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《切尔诺贝利》第1集剧本-英文原版

2019-6-17 22:21| 发布者: 小白兔| 查看: 95| 评论: 0

摘要: CHERNOBYLEpisode 1 - "1:23:45"Written byCraig MazinAugust 15, 2018Copyright© 2018 Home Box Office, Inc. ALL RIGHTS RESERVEDNO PORTION OF THIS SCRIPT MAY BE PERFORMED, PUBLISHED,REPRODUCED, ...



CHERNOBYL
Episode 1 - "1:23:45"
Written by
Craig Mazin
August 15, 2018
Copyright? 2018 Home Box Office, Inc. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED
NO PORTION OF THIS SCRIPT MAY BE PERFORMED, PUBLISHED,
REPRODUCED, EXHIBITED, SOLD OR DISTRIBUTED BY ANY MEANS, OR
QUOTED OR PUBLISHED IN ANY MEDIUM, INCLUDING ON ANY
WEBSITE, WITHOUT PRIOR WRITTEN CONSENT OF HOME BOX OFFICE,
INC. THIS MATERIAL IS THE PROPERTY OF HOME BOX OFFICE, INC.
AND IS INTENDED FOR AND RESTRICTED TO USE BY HOME BOX
OFFICE, INC. ONLY. DISTRIBUTION OR DISCLOSURE OF THIS
MATERIAL TO UNAUTHORIZED PERSONS IS PROHIBITED.
101 OVER BLACK 101
A man's voice, tinny, over audio cassette hiss.
RECORDED VOICE
What is the cost of lies?
102 INT. MOSCOW APARTMENT 102
A CIGARETTE - slowly burns in an ashtray.
RECORDED VOICE
It's not that we'll mistake them for
the truth. The real danger is that
if we hear enough lies, then we no
longer recognize the truth at all.
What can we do then? What else is
left but to abandon even the hope of
truth, and content ourselves
instead... with stories.
The apartment is cramped. Bookshelves. Stacks of scientific
journals. Soviet-era furniture. Nicotine wallpaper.
RECORDED VOICE
In these stories, it doesn't matter
who the heroes are. All we want to
know is: who is to blame? Well. In
this story, it was Anatoly Dyatlov.
And he was the best choice. An
arrogant, unpleasant man, he ran the
room that night, he gave the
orders... and no friends. Or at
least not important ones.
A CAT pads softly over a TYPEWRITER on a wooden desk.
Through an open archway, we see a MAN sitting at a kitchen
table. Takes the cigarette from the ashtray. Smokes.
RECORDED VOICE
And now Dyatlov will spend the next
ten years in a prison labour camp.
IN THE KITCHEN - the soft tick-tick-tick of a small CLOCK
on the kitchen table. It's a little past 1:00 AM.
TITLE: MOSCOW - APRIL 26, 1988
Next to the clock: a cup of tea, the ashtray, and a chunky
Soviet-era AUDIO CASSETTE RECORDER. Tape playing.
1.
RECORDED VOICE
Of course that sentence is doubly
unfair. There were far greater
criminals than him at work.
The listening man is: VALERY LEGASOV, 52. Glasses. Pale
skin, a bit papery. His hair is thinning in odd patches.
RECORDED VOICE
And as for what Dyatlov did do, the
man doesn't deserve prison.
Legasov takes a drag on his cigarette. Listening calmly to
his own voice playing back through the recorder.
RECORDED VOICE
He deserves death.
Legasov presses STOP on the recorder. Picks up a small
microphone wired to the cassette player. Hits PLAY/RECORD.
LEGASOV
But instead, ten years for "criminal
mismanagement". What does that mean?
No one knows and it doesn't matter.
What does matter is that to them,
justice was done. Because you see? A
just world is a sane world.
(beat)
There is nothing sane about
Chernobyl. What happened there, what
happened after... even the good we
did... all of it... all of it...
(beat)
Madness.
He removes his glasses. Rubs his eyes. Exhausted.
LEGASOV
I've given you everything I know.
They'll try to deny it, the way they
always do. Will you prevail? I do not
know. I only know you'll do your best
to try.
Legasov presses STOP. Then REWIND. As the tape spins, we
see: FIVE OTHER TAPES on the table, each numbered.
Legasov crosses to a WINDOW. Moves the curtain slightly to
the side and peeks down at:
HIS POV - a CAR parked across the street. The interior
LIGHT is on. It's always on. Someone's always there.
2.
103 EXT. MOSCOW APT. BUILDING - NIGHT 103
Moscow is dead quiet. Legasov carefully steps outside,
remaing in shadow, holding his COAT closed with his hands.
There's a slight bulge. Across the street - THE PARKED CAR.
A MAN sits in the car. Dome light on. He's pouring coffee
from a thermos into a cup, and while he's distracted,
Legasov quickly PASSES through the BEAM of a streetlamp to:
A DARK ALLEY next to his building. Back in shadows. He
moves past the rubbish bins and into a small garden area.
Then removes the PACKAGE from inside his coat, and stashes
it in a small air vent, well out of view.
Now, only one final task remains. He checks his watch.
1:19. Nearly time. He removes a single cigarette from a
nearly full pack. Tosses the rest of the pack away.
104 INT. LEGASOV'S APARTMENT - MINUTES LATER 104
The cat is now on the kitchen table. It raises its head at
the sound of the door opening and closing.
Legasov enters. Removes his jacket. Moves quickly to the
window and checks once again.
HIS POV: the car light is still on. But no one's gotten
out. He was unseen.
Legasov lights his one cigarette. A long draw. Checks his
watch again. Another draw. He's rushing now.
He places four small bowls on the floor in a row. Fills
each with scraps of boiled chicken from a plate.
Walks back to the table. Another drag of the cigarette.
Looks at the clock. It's now 1:23. Okay. Rests the
cigarette back in the ashtray. Walks out of frame.
We stay with the CAT and the CLOCK. We HEAR: a closet door
opening... something jangles.
The second hand ticks. It's 1:23 and 20 seconds.
SOUND: footsteps
1:23 and 30 seconds.
SOUND: a chair is moved
1:23 and 40 seconds
3.
...now silence as the cat lowers its head, bored. Tick tick
tick tick. 1:23:41, 42, 43, 44 --
SOUND: a chair toppling and a sharp SNAP.
The cat lifts its head. Startled.
REVERSE TO REVEAL - Legasov's legs, hanging in mid-air,
slightly turning, out of focus in the background.
The cigarette still burns. Smoke curls.
DISSOLVE TO:
105 EXT. PRIPYAT - NIGHT 105
VIEW THROUGH GLASS - a small city of 50,000 people, mostly
living in large block apartment buildings.
Beyond that, LIGHTS clustered in the distance, perhaps two
or three miles away. Some white, some red, some blinking.
The Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant.
TITLE: PRIPYAT, UKRAINE - USSR
TWO YEARS AND ONE MINUTE EARLIER
We PULL BACK to see we're:
106 INT. APARTMENT - NIGHT 106
Looking out at the blinking lights of the nearby power
plant through a WINDOW. This apartment is simple. Sparse.
Flat, powder blue walls. Tiny kitchenette.
ON THE WALL - a PHOTO of a young man holding a woman off
the ground. She's laughing. Scared. In love. Next to the
photo, a calendar. The year is 1986.
We hear: a woman RETCHING off-screen. A toilet flushing.
LYUDMILLA IGNATENKO, 23, emerges from the bathroom.
Catching her breath. Sick. But happy. Something beautiful.
She peers in to her bedroom, where her husband VASILY, 25,
sleeps soundly. Good. She'll tell him later.
Oh. Her cigarette in the ashtray. No more smoking. She
quickly stubs it out. A growing HISS. Lyudmilla crosses out
of frame. We hear tea being poured.
4.
THROUGH THE WINDOW - we see but do not hear a small
EXPLOSION at the power plant, followed almost instantly by
a MASSIVE EXPLOSION that turns night into day. And still,
no sound. A mute apocalypse.
One second goes by. Lyudmilla re-enters frame. Oblivious.
Two seconds. She sits down.
Three seconds - SHOCKWAVE - like a massive fist SLAMMING
into the side of the building... and she jolts back.
The BEDROOM DOOR flings open, and Vasily emerges.
Sleeveless undershirt, pyjama bottoms. Confused. The noise.
He joins Lyudmilla at the window. Sees...
FIRES ringing a terrible crimson-red GLOW at the power
plant, as if the building has opened a gate to hell.
And rising out of the inferno-- an unnatural, glowing,
BRIGHT BLUE COLUMN OF LIGHT, like a beacon shooting
straight up into the sky... seemingly to the stars.
Dogs begin barking. Apartment lights turn on. Pripyat
awakens. It's 1:24 AM.
107 INT. CONTROL ROOM - REACTOR #4 - 01:24 AM 107
No sound except distant hissing noises.
All we see is SWIRLING WHITE DUST, illuminated by emergency
BACKUP LIGHTS. And now we make out:
MEN - the control room operators, dressed identically in
white uniforms. White paper hats covering their heads. All
in the same position. Cowering.
Except for one man, who stands. 55 years old, gray
mustache, white hair swept back on his head. This is
ANATOLY DYATLOV.
CLOSE ON DYATLOV - SLOW MOTION - the white dust swirls
eerily around his face. He's bewildered. Shell-shocked.
We hear a voice echoing as if from far away:
VOICE (O.S.)
Comrade Dyatlov? Comrade Dyatlov?
Time SNAPS BACK into rhythm, and Dyatlov registers:
5.
ALEXANDR AKIMOV, 33, black mustache, glasses. Staring at
him - saying his name.
AKIMOV
Comrade Dyatlov?
DYATLOV
What just happened?
AKIMOV
I don't know.
BRAZHNIK, 20's, enters the control room in a panic.
BRAZHNIK
There's a fire in the turbine hall.
Something blew up...
Dyatlov pauses. Lost in thought? His face is unreadable.
Agonizing seconds tick by. Then he turns coldly to Akimov.
DYATLOV
The turbine hall. The control system
tank. Hydrogen. You and Toptunov--
you morons blew the tank.
LEONID TOPTUNOV, 25, blond, thin, terrified. His boyish
moustache is a struggling, wispy version of Akimov's.
TOPTUNOV
No, that's not--
Akimov signals Toptunov not to argue.
DYATLOV
(to the room)
This is an emergency. Everyone stay
calm. Our first priority is--
PEREVOZCHENKO, 30's, bursts in. Panting. Frantic.
PEREVOZCHENKO
It exploded.
DYATLOV
We know. Akimov-- are we cooling the
reactor core?
AKIMOV
We shut it down.
(MORE)
6.
(checks the panel)
AKIMOV (cont'd)
But the control rods are still--
they're not all the way in-- I
disengaged the clutch. I don't--
Perevozchenko watches Akimov and Dyatlov talking about the
reactor.. are they out of their minds?
DYATLOV
Alright. I'll disconnect the servos
from the standby console. You two!
ACROSS THE ROOM: BORIS STOLYARCHUK and IGOR KIRSCHENBAUM,
late 20's, sit together at a control panel. Shell-shocked.
DYATLOV
Get the backup pumps running. We
need water moving through the core.
That's all that matters.
As Dyatlov heads for the door--
PEREVOZCHENKO
There is no core.
Dyatlov stops. Turns. Everyone in the room stares. Two
TRAINEES, PROSKURYAKOV and KUDRYAVTSEV, both 30, look at
each other. For the first time, real fear.
PEREVOZCHENKO
It exploded. The core exploded.
A beat, then Dyatlov shakes his head in disgust.
DYATLOV
He's in shock. Get him out of here.
PEREVOZCHENKO
The lid is off. The stack is
burning. I saw it.
DYATLOV
(calmly)
You're confused. RBMK reactor cores
don't explode. Akimov...
Akimov hesitates. Stares at the control panel. A plastic
cover is lifted up over a large black switch labeled AZ-5.
Then he looks at young, frightened Toptunov.
7.
AKIMOV
Don't worry, Leonid. We did
everything right. Something--
something strange has happened.
Toptunov grabs Akimov's arm. Whispers to him.
TOPTUNOV
Do you taste metal?
DYATLOV
Akimov.
Akimov tastes the metal in his mouth. Then:
AKIMOV
Comrade Perevozschenko, what you're
saying is physically impossible. A
core can't explode. It has to be the
tank.
Perevozchenko looks at Akimov in disbelief.
DYATLOV
We're wasting time. LET'S GO. Get
the hydrogen out of the generators,
and pump water into the core.
As Dyatlov turns to exit--
BRAZHNIK
What about the fire?
Dyatlov looks back at him. Annoyed.
DYATLOV
Call the fire brigade.
Dyaltov EXITS.
108 INT. HALLWAY OUTSIDE CONTROL ROOM 4 - CONTINUOUS 108
Battery-powered emergency lights shine into swirls of dust.
We hear a distant ALARM blaring. Someone's shouting.
DYATLOV - strides with purpose. No emotion. Stone cold.
Then stops. Feels the COLD AIR on his face. Turns to:
A SMALL LANDING with a WINDOW. The glass has been BLOWN IN,
and shards litter the floor. Dyatlov walks slowly across
the broken glass to the window...
8.
He walks up to the open window. Looks at the grounds below.
Chunks of DEBRIS litter the ground. Hard to tell in the
moonlight just what it is. But some of it is BURNING.
Dyatlov stares at the debris for a moment. Then calmly
turns and continues down the hall.
109 EXT. CHERNOBYL POWER PLANT - CONTINUOUS 109
THE BURNING RUBBLE - thick black chunks of GRAPHITE, with
smooth channels carved through them.
We lift up from the rubble... and now we see:
REACTOR BUILDING #4 - and the massive GAPING HOLE in its
side - tons of steel and graphite and plaster and
cinderblock vomited out from the blast...
FIRES burn in scattered pockets where red-hot graphite has
ignited the tar-covered roof. Pouring out from somewhere
inside the building, BLACK SMOKE. And still, the awful
scarlet glow. And still, the impossible BEACON of BLUE
LIGHT spiring up...
We hear: crackling static - and a strange, repeating audio
tone.
CUT TO BLACK
110 OVER BLACK 110
The tone stops as a new audio signal is connected. Then -
voices over a phone or perhaps a radio, speaking Russian.
This is a recording of the actual call made that night.
Translation only is SUBTITLED over black:
PRIPYAT EMERGENCY DISPATCH
Hello, is this Military Fire Station
2?
MILITARY FIRE STATION 2
Yes.
PRIPYAT EMERGENCY DISPATCH
What's happening with the accident?
9.
MILITARY FIRE STATION 2
Explosion in the main building
between third and fourth blocks.
PRIPYAT EMERGENCY DISPATCH
Are there people there?
MILITARY FIRE STATION 2
Yes.
(We hear another voice on the military fire station end)
OTHER VOICE
Wake up the bosses. Call them.
MILITARY FIRE STATION 2
I already called mine.
OTHER VOICE
Wake them up, wake them all up. Wake
up the entire officer's block.
AUDIO TONE - then a new call
FIRE DEPARTMENT
Fire Department.
PRIPYAT EMERGENCY DISPATCH
Hello, Ivankov?
FIRE DEPARTMENT
Yes. Yes?
PRIPYAT FIRE DISPATCH
You've been called to Pripyat.
Hello?
FIRE DEPARTMENT
Yes. Yes I can hear you.
PRIPYAT FIRE DISPATCH
At the nuclear plant over there, in
the third and fourth blocks. The
roof is on fire.
AUDIO TONE - call ends
The black is WIPED OPEN into light, and we're:
10.
111 INT. LYUDMILLA AND VASILY'S APARTMENT - NOW 111
--in a CLOSET, looking out at VASILY, in a t-shirt and
uniform pants. He grabs his boots.
Lyudmilla watches him nervously.
LYUDMILLA
You're not on call tonight.
He hustles to get his boots on.
VASILY
They're bringing everyone in. Military
and civil. Pripyat, Polesskoe. Even
Kiev. It's a big one.
LYUDMILLA
It doesn't look right. The color.
VASILY
Pravik thinks they're shining
floodlights or something.
LYUDMILLA
But are there chemicals?
He pulls on his jacket.
VASILY
Chemicals? No, the problem's the
roof. It's covered in tar. It's
going to burn all night and stink
like hell. But that's the worst of
it.
She opens her mouth to say something, but he takes her face
in his hands. Gives her a kiss.
VASILY
Go to sleep. It'll be over before
you wake.
112 OMITTED 112
113 OMITTED 113
11.
114 INT. INSIDE REACTOR BUILDING #4 - SAME TIME 114
Dark hallway. Smoke. Sparks shower down from severed
electric lines arcing into flooding water. Steam hissing.
PEREVOZCHENKO lurches into view.
We LEAD him through the twisted, mangled maze. A disaster
area of debris, collapsed ceilings, spurting steam...
But he pushes through until he gets to an OPEN DOOR - and
we follow him in to:
DOSIMETRY - NIKOLAI GORBACHENKO is cowering under his desk.
SPARKS exploding down from a hole in the ceiling.
GORBACHENKO
Is it war?
Perevozchenko searches frantically through the debris.
PEREVOZCHENKO
Where's the dosimeter?
GORBACHENKO
Here... here...
Gorbachenko crawls out and hands Perevozchenko a brown
leather case with the DOSIMETER. We hear something heavy
COLLAPSING above them. Gorbachenko flinches.
GORBACHENKO
Are they bombing?
Perevozchenko doesn't answer. Just stares at the dosimeter
in disbelief.
PEREVOZCHENKO
What the fuck is this? 3.6 roentgen?
GORBACHENKO
That's as high as it goes. The good
one's locked in a safe. I don't have
the key--
(sees)
Valera-- your face...
Perevozchenko's face has DARKENED. A reddish brown TAN. He
doesn't know. Doesn't care.
He throws the useless dosimeter aside and grabs
Gorbachenko, lifting him to his feet.
12.
PEREVOZCHENKO
I'm going to find Khodemchuk. You
get Shashenok. He's in 604. Go. Go!
Perevozchenko wanders DOWN A TUNNEL away from us and we
swing around to Gorbachenko, who is terrified.
Now WE FOLLOW GORBACHENKO as he heads up a steep staircase
into DARKNESS - coming around on him so we're leading him,
watching his face as it's illuminated by sparks and the
orange flicker of SPOT FIRES...
A MAN LURCHES OUT OF THE DARKNESS into Gorbachenko and
VOMITS BLOOD in a violent ejection, spattering
Gorbachenko's white uniform with red.
GORBACHENKO
Shit!
The man stumbles away from us, and we WHIP around to
PROSKURYAKOV and KUDRYAVTSEV, the trainees, running down
the stairs at us.
PROSKURYAKOV
We need to get to the reactor hall.
The lift's destroyed.
GORBACHENKO
(points)
Across to the stairs. That way.
The trainees run off in that direction. Gorbachenko yells
after them...
GORBACHENKO
Why are you going there?
No answer. They're gone. Then he sees: a METAL DOOR ahead.
The number 604 stencilled in the concrete beside it.
We follow him in to the DEVASTATED ROOM - debris
everywhere, and in a puddle of water, under a fallen BEAM--
Oh god. SHASHENOK - pinned. Bloody foam bubbling from his
mouth. But breathing.
A FIGURE STUMBLES BY in the doorway. Gorbachenko sees.
GORBACHENKO
HEY!
A BUILDING 4 WORKER STUMBLES BACK - trickle of blood down
the side of his face. DUST in his hair.
13.
GORBACHENKO
Help me.
The Building 4 Worker joins Gorbachenko. They ROLL the beam
off Shashenok, then PULL HIM UP by his arms...
They support him from under each armpit, his arms around
their necks. Gorbachenko presses Shashenok's RIGHT HAND
tight to his chest to keep him steady, and as they MOVE:
--we LEAVE THEM and DROP DOWN through a HOLE in the floor,
past a cross-section of torn up plumbing and wires, and
arrive one floor below in the complex to find:
PEREVOZCHENKO - his face even DARKER now - skin beginning
to swell - wading through more floodwater and debris,
including CHUNKS of BLACK MATERIAL...
From somewhere, the steady sound of BANG, BANG, BANG -
metal on metal...
Perevozchenko climbs upstairs out of the water and:
BANG - a bent metal DOOR pops open, and a new face -
YUVCHENKO, emerges holding a fire extinguisher.
PEREVOZCHENKO
Have you seen Khodemchuk?
YUVCHENKO
No-- where's Viktor?
Perevozchenko starts to shake his head "I don't know" -
then vomit cascades out from his mouth, his nose. Yuvchenko
backs away in fright, drops the extinguisher and--
--now WE FOLLOW YUVCHENKO, 25 years-old, 6'5", powerful and
athletic, as he RUNS deeper into the complex, jumping over
LIVE WIRES and debris, as fast as he can... until he sees--
YUVCHENKO
VIKTOR? VIKTOR?
--a body next to a large PUMP. Yuvchenko runs over to:
VIKTOR DEGTYARENKO, 31 - burned and covered in blood... we
can barely make out a face at all beyond the whites of his
eyes.
He's trembling. Seizing.
YUVCHENKO
Can you stand?
14.
VIKTOR
Kh-- dem-ch-- Khdem--
Viktor stops trying to make his mouth work. His eyes roll
to the left - toward a BLASTED OPEN WALL.
Yuvchenko stands up, and we FOLLOW as he walks slowly
through the opening into:
THE PUMP ROOM - in ruins. Massive chunks of concrete
embedded in the enormous machinery.
From underneath one massive column, a steady trickle of
blood. We can't see Khodemchuk under there.
But we know he's dead.
One section of wall - three foot thick concrete and rebar -
rocks back and forth as if it were rubber.
We follow Yuvchenko's eyes to: A PUDDLE OF WATER on the
ground, coming from a broken pipe.
In the reflection of the shimmering water - strange WHITE
DOTS...
We come up and around on Yuvchenko and look down on him as
he lifts his head - stunned beyond words--
And we TURN to see what he sees. An enormous, impossible
hole in the ceiling of the building.
And the stars shining down.
115 INT. CORRIDOR OUTSIDE CONTROL ROOM - MOMENTS LATER 115
CLOSE ON - DYATLOV - walking back toward Control Room 4.
His face as stoic as ever. Granite jaw. Unblinking eyes.
He stops at the sound of SIRENS approaching from outside...
a lot of them... and growing louder...
Then he resumes walking. No change in expression.
116 INT. CONTROL ROOM - REACTOR #4 116
Akimov is at the panel. Toptunov is dialing a phone.
TOPTUNOV
No answer. The internal lines are
down.
15.
AKIMOV
Keep trying. Try all of them.
Dyatlov enters.
DYATLOV
I dropped the control rods from the
other panel.
AKIMOV
They're still up.
DYATLOV
What?
AKIMOV
They're only a third in, I don't
know why-- I already sent the
trainees to the reactor hall to
lower them by hand.
DYATLOV
(frustrated)
What about the pumps?
TOPTUNOV
I can't get through to Khodemchuk.
The phones are down.
DYATLOV
Fuck the phones and fuck Khodemchuk.
Are the pumps on or not?
AKIMOV
Stolyarchuk?
STOLYARCHUK, looks up like a deer in the headlights.
Doesn't want Dyatlov's eyes on him.
STOLYARCHUK
My panel's not working. I tried
calling for the electricians but--
DYATLOV
I don't give a shit about the panel!
I need water in my reactor core. Get
down there and make sure those pumps
are on.
Stolyarchuk looks at Akimov, but Akimov won't look back. No
one will challenge this. Kirschenbaum wants to say
something, but the words stick in his throat.
16.
DYATLOV
Now.
Cowed, Stolyarchuk scurries out of the control room.
Dyatlov turns back to Akimov.
DYATLOV
What does the dosimeter say?
AKIMOV
3.6 roentgen. But that's as high as
the meter--
Dyatlov waves him off.
DYATLOV
3.6 -- not great, not terrible.
Toptunov looks at Akimov. Scared. And once again, Akimov
comforts him... his mantra...
AKIMOV
We did everything right.
117 EXT. REACTOR #4 BUILDING - CONTINUOUS 117
SIRENS BLARE.
POV through the windshield of a fire engine as it
approaches the reactor building. A few fire engines are
already there, lights flashing.
Firefighters are rushing... connecting fire engines to the
power plant water supply...
We follow VASILY out of the truck. He and his fellow
firefighters are dressed the same. Boots and jackets and
helmets... but no gloves. And underneath the jackets...
white t-shirts.
He looks at the building. From here, he can see the spot
fires up on the roof. But there's a MASSIVE plume of smoke
billowing up from somewhere inside the building.
And fainter now, but still there, the trace of that
impossible blue light...
Now that he's close to it, Vasily realizes this is much
bigger, and much worse, than it seemed from afar.
MISHA (O.S.)
Vasily...
17.
Vasily looks over at MISHA, 23, another firefighter. Misha
is standing next to a pile of the BLACK RUBBLE. There are
strange SMOOTH GROOVES running through it. It almost looks
like bits of SCULPTURE.
MISHA
What is this?
Misha picks up a piece of the rubble with his bare hand.
MISHA
It's warm.
VASILY
I don't know. Don't fuck around with
it. Let's just get these hooked up.
Misha tosses the rubble aside.
Vasily begins pulling connection hoses from the side of the
engine. As he pulls, the smoke wafts by him, and he SPITS.
VASILY
You taste metal?
MISHA
Yeah. What is that?
VASILY
(worried)
I don't know. The valves, Misha!
Let's go!
As Vasily pulls the hoses, MISHA starts opening a water
supply valve with a wrench.
Misha takes his hand off the wrench-- the hand he held the
warm rubble with-- and SHAKES it in the air.
It hurts.
It hurts more than it should.
118 INT. CORRIDOR OUTSIDE CONTROL ROOM - CONTINUOUS 118
Gorbachenko and the Building 4 Worker emerge from smoke,
stumbling ahead as best they can, still carrying SHASHENOK
around their shoulders.
GORBACHENKO
Someone!
18.
Another PLANT WORKER heads over to sub in for Gorbachenko.
Relieved of his burden, Gorbachenko immediately falls to
his hands and knees and begins VOMITING.
As he wretches, he winces in pain... his right hand hurts.
And his chest. He pulls his uniform shirt open to reveal:
ON GORBACHENKO'S CHEST, there's a strip of FAINT RED, and
then below in BRIGHT RED, a round shape and four smaller
RED OVALS.
An arm. A palm. Fingertips.
A BURN MARK in the shape of Shashenok's HAND.
119 INT. REACTOR #4 BUILDING - BOWELS - CONTINUOUS 119
PROSKURYAKOV and KUDRYAVTSEV enter a long corridor. As they
move down the seemingly endless hallway, they see:
A FIGURE in the distance, moving slowly toward them,
carrying something large over his shoulder.
They walk toward each other, meeting in the middle of this
strange purgatory, and now Proskuryakov and Kudryavtsev see
the figure is YUVCHENKO. And he has a limp, bloody VIKTOR
slung over his shoulder. Oh god. They stare, unsure of what
to say. Finally:
YUVCHENKO
What do you need?
Oh. Right.
PROSKURYAKOV
We have to get into the reactor hall
to lower the control rods. But the
door is jammed in.
YUVCHENKO
I don't think there are control
rods. I don't think there's a core.
PROSKURYAKOV
No, you're mistaken. Akimov said.
Yuvchenko considers. Then lowers Viktor to the ground.
Rests him against the wall.
PROSKURYAKOV
Does he need a doctor?
19.
YUVCHENKO
No.
120 INT. REACTOR BUILDING - LEVEL 36 - MOMENTS LATER 120
Yuvchenko leads the two trainees down a dark, SPARKING
hall. They're SWEATING. Tremendous heat up here. Smoke.
They're close to the fire.
PROSKURYAKOV
Up there.
Ahead: a LARGE METAL DOOR, covered in DUST, bent slightly
toward them, as if punched by a huge fist.
Yuvchenko turns to the trainees.
YUVCHENKO
Are you sure?
PROSKURYAKOV
Akimov--
Yuvchenko puts his hand up. Doesn't matter. If they're
right, they need to go in. And if they're wrong...
YUVCHENKO
I'll hold it open. Move quickly.
They nod. Yuvchenko tests the door. It barely gives.
Yuvchenko presses the side of his body against the door,
plants his powerful legs, and with a grunt:
PUSHES the door open - just wide enough for the trainees to
pass through.
The door's weight is pushing back... Yuvchenko's brute
strength is the only thing keeping it propped open.
YUVCHENKO
Go go go--
The trainees SQUEEZE through into:
121 INT. MAIN REACTOR HALL - CONTINUOUS 121
The trainees enter the UPPER LEVEL of the hall, on a
catwalk high above the reactor pit.
20.
They stare in utter shock at:
THE UPPER BIOLOGICAL SHIELD - a massive 1,000 ton, 45 foot
diameter STEEL circle.
It's the cover of the reactor core. Except it's not
covering the core anymore. It's been blown nearly UPRIGHT,
like the lifted-up top of a soup can.
And spidering out from its exposed underside, hundreds of
TWISTED FUEL CHANNELS, like bristles on the end of a brush.
And underneath that, like a bomb crater in the floor:
THE OPEN REACTOR PIT - burning graphite, torn fuel rods.
Their minds cannot comprehend.
They are staring into a wide-open nuclear reactor.
One of them finally gasps in a breath. Already feeling a
wave of nausea. He looks at the other trainee. The man's
face is dark brown. An instant nuclear tan.
And the way the other trainee is staring back at him, he
knows he looks the same.
They STUMBLE BACKWARD...
122 INT. REACTOR BUILDING - LEVEL 36 - CONTINUOUS 122
Yuvchenko grits his teeth... digging in... and then:
THE TRAINEES run back out of the room. They don't stop.
They just run.
Yuvchenko lets the door finally CLOSE. Shouts after them.
YUVCHENKO
Hey!
No answer. And then: pain. Intense, searing pain.
He lifts his uniform shirt. His shoulder... bright red.
He lowers the waist of his trousers. His hip, BURNED to the
flesh below the skin. The movement of the cloth against it
nearly makes him pass out...
He looks back at the door.
21.
IN THE DUST - the pattern of where his body had been
pressed against the door.
Shoulder. Hip. Lower leg.
He backs away in horror, then HOBBLES off, his burnt leg
barely working... shouting into the dark after the
trainees-- as if they could help him now.
YUVCHENKO
HEY!
123 EXT. REACTOR #4 BUILDING - CONTINUOUS 123
The night is lit up by the flashing lights of emergency
vehicles. Dozens of firefighters are already at work
getting water on the fire they can see.
FROM O.S. - a man SCREAMS in agony. Vasily stops and turns
to see:
MISHA - on the ground, screaming, held in place by their
commanding officer, PRAVIK, 24.
A MEDIC has begun to slowly REMOVE the GLOVE from Misha's
hand. With every inch, Misha howls in pain.
Pravik sees Vasily.
PRAVIK
Ignatenko! Get on his hose!
Vasily runs a few feet to the pump truck Misha was
stationed on. He picks the hose up from the ground. He's
joined by a truck pump operator, TITENOK, 24--
--who quickly opens the valves on the truck. Vasily begins
spraying a BLAST of water into a burning pile of rubble.
ANOTHER SCREAM, as the medic finally pulls the GLOVE OFF of
Misha, and now Vasily sees:
Misha's HAND is burnt beyond recognition. Strips of skin
hanging off of it.
Pravik and the medic stare at it, stunned.
Vasily sees the BLACK RUBBLE Misha held. Just feet away
from him.
He takes one step back from it.
22.
And keeps spraying.
124 EXT. VASILY & LYUDMILLA'S APARTMENT BLDG.- SAME 124
Lyudmilla stands outside along with other people from the
building, looking up at the sky, which reflects the unseen
fire with an eerie glow.
No one seems nervous. No one except her.
OKSANA (O.S.)
Lyudmilla!
OKSANA, 30, walks with a CROWD of people from the building
next door. Men, women, children... about fifteen of them.
Some of the women carry infants. Some, like Oksana, push
BABY PRAMS.
OKSANA
You want to come with us?
LYUDMILLA
Come where?
OKSANA
We're going to the railroad bridge
to get a better look. It's not like
anyone can sleep with all the
sirens.
LYUDMILLA
I don't think you should. It could
be dangerous.
Oksana's husband, MIKHAIL, scoffs.
MIKHAIL
What do you mean dangerous? It's a
fire. It's over there, we're over
here.
Oksana gives Mikhail an angry whack on the arm.
MIKHAIL
What?
(realizes)
Oh.
Oksana crosses to Lyudmilla. Puts a comforting hand on her.
23.
OKSANA
Is Vasily-- ?
Lyudmilla nods.
OKSANA
Did he say it was bad?
LYUDMILLA
No. He said it was just the roof.
There. You see?
OKSANA
He's never gotten hurt before. None
of the boys have. Yes? He'll be
fine. Get some rest.
Oskana gives her a hug, and then rejoins the rest of the
group on their way to the railroad bridge.
Small children skip along, laughing, excited to be out in
the middle of the night.
Lyudmilla looks out at the distant glow.
She couldn't say why or how she knows. She just does.
Something's wrong.
125 INT. CONTROL ROOM - REACTOR #4 - 1:50 AM 125
CLOSE ON: Dyatlov. Standing with his back against the wall.
Palms together in front of his mouth. Tapping his fingers.
Thinking. Then:
DYATLOV
The tank. It's big enough.
Akimov and Toptunov turn to look at him.
DYATLOV
This kind of explosion. The control
tank on 71, it's 100 cubic meters.
AKIMOV
110.
DYATLOV
(see?)
110. It could do this. Definitely.
24.
He's nodding to himself. As if someone else is convincing
him of this fact. Then:
The door OPENS. And before we can see what they see,
Toptunov covers his mouth with his hand. Jesus...
It's PROSKURYAKOV. His face is now DARK BROWN. Eyes nearly
swollen shut.
PROSKURYAKOV
It's gone. I looked right into it. I
looked into the core.
Akimov stares in shock at Dyatlov. Panic rising inside him.
But Dyatlov doesn't even flinch.
DYATLOV
Did you lower the control rods or
not?
Proskuryakov turns to him in confusion.
Then begins RETCHING.
DYATLOV
(disgusted)
Take him to the infirmary.
(beat)
Toptunov! Take him!
Toptunov rushes over to the trainee, and as he helps him
out of the room--
TOPTUNOV
Where's Kudryavtsev?
PROSKURYAKOV
He fell...
Toptunov exits with Proskuryakov, shouting:
TOPTUNOV (O.S.)
I need a medic! Anyone?!
Dyatlov resumes leaning against the wall. Fingers back in
front of his mouth. Then he feels Akimov's eyes on him.
DYATLOV
He's delusional.
AKIMOV
His face.
25.
DYATLOV
(waves it off)
Ruptured condenser lines. The
feedwater is mildly contaminated.
He'll be fine. I've seen worse.
Akimov looks down. That can't be true. But the alternative
is unthinkable.
DYATLOV
Do we still have a phone line to the
outside?
(beat)
Akimov?
Akimov looks back up. Nods.
DYATLOV
Call in the day shift.
Oh god.
AKIMOV
But... if--
DYATLOV
We have to keep water flowing
through the core. We need
electricians, mechanics-- we need
bodies. How many times do I have to
say it?
Akimov still hesitates.
Dyatlov deliberately walks toward Akimov. Unblinking. Cold.
DYATLOV
I'm going to the Administration
Building now. To call Bryukhanov.
And Fomin. They're going to want a
full report. I don't know if I can
make things better for you. But I
can certainly make them worse.
He stops just inches from Akimov's face.
DYATLOV
Call in the day shift, Comrade
Akimov.
Akimov swallows. Then:
26.
AKIMOV
Yes. Comrade Dyatlov.
Dyatlov stares into Akimov's eyes a beat too long. Then
nods, satisfied... and exits.
126 EXT. PRIPYAT HOSPITAL - SAME 126
Near silence. Barely crickets. We're in front of PRIPYAT
HOSPITAL - five interconnected buildings, each six storeys
tall.
The buildings are oddly generic. Soviet cookie-cutters,
made of concrete and institutional white tiling.
There are large letters on the roof. We'll translate.
SUBTITLE: HEALTH OF THE PEOPLE - RICHES OF THE COUNTRY
127 INT. HOSPITAL - MATERNITY LABOUR WARD - CONTINUOUS 127
Off-screen, we hear a woman is GROANING and STRAINING in
pain. But we're looking at:
SVETLANA ZINCHENKO, 25, wearing a doctor's jacket. She's
staring out the window at the distant fire.
OLD MAN'S VOICE (O.S.)
You're doing fine. Raise her up. A
little more.
Behind her: THE LABOUR WARD. A large, open space. Bare
walls - white tile halfway up, sickly mint-green the rest.
Electrical lines are routed up the surface of the walls.
The floor is brown tile, with drains set in every ten feet.
There are a SIX delivery gurneys... simple steel frame cots
with thin mattress pads and crude gynecological stirrups.
Bright fluorescents beat down on: TWO WOMEN on the cots,
each in labour. Hairnets on, hospital gown covering their
tops, nude from the waist down, in stirrups.
Nurses attend to them, along with AN OLD DOCTOR, likely in
his 70's.
It may be 1986, but in here, it seems more like 1886.
A nurse HAND-CRANKS a cot to help raise a woman's head.
27.
OLD DOCTOR
Good. There. Okay.
He points to the patients as he instructs the nurse.
OLD DOCTOR
This one, maybe an hour. The other
two, not until morning.
He talks a bit too loudly. Hard of hearing.
OLD DOCTOR
And how is it downstairs, Doctor
Zinchenko?
ZINCHENKO
Quiet.
He removes his gloves. Throughout their conversation, one
of the women in labour continues to GROAN in pain.
OLD DOCTOR
Always is. Nothing at this hour but
babies. You know I once went two
days without sleep? Ten women went
into labour at the same time-- did I
ever tell you this story?
Zinchenko's still staring out the window. Distracted.
ZINCHENKO
Yes.
The old doctor is a bit hurt by that.
OLD DOCTOR
Well, I won't need you in here for a
while. If you want, get some rest in
the break room.
He opens one of the patient's charts. Begins making
handwritten notations. Zinchenko finally turns to him.
ZINCHENKO
They haven't brought anyone in from
the fire.
OLD DOCTOR
What fire?
ZINCHENKO
The power plant.
28.
OLD DOCTOR
Oh? Then it must not be too bad.
ZINCHENKO
Do we stock iodine?
He didn't hear that over the woman's groaning.
OLD DOCTOR
Hmm?
ZINCHENKO
(louder)
Iodine.
He looks up from his chart.
OLD DOCTOR
You mean disinfectant?
ZINCHENKO
No. Pills. Does the hospital stock
iodine pills?
OLD DOCTOR
Iodine pills...
(confused)
Why would we have iodine pills?
Off her face, we hear the shrill RING of:
128 INT. VIKTOR BRYUKHANOV'S BEDROOM - 2:00 AM 128
--a bedside TELEPHONE. One ring. Two. Three. VIKTOR
BRYUKHANOV-- 50, wavy dark hair, pockmarked cheeks-- slowly
wakes. Fumbles for the light. Answers the phone.
BRYUKHANOV
Hel--
His voice catches on a wad of phlegm that had settled in
while he slept. He clears his throat.
BRYUKHANOV
Hello?
He listens for a second, then sits straight up. Behind him
in bed, his wife rolls over. Now awake. A beat, then:
BRYUKHANOV
Who else knows this? Have you called
Fomin?
(MORE)
29.
(beat)
BRYUKHANOV (cont'd)
Of course I want you to call him. If
I'm up, he's up.
Bryukhanov slams the phone down. Gets out of bed.
BRYUKHANOV
Shit!
129 EXT. POWER PLANT - ADMINISTRATION BLDG. - 2:30 AM 129
NIKOLAI FOMIN, 50, balding, glasses, bad suit, stands
waiting by the administration building. He watches as:
A boxy GAZ Volga drives right up to him. Bryukhanov
emerges. Also in a suit. He looks down toward the far end
of the plant, past the firetrucks and flashing lights, to
see where Reactor Building 4 very much on fire.
And in an instant, Bryukhanov can envision a very likely
fate for himself. An inquiry. An arrest. A trial. A bullet.
FOMIN
Whatever the cause, the important
thing is neither you nor I--
Bryukhanov walks away from Fomin mid-sentence, striding
toward the Administration Building.
Fomin checks to see if anyone saw that small humiliation.
Then hustles to keep up.
130 INT. ADMINISTRATION BLDG. - CHECKPOINT - SECONDS LATER 130
Bryukhanov enters, striding quickly past guards. A distant
alarm sound can be heard in this simple lobby area, as well
as the occasional blast of firetruck sirens from outside.
He makes a sharp turn past the reception desk toward a
GUARD, who is holding open a METAL DOOR.
131 INT. NARROW STAIRWELL - SECONDS LATER 131
Bryukhanov moves down the stairs with purpose. Fomin still
trying to keep up.
They arrive at: a small, bare anteroom. In front of them,
two large, STEEL BLAST DOORS - the kind you might see on a
bank vault.
30.
A guard cranks a metal WHEEL on the left door, then PULLS
THE DOOR OPEN.
132 INT. CHERNOBYL BUNKER - SECONDS LATER 132
Bryukhanov and Fomin pass through as the blast door CLANGS
behind them with a heavy thud.
We can no longer hear the alarms or sirens. No sound from
the outside world in here at all.
Just the heavy CLACK of their shoes as they walk across the
shiny, polished concrete floor.
The bunker contains many rooms... it could almost pass for
an office center but for the too-low ceilings, exposed
ductwork and repetitive, white-washed cinderblock walls.
Bryukhanov and Fomin enter:
133 INT. BUNKER COMMAND ROOM - CONTINUOUS 133
A simple room with a large oval conference table. Eighteen
chairs. A few phones. On the walls, maps, schematics and
emergency procedure posters.
Bryukhanov sees Dyatlov waiting for them in the room.
BRYUKHANOV
(pissed off)
I take it the safety test was a
failure?
Bryukhanov sits at the head of the table. Fomin takes a
chair next to him-- his sidekick-- and scowls at Dyatlov.
DYATLOV
We have the situation under control.
FOMIN
Under control? It doesn't look--
BRYUKHANOV
Shut up, Fomin.
(miserable)
I have to tell the Central Committee
about this. Do you realize that? I
have to get on a phone and tell
Maryin, or god forbid Frolyshev, my
power plant is on fire?
31.
DYATLOV
No one can blame you for this,
Director Bryukhanov.
BRYUKHANOV
Well of course no one can blame me
for this. How can I be responsible?
I was sleeping!
Bryukhanov pulls out a pen and notepad from his jacket
pocket.
BRYUKHANOV
Tell me what happened. Quickly.
DYATLOV
We ran the test exactly as Chief
Engineer Fomin approved.
Fomin sees what Dyatlov just did there. Motherfucker.
DYATLOV
Unit Shift Chief Akimov and Engineer
Toptunov encountered technical
difficulties, leading to an
accumulation of hydrogen in the
control system tank. It regrettably
ignited, damaging the plant and
setting the roof on fire.
Bryukhanov glances at Fomin. Does that sound right?
FOMIN
The tank is quite large. It's the
only logical explanation. And of
course, Deputy Chief Engineer
Dyatlov was directly supervising the
test--
Dyatlov registers the return fire. Touché.
FOMIN
--so he would know best.
BRYUKHANOV
(taking notes)
--hydrogen tank, fire. And the
reactor?
DYATLOV
We're taking measures to ensure a
steady flow of water through the
core.
32.
BRYUKHANOV
What about radiation?
Dyatlov hesitates for a brief moment. Then:
DYATLOV
Obviously down here it's nothing.
But in the reactor building I'm
being told 3.6 roentgen per hour.
BRYUKHANOV
That's not great. But it's not
horrifying.
FOMIN
Not at all. From the feedwater, I
assume?
Dyatlov nods.
FOMIN
We'll have to limit shifts to six
hours at a time. But otherwise--
BRYUKHANOV
The dosimetrists should be checking
regularly. Have them use the good
meter. From the safe.
Dyatlov blinks at that. But otherwise... no reaction.
Bryukhanov pulls a phone closer to him.
BRYUKHANOV
Right. I'll call Maryin.
(to Fomin)
Wake up the local Executive
Committee. There'll be orders coming
down.
Bryukhanov takes a short breath... steels himself... then
picks up the phone.
134 EXT. RAILROAD BRIDGE - CONTINUOUS 134
A simple, paved bridge passing 20 feet above the railroad
lines.
The CROWD we saw before-- two dozen people-- has gathered
here to watch the fire. Some share vodka. Some smoke. A few
of the men have their small children up on their shoulders.
33.
The fire occasionally shifts colors... like a rainbow.
Mikhail stands with Oksana. She jiggles her pram slightly
to keep her baby calm. Her four-year old son is pulling on
her dress. He's tired.
FOUR-YEAR OLD
Mama--
OKSANA
Sshh. Here.
She gives the boy a cracker. Then, to her husband--
OKSANA
What do you think makes the colours?
MIKHAIL
Oh, it's the fuel for sure.
OKSANA
"Oh it's the fuel for sure"? What do
you know about it? You clean floors
at the train station.
MIKHAIL
(defensive)
My friend Yuri works in the plant.
He says it runs cool. No fire, no
gas. Just... whatever it is.
OKSANA
They should tell us whatever it is.
Mikhail looks at her. Oh come on...
OKSANA
We live near it.
MIKHAIL
It's atoms. Yuri says the only thing
is-- you can't walk right up to the
fuel. But if you do--
(vodka)
One glass per hour for four hours.
OKSANA
Isn't Yuri a plumber?
MIKHAIL
(yes, but)
At the nuclear power plant.
34.
His point well-made, Mikhail clinks his vodka cup to one of
his mate's.
Oksana shakes her head. Boys. Then she nestles into Mikhail
for warmth. They all watch the fire. Calm. Peaceful, even.
OKSANA
It is beautiful...
The wind picks up, breezing through their hair. And with
it, swirls of soot in the air, like tiny bits of paper.
SLOW MOTION - as the particles swirl around them. The
people stand there on the bridge, just a mile from the
burning power plant, laughing, drinking...
Children laugh and run in circles, trying to grab the black
snowflakes of floating soot from the air.
Mikhail, watches excitedly, his baby now in his arms. The
infant stares calmly at the distant light.
135 INT. REACTOR #4 BUILDING - CONTINUOUS 135
STOLYARCHUK wanders through the torn open warzone of the
reactor building.
Doesn't seem real. A dreamscape of billowing steam drifting
across ripped metal and ruptured concrete.
As the steam dissipates, he sees:
A MAN, sitting on a piece of damaged equipment. All alone.
Breathing slowly, but heavily. Like a dying animal.
Stolyarchuk walks toward him. Nervous.
The man turns to him. It's YUVCHENKO-- the one who held the
reactor hall door open for the trainees.
YUVCHENKO
Do you have a cigarette?
Stolyarchuk fishes a pack from his pocket, and hands
Yuvchenko a cigarette. The big man reaches for it with his
left arm, as if that's the only part of his body working.
Stolyarchuk lights the cigarette for him. Yuvchenko takes a
drag...
35.
SPARKS sprinkle around them, illuminating the steam. It's
beautiful in its own way. Yuvchenko nods with his head--
come sit with me...
Stolyarchuk walks around to the right of Yuvchenko and sits
on the equipment next to him.
And that's when he sees: BLOOD, seeping through Yuvchenko's
shirt in three patches: shoulder, hip, lower leg.
It's wet. These aren't wounds that slowly close. These are
wounds that slowly open.
Finally, Stolyarchuk finds his voice.
STOLYARCHUK
Do you need help?
Yuvchenko takes a drag. Savoring every moment. Then:
YUVCHENKO
It's over.
And now the sound of: WATER from outside, being SPRAYED by
firehoses. It's penetrating the building from the floor
above and begins SPRINKLING DOWN on them... like rain.
Stolyarchuk raises his face to the rain. The world's gone
mad. The sound of the water rises, and we're:
136 EXT. REACTOR #4 BUILDING - CONTINUOUS 136
Firefighters battle the blaze. VASILY mans a hose. He
glances back at the ladder... the one Kolya went up.
There's no one there.
A firefighter is on all fours nearby. Vomiting.
Pravik emerges from the darkness. Face darkened with soot.
Or something else...
PRAVIK
We've done all we can from the
perimeter. We have to start making
our way to the roof.
Vasily glances again at the sick firefighter. Then back to
the Chief. Scared.
36.
PRAVIK
There's a fire, Vasily. It has to be
put out.
Do you understand?
Yes. The job.
Vasily shuts his hose off and drags it over toward a
brigade of men who are heading for the gaping HOLE in the
side of the building.
FROM INSIDE THE HOLE - LOOKING OUT THROUGH FLAMES - Vasily,
Pravik, Tishchura, and Titenok are climbing up the rubble,
their images distorted by the heat.
They open their nozzles as they advance...
From BEHIND THEM - we rise up to see:
They're heading straight toward the exposed REACTOR HALL -
and the roaring fire belching out from the OPEN CORE...
ON VASILY - gritting his teeth - the heat is tremendous...
but there's something else - a pain he shouldn't be
feeling... pins and needles...
And in his visor, a reflection of the fire--
--and strange BLUE FLASHES OF LIGHT...
137 OMITTED 137
138 INT. CONTROL ROOM - REACTOR #4 - 3:30 AM 138
Akimov stands by the control panel. Toptunov next to him.
They're silent.
REVERSE TO REVEAL: Stolyarchuk. Looking at them. Also
silent.
Behind him, Kirschenbaum. Everyone looks ashen. Then:
AKIMOV
What about the auxiliary-- ?
Stolyarchuk shakes his head. No.
STOLYARCHUK
The pumps are gone. Electrical is
gone.
37.
TOPTUNOV
The core?
STOLYARCHUK
I didn't go there. And I won't.
(beat)
I think it's time we faced--
AKIMOV
(not interested)
No. We need water in the core or
there's a risk of meltdown. We have
to open the valves.
STOLYARCHUK
Sasha--
AKIMOV
What is it you want, Boris? If it's
true, then we're all dead. A million
people are dead. Is that what you
need to hear?
More shocked silence. Then Akimov turns to Toptunov.
AKIMOV
We'll open the valves by hand.
STOLYARCHUK
By hand? The number of valves, the
amount of time to turn them-- you're
talking about hours in there...!
AKIMOV
Then help us.
STOLYARCHUK
Help you do what? Pump water into a
ditch? THERE'S NOTHING THERE.
(to Toptunov)
Leonid-- I'm begging you.
Toptunov is terrified. But Akimov is his boss. His mentor.
He averts his eyes. He has no choice.
Akimov gestures to Kirschenbaum.
AKIMOV
Watch the panel while we're gone.
KIRSCHENBAUM
It's not working.
38.
AKIMOV
Just watch it!
He leaves. Toptunov doesn't look back at anyone. Just
follows Akimov out. Stolyarchuk watches them go. Knows
he'll never see them again.
139 EXT. ADMINISTRATION BUILDING - CONTINUOUS 139
DOZENS of WORKERS are assembled in a line. Shuffling into
the building.
SITNIKOV, 46, waits. Looks nervously at the glow of the
SPOT FIRES on the roof at the other end of the plant.
DAY SHIFT WORKER
Guess we know why they called us in
early.
SITNIKOV
Is anyone saying what happened?
DAY SHIFT WORKER
They were running the safety test on
the turbines and blew the control
system tank.
Sitnikov looks at the man. Control system tank? That?
DAY SHIFT WORKER
Doesn't make sense to me either.
(quieter)
What about sabotage? A bomb?
NIGHT SHIFT WORKER (O.S.)
Sitnikov!
Sitnikov turns to see a frantic worker running up to him.
NIGHT SHIFT WORKER
Bryukhanov wants us to use the good
dosimeter, but it's in the safe, and
we can't find the key.
SITNIKOV
It's in Building 2. No one's-- ?
Sitnikov steps out of line. Can't believe the incompetence.
SITNIKOV
(snaps)
Follow me.
39.
As he strides off to Building 2...
140 INT. BUNKER COMMAND ROOM - 4 A.M. 140
Bryukhanov, Fomin and Dyatlov are waiting-- then Bryukhanov
rises as: THE PRIPYAT COMMUNIST PARTY EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE
enters. Twelve men, ages varying from 30 to 60.
BRYUKHANOV
Gentlemen, welcome. Please, find a
seat, there's plenty of room--
The COMMITTEE MEMBERS take their chairs around the conference
table. A guard helps an ELDERLY MAN WITH A CANE - 85 years
old - over to a single, nicer chair in the corner of the room.
BRYUKHANOV
I apologize for the lateness of the
hour. And rest assured, we're all
very safe down here. We built this
shelter to withstand a nuclear
attack by the Americans, so I think
we'll be fine.
Some of the Members smile. Most do not. The Old Man in the
corner has his hands folded over his cane. Eyes closed.
Possibly already asleep.
BRYUKHANOV
As you can see, we have experienced an
accident. A large control tank
malfunctioned, damaging reactor
building #4 and starting a fire. I
have spoken directly to Deputy
Secretary Maryin. Maryin spoke to
Deputy Chief Frolyshev, Frolyshev to
Central Committee member Dolghikh, and
Dolghikh to General Secretary
Gorbachev.
An impressive murmur in the room. This is big time.
BRYUKHANOV
Because the Central Committee has the
greatest respect for the work of the
Pripyat Executive Committee, they
have asked me to brief you on matters
as they stand. First, the accident is
well under control.
Most of the Members express relief.
40.
BRYUKHANOV
Second, because the efforts of the
Soviet nuclear industry are
considered key state secrets, it is
important that we ensure this
incident has no adverse consequences.
The Members glance at each other. Here it comes.
BRYUKHANOV
To prevent a panic, the Central
Committee has ordered a detachment
of military police to Pripyat.
And there it is. PETROV, 30, displeased, speaks up.
PETROV
How large of a detachment?
BRYUKHANOV
(uncomfortable)
Between two and four thousand men.
Whispers. Quiet crosstalk. Four thousand? Martial law? Why
so many police?
PETROV
What's really going on here? How
dangerous is this?
FOMIN
There's mild radiation, but it's
limited to the plant itself.
PETROV
No it isn't.
FOMIN
Excuse me?
PETROV
(stands)
I said no it isn't. Who do you think
you're talking to? Some country
idiot? I went to university. And I
have eyes in my head.
(to the Committee)
You saw men outside vomiting. You
saw men with burns. There's more
radiation than they're saying. We
have wives here. We have children. I
say we evacuate the town.
41.
More whispers. Evacuate? To where? No, he's right-- no,
he's insane, an alarmist!
BRYUKHANOV
Gentlemen, please! My wife is here.
Do you think I would keep her in
Pripyat if it weren't safe?
PETROV
Bryukhanov-- the fucking air is glowing!
More crosstalk. Voices rising now. Bryukhanov has lost
control of the room. Dyatlov tries to step in.
DYATLOV
The Cherenkov effect-- it's a
completely normal phenomenon, it can
happen with minimal radiation--
No one listens to him. Loudly arguing with each other now.
And then: tap tap tap ... TAP TAP TAP
They turn to: THE OLD MAN in the corner. Tapping his cane
on the floor. Everyone quiets down.
The old man is ZHARKOV. He makes a motion to stand. The
guard comes over quickly to help him up, but Zharkov waves
him off. He can do it on his own. He rises slowly, then:
ZHARKOV
I wonder-- how many of you know the
name of this place? We all call it
"Chernobyl" of course, but what is
its proper name?
They look at each other. No clue. Until:
BRYUKHANOV
The Vladimir I. Lenin Nuclear Power
Station.
ZHARKOV
Exactly. Vladimir I. Lenin. And how
proud he would be of you tonight--
(to Petrov)
--especially you, young man... and
the passion you have for the people.
For is that not the sole purpose of
the apparatus of the State?
Zharkov looks at them, his old eyes twinkling with memories
of great days... of great men...
42.
ZHARKOV
From the Central Committee all the
way down to each of us in this
room-- we represent the perfect
expression of the collective will of
the Soviet proletariat.
The Members take this in. Sobered. But proud.
ZHARKOV
Sometimes, we forget. Sometimes, we
fall prey to fear. But our faith in
Soviet socialism will always be
rewarded. Always. The State tells us
the situation is not dangerous. Have
faith. The State tells us they do
not want a panic. Listen well.
Zharkov turns to Petrov once again.
ZHARKOV
True, when the people see police,
they will be scared. But it is my
experience that when the people ask
questions that are not in their own
best interest, they should simply be
told to keep their minds on their
labour-- and to leave matters of the
State to the State.
Zharkov scans the room. Has them in the palm of his hand.
ZHARKOV
We seal off the city. No one leaves.
And cut the phone lines. Contain the
spread of misinformation. That is
how you keep the people from
undermining the fruits of their own
labour. That is how your names
become inscribed in the hallways of
the Kremlin.
The men in the room look back at him in reverence. Dreaming
of promotions. Certificates. Maybe even medals.
ZHARKOV
Yes, comrades. We will all be
rewarded for what we do here
tonight.
(beat)
This is our moment to shine.
43.
A beat-- then: APPLAUSE. The Committee Members rise to
their feet. Wonderful! Wonderful! Bryukhanov, Fomin and
Dyatlov stand and applaud as well. The system is working.
All will be fine.
Petrov looks across the table at another younger Committee
Member. They both seem to understand that reason has lost.
There's no choice but to clap along with everyone else.
Applause for delusion. Applause for death.
Applause for the Vladimir I. Lenin Nuclear Power Station.
141 INT. BUNKER - OUTSIDE THE COMMAND ROOM - MOMENTS LATER 141
SITNIKOV listens to the applause coming from behind the
door of the command room. He's sweaty. Nervous.
The door to the conference room opens, and Bryukhanov sees
the Pripyat ministers out. Shaking their hands. Smiling.
But once the ministers are out of sight, the smile drops.
Back to business. He sees Sitnikov waiting. What's this guy
doing here? A guard whispers to Bryukhanov.
Ah. Fine. Bryukhanov signals for Sitnikov to enter.
142 INT. BUNKER COMMAND ROOM - CONTINUOUS 142
Sitnikov enters. Sees Fomin and Dyatlov there.
BRYUKHANOV
Well?
SITNIKOV
I sent my dosimetrists into the
reactor building. The large
dosimeter from the safe, the one
with the thousand roentgen capac--
DYATLOV
(snaps)
What was the number?
SITNIKOV
There was none. The meter burned out
the second it was turned on.
Dyatlov shrugs. Suddenly calm.
44.
DYATLOV
Typical.
BRYUKHANOV
See? This is what Moscow does. They
send us shit equipment, and they
wonder why things go wrong.
SITNIKOV
We found another dosimeter.
Dyatlov tenses again.
SITNIKOV
From the military fire department.
It only goes to 200 roentgen, but
it's better than the small ones.
FOMIN
And?
Sitnikov hesitates. All his life, he's been warned not to
be the bearer of bad news.
SITNIKOV
It maxed out. Two hundred roentgen.
Fomin, Bryukhanov and Dyatlov register shock. Then:
FOMIN
What game are you playing?
SITNIKOV
No-- I asked him, he took multiple
measurements, my best man--
BRYUKHANOV
It's another faulty meter. You're
wasting our time.
SITNIKOV
I checked the meter against a
control--
DYATLOV
What's wrong with you? How do you
get that number from feedwater
leaking from a blown tank?
SITNIKOV
You don't.
45.
DYATLOV
Then what the fuck are you talking
about?
A long silence. Then:
SITNIKOV
I walked around the exterior of
building 4. I think there's
graphite. In the rubble.
Bryukhanov looks at Fomin and Dyatlov, who scoff.
DYATLOV
You didn't see graphite.
SITNIKOV
I did.
DYATLOV
You didn't. YOU DIDN'T. Because it's
NOT THERE.
Fomin steps in. A calmer voice.
FOMIN
Are you suggesting the core-- what?
Exploded?
SITNIKOV
Yes.
FOMIN
Sitnikov. You're a nuclear engineer.
So am I. Please tell me how an RBMK
reactor core "explodes". Not a
meltdown-- an explosion. I'd love to
know.
SITNIKOV
I can't.
FOMIN
Are you stupid?
SITNIKOV
No.
FOMIN
Then why can't you?
46.
SITNIKOV
I don't-- I don't see how it could
explode.
Fomin throws up his arms. Looks at Bryukhanov. See? Not
possible.
SITNIKOV
But it did.
Dyatlov slams his fist down on the table.
DYATLOV
Enough!
They all turn to him. Startled.
DYATLOV
I'll go up to the vent block roof.
From there, you can look right down
into Reactor Building 4. I'll see it
with my own eyes.
He stops. An odd look on his face. Then:
He VOMITS violently. The others move back in shock.
Dyatlov stares at the vomit on the floor. In a daze.
DYATLOV
I apologize.
He tries to lean on the table for support, but misses
completely and COLLAPSES to the ground.
BRYUKHANOV
Guards!
Three guards run in.
BRYUKHANOV
Take him to the medic. Or the
hospital. Whatever he needs.
Two of the guards lift Dyatlov off the floor. Begin helping
him walk out. Dyatlov has a strange look on his face.
We've seen it before. Right after the explosion.
Bewildered.
47.
FOMIN
(to Bryukhanov)
It's the feedwater. He's been around
it all night.
Bryukhanov nods. Then Fomin glances at Sitnikov.
FOMIN
You go then.
SITNIKOV
What?
FOMIN
Go to the vent block roof and report
back what you see.
SITNIKOV
No. No, I won't do that.
Fomin and Bryukhanov stare at him. Did he just say "no"?
BRYUKHANOV
Of course you will.
Bryukhanov looks to the remaining guard. Gives him a "make
sure he does it" nod.
Sitnikov turns pale. No way out of this.
FOMIN
You'll be fine. You'll see...
No he won't. Sitnikov turns, looks at the guard... then
walks out. Like a man going to the gallows.
The guard follows him.
143 INT. REACTOR #4 BUILDING - 4:30 AM 143
AKIMOV and TOPTUNOV, sloshing through water and debris up
to their knees. They stop and see:
REVEAL - STANDPIPES - dozens of them in a convoluted array,
with more VALVES than we could ever count.
AKIMOV
Okay. Let's begin.
He moves ahead. Toptunov doesn't.
48.
AKIMOV
Leonid.
Toptunov nods. Right. He joins Akimov at the standpipes.
Each takes a valve. Begins turning.
The valves are TIGHT. They're straining to make them move
at all.
AKIMOV
All the way, okay? All the way open.
No sound but that awful, distant hissing, and the sharp
metal squeal of the valves. Then:
TOPTUNOV
I'm sorry.
AKIMOV
There's nothing to be sorry for. I
told you-- we did nothing wrong.
TOPTUNOV
But we did.
Akimov stops turning his valve. Doesn't answer. Doesn't
look at Toptunov.
Just stands quietly for a second.
Then puts his hands back on the valve and resumes turning.
144 EXT. VENT BLOCK ROOF - EARLY DAWN 144
A metal utility door opens. Sitnikov steps out on to the
tar paper and gravel roof. Takes a few steps, then looks
back at:
THE GUARD - who waits back - no expression. Just a blank
face and an AK-47 slung by a strap over his shoulder.
Sitnikov turns away - looks out at the sky. The horizon is
just starting to lighten.
From up here, he can see the flashing of emergency vehicles
below. And ahead of him:
THE EDGE OF THE ROOF - and beyond it, coming up from
underneath... SMOKE and the glow of FLAMES.
Beyond the edge of that roof is the viewpoint down into
Reactor Building 4.
49.
And either it is or is not open to the air.
And either he is or is not about to die.
He looks at his watch. 6 AM.
He starts walking. Slowly. Forcing each step. The crunch of
his shoes in gravel. The feeling of his heart in his chest.
THE EDGE - looms closer
Fifteen feet away. Ten feet. Five feet.
He stops.
Closes his eyes. A prayer-- or a memory-- or a goodbye.
Then he opens his eyes, and--
BEHIND SITNIKOV - we watch as he walks to the edge.
He looks over.
Just for a second.
Then lifts his head, turns, and starts walking back.
The guard is watching.
Sitnikov has begun to cry.
And the sound of the world fades away...
145 INT./EXT. VARIOUS - MONTAGE - SLOW MOTION 145
DYATLOV is helped out of the building, stumbling, his arm
around an emergency worker. He looks and sees:
Firefighters on the ground. Their friends screaming for
help. A female SECURITY GUARD is on her hands and knees.
Dazed. Blood streaming from her nose. The left side of her
face is red and blistered.
Dyatlov sees VASILY and Titenok carrying Pravik on a
stretcher. But Vasily passes out and FALLS... vomiting...
Pravik is dumped to the ground... crying out in pain...
Dyatlov looks out toward the damaged end of the plant, the
cascade of rubble...
It doesn't make sense. What happened?
50.
SITNIKOV, nuclear tan on his face from that brief moment of
exposure, sits in the bunker command room. Bryukhanov and
Fomin are yelling at him. Threatening him. Gesturing in
disbelief and contempt.
Sitnikov isn't listening. Doesn't care if they believe him
or not. He's thinking about what he's lost. Who he's lost.
ZINCHENKO, the young doctor, is ASLEEP in a small exam room
by the reception lobby. Nurses are RUNNING in the hallway
in the foreground.
Zinchenko wakens, and walks out into the lobby-- toward the
main entrance-- and sees through the open doors:
FLASHING LIGHTS - ambulances and fire engines streaming
toward the hospital. More than she ever wanted to see
heading her way...
And now, the sound of: A PHONE RINGING
146 INT. LEGASOV'S APARTMENT - EARLY MORNING 146
The cat lifts its head. Awakened by the sound.
LEGASOV wakes up. It's two years before we first met him,
but he looks much younger. Full head of hair. More weight
in his face. Healthy color.
He gets out of bed, crosses out of his room, makes his way
into the kitchen, and answers the phone.
LEGASOV
Hello?
SHCHERBINA (PHONE)
Valery Legasov?
LEGASOV
Yes?
SHCHERBINA (PHONE)
You are the Legasov who is the First
Deputy Director of the Kurchatov
Institute of Atomic Energy?
Legasov feels his pajama shirt pocket for his glasses. But
left them back in the bedroom.
LEGASOV
Yes. That's--
51.
He picks up the table clock to get it closer to his eyes.
It's 7:00.
LEGASOV
Who am I spea-- ?
SHCHERBINA (PHONE)
This is Boris Shcherbina, Deputy
Chairman of the Council of Ministers
and head of the Bureau for Fuel and
Energy. There's been an accident at
the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant.
Legasov is immediately alert.
LEGASOV
How bad is it?
SHCHERBINA (PHONE)
No need to panic. There was a fire.
It's mostly put out. The system
control tank exploded.
LEGASOV
Control system tank. Is the core-- ?
SHCHERBINA (PHONE)
We've ordered them to continuously
pump water.
LEGASOV
I see. And contamination?
SHCHERBINA (PHONE)
Mild. The plant manager, Bryukhanov,
is reporting 3.6 roentgen per hour.
LEGASOV
Well, no, that's-- that's actually
quite significant. The surrounding
areas should be evacuated--
SHCHERBINA (PHONE)
(cuts him off)
You're an expert on RBMK reactors,
correct?
LEGASOV
Yes, I've studied--
52.
SHCHERBINA (PHONE)
General Secretary Gorbachev has
appointed a committee to manage the
accident. You're on it. We'll
convene at two this afternoon.
LEGASOV
(concerned)
That late? I'm sorry, but I think
given the radiation you're
reporting, it might be best to--
SHCHERBINA (PHONE)
Legasov. You're on this committee to
answer direct questions about the
function of an RBMK reactor if they
should happen to arise. Nothing
else. Certainly not policy. Do you
understand?
LEGASOV
Yes. Of course. I didn't mean to--
Click. Shcherbina has hung up. Legasov hangs up as well and
rises. Gears already spinning. 3.6 roentgen... ? A strange
number. The control system tank? It makes no sense.
He moves to his window. Opens the curtains to the SUNRISE.
MATCH TO:
147 EXT. CHERNOBYL POWER PLANT - 7 AM 147
The SUN, brightening to a glare. BOOM DOWN to find:
The torn-open reactor building, even more horrifying in the
daylight.
148 INT. REACTOR #4 BUILDING - CONTINUOUS 148
We move low and slow through a strange MIST - water vapour
hovering thick - flooding and debris have almost turned the
facility into a swamp...
We turn a corner and as the mist dissipates, we see:
AKIMOV AND TOPTUNOV, still by the valves. Both weak from
radiation sickness. Faces swelling. Hands trembling and
reddened.
53.
They've been here for hours. Each of them barely conscious.
Hardly enough strength to turn the valves.
But still, they try.
We FOLLOW the maze of standpipes, bending around and
climbing up damaged concrete walls until at last:
THE END of the pipes. Torn open.
Water gurgling out of them in small spurts. Not cooling a
reactor core. Not doing anything at all.
Just puddling into broken concrete, and then spilling down
a METAL DRAIN GRATE.
149 EXT. CHERNOBYL - MONTAGE - CONTINUOUS 149
The roof fires are out. But the fire within the core rages,
unseen. Smoke plumes out, moving in the wind...
OVER THE FOREST BETWEEN THE REACTOR AND PRIPYAT - we can
see the path the deadly wind has been taking, because a
wide swath of the trees have turned a terrible RUST ORANGE
color.
THE HOSPITAL, surrounded by a parking lot of emergency
vehicles...
THE STREETS, as concerned shopkeepers open up for the day's
business. We see MILITARY VEHICLES passing by in the B.G...
And a line of CHILDREN, 7-years old, in their uniforms and
book bags, holding hands and laughing as they walk to
school.
Move in and low to the ground now... until we're just
looking at the children's shoes as they pass by.
A moment or two, and they're out of frame.
Then a BIRD drops to the ground in front of us, hitting the
cement with a sickening sound. It twitches for a moment,
then goes utterly still.
END OF EPISODE ONE
54.





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