Chernobyl packed more into five episodes than most shows manage in five seasons. We got a snapshot of the final stages of Soviet bureaucracy, a science lesson on how nuclear reactors work, a gripping (and astonishingly well-performed) character drama and – obviously – a rigorously accurate dramatization of the events before and after the meltdown of Chernobyl’s Reactor 4. Despite being a fairly complex series, not to mention featuring some seriously miserable subject matter, the show’s proved an enormous hit. And what comes with enormous hits? Sequels!
Except, not in this case. After seeing headlines wondering what a second season of Chernobyl could be like, creator Craig Mazin tweeted:
“All due respect to Decider, but the definitive answer to the headline’s question “Will There Be A Season 2 of Chernobyl?” is “No.”
To those that’ve seen the finale, this won’t come as much of a surprise. By the last episode, the vast majority of the characters are either dead or dying, some killed off quickly by exposure to massive levels of radiation on the night of the disaster, and some succumbing to cancer and residual health problems years down the line. Then there’s the fact that the story of Chernobyl is mercifully drama-free after the horrors depicted in this season.
But while Mazin might not be returning to Chernobyl, he might not be straying too far from its core elements. In an interview with Decider, he said:
“The disaster is not what drew me to Chernobyl. It’s the specifics of Chernobyl. If I were to continue this anthologically, probably it would be another investigation of another aspect of Soviet life because that part is something that is fascinating to me and kind of exciting to view again. I’m a child of the ’70s and ’80s and my life, in part, was shaped by the existence of a nation that doesn’t exist. I wanna know more about it.”
Personally, I’d love to see Mazin’s take on some of the Soviet disasters that were covered up, like the Ashgabat earthquake in 1948 or the Nedelin disaster in 1960. That said, neither of those really approaches Chernobyl in terms of sheer apocalyptic terror.