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Chernobyl

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7 hours ago, ElectricBoogaloo said:

Outstanding Music Composition for a Limited Series, Movie or Special (Original Dramatic Score)

Hooray! I felt the music played such an important role in this program. 

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4 hours ago, marinw said:

Thank you @ElectricBoogaloo. I forgot that the Emmy's were even on last night!

It was the Creative Arts Emmys only.  I don't even know if they were broadcast.  The "real" Emmys are next Sunday. 

I couldn't figure out what the heck Outstanding Special Visual Effects In A Supporting Role were, it seems like it's a mistake.  But I found this definition from the Visual Effects Society, and it makes sense to me now:

Quote

This award is to honor the overall achievement of the visual effects that play a supporting or background role within a single episode of a broadcast series, miniseries, made-for-television movie, or special wherein the visual effects are not necessarily essential to the telling of the story in the way that the effects of an effects-driven broadcast program are. Supporting visual effects, when taken as a whole, may help create the setting, environment, or mood of an entire program, and are generally intended to be invisible to the lay viewer. They do not consist of a significant number of CG characters, science fiction or fantasy elements, and other highly visible effects that one would expect to see in a visual effectsdriven broadcast program.

Edited by Quilt Fairy
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1 hour ago, Quilt Fairy said:

It was the Creative Arts Emmys only.  I don't even know if they were broadcast.  The "real" Emmys are next Sunday. 

Ahaha. THAT'S why I couldn't find out who won Best Drama or Lead Actor/Actress! It's nice to see the more Creative categories being recognized with a bit more fanfair than in previous years. All these awards for Chernobyl are so well deserved!

Edited by marinw
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13 hours ago, Quilt Fairy said:

It was the Creative Arts Emmys only.  I don't even know if they were broadcast.  The "real" Emmys are next Sunday. 

I am thoroughly confused as to which Emmys are being leaked to social media, and which Emmys were already broadcast. To me it seems this year we have reached a kind of singularity WRT the Emmy winner  announcements (both online and during the event broadcasts) and their importance. 

Edited by shapeshifter · Reason: Singularity was the word I was trying to recall

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2019 Emmys:

YES!!

Best Directing for a limted series or movie

Best writing in a limited series or movie

Best Limeted series!!!

I can go to bed now.

Edited by marinw
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I was briefly watching the movie Justice League and there was a scene set somewhere in Russia close to a nuclear reactor. There was a small family in an apartment or house of some kind and I thought "Hey. They did pretty good with how those rooms would look." They they switched to a shot of the reactor and my suspension of disbelief went out the window. It was the stereotypical "reactor" with the hourglass cooling tower and I said "No way. Those would be giant blocky buildings!" 

Keep in mind that creatures were flying out which was ok by me but I've watched Chernobyl too many times to accept that reactor! 😂

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Watched the whole thing this week since my cable company gave me a free preview of HBO Canada. It was super intense. I think my favourite part was the coal miners and their attitude about things. When it comes to things like people's fears about nuclear power I am always fascinated by how people assess risk, and those guys seemed to realize that by working in a Soviet coal mine and breathing coal dust all day they already probably had incredibly shortened lifespans.

I also liked the end even though I had to wind a few times to grasp what Legasov was trying to explain. I was only a kid when it happened so I didn't really know alot. Although I do remember playing the Chernobyl power plant stimulator game for the Commodore 64. All I remember though is how it was text based and you were like Homer Simpson when he got to work from home on disability.

The other crazy thing is that I was talking about the show with some people in my office and a guy who sits across from me mentioned that his family was from Kiev, his mom was pregnant with him in 1986, and his dad being in the military was ordered to take part in the clean up. Although he didn't have a lot of details since his dad didn't talk much about it, other than he did it for less than a week and that led to them emigrating to Canada.

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57 minutes ago, Kel Varnsen said:

. When it comes to things like people's fears about nuclear power I am always fascinated by how people assess risk, and those guys seemed to realize that by working in a Soviet coal mine and breathing coal dust all day they already probably had incredibly shortened lifespans.

I don’t think I’ve read here or anywhere else your point about the coal miners in the Chernobyl series being self-aware of already having shortened lifespans due to the coal dust, but that totally makes sense to me, having heard and read about coal miners in the US being fully aware of the coal dust effect on their health. 
 

On a flight into Harrisburg to spend time with my daughter a few days ago my seat mate pointed out the infamous Three Mile Island nuclear power plant. Somehow I had not realized it was at Harrisburg. We chatted briefly while landing and shared that we both thought the Chernobyl series was excellent, although she —like some others on this board mentioned— was “taken out of the scene” by the British accents —to which I didn’t pay any attention. 

Edited by shapeshifter
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7 hours ago, shapeshifter said:

I don’t think I’ve read here or anywhere else your point about the coal miners in the Chernobyl series being self-aware of already having shortened lifespans due to the coal dust, but that totally makes sense to me, having heard and read about coal miners in the US being fully aware of the coal dust effect on their health. 

I imagine that between dust, explosions, cave ins and just the general dangers of working in a heavy industrial operation in the 1980's would be super dangerous. Especially in the Soviet Union, I mean I doubt those guys had a health and safety committee. So a premature death was probably expected for those guys.

I also am interested in general for how people assess risks. A lot of people seem extremely afraid about nuclear power, which although catastrophic if something happens, is pretty rare. Meanwhile people do things that are a lot less catastrophic but are a lot more likely to kill them every day, like driving a car.

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Golden Globe nominations!

Best Television Limited Series or Motion Picture Made for Television
Jared Harris: Best Performance by an Actor in a Limited Series or Motion Picture Made for Television
Stellan Skarsgård: Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role in a Series, Limited Series or Motion Picture Made for Television
Emily Watson: Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role in a Series, Limited Series or Motion Picture Made for Television

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Critics' Choice Award nominations!

Best Limited Series

Best Actor in a Limited Series or Movie Made for Television – Jared Harris

Best Supporting Actor in a Limited Series or Movie Made for Television – Stellan Skarsgård

Best Supporting Actress in a Limited Series or Movie Made for Television – Emily Watson

 

Screen Actors Guild Award nomination:

Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Television Movie or Miniseries - Jared Harris

Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Television Movie or Miniseries - Emily Watson

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The Roku Channel has a few free episodes this week, including Parts 1-3 of Chernobyl. I'm sure my college professors would be horrified if I tried to explain physics, but what the hell?

I'm guessing that Lyudmilla got way more radiation by being outside the night of the explosion than during her hospital time. She probably was less irradiated by leaving the Chernobyl area before others. The danger with alpha radiation is entering the body. Breathing in the radioactive particles is a virtual death sentence. One reason the plant workers draining the tanks wouldn't die immediately is because their skin and lungs were protected by the rubber suits and external air supply.

Hiroshima was the "other" kind of radiation. Upon the explosion, gamma rays were blasted in every direction and did their damage quickly. The fallout of other particles were dispersed in the stratosphere and raised the background radiation level for a period of time.

Chernobyl was bad because the fallout was concentrated just above ground level. Dense radioactive smoke and particles caught the wind and dispersed slowly, increasing the danger to anyone it its path. Ironically, given the ineffectiveness of both the tunnel and the sand drops, letting it "burn itself out" was what ended up happening. This was definitely a case where the event was bad, but could have been much worse. 

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This was a fascinating, well done and horrifying series.  I think binging this would be extremely difficult.  I could watch only one episode every few days and I am a horror and gore fan (cathartic).  There are many good items on YouTube about this event including the ‘elephants foot’ considered the most contaminated spot on earth.  I am so glad to see they are getting nominated, well deserved.  The acting was great.  

There is a documentary called ‘All governments lie’.  Perfect example here.

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Meant to add a comment about coal miners.  My Mom grew up in a small coal mining town in Wyoming and her father and four brothers all worked in the mines. And this was in the early 1900s when safety equipment was minimal.  They all had black lung but they lived well into their 70s and 80s. I attribute that to their tough stubborn Finnish genes.  

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Two Golden Globe Awards!

  • Best performance by an actor in a supporting role in a series, limited series or motion picture made for television - Stellan Skarsgård, "Chernobyl"
  • Best television limited series or motion picture made for television

 

Best limited series acceptance speech:

Stellan Skarsgård's acceptance speech:

 

Edited by ElectricBoogaloo
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On 11/30/2019 at 7:55 AM, Kel Varnsen said:

I imagine that between dust, explosions, cave ins and just the general dangers of working in a heavy industrial operation in the 1980's would be super dangerous. Especially in the Soviet Union, I mean I doubt those guys had a health and safety committee. So a premature death was probably expected for those guys.

I also am interested in general for how people assess risks. A lot of people seem extremely afraid about nuclear power, which although catastrophic if something happens, is pretty rare. Meanwhile people do things that are a lot less catastrophic but are a lot more likely to kill them every day, like driving a car.

Explosions and cave ins do happen but they are not that common. Most of your industrial health problems occur from repetitive physical exertion and breathing in fine dust and chemicals. 

You can keep an eye on your equipment, wear the correct clothing and breathing masks and live a long life in most industries but radiation is silent, invisible, and a nasty way to die so people fear it.

The 80's were a time when lead gasoline was still around, asbestos was in use all over, you could walk into any hardware store and buy all kinds of nasty cancer inducing chemical and solvents. It was only a decade after dumping chemicals into rivers that then caught on fire was the norm.

 

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I am just now watching The West Wing for the first time. 7.12 "Duck and Cover" and the following episodes describe a fictional nuclear reactor incident that very closely mirrors what happened at Chernobyl, including poor choices about safety and regulations, as well as technical mistakes in dealing with the incident. 

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I was a physics major and I guess I know enough about about the different kinds of radiation to not be that scared of it. Even the so-called "dirty bomb" scenario would be unlikely to have a devastating effect. On the other hand, pandemics freak me the hell out. I think about the stories like the guy with Ebola in NYC a couple of years ago and that worries me.

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18 hours ago, UnknownK said:

Explosions and cave ins do happen but they are not that common. Most of your industrial health problems occur from repetitive physical exertion and breathing in fine dust and chemicals. 

You can keep an eye on your equipment, wear the correct clothing and breathing masks and live a long life in most industries but radiation is silent, invisible, and a nasty way to die so people fear it.

The 80's were a time when lead gasoline was still around, asbestos was in use all over, you could walk into any hardware store and buy all kinds of nasty cancer inducing chemical and solvents. It was only a decade after dumping chemicals into rivers that then caught on fire was the norm.

 

I get that you can have many different levels of safety protocols in a coal mine, but how many of those would be in place in a Soviet mine in the mid 1980s. And and consider that many of those guys working there would have likely started in the 70s if not earlier. So on top of the explosions, dust and chemicals you also have the general dangers of working in a large industrial operation like getting run over by a dump truck or getting your arm chopped off by a drill. For those guys going to Chernobyl probably wasn't that much more dangerous, or at least it was easy for them to think it wasn't that much more dangerous.

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1 hour ago, Kel Varnsen said:

I get that you can have many different levels of safety protocols in a coal mine, but how many of those would be in place in a Soviet mine in the mid 1980s. And and consider that many of those guys working there would have likely started in the 70s if not earlier. So on top of the explosions, dust and chemicals you also have the general dangers of working in a large industrial operation like getting run over by a dump truck or getting your arm chopped off by a drill. For those guys going to Chernobyl probably wasn't that much more dangerous, or at least it was easy for them to think it wasn't that much more dangerous.

Honestly I don't think those miners understood the real risks to themselves from radiation (hell the people at the plant didn't understand what exploded and what the bits all over were). The miners knew they had to make a tunnel under the plant so that the core didn't reach the water level and blow up.

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13 minutes ago, UnknownK said:

Honestly I don't think those miners understood the real risks to themselves from radiation (hell the people at the plant didn't understand what exploded and what the bits all over were). The miners knew they had to make a tunnel under the plant so that the core didn't reach the water level and blow up.

I think they knew it would kill them, but I don't recall if they were given information on life expectancy, and I'm pretty sure they had no experience that would inform them of how they would die. 
I don't recall whether we saw any coughing from lung disease that many of them were already afflicted with.

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On 1/8/2020 at 11:05 PM, UnknownK said:

Honestly I don't think those miners understood the real risks to themselves from radiation (hell the people at the plant didn't understand what exploded and what the bits all over were). The miners knew they had to make a tunnel under the plant so that the core didn't reach the water level and blow up.

Oh they probably didn't have a real understanding of it. I am just thinking that they probably figured they already had one of the most dangerous jobs in all the Soviet Union, so how much worse could this be.

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Being the Soviet Union, you didn't really have the option of quitting the job. But the reality is in that situation, no one really knew how dangerous it was. Acute radiation sickness kills quickly. If someone survives it, it's a matter of statistics as to how much their life gets shortened. It's the same thing for the miners. It hurts to wear a lot of safety equipment all day because you have to exert yourself even more than the job to lug around gear and breathe through filters. Imagine if you get a heart attack from that exertion, as opposed to lung disease 30 years later.

As far as what the miners understood, it seemed like even the "experts" didn't really know how to make the mining process safe and still get the job done in time.

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I binged this series last night, thanks to a Facebook friend’s recommendation. You can imagine the dreams I had.

The pet shootings and death of Ludmilla’s baby didn’t bother me nearly as much as the avalanche of vomiting in the first episode! To this day, I refuse to watch the first half-hour of Saving Private Ryan; friends told me it was a puke-fest.

I understand that Emily Watson’s character was an amalgam of many scientists; still it was refreshing to see a WOMAN stand up and hold her own in a roomful of jackasses. Come on, moronic American television; catch up!

I appreciated her euphemism: 
”I’ll re-interview [the firefighters] if they’re still awake.”

Legasov: “They’re not.”

Dyatlov should have been made to clear the Masha roof *naked.*

 

 

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On 5/21/2019 at 4:13 PM, ChicksDigScars said:

I know she's supposed to not know any better, but I detest the blond firefighter's wife. "Don't touch him," and what does she do? Hugs him. "Don't go behind the curtain," and she does just that. "You're not pregnant, are you?" and she lies and does all of the above.  Why do you think that they asked you that, you idiot? I can't remember the last time I wanted to reach into my TV and smack the shit out of someone so badly. Then again, I didn't care for her from the start. 

 

On 5/21/2019 at 8:52 PM, proserpina65 said:

All I can think about poor Ludmilla is that no one really explained to her how contaminated her husband was, and what that could do to her baby.  Although the nurse did tell her 30 minutes only, and not to touch him.  Obviously the staff was completely overwhelmed by the number and seriousness of the cases coming in.

I doubt it would helped that the nurse had explained her.

A journalist who has worked long in Russia explained why the fighting against the coronavirus is so difficult in Russia: the Russians don't respect the administration and the authorities, nor respect and follow the guidelines and rules. Instead, they think that a wise person circumvents the rules because the rules ultimately have no meaning.

The background is probably the mentality of the serfs during the old Russia: it wasn't wrong to break the laws as they were ordered from above.

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On 5/27/2019 at 3:08 AM, theschnauzers said:

One historical point: Prior to Chernobyl, there had been only one massive population exposure to radiation — the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, and the most isolated exposure during the post WWII nuclear and hydrogen bond tests by various countries that ended with the Nuclear Test Ban treaty of 1963.

So there was some medical knowledge of the short, medium and long term effects of radiation poisoning long before Chernobyl. Which makes the lack of more general knowledge in medical and government communities, and the failure to communicate these effects more explicitly even more shocking. It comes across as a concealment trying to avoid mass panic which put millions of lives at risk then.

In Voices of Chernobyl by Svetlana Alexievitch one can find several reasons: 

- authorities acted irresponsibly: the truth was not told because it would not be exploited by enemies, and not even existing safeguards were provided

- experts were not listened to and even at the very top there was ignorance, above all voluntarism: the power of ideology overcomes the laws of physics 

- "homo Sovieticus": everyone feared their superiors and knew that there would probably be bad consequences if they took the initiative, acted sensibly and took responsibility, instead, obedience was rewarded even when it was stupid and avoidance of responsibility

- winning the WW2 had stiffened the Soviet society - a new war was expected and prepared for but not a catastrophe of any other kind

 

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On 6/5/2019 at 3:22 PM, Notwisconsin said:

The New Yorker condemned the miniseries for not being 100% accurate.  The liberties he condemns are in fact absolutely necessary to make the thing comprehensible to the layman. 

For example, we KNOW that Shcherbina never said "pretend I'm an idiot and explain how a nuclear reactor works," but we also know that it needs to be explained to US that way.  Still, it's an interesting article.

 

On 6/5/2019 at 7:11 PM, MJ Frog said:

Definitely an interesting article, and written by someone who knows Russia and the USSR very well. However, this is a person who also doesn't seem to understand how drama works, or how composite characters function when dramatizing history. Her chief complaint really seems to be that this isn't a documentary. For example, when Khomyuk calls out the dude who used to run a shoe factory, the author of the article is indignant because Khomyuk would have never mentioned this under those circumstances. Maybe so, but we would have never known that about him if she hadn't. The author also claims that no one would have ever spoken out about what happened at Chernobyl, but the fact is that Legasov did. Not at the trial (he wasn't actually there) but he did try to get the truth out there, and suffered for it professionally and personally.

There are a number of ways in which I think she misjudges this show, but this one bugs me the most: "It was the system, made up primarily of pliant men and women, that cut its own corners, ignored its own precautions, and ultimately blew up its own nuclear reactor for no good reason except that this was how things were done. The viewer is invited to fantasize that, if not for Dyatlov, the better men would have done the right thing and the fatal flaw in the reactor, and the system itself, might have remained latent. This is a lie."

I strongly disagree with this and I think it is quite apparent to anyone who has seen the show that while Dyatlov was indeed reckless and stupid, the system itself was broken. The system that didn't inform people of known, serious, flaws with the RBMK reactor, that encouraged obedience over honesty. A system that was itself a Potemkin village. We see this throughout the show, and if nothing else the trial makes it very clear where to lay the blame. If the author of the article didn't see that, then I don't know what show she was watching.

 

On 6/5/2019 at 8:59 PM, tennisgurl said:

I read the article, and I totally agree with this. They dont seem to get that this is a dramatization, and not a documentary. They WANT this to be a documentary it seems like. In a scripted series based on true events, especially when a lot of your audience does not really know much about the nitty gritty of what happened, they need to add some exposition and to cut some things down to make the story more palpable to an audience, especially if they want to tell this story to a large number of people. The people behind the show are very upfront about what actually happened and what was added to make things for clear or work better from a narrative perspective, especially in the ending credits, which makes it certainly much more truthful than most "based on a true story" kind of movies and shows. I loved that they straight up said that Ulana Khomyuk was a composite character created to honor the large number of scientists who worked on Chernobyl, and suffered for trying to tell the truth about what happened and tried to help as much as they could. I thought it was a very classy move to mention the real people and show some pictures of them, even if they didnt have time to show the whole large group on the show, probably just based around time constraints. 

I also found the authors tone to be rather condescending and unprofessional in general, and their only real complaint, after putting the series and everyone who worked on it on blast, seemed to be "its not word for word what happened" which is kind of ridiculous to me. Has there ever been a based on a true story thing that has been totally, 100% accurate? Ever? At least this show was upfront about what they did for dramas sake and used this platform to say important things. Really, this wasnt just about Chernobyl, it was about the dangers of blind obedience to any ideology or government, what happens when people refuse to take responsibility for their own mistakes, or when a society is based on lies and secrets, even when it costs people their lives. Thats much more important to me than whether or not each person used the correct grammar when speaking to the right person or whatever.  

I find the article very interesting, especially the point that the characters act and react in ways that people in the Soviet Union didn't, couldn't and wouldn't.

However, one must understand the difference between realistic and classical style. As one literary critic wrote, while it's true that no Venetian aristocratic lady would have met an American colonel in the circumstances described by Ernest Hemingway, that doesn't really matter, because Hemingways isn't interested in such outer things how people really behaved in the post-war Venice but how people generally are inside, like Corneille and Racine their plays.

So, the show is OK as long the audience understands that (like the article says) it's a show made Hollywood style which demands conflict and heroes. It's only wrong only if one presents actions of the characters as evidence about something that didn't really happen and couldn't even happen in the USSR. 

However, the Hollowood style is not the only way to dramatize the events. That is shown by the Nobel laureate of literature, Svetlana Alexievitch, who created a completely new form of her own.

It's not a bad thing that people can read and see two versions made with different styles: the show concentrates on "heroes" and "culprits", Voices of Chernobyl gives the voice to a chorus of ordinary people, including children and old people.  It's OK that some people like the former whereas others prefer the latter.     

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Documentary about the current state of the Fukishima area.  I haven't see it yet, but the review description reminds me a lot of Chernobyl, including hunters grimly killing animals they can't eat, and a "happy talk" government. 

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I had not realized that Jared Harris is the son of acting legend Richard Harris. Jared was in the first two seasons of The Expanse, before he did Chernobyl, and the factoid was mentioned in a new series of podcasts about the Expanse that begins with the first episode of season one, hosted by Ty Frenck (half of the duo of James S.A. Corey, the authors of The Expanse series of novels, novellas, and short stories) and who’s an executive producer and writer on the TV series, and actor Wes Chatham, who portrays Amos on the series. They post their podcasts on the Ty and That Guy you tube channel, a fascinating listen on its own accord.

 

Edited by theschnauzers
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1 hour ago, theschnauzers said:

I had not realized that Jared Harris is the son of acting legend Richard Harris. Jared was in the first two seasons of The Expanse, before he did Chernobyl, and the factoid was mentioned in a new series of podcasts about the Expanse that begins with the first episode of season one, hosted by Ty Frenck (half of the duo of James S.A. Corey, the authors of The Expanse series of novels, novellas, and short stories) and who’s an executive producer and writer on the TV series, and actor Wes Chatham, who portrays Amos on the series. They post their podcasts on the Ty and That Guy you tube channel, a fascinating listen on its own accord.

 

And his stepfather was Rex Harrison!

Jared was also great as Lane Pryce on Mad Men and King George VI on The Crown. I'm happy any time I'm watching something and he shows up.

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Paul Ritter, who played Dyatlov, just died at age 54 from a brain tumor.

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On ‎04‎/‎06‎/‎2021 at 1:14 PM, Sharpie66 said:

Paul Ritter, who played Dyatlov, just died at age 54 from a brain tumor.

I was very sorry to hear this.  He was a year younger than I am.  And was so good in the role, although I will always think of him as Mad Bob from On A Clear Day.

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I watched the entire series when it came out, and the first episode about six times.
What is it about radiation poisoning that it causes a metallic taste in the mouth, which several people mentioned? Please enlighten.

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On 6/25/2021 at 2:05 PM, Dianaofthehunt said:

I watched the entire series when it came out, and the first episode about six times.
What is it about radiation poisoning that it causes a metallic taste in the mouth, which several people mentioned? Please enlighten.

There doesn’t seem to be a readily findable reason, just lots of repeating that radiation can cause the metallic taste. Just a guess, but I imagine it means the taste buds have already been damaged by the radiation, and as such a pretty scary sign when it happens so fast.  
 

Radiation and chemo both affect rapidly dividing cells the most, and taste buds fall in that category. Why a metallic taste, though?  No clue. I lost my sense of taste for a few months after radiation to my face/neck for Hodgkin disease, but I don’t recall ever tasting metal. One of those things you see but it’s just a given, not really explained. 

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On 4/2/2021 at 8:10 PM, lurkerbee said:

And his stepfather was Rex Harrison!

Jared was also great as Lane Pryce on Mad Men and King George VI on The Crown. I'm happy any time I'm watching something and he shows up.

And don't forget his finest role as the Bill O'Reilly style tabloid journalist villain from the Adam Sandler movie Mr. Deeds.

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