliantly directed acted.


There is so much that one can learn and take from this series.  Some of the dialogue is inspiring and challenging.

“what is the cost of lies”?

“Stories replace truth”

“A just world is a sane world”

“Have faith in Soviet socialism”

“When they put you in charge you do what they say”

“We are defined by our lies”

“Every lie we tell leaves a debt to the truth.  Sooner or later that debt will explode”.

“To be a scientist is to live for truth”.

I don’t really think I need to comment any further on the above.  It’s not just the Soviet’s who lived in a post-truth world – the West is largely moving that direction.  And sadly far too many Christians forget that ‘to be a Christian is to live for the truth”.  We too easily buy into the post-truth, fake news narratives that suit our prejudices.    Human beings need truth, justice, faith and sanity.   Those who place their faith in political systems or secular/religious ideologies to provide that are destined for disappointment.  Those who follow the One who is the Truth – will find that all their debts have been paid – and they can walk in the truth.   It’s a vital lesson for us to learn, before it is too late.

Saturday Review 14 – The Lost Message of Paul; Owen Vol 10: Letters that Changed the World; Silly Wizard; Line of Duty; Castlehill Restaurant


  1. Amen David!
    I’ve not seen the series but my daughter-n-law has and loved it.

    I found it odd that I recently saw an advertisement on a travel site where Chernobyl is hoping to become a tourist destination… where folks can come and visit, complete with a guide carrying a Geiger counter—no overnight stays but still open for daily exploration.
    Then I saw an advertisement for Vodka made from Chernobyl grain…
    No thank you on both counts!!!

    1. It already has become a tourist destination and saw 60,000 visitors last year! I’ve done it and it was one of the most interesting sights I’ve ever seen. You can also book multiple night stays and many people still live there on a semi-regular basis as reactors 1-3 are in the process of being shut down over the next fifty years. Radiation dose of a day long tour was equivalent to a flight from Britain to New York.

  2. Yes, it is a really good series.
    The quote: “Every lie we tell leaves a debt to the truth. Sooner or later that debt will explode” brought to mind Ted Heath and his lies back in the 70s. The explosion is imminent today in the House of Commons. Watch this space.

  3. Yes – love delights in truth and truth sets you free :).

    Interesting that you should mention story telling. It seems that this is what Jesus did with parables. So a reasonable question to ask is, is it the case that things have always been this way, there being “nothing new under the sun”.

    We’ve had a time where the pursuit of truth was attempted with the enlightenment – positive optimism in human endeavour to that end. It concluded with two world wars.

    So it’s not enough to pursue “truth”, it’s necessary for something greater than that divine truth. And since truth without love is destructive just as lies are destructive there is need for love, for compassion. And since no one loves perfectly there is a need for divine love.

    Divine truth and divine love – the perfect exemplar of that being found in Jesus.

  4. Chernobyl is just magnificent – watched it over two days.

    It is also a massive indictment on the USSR of the time and how systemic widespread government ineptitude led to a disaster that threatened the whole of Europe and beyond.

    It really is amazing how the USSR were more concerned about lying to save face in the international community than admit the gravity of the accident.

  5. I have also not seen the series, but I was working at a classified nuclear plant at the time. Early on, after the fire went out, US nuclear specialists were secretly asked to come help. They gave a classified talk, upon their return, that I was one of the ones chosen to attend. The information given by our first-hand witnesses, who talked to the surviving people involved, has never been made public in any news or magazine article. I have read a lot of them. Your comment of “Stories replace truth” is quite appropriate. I am sure that happens in most newsworthy situations, even in the free world.

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