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《切尔诺贝利》第4集剧本-英文原版

2019-6-17 22:31| 发布者: 小白兔| 查看: 98| 评论: 0

摘要: CHERNOBYLEpisode 4 - "The Happiness Of All Mankind"Written byCraig MazinJuly 24, 2018Copyright© 2018 Home Box Office, Inc. ALL RIGHTS RESERVEDNO PORTION OF THIS SCRIPT MAY BE PERFORMED, PUB ...
CHERNOBYL
Episode 4 - "The Happiness Of All Mankind"
Written by
Craig Mazin
July 24, 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.
401 OVER BLACK 401
The sound of liquid, intermittently spattering against
metal. Rhythmic. FADE IN TO:
402 EXT. COUNTRYSIDE - DAY 402
Two wrinkled, aged hands work the udder of a COW. Milk
spurts down into an old METAL PAIL.
MAN'S VOICE (O.S.)
It's time to go.
REVEAL: an OLD WOMAN, stocky, babushka, sitting on a small
wooden stool. She continues to milk the cow.
Her cloudy eyes gaze straight ahead at her task. The job she
has done a thousand times.
The SOLDIER, 27, tall, strong, stubbly face, sweating in his
uniform, stands a few feet behind her.
They're in a weed-filled front yard. A dilapidated wooden
fence, paint faded and peeling, slumps and weaves around the
small property.
In the near background, a tiny home. Logs and concrete. A
rippled tin roof. At least as old as its owner.
The soldier wipes his brow. Then waves a cloud of gnats
away. Frustrated.
SOLDIER
Did you hear me?
She keeps milking.
SOLDIER
This is an evacuation. You
understand? You have to come with me.
She does not stop milking. But:
OLD WOMAN
Why?
SOLDIER
Why? Because they told me, so now I'm
telling you. Everyone in this
village. Everyone. It's not safe
here. There's radiation in the air.
What's wrong with you?
1.
OLD WOMAN
Do you know how old I am?
The soldier slumps. Hot. Sweaty. This is miserable.
SOLDIER
I don't know. Old.
OLD WOMAN
I am 82. I have lived here my whole
life. Right here. That house. This
place. What do I care about safe?
SOLDIER
I have a job. Don't cause trouble.
OLD WOMAN
Trouble. Tschh. You are not the first
soldier to stand here with a gun.
When I was 12, the revolution came.
Oh, for god's sake...
OLD WOMAN
Czar's men. Then Bolsheviks. Boys
like you marching in lines. They told
us to leave. No. Then there was
Stalin, and his famine. The
Holodomor. My parents died. Two of my
sisters died. They told the rest of
us to leave. No.
The soldier softens a bit. Doesn't want to be disrespectful.
OLD WOMAN
Then the Great War. German boys.
Russian boys. More soldiers. More
famine. More bodies. My brothers
never came home. But I stayed. And I
am still here. After all that I've
seen. So I should leave now-- because
of something I cannot see at all? No.
The pail is full. She stops milking.
The soldier takes a couple of steps forward. Reaches down
gently to take the pail. She doesn't move to stop him.
He lifts it up, walks a few steps, and then SPILLS THE MILK
OUT on to the ground--
--where it SPLASHES into a puddle right next to a SIMILAR
PUDDLE... a dark-and-white milky spot on the ground.
2.
She doesn't turn to look at him. Just waits.
Fine. He walks back to her. Hands her the pail.
She takes it, places it under the cow's udder. A small sigh.
And then she begins milking again.
SOUND: a TRUCK HORN. The soldier turns and looks out to THE
DIRT ROAD, where a military bus is WAITING. Yeah. He knows.
Just a minute.
The soldier looks back at her. Resolute now. All business.
SOLDIER
Please stand up now.
She does not. Nor does she speak. The only sound is the soft
moo of the cow. The milk hitting the bottom of the pail.
The soldier puts his hand on his holster.
THE OLD WOMAN - hears the SNAP of a button as the soldier
unholsters his weapon. But she doesn't move. Keeps milking.
The soldier draws his Makarov. Chambers a round.
cha-chik
SOLDIER
This is your last warning.
She keeps milking. The soldier purses his lips. Sweat
rolling down from his forehead. Then he takes aim.
CLOSE ON THE OLD WOMAN - tired eyes. Ready. Her hands keep
milking. Like they always have. All these years. All this--
GUNSHOT
She blinks.
THE COW - topples to the ground with a heavy thud. Milk
still leaking from its udder.
The old woman just stares at it. White rivulets dribbling
out into the soil. Then they stop.
SOLDIER (O.S.)
It's time to go.
CUT TO TITLES
3.
END TITLES, CUT TO:
403 OMITTED 403
404 EXT. APARTMENT COMPLEX COURTYARD - DAY 404
A bloc of IDENTICAL APARTMENT BUILDINGS. In the center
courtyard, a small PLAYGROUND. Some young mothers stand
together, smoking, watching their children play.
SCORE RISES
TITLE:
KIEV, UKRAINE
AUGUST, 1986
405 INT. UNFURNISHED FLAT - SAME 405
An empty apartment. Lyudmilla enters the frame from behind.
REVERSE TO - C.U. LYUDMILLA - looking at the empty space.
This is where she will live now. This is her home.
She looks back at the BUILDING CONCIERGE, a woman in her
50's, who stands waiting by the door. Lyudmilla nods. Yes.
WIDER SHOT - Lyudmilla stands in the empty space. We see
that her belly has grown. About five months pregnant now.
The concierge leaves, and now Lyudmilla is alone.
Her hand absent-mindedly goes to her stomach.
No. Not alone.
MUFFLED VOICES (O.S.)
Point five. Point seven. Point five.
406 EXT. AN OPEN FIELD NEAR A POND - MORNING 406
CLOSE ON: A GAS MASK-covered face. It stares dead ahead. In
the dark lenses of the goggles, the distorted reflection of
men... moving slowly in a pack through early morning FOG...
THE SURVEY TEAM - thirty soldiers, each wearing plasticky
green radiation suits, hoods pulled tight over their heads.
Their masks make them look like strange, nightmarish birds.
4.
They move in a fanned-out formation holding RADIOMETERS in
front of them, like astronauts exploring a distant planet.
THE TEAM LEADER - holds a map in his hand. He makes
notations as they call their numbers out.
SURVEY TEAM
Point three. Point seven. Point six.
From off-camera:
SURVEY SOLDIER (O.S.)
Fifteen.
The soldiers stop dead. All turn as one. The lack of
expression on the masked faces somehow makes it worse.
REVEAL: a soldier holding his radiometer out toward a tree.
A child's RUSTY BICYCLE leans against it. Someone rode here
to swim in the pond, and left the bike behind because of a
flat tire. The soldier turns back. Repeats.
SURVEY SOLDIER
Fifteen.
The team springs into action. Half the soldiers rush over to
the hotspot. Using their radiometers to find the perimeter.
The others grab supplies from the truck. They work in
perfect coordination to erect fencing around the hotspot.
A final sign planted in the ground. A yellow triangle.
Cyrillic lettering. But we won't need a translation.
The red RADIATION SYMBOL on the sign is enough.
The sound of approaching HELICOPTER BLADES, and the Team
Leader looks up, his masked face staring at the sky.
SCORE CARRIES US THROUGH TO:
407 OMITTED 407
408 INT. LYUDMILLA & VASILY'S PRIPYAT APT. - CONTINUOUS 408
Where we first met them... the night of the explosion. The
apartment is mostly as we saw it then. Lyudmilla's cigarette
in the ASHTRAY, stubbed out a lifetime ago.
5.
But there is plaster dust covering the table where she sat.
And rat droppings. The calendar is frozen, and will forever
be, on April 1986.
SCORE CARRIES US THROUGH TO:
409 INT. HOTEL ROOM - POLISSYA 409
CLOSE ON: LEGASOV - by the window. Lost in thought. Smoking.
Anxious.
PHONE: rings, jarring Legasov back to reality. He picks it
up.
LEGASOV
Legasov.
(checks his watch)
Alright. I'll be there to meet him.
He stubs his cigarette out in the ashtray, and:
410 EXT. REACTOR SITE / MOBILE OFFICE 410
A military car heads down the long road toward--
DRIVER'S POV - the approaching CHERNOBYL POWER PLANT
The car pulls into the reactor site area and comes to a
stop. GENERAL TARAKANOV emerges. He stops to take it all in.
A grim pause. Then he strides toward the MOBILE OFFICE.
411 INT. MOBILE OFFICE 411
CLOSE ON AN BLACK AND WHITE AERIAL PHOTO of CHERNOBYL. The
massive, gaping wound in Building 4. Wreckage still covers
the roof of the building.
Tarakanov sits at the table with Legasov and Shcherbina.
Just staring at the photo. Then he flips to the next. And
the next. Images of utter destruction.
LEGASOV
The atom is a humbling thing.
TARAKANOV
Not humbling.
(drops the photos)
Humiliating. Why is the core still
exposed to the air? Why haven't we
already covered it?
6.
LEGASOV
We want to. But we can't get close
enough. The debris on the roof is
graphite from the core itself. Until
we push it off the roof and back down
into the reactor, it will kill anyone
who goes near it.
As he speaks, he pulls photos to show Tarakanov.
LEGASOV
You can see the roof has three
levels. We've named the sections--
that small one there is Katya. About
a thousand roentgen per hour. Presume
two hours of exposure is fatal.
(points again)
The one on the side-- Nina. Two
thousand roentgen. One hour, fatal.
Tarakanov shakes his head. Hard to believe such a thing
could be true. Rocks. Rubble. A building.
TARAKANOV
We used remote-controlled bulldozers
in Afghanistan. Maybe--
SHCHERBINA
Too heavy. They'd fall right through.
TARAKANOV
So then-- ?
LEGASOV
Moon rovers.
Tarakanov looks at Legasov. I'm sorry, moon rovers?
LEGASOV
Lunokhod STR-1's. They're light, and
if we line them with lead, they can
withstand the radiation.
SHCHERBINA
We couldn't put a man on the moon, at
least we can keep a man off a roof.
LEGASOV
That is the most important thing,
General. Under no circumstances can
men go up there. Robots only.
Taraknov looks back at the photo.
7.
TARAKANOV
What about this large section?
Legasov and Shcherbina fall silent. Then:
SHCHERBINA
Masha.
Tarakanov picks up the tone in the older man's voice.
Reverence. Or is it dread?
LEGASOV
Twelve thousand roentgen. If you
stood there in full protective gear,
head to toe-- you would receive a
lifetime dose in ninety seconds. At
two minutes, your life expectancy is
cut in half. By three minutes--
you're dead within months.
Tarakanov looks down at the photo of MASHA. Graphite chunks
enlarged in the photo as blurred, ominous shadows...
LEGASOV
Even the lunar rovers won't work on
Masha. That amount of gamma radiation
penetrates everything. The particles
literally shred the circuits in
microchips apart. If it's more
complicated than a light switch,
Masha will destroy it.
SHCHERBINA
I think it's fair to say this piece
of roof is the most dangerous place
on the planet.
TARAKANOV
(stunned)
So... what do we do?
SHCHERBINA
That's what we were going to ask you.
412 EXT. REACTOR SITE - CONTINUOUS 412
In the far distance, a small LINE OF BUSES is barely
visible, moving toward us.
8.
413 INT. BUS - CONTINUOUS 413
Men. All men. 20's and 30's. Two in each seat. No
expressions. Hard faces. Most have the look of men who have
seen war. Except for:
PAVEL, 23, the thin boy we saw at the end of the last
episode. He sits in a window seat, nervous. Crowded slightly
by the huge man next to him.
PAVEL'S POV - through the window, nothing but open country.
And then, as the bus slows... MILITARY VEHICLES. A
checkpoint. Two soldiers in gas masks.
As the soldiers wave the bus through, Pavel sees a third
soldier on his hands and knees, vomiting on the ground.
Pavel quickly looks away from the window. Stares straight
ahead. Afraid.
414 EXT. LIQUIDATOR CAMP - LATER 414
The buses are parked in a field. The men stream out. Pavel
exits, clutching his conscript papers in his hand.
Ahead of him - TENTS. Scores of them. Makeshift shelters,
large enough to house eight men each. As Pavel follows along
with the others toward a check-in point, we see:
COOKS - stir enormous vats of god-knows-what over field
stoves. SUPPLY MEN unload crates from trucks and stack them
on the ground. Each crate holds the same thing.
VODKA. Hundreds of crates. Thousands of bottles.
In the background, a row of men squatting over a trench
latrine. Other men throw garbage into a fire pit.
415 EXT. TENTS - LATER 415
Pavel carries a pile of folded UNIFORM CLOTHING, two boots,
and a cap. A small BLACK AND WHITE PIECE OF PLASTIC - like a
rectangular badge - is now clipped to his shirt.
He's checking the numbers posted on the tents. 101... 102...
9.
416 INT. TENT - MOMENTS LATER 416
Pavel pushes through the flap and enters the small tent.
Inside, we see it's the kind you'd set up on a battlefield
for temporary quarters. In fact, the exact kind.
Except for the empty vodka bottles scattered around. Most of
the cots are empty, but messy, as if their occupants have
already left to do their jobs. But there is one man...
sitting on his cot, cleaning a RIFLE. This is GARO, 30,
Armenian, thin. The same PLASTIC BADGE clipped to his shirt.
Garo turns to Pavel, and we see: his right eye is CLOUDED
OVER. Dead. A small scar winds around the socket.
PAVEL
I was sent here? Tent 103?
Another MAN, face down on a COT, groans. Turns over, wakes
up. Disoriented. As he sits up, an empty bottle rolls off
his cot, and hits the ground with a dull thunk.
This is BACHO, 36. Tall, muscular. Pants but no shirt. His
entire body-- his posture, his build, the way he juts his
head-- appears to be designed to commit violence.
He squints at Pavel through bleary eyes.
BACHO
New?
PAVEL
Yes.
Bacho rises... all 6'1" of him. Picks up a nearly-finished
vodka bottle and a METAL CUP. Walks with a slight sway to
Pavel. Offers the bottle.
BACHO
It's okay. It's free.
PAVEL
It's a little early.
Bacho shrugs. Yes, that's true. He holds out his hand. Pavel
shakes with him, wincing a bit as the big man squeezes his
hand.
BACHO
Bacho.
PAVEL
Pavel.
10.
Bacho picks up a shirt. Also a PLASTIC BADGE on it. He puts
it on while he talks.
BACHO
So what unit were you in?
PAVEL
They had me in the motor pool in
Kiev, but--
BACHO
No no, not this bullshit.
Afghanistan. What unit?
PAVEL
I wasn't in Afghanistan. I'm not in
the military.
Bacho takes that in. Wooooow. He turns to Garo.
BACHO
They're running out of men.
Garo nods. Yup.
Bacho wipes his nose. Then SLAPS his own cheeks with his
hands. Takes a huge breath. Shakes the cobwebs out. Then
claps Pavel on the arm. Hard enough to leave a bruise.
BACHO
Alright. Let's go.
Bacho exits the tent. Pavel just stands there. Then sees
Garo staring grimly at him with his one good eye.
417 EXT. TENTS - MOMENTS LATER 417
Pavel rushes to catch up with Bacho, who starts pointing
things out to him as they go.
BACHO
Showers. Food. Those guys over there?
They dig up the ground. Those guys,
they cut down trees. Those guys I
think evacuate people, you know? Like
villagers?
Pavel gestures toward a different group of men.
PAVEL
What about them?
11.
BACHO
I don't know them. Fuck them.
(sees, yells)
Janek, you Latvian whore!
JANEK, 25, picks through a PILE OF STUFF... boots, caps, tin
cups, pots, pans. He looks up and sees Bacho walking at him
with purpose. Shit. That's not good.
JANEK
I'm not Latvian, I'm Estonian.
BACHO
Well guess what, no one gives a shit.
Give me an egg basket.
JANEK
I only have one, I promised it to--
Bacho juts his face toward Janek. Fist cocked.
BACHO
Give me the fucking basket.
JANEK
Okay, okay...!
Janek pulls a CURVED PIECE OF FLAT GRAY METAL from the pile.
It has four small holes punched into it, with shoelaces
running through them. Like... a metal loincloth?
Bacho snatches it out of Janek's hand. Then makes a motion
to smash Janek in the head with it. Janek FLINCHES back.
Then Bacho points to Pavel. Eyes still glaring at Janek.
BACHO
He's with me, you understand? Nobody
messes with him.
Janek raises his hands up... doesn't want trouble. Bacho,
still scowling, gives a satisfied grunt. Then he turns to
Pavel-- instantly calm again-- and hands him the bent metal.
BACHO
We make these from lead scrap. Put it
on under your balls.
His balls? Pavel looks at the metal. Then realizes that
Bacho is staring at him. As in... waiting.
PAVEL
Now?
12.
BACHO
No, you should wait until the
radiation gives you a cunt. Yes now.
Pavel looks around. Okay. He drops his trousers.
BACHO
Over your clothes. Holy shit.
Embarrassed, Pavel pulls his trousers back up. While he puts
his egg basket on, Bacho continues to smoke. And talk.
BACHO
You ever go hunting?
PAVEL
No.
BACHO
Well, today's your lucky day. You,
me, that one-eyed Armenian in the
tent? Garo? We do animal control.
PAVEL
Animal control?
Bacho makes a gun gesture with his hand.
BACHO
They're radioactive, so that's that
with them. And the best part? It's
mostly pets. They're happy to see
you, they run right up to you! Bang!
Load the bodies on a truck, dump them
in a pit, bury them in concrete...
and then we drink.
Pavel finishes tying the egg basket on.
BACHO
As much vodka as you want, plus a
thousand rubles. It's almost worth
it, you know?
Without warning, he SLAPS his hand hard against Pavel's
crotch. Right in the egg basket. Pavel flinches in pain.
BACHO
Good. Let's go get you a gun.
Bacho strides off, and once again, Pavel follows.
13.
418 EXT. MOSCOW UNIVERSITY LIBRARY - DAY 418
The foreboding building, with its jutting central tower
covered in bone-white tile, looks more like a prison
fortress than a repository of knowledge.
419 INT. SECURITY CHECK-IN - CONTINUOUS 419
Khomyuk waits by a check-in desk in front of a security
gate. A SECURITY OFFICER - male, 30's, has her credentials
in front of him on his desk.
He painstakingly records her information into a LOGBOOK. No
sound but the scratching of his pen, a tunk-tunk-tunk of an
unseen clock, and the hum of overhead lights.
Finally, he hands her credentials back, then hits a button.
There's a BUZZ, and the security gate clicks open.
420 INT. LIBRARY ARCHIVE - LATER 420
A large, two-level reading room. Long wooden tables run the
length of it. KHOMYUK sits alone at the end of one of the
tables. Stacks of books. Journals. Maps. Notepads.
And a THICK BINDER with page after page of a dot matrix
printout... an infodump from a computer, no doubt.
We catch bits of her work as she progresses. Mathematical
calculations. Notations referring to time of day. Marked-up
diagrams of a nuclear reactor. Photographs of control room
instrumentation... panel schematics...
She circles A3-5 (AZ-5 in Cyrillic) on a schematic.
Leans back. Thinks. Then checks one of her books. No. What
she's looking for won't be in there. She tears a blank page
from her notepad and starts writing.
421 INT. LIBRARY ARCHIVE - REFERENCE DESK - LATER 421
An elderly male librarian sits behind an open window... a
bit like a bank teller. Behind him, a few desks and walls of
card catalogs. The secure reference section.
He looks up from his work. Sees Khomyuk waiting.
LIBRARIAN
Yes?
14.
She hands him the piece of note paper through the window.
KHOMYUK
I need to see the following
documents. They're listed as
permission only.
He takes the paper... and then a LETTER she hands him.
KHOMYUK
I'm working for the Central Committee.
He puts on his glasses. But before he can even read the
letter, a MAN IN A SUIT, 40 comes into view behind him.
The KGB agent takes the list from the old man, who meekly
looks down without protest. He walks back to a desk. Picks
up a phone. Dials.
While he mutters to someone on the phone, Khomyuk waits
quietly. The old librarian still keeps his eyes down.
Doesn't want to know her. Doesn't want trouble.
THE AGENT - has a BLACK PENCIL in his hand. Whoever he's
called is giving him instructions. He swipes the pencil
across her list. Once... twice... three times...
Khomyuk holds her anger in. The agent finally hangs up.
Walks back to the librarian. Puts the piece of paper down.
Every single request has been CROSSED OUT except for one.
AGENT
She can have that one.
The agent lifts his head to stare at Khomyuk. A challenge
for her to argue. But all he gets back is:
KHOMYUK
Thank you, comrade.
He gives a little smile. Oh well. Perhaps next time.
422 EXT. FARMLAND - DAY 422
Over SCORE... no other sound... SLO-MO... dreamlike...
BIRD'S EYE VIEW - an enormous, wide-open cabbage field. NEAT
ROWS of vegetables. Then:
THREE BULLDOZERS - enter frame, moving in a line, perfect
unison, destroying the harvest in rows just as neat.
15.
423 EXT. VILLAGE - DAY 423
SCORE/SLO-MO continues:
THREE CHOPPERS glide like mosquitoes over a small, abandoned
village, each dumping FOUR EVEN STREAMS of BROWN
DECONTAMINANT, which land on everything like paint.
424 EXT. PRIPYAT STREET - DAY 424
SCORE/SLO-MO continues
PUMP TRUCKS roll down the main street, each spraying an arc
of BROWN FOAM DECONTAMINANT to the side.
MEN IN PROTECTIVE SUITS - hoods drawn tight, faces covered
in GAS MASKS, walk in front of the procession of trucks,
spraying the road in a waving motion with handheld-nozzles
connected to TANKS strapped to their back.
It almost seems celebratory. Some kind of sick parade...
FADE TO BLACK
425 OMITTED 425
426 OMITTED 426
427 A DARK BLOB AGAINST BLUE - OUT OF FOCUS - RESOLVES TO: 427
428 EXT. ROOF - KATYA - DAY 428
A chunk of GRAPHITE. Scattered beyond it, more of the same.
The bits of rock sitting on the scorched pitch-covered roof
give the impression of an alien surface.
And adding to that eerie sense... in the B.G., we see a
FOUR-WHEELED VEHICLE - like a retrofuturistic go-cart,
sitting on the roof.
The LUNAR ROVER. It's about eight feet long. Steel piping.
Cameras mounted on articulated arms. The tires are paper
thin, with barely-there hubs made of needle-like spokes.
A BULLDOZER ARM AND BLADE have been welded onto its front.
16.
429 INT. REMOTE COMMAND CENTER - CONTINUOUS 429
A small, undamaged room under the roof.
OPERATORS sit at a small table. Control equipment and small,
square TELEVISION MONITORS are stacked. And a COMPUTER. On
the walls, PHOTOS of the roof.
A boxy CONTROL MODULE sits on the desk. Cables running in
and out. Two switches. Two rows of LIGHTS. The lights are
all currently RED.
Legasov and Shcherbina watch, nervous, as Tarakanov waits
with a walkie-talkie by his ear. Then:
WALKIE-TALKIE
We're clear.
Tarakanov takes a breath. Then to his operators:
TARAKANOV
Bring up the cameras.
The lead operator, JUGHASHVILI, hits the first switch on the
control module. THREE RED LIGHTS - turn GREEN. The other
three remain red.
THE MONITORS - flicker to life. Different IMAGES of the roof
from the rover's cameras. And ONE REMOTE SITE CAMERA showing
the LUNAR ROVER ITSELF.
TARAKANOV
Signal?
JUGHASHVILI
Acceptable. Running onboard
diagnostics.
TARAKANOV
Tell me when we can start moving it.
Shcherbina moves in closer to stare at the montior.
SHCHERBINA
To think that's what they put on the
moon...
LEGASOV
Well, not that one.
SHCHERBINA
(glares)
I know not that one.
17.
Legasov shrugs. Sorry.
TARAKANOV
This rover was in storage, and I'm
told they can build two more. That
should cover Katya and Nina.
SHCHERBINA
And Masha?
TARAKANOV
The Central Committee has informed me
they've found something that can work
up there. From the outside.
LEGASOV
American?
TARAKANOV
Of course not. No, it's a German
police robot. West German, though.
You can imagine that wasn't easy.
JUGHASHVILI
Diagnostics complete, ready to engage
main power and motor.
Legasov and Shcherbina get ready. If this doesn't work...
TARAKANOV
Begin.
The operator turns the second switch on the control module.
Nothing. The lights stay red. Everyone is dead quiet. Then:
TARAKANOV
Again.
The operator goes back to the switch. Off. Then on. Still
nothing. Red lights.
The monitors continue to show the rover's view of the roof.
Slightly askew. The graphite chunks. The bits of fuel
assembly. All at rest.
TARAKANOV
Again.
Like a doctor refusing to acknowledge a patient is dead.
Once more, the operator switches the power off. Then on. And
again, nothing. Red lights. Then... in rapid succession...
18.
GREEN.
TARAKANOV
(my god)
Can you move it?
The operator grabs hold of his remote, and begins pushing
the small joystick.
ON THE MONITORS - a lag, then... IT MOVES.
The operators react. Breathing. Laughing. On the screen, the
rover is moving along, starting to PUSH DEBRIS. Doing
exactly what they had hoped.
Shcherbina makes a fist in the air. Triumph. Then sees...
SHCHERBINA
Valery? Is that...? Is that a smile?
Legasov sheepishly waves him off. But yes. A smile. The
first one we've seen on his face.
Shcherbina puts his arm around Legasov. Hugs him close,
laughing. Yes. YES! Hope.
430 INT. HOSPITAL ROOM - DAY 430
Dyatlov sits in a chair. Smoking. Looking out the window.
His hair appears to have come back a bit. A bit of
moustache, though it wasn't what it was. The lesions have
faded. But he does not look healthy. At all.
Behind him, a knock on the door. He doesn't answer. We hear
the door opening, and:
KHOMYUK (O.S.)
I see your condition has improved.
Dyatlov turns. Sees her there, back in her protective
clothing. In her hand, a small manila folder.
He waves her away in contempt.
DYATLOV
No. Leave.
KHOMYUK
I need your help.
19.
Dyatlov raises his arms slightly to the side to show her all
of the IV tubes running in and out of him. How is he
supposed to help anyone? But:
KHOMYUK
Akimov initiated AZ-5. When you gave
him the order, was--
DYATLOV
Order? What order? Toptunov called it
out, Akimov pressed it. That was the
only good decision they made.
Incompetent morons.
KHOMYUK
(ignores that)
Can you confirm the reactor exploded
after they attempted to shut it down?
He gives her a strange smile.
DYATLOV
How do I even know it exploded? Hmm?
Out of patience, she opens her folder, pulls out a PHOTO,
and SLAPS IT DOWN in front of him.
It's an AERIAL VIEW of the EXPLODED REACTOR.
And for a moment, Dyatlov is shaken. He pushes it away.
Already doing whatever mental gymnastics are required to
forget what he just saw.
But Khomyuk knows he won't forget it. She takes the photo
back, and hands him a JOURNAL ARTICLE from her folder.
KHOMYUK
I pulled this from the state
archives, written in 1976. It's about
the operation of RBMK reactors under
extreme conditions.
Dyatlov barely looks at it.
DYATLOV
So?
KHOMYUK
The names of the authors have been
redacted. And two pages have been
removed.
20.
Dyatlov hesitates. An old, habitual paranoia rises. Is she
testing him?
DYATLOV
The State must protect its secrets,
Comrade Khomyuk. Do you dare suggest
otherwise?
KHOMYUK
(quieter)
They made a mistake. They didn't
redact the table of contents.
He slowly flips to the first page. Sees it.
KHOMYUK
The missing pages apparently refer to
a positive void coefficient and AZ-5.
Does that mean anything to you?
DYATLOV
(suspicious)
What are you after here? Why are you
asking me this?
KHOMYUK
You worked with this reactor. You
know it better than I do--
DYATLOV
So everything's my fault then? Is
that what this is?
KHOMYUK
(snaps)
I'm not here to blame you. I'm here
to find out what happened. And
whether you realize it or not, I am
the best chance you have to avoid a
bullet. Can you help me or not?
Dyatlov stares at her. Then flips through the article to the
missing section. Scans around it briefly. Then, honestly:
DYATLOV
I have no idea what would have gone
here. Void coefficients have nothing
to do with AZ-5.
He tosses the article at her. Dismissive.
DYATLOV
There. Now you can go.
21.
She picks the article up from the floor. Then:
KHOMYUK
(disgusted)
You're not even curious.
DYATLOV
What for? You think the right
question will get you the truth?
There is no truth. Ask the bosses
whatever you want.
He stubs out his cigarette.
DYATLOV
You will get the lie.
(beat)
And I will get the bullet.
431 INT. TRUCK - DAY 431
A stakebed truck. Bacho drives. Garo sits next to the other
window. Pavel is squeezed in between.
Bacho is peering at a MAP he has on the dashboard. It keeps
falling. Son of a bitch. He grabs it, then reaches across
Pavel to Garo, who hands him a bottle of vodka.
Bacho drinks and drives. Grabs the map again. Drinks again.
The truck jostles on the uneven road.
BACHO
Fucking thing.
Pavel is nervous. Bacho offers him the bottle.
PAVEL
No. Thank you.
BACHO
What, are you afraid we're going to
run out? Trust me, we won't. It's the
one thing we always have. In
Afghanistan, when we needed guns,
they sent vodka. We needed
penicillin? They sent vodka. Boots,
morphine, fuel? Never the right
things. Never enough. Except the
vodka. So you might as well drink.
Bacho turns to Pavel. Not looking at the road at all.
22.
BACHO
I'm not asking. I'm telling. Because
of the radiation. It protects you.
(catches the map)
Where the fuck are we? Garo?
Garo shrugs. Takes the vodka bottle.
PAVEL
Do they tell you how much there is?
BACHO
How much what there is?
PAVEL
Radiation.
Bacho laughs. And Garo starts to chuckle along with him.
Pavel isn't sure what that means.
PAVEL
I saw a man throwing up. On the side
of the road.
BACHO
Yeah, that happens.
Pavel touches the white-and-black badge on his shirt. The
one they all wear.
PAVEL
But we have these. To measure. So
they know.
(no response)
The radiation we get.
BACHO
That's right. They check them every
day. You're allowed to get a total of
24 roentgen. If you hit 24, you get
to go home. And if you go over 24,
your commanding officer gets arrested
for negligence. Maybe even shot. Does
that make you feel better?
PAVEL
Yes.
(beat)
How much do you have?
BACHO
Me? They tell me I have 23 roentgen.
Go ahead, ask Garo how much he has.
23.
Before Pavel can ask or Garo can answer--
BACHO
He has 23. We all have 23. And we
will never have more than 23. You
understand now?
Pavel falls silent. Yes. He does understand.
Bacho points ahead.
BACHO
Ay! There it is. Fuck this map. I
told you I knew where I was.
432 EXT. COUNTRYSIDE VILLAGE - CONTINUOUS 432
The truck rumbles toward a SMALL VILLAGE - a few dozen
buildings... one main street... all quiet. No one left.
433 EXT. COUNTRYSIDE VILLAGE - MOMENTS LATER 433
The truck squeals to a stop. The three men get out, and walk
around to the back of the truck. Bacho pulls the back of the
stakebed down, and opens a LARGE METAL BOX.
It's full of BULLETS. Hundreds? Thousands? They're bound in
clusters of five rounds each, held together by thin steel
stripper clips.
Bacho forks over a fistful of bullets to Pavel. Garo takes
three Mosin-Nagant rifles from the back of the truck.
Bacho loads his rifle, then sees Pavel struggling. Wow.
Bacho grabs the gun from Pavel. Shows him how to insert the
stripper clip. Bullets go in, empty clip comes out. Slide
the bolt to chamber.
BACHO
Got it? Okay. Now listen. I only have
two rules. One, don't point this gun
at me. That's easy, right?
(gestures to Garo)
Point it at this piece of shit, I
don't give a fuck. Never me. Two, if
you hit an animal and they don't die,
you keep shooting until they do.
(gets in Pavel's face)
Don't let them suffer-- or I'll kill
you. Understand? I mean it. I've
killed a lot of people.
24.
Pavel glances at Garo, who gives a tiny nod. It's true.
Bacho has killed a lot of people.
Pavel looks back at Bacho. Yes. Understood.
BACHO
(friendly pat)
Then we're ready.
434 EXT. VILLAGE - MAIN STREET - MOMENTS LATER 434
Eerily quiet. A few cars are where their owners left them.
Some clothing hangs on a line, swaying in the breeze.
THE THREE MEN walk down the street. Rifles at the ready.
Bacho turns to Pavel.
BACHO
Watch.
Bacho gives a WHISTLE. The kind you might give to a dog.
And sure enough... there's a BARK. And another. And now,
tentatively emerging from alleys and empty buildings...
DOGS. And CATS. Hungry. But clearly domesticated. Tails
wagging. Hopeful eyes.
Bacho turns to Pavel.
BACHO
When we start, they'll run where they
feel safe. Always inside. So we go
door to door, okay? Okay.
And without warning, Bacho raises his rifle and FIRES. We
hear a YELP, and he FIRES again.
We don't see it. We just hear BARKING and HOWLING as Bacho
and Garo keep walking, right out of frame, FIRING. Gunshots.
Sliding bolts. Shells hitting the ground. Gunshots.
PAVEL - stands in horror, blinking every time a GUNSHOT rips
through the air. He hasn't even raised his rifle.
PAVEL'S POV - Bacho turns back to him. In the B.G., we see
some scattered corpses of dogs.
BACHO
HEY!
Pavel snaps out of it.
25.
BACHO
(points to an alley)
Door to door. Do your job.
Pavel nods, frightened, and moves toward the alley.
435 EXT. ALLEY - CONTINUOUS 435
Pavel walks slowly down the alley. Forcing himself to
breathe. Trying not to throw up.
A SHEPHERD MUTT lifts its head from a pile of RUBBISH.
Sniffs the air. Even in the bedlam, desperate to be fed.
Pavel stops. Raises his rifle. Shaky hands. Finger on the
trigger. But... can't. Lowers the gun. Then: the dog TURNS
TO HIM. And BARES its TEETH.
Pavel backs up. The dog stalks forward. Starvation and time
have turned it feral. The dog growls, protecting its rubbish
pile, and what little food is in it. Snaps and barks.
Pavel waves his rifle at it, as if the animal might
understand.
PAVEL
Go!
The dog keeps advancing. Faster. Pavel keeps backing up.
PAVEL
GET AWAY.
The dog BARKS... CHARGES, and:
CLOSE ON PAVEL - panicked - he SHOOTS...
We HEAR BUT DO NOT SEE - the dog YELP in pain and thud to
the ground. And now the sound of rapid, wheezing breaths.
We stay on Pavel, who moves closer to where the dog fell.
Shock on his face. At what he did. Agonizing seconds tick
by. A scared man. The sound of a dying animal. Heavy
breathing. Pain. And then:
BOOM. A bit of BLOOD spatters up into Pavel's face. No more
sound from the dog.
BACHO - stands there. Angrily EJECTS the shell from his
rifle, chambers another one, and then gets in Pavel's face.
Nose to nose. Dead serious.
26.
BACHO
Don't let them suffer.
PAVEL
I'm sorry.
Bacho glares into Pavel's face-- then points down.
BACHO
You're dragging that on the truck.
Bacho marches off, and Pavel stands there, staring down in
shock at the dead dog. In the background, steady gunfire.
436 EXT. VILLAGE SQUARE - LATER 436
THUNK. A vodka bottle is slammed down on a table. Now wedges
of cheese. Salami. A loaf of bread. Bacho and Garo sit at a
table outside an abandoned cafe. They use their knives to
cut the loaf, stab at the meat and cheese. Big mouthfuls.
Deep swigs of vodka.
Bacho looks over at PAVEL - who sits apart. Shellshocked.
BACHO
(mouth full)
You going to eat or what?
Pavel stares at the street. Streaks of blood and tracks in
the dirt where the animals died... and were dragged away.
BACHO
Hey.
Pavel shakes his head. No. Bacho shrugs. Takes Pavel's food,
adds it to his pile. Then realizes... Pavel is wiping at his
eyes. Fighting off tears.
Ah, shit. Bacho and Garo share a glance. Garo nods at him.
"Do something." So Bacho pours vodka into Pavel's cup, who
shakes his head no.
BACHO
(gentle, but firm)
Drink.
(he does)
Again.
Pavel takes another swig.
27.
BACHO
Look... this happens to everyone
their first time. Normally when they
kill a man, but for you-- a dog. Eh,
so what? There's no shame in it.
This isn't going well. Pavel takes another drink. Wants to
get numb. Bacho tries again.
BACHO
Garo, you remember your first time?
As per usual, he doesn't wait for an answer.
BACHO
My first time-- Afghanistan-- we were
moving through a house-- a man was
suddenly there-- and I shot him in
the stomach. That's a real war story.
They're never good stories, like in
movies. They're shit. Man is there,
boom, stomach.
(what can you do?)
I was so scared, I didn't pull the
trigger again for the rest of the
day. I thought, well-- that's it,
Bacho. You put a bullet in someone.
You're not you anymore. You'll never
be you again. But then you wake up
the next morning, and... you're still
you. And you realize-- that was you
all along. You just didn't know.
A long pause. Then:
GARO
The happiness of all mankind.
The first words we've heard him speak.
BACHO
What?
Garo points across the street at:
A PROPAGANDA BANNER - slung between two buildings over the
main street. A picture of Lenin on one side, and a proud
Soviet worker on the other.
And in between, Cyrillic lettering.
28.
GARO
"Our goal is the happiness of all
mankind."
The three men stare at the absurd sign hanging over the
blood-stained street in a dead town.
Then Bacho gets up. Oddly chipper. No cracks in his dam.
BACHO
I'm happy. I'm happy every day.
He grabs his gun. Then:
BACHO
Back to work.
Bacho marches off. Pavel looks at his rifle. Then picks it
up. Vodka in his veins. Takes a breath.
Yes. Back to work. He gets up, and follows.
437 EXT. REACTOR ROOF - "KATYA" - DAY 437
Seemingly empty, but for the debris. Less, though, than we
saw before.
And then: a LUNAR ROVER enters frame, PUSHING DEBRIS along
with its small bulldozer blade... moving toward the edge...
438 EXT. LOOKING UP AT THE EDGE - CONTINUOUS 438
We're twenty feet below the roofline here, pointing straight
up at the edge of Katya.
The ROVER slowly appears, and pushes GRAPHITE off the edge.
It cascades down toward us...
439 EXT. THE REACTOR - MIDAIR - CONTINUOUS 439
WIDE - from this distance, we can see it all. The tiny
rover. The falling graphite.
The debris plummets from the roof and down into THE GAPING
CRATER where the reactor used to be.
Then we swing around slowly to find the larger section of
roof. MASHA - the deadliest place on Earth. Still covered in
debris. Still untouched.
29.
Still waiting.
TITLE:
SEPTEMBER, 1986
440 INT. REMOTE COMMAND CENTER - DAY 440
Multiple rover camera POVs are visible on the monitors.
Jughashvili and the other operators drive them with their
joysticks.
There are more computers now. More control modules. All of
the lights are green.
Shcherbina watches them work. Behind him, Legasov sketches
cleanup paths on the photos of the roof.
They turn in unison TARAKANOV enters.
TARAKANOV
It's here.
441 EXT. REACTOR SITE - MOMENTS LATER 441
TRUCK DOORS OPEN
Legasov and Shcherbina watch as Tarakanov organizes the
offloading of the truck's sole cargo.
TARAKANOV
Careful now. Slow. SLOW. That's it.
Soldiers gingerly offload an ORANGE, HIGH-TECH ROBOTIC
VEHICLE with TANK TREADS. It's far more muscular than the
flimsy lunar rovers.
TARAKANOV
(proudly)
Joker.
Legasov and Shcherbina turn to Tarakanov. What now?
TARAKANOV
That's what the Germans named it.
"Joker."
30.
SHCHERBINA
(heavy sigh)
Germans.
(beat)
Is it ready?
TARAKANOV
It's ready.
Shcherbina looks at Legasov. Legasov nods.
SHCHERBINA
So. Let's introduce Joker to Masha.
442 OMITTED 442
443 EXT. MASHA - LATER 443
CLOSE TO THE ROOF SURFACE - black chunks of graphite. One of
the pieces has the tell-tale smooth semicircle in it... the
channel for a fuel rod...
The wind picks up... granular bits of deadly graphite swirl,
and - JOKER lands SOFTLY on the rubble.
The cable coupling detaches, and the helicopter QUICKLY
swerves away from the deadly roof.
Joker sits there. Impressive. Armored. Strong. This is
clearly a superior vehicle. A match for Masha.
444 INT. REMOTE COMMAND CENTER - CONTINUOUS 444
Legasov, Shcherbina and Tarakanov stand behind the
operators. Nervous anticipation.
JUGHASHVILI
Good signal.
TARAKANOV
Cameras.
Jughashvili hits a switch on the control module. A GREEN
LIGHT immediately comes on.
ON THE MONITORS - views from Joker's cameras.
Legasov and Shcherbina watch intently. So far, so good.
31.
TARAKANOV
Motors.
Jughashvili hits more switches on the control module. The
lights go GREEN in succession. Joker is the real deal.
JUGHASHVILI
Motor good, signal good.
TARAKANOV
All right. Let's start easy. Forward
one metre, reverse one metre.
The operator pushes a joystick. Legasov and Shcherbina stare
at the monitors. Unblinking. Please.
ON THE MONITOR - the image SHIFTS... as Joker MOVES.
JUGHASHVILI
Forward one.
The men in the room are all smiling.
SHCHERBINA
(nudges Legasov)
Germans!
JUGHASHVILI
Reverse one.
He pulls back on the joystick, and on the monitor, we can
tell Joker is faithfully moving backwards.
Then: THE MONITORS lose signal. STATIC.
CONTROL MODULE - the GREEN LIGHTS start to turn RED... one,
two, three.... then ALL of them.
Dead silence in the room. No one breathes. Then:
TARAKANOV
Did you lose the signal?
The operators are flipping switches. Checking the remote
TRANSMITTER boxes. Sweating.
JUGHASHVILI
It's not the signal. It's the
vehicle.
He turns back to Tarakanov. Pale. At a total loss.
32.
JUGHASHVILI
It's dead.
They all stand there in shock. All but for Shcherbina.
We PUSH IN ON HIM - see the RAGE building inside...
CUT TO:
445 INT./EXT. MOBILE OFFICE - LATER 445
Legasov and Tarakanov. Wincing at the sounds of FURNITURE
SMASHING and GLASS BREAKING.
REVEAL - they're in front of the mobile command trailer.
It's ROCKING from within. And now we hear Shcherbina's
muffled voice, screaming.
INTERCUT BETWEEN - INTERIOR and EXTERIOR of MOBILE OFFICE
SHCHERBINA (O.S.)
GOOD! GOOD, I WANT THEM TO HEAR! DO
YOU KNOW WHAT WE'RE DOING? THE MEN
WE'RE BURNING? BURNING!!!
The sound of something TOPPLING. Then a STOMPING noise.
Legasov lights his cigarette. He looks over and sees: A
SOLDIER, standing nearby. Frightened at the noise and anger
coming from inside that trailer.
SHCHERBINA (O.S.)
YOU THINK I CARE? I'M A DEAD MAN!
TELL RYZHKOV! TELL LIGACHEV! TELL
GORBACHEV! TELL THEM! TELL--
Then the sounds of PLASTIC being battered... the sad
clinking of a damaged BELL... and...
WHAM. The trailer door gets KICKED OPEN, and Shcherbina
emerges, red-faced.
He HURLS the smashed remnants of a TELEPHONE into the air...
the cord trailing behind it... sending it clattering to the
ground in pieces.
Legasov and Tarakanov wait quietly for Shcherbina to catch
his breath. It takes some time. Then:
33.
SHCHERBINA
The official position of the State is
that a global nuclear catastrophe is
not possible in the Soviet Union.
(beat)
They told the international community
the highest detected level of
radiation was 2,000 roentgen.
Legasov is stunned. Oh god. No.
SHCHERBINA
They gave the propaganda number to
the Germans. The robot was never
going to work.
Tarakanov closes his eyes. Hangs his head. The three men
stand there, dejected. Lost.
Then Shcherbina, now drained of all his fight, turns to the
nearby soldier.
SHCHERBINA
We need a new phone.
446 INT. BASE CAMP TENT - NIGHT 446
CLOSE ON: two glasses. Vodka pours into each.
Shcherbina hands a weary Tarakanov one glass. Takes the
other for himself. A heavy RAIN batters the tent from
outside. Water occasionally drips in through faulty seams.
SHCHERBINA
(drinks, then)
What if we don't clear it?
LEGASOV (O.S.)
We have to clear it.
Legasov sits off to the side. Scribbling notations on a pad.
Never looks up. Keeps scribbling as he talks.
LEGASOV
If we don't clear the roof, we can't
build a cover over it. If we can't
build a cover, that's 12,000
roentgen. Nearly twice the radiation
from the bomb in Hiroshima, every
hour, hour after--
34.
SHCHERBINA
(waves him off)
Yes, okay, I remember.
(back to Tarakanov)
What about lead? We could-- I don't
know. We could melt it down, then
pour it from above, like a coating.
TARAKANOV
First of all, we've already used most
of the lead we had--
SHCHERBINA
There's lead sheeting around
instruments in the other reactor
buildings. The soldiers are stripping
it to make their armor.
TARAKANOV
Are you serious?
Yes. Shcherbina is serious. Tarakanov shakes his head.
Embarrassing. But back to the bigger issue:
TARAKANOV
Even if, you're still talking about
boiling metal in a helicopter-- and
it's lead, Boris. It'll weigh a ton...
Shcherbina puts his hands up. All right. It was stupid.
TARAKANOV
What if we shoot the graphite into
the hole?
Shcherbina looks up from his drink. Excuse me?
TARAKANOV
We have heavy caliber bullets--
exploding bullets, so they won't just
ricochet... they push...
SHCHERBINA
You want to shoot exploding bullets
at an exposed nuclear reactor?
TARAKANOV
(sheepish)
Well--
35.
SHCHERBINA
No, let's go light the roof back on
fire. It was so easy to put out the
first time.
(frustrated)
What are we even talking about? We
need another robot. Something that
can withstand the radiation.
TARAKANOV
I've asked. There's nothing.
SHCHERBINA
The Americans--
TARAKANOV
If the Americans have that kind of
technology, do you really think they
would give it to us? And even if they
would-- the Central Committee will
never stoop to ask. You know it, and
I know it.
(beat)
There are no robots.
LEGASOV (O.S.)
Biorobots.
Shcherbina and Tarakanov turn to Legasov. He's been so
quiet, they almost forgot he was there.
SHCHERBINA
What was that?
Legasov removes his glasses. Stares down at the calculations
on his notepad. Utterly defeated.
LEGASOV
We use biorobots.
He finally turns to look at them. Grim.
LEGASOV
Men.
And so, the unthinkable has finally been said.
447 EXT. ANOTHER TINY VILLAGE - ANOTHER DAY 447
A cold, gray day. We're in a DEAD FIELD. Plowed earth. The
everpresent RADIATION SIGNS stuck in the ground where
scarecrows might have once gone.
36.
IN THE DISTANCE - a small farming village. Barely a dozen
tiny homes.
GUNSHOTS echo in the air.
448 EXT. TINY VILLAGE - STREET 448
PAVEL - walks slowly. Dispassionately. SHOOTING. Aim.
Trigger. Fire. Bolt. Shell. Bolt. Aim. Trigger. Fire.
It's only been a month, but he looks older somehow. A bit
thinner. Sleepless eyes. A numbness.
REVEAL - BACHO and GARO walking along side him. Aiming.
Firing. The sounds of barking. Yelping. Running.
At last, they stop. Animal corpses are scattered along the
street in front of them.
BACHO
A lot today. More than I thought.
PAVEL
(looks around)
Where are they getting food?
Bacho points between two houses, where a large, ramshackle
wooden CHICKEN COOP sits. Dark stains near the opening.
BACHO
They eat the chickens.
(loads more bullets)
Then they eat each other.
He tosses the stripper clip aside. Chambers a round.
BACHO
Check the houses.
449 INT. FARMHOUSE - MOMENTS LATER 449
The barest light streams in through thin drapes. We're
looking down a narrow hallway toward the front door.
Uneven wooden floors. Cement block walls painted in pastels,
and stained with rust from the rain that's leaked through
the tin roof. Almost no furniture. Utter poverty.
The door OPENS. Locks are either not needed or not available
in a place like this.
37.
Pavel enters slowly, eyes adjusting to the light.
A door to his right. He quietly pushes it open, wincing at
the SQUEAK of the neglected hinges. Peers in. Nothing.
He moves down the hall, keeping his footsteps light. Eyes
peeled for any movement.
Then he hears... a weird little chirpy noise. A bird maybe?
He MOVES SLOWLY DOWN THE HALL...
450 INT. FARMHOUSE KITCHEN - CONTINUOUS 450
LOW ANGLE - a cramped kitchen. Basin with no tap. Rickety
shelves nailed to the wall. Torn-open packages of food,
broken jars, a spilled bag of flour on the floor...
And that weird little chirpy noise again. Louder here. And a
soft BREATHING.
PAVEL - pushes slowly through the swinging door to the
kitchen. He looks down. To the right. To the left.
And stops. Oh god.
PAVEL'S POV - ON THE FLOOR, amidst the garbage... a POODLE
MUTT BITCH lies on the ground, panting softly and sitting
with her LITTER OF SIX PUPPIES... just a few months old.
BACHO (O.S.)
(yelling from outside)
Pavel?
Pavel looks dumbstruck at the poodle and her puppies. The
bitch stares back at him. Helpless.
BACHO (O.S.)
PAVEL?
We hear FOOTSTEPS from outside, and behind Pavel, we see
BACHO enter the kitchen from the back door.
BACHO
(so there he is)
You don't hear me?
Pavel doesn't respond. Or turn around. Bacho marches over,
already enraged.
BACHO
Hey. I'm talking to--
38.
Now Bacho sees the poodle and her litter. He slumps.
BACHO
Ah fuck.
Pavel finally turns to him. It's clear from his face that
this is too much. He can't. He can't do it.
Bacho nods before Pavel has to say it.
BACHO
Just go outside.
(beat)
Go.
Pavel wants to stop this. But he can't. This is their job.
451 EXT. BACK OF FARMHOUSE - CONTINUOUS 451
Pavel emerges. Walks five steps and: GUNSHOT.
He stops. Another GUNSHOT. Another. Another. Another.
A pause. Pavel takes a small CANTEEN from his belt. Unscrews
the cap. Takes a drink. Winces. It's not water.
GUNSHOT. Pavel steels himself. Canteen back to his mouth.
GUNSHOT. Pavel keeps drinking.
452 INT. TRUCK - LATER 452
POV - through the TRUCK'S WINDSHIELD as it approaches:
THE BURIAL PIT - a large hole in the middle of a field,
maybe twenty feet wide and six feet deep.
Three men stand waiting with shovels. A fourth man is
climbing up out of the pit. They've just finished. Behind
them, backed up to the edge of the pit, is a CEMENT TRUCK.
ON BACHO - with Pavel and Garo next to him as always. He
slows the truck and turns the wheel...
453 EXT. BURIAL PIT - LATER 453
The STAKEBED has been TILTED UP on its arm, and the last of
the corpses drop down into the pit.
39.
Garo and Pavel stand aside from the pit. Not looking in.
They've seen it enough times.
BACHO - has his hand on the lever controlling the arm. He
waits for the last of the corpses to fall, then signals to
the men across the pit.
The cement truck operator begins the FLOW of CEMENT into the
pit. It slops down, and we watch as it begins to flow over
the corpses like a blanket.
SLOW FADE OUT:
454 OMITTED 454
455 OMITTED 455
456 OMITTED 456
457 INT./EXT. REACTOR SITE - THE PASSING OF DAYS - MONTAGE 457
SCORE - a steady pulse. Adrenaline.
TITLE:
OCTOBER, 1986
- MILITARY TRUCKS PULL UP - soldiers hop out the back.
Double-timing. No smiles. No chatter. Grim business.
TARAKANOV (O.S.)
Comrade soldiers.
- SOLDIERS grab GEAR from a pile. Dingy mustard-yellow
boiler suits. Rubber boots. Rubber aprons. Rubber mittens.
TARAKANOV (O.S.)
The Soviet people have had enough of
this accident. They want us to clean
it up, and we are entrusting you with
this serious task.
- SOLDIERS suit up. Cowls pulled down over their heads.
Boots and gloves. Goggles. Respirators. Faces disappear.
- BOTTOM OF THE STAIRS - REACTOR BUILDING 3 - BRIEFING
AREA - soldiers in full gear are gathered around Tarakanov.
He paces as he addresses them.
40.
TARAKANOV
Because of the nature of the working
area, you will each have no more than
ninety seconds to solve this problem.
- SOLDIERS help each other don HANDCRAFTED LEAD APRONS,
crudely hammered sheets of dark metal.
- BRIEFING AREA - TARAKANOV, different day, unshaven,
talking to different soldiers.
TARAKANOV
If you follow instructions and
perform your work correctly, you will
be fine. There's nothing terrible up
there. But safety is our first
priority.
- BOOTS clomp up the metal stairs that lead to the roof.
TARAKANOV (O.S.)
You will enter Reactor Building 3.
- THE SOLDIERS - covered head to toe, faces obscured behind
masks, move slowly up the narrow stairway, their way lit by
work lights strung along the low ceiling.
TARAKANOV (O.S.)
Climb the stairs, but do not
immediately proceed to the roof.
- BRIEFING AREA - NEW SOLDIERS listen to Tarakanov's speech.
His voice is hoarse. He's done this hundreds of times now.
TARAKANOV
When you get to the top, wait inside
behind the entrance to the roof and
catch your breath. You will need it
for what comes next.
He points at photos of the roof that are pinned to the wall.
TARAKANOV
This is the working area. We have to
clear the graphite. Some of it is in
blocks weighing approximately 40 to
50 kilograms each. It must all be
thrown over the side here.
- TOP OF THE STAIRS - a dark landing. Soldiers, all weighed
down by their lead aprons, catch their breath from the long
climb. BEYOND THEM - looking down a narrow corridor... an
OPENING. A rectangle of BRIGHT LIGHT. Waiting.
41.
- BRIEFING AREA - different day, new soldiers. Tarakanov
delivers his speech. Pointing to a BLACK-AND-WHITE
TELEVISION, on which plays footage of prior soldiers.
TARAKANOV
Here. Watch your comrades moving fast
from this opening--
- TOP OF THE STAIRS - a masked soldier stares ahead at the
bright rectangle of light. Like a portal to another world.
- BRIEFING AREA
TARAKANOV
--then turning to the left and
entering the working area here.
- TOP OF THE STAIRS - four soldiers walk slowly toward the
rectangle of light, shovels in their hands.
TARAKANOV (O.S.)
Take care not to stumble. There is a
hole in the roof. Take care not to
fall. If any part of your skin is
exposed, exit the work area at once.
- BRIEFING AREA - new day, new soldiers. Tarakanov finishes
his litany.
TARAKANOV
Do you understand your mission as I
have described it?
SOLDIERS (UNISON)
Yes, Comrade General.
TARAKANOV
These are the most important ninety
seconds of your lives. Commit your
task to memory. Then do your job.
458 INT. TOP OF STAIRS - NEAR ENTRANCE TO MASHA - DAY 458
FOUR SOLDIERS are silhouetted against the BRIGHT LIGHT of
the opening that leads out to Masha. Shovels in hand.
A radiological soldier straps DOSIMETERS to their waists. We
can already hear steady CLICKING. But he shows no worry.
We can't see the faces of the men. But we sense their fear.
THE SITE OFFICER - holds a stopwatch.
42.
SITE OFFICER
It's time to go. After ninety
seconds, I will ring a bell. When you
hear it, return immediately. Drop
your shovels in that bin, and proceed
down the hallway for decontamination.
(beat)
Above all-- while you are on the
roof, you will throw the debris over
the rail. You will not look over the
rail. Is that clear?
They nod.
SITE OFFICER
(checks his stopwatch)
Very well. On my mark. Ready. Go.
459 EXT. MASHA - NOW 459
BEGIN UNINTERRUPTED TRACKING SHOT
The following unfolds in real time. The shift will last
ninety seconds. We will be with them for all ninety seconds.
The men scramble out on to the roof, moving as quickly as
they can. One LOSES HIS FOOTING on a piece of graphite.
Catches his balance. Keeps going.
THE DOSIMETERS - will serve as our SCORE. The clicks
increase in frequency and pitch. It sounds like heavy rain
on a tin roof now.
A soldier PLUNGES his shovel into a pile of BROKEN GRAPHITE
RUBBLE. Lifts it. Heavier than it looks.
He carries his load toward the RAILING... his breathing loud
in our ears... the dosimeter volume JUMPS in fits and
starts... now a constant, heavy STATIC NOISE...
We move away from him and find ANOTHER SOLDIER trying to
lift a LARGE GRAPHITE BLOCK with his shovel. Too heavy. A
second soldier runs over and joins in.
They LIFT the block in tandem, and as soon as it rises:
The dosimeter SPIKES in volume. They've uncovered a piece of
FUEL ROD. The terrifying cacophony of a million neutrons
firing against their bodies.
They don't stop. They waddle in unison toward the railing
just as the first soldier hurls his graphite over the edge.
43.
We move to find: the FOURTH SOLDIER... striking a hardened
patch of BITUMEN and GRAPHITE with the blade of his shovel.
It refuses to give way.
He LEANS HIS BODY against the shovel, PUSHES, and then LOSES
HIS GRIP on the shovel handle. It clatters to the surface of
the roof. He quickly picks it back up. Breathing hard. Fear.
Another soldier APPEARS. Helps. You're okay. Keep going.
They both hammer away at the solidified black tar with their
shovels until it finally peels up. The fourth soldier lifts
it with his shovel.
We lead him as he runs to the railing, his boots crunching
on graphite. He gets to the edge and THROWS the shovel-load
over the railing, then SLIPS...
...and catches himself on the railing. Nearly went over. And
in that split-second, he LOOKS DOWN into:
THE OPEN REACTOR PIT.
DOSIMETER: a tornado of sound. Deafening. Distorted.
He backs off, and now another sound. Distant under the roar
of the dosimeter, but growing. Louder now.
THE BELL. clang... clang... clang...
It's over. Get back. The soldier turns, but:
HIS BOOT IS CAUGHT between two pieces of REBAR in CONCRETE.
Behind him, the other soldiers are already running back.
Clang... Clang... Clang...
Panic. Can't breathe. Dosimeter noise. Boot. Can't take it
off. Can't get free.
CLANG... CLANG... CLANG...
The soldier stabs at the rebar with his shovel blade... if
he misses... if he punctures the boot...
CLANG... CLANG... CLANG...
His boot PULLS FREE. He SPRINTS BACK to the opening as fast
as he can, slipping and sliding along the graphite, doesn't
matter... get off the roof... get off the roof... get off--
END TRACKING SHOT
44.
460 INT. TOP OF THE STAIRS - CONTINUOUS 460
The soldier returns to the relative safety of the hallway.
The DOSIMETER noise subsides to a steady, low clicking. And
to think that once frightened us.
The soldier remembers that he's still holding the shovel.
His fingers gripped tight. He flings it into the bin.
Then he feels something. PAIN. He looks down at his boot.
There's a SMALL RIP in the rubber. He stares at it for a
moment, then:
SITE OFFICER (O.S.)
Comrade soldier.
The masked soldier looks up. The Site Officer stands ten
feet away. Safe distance. He points toward a corridor.
SITE OFFICER
You're done.
The soldier hesitates for a moment, as if he's not sure what
that even means...
...and then he nods, turns to the corridor that will take
him to decontamination, and exits.
We never saw his face. We never even knew his name.
The Site Officer watches him leave, then turns to: FOUR NEW
SOLDIERS, masked and suited up.
SITE OFFICER
It's time to go.
461 EXT. KIEV - APARTMENT COMPLEX COURTYARD - DAY 461
Children run by, bundled up against the cold, shouting and
yelling happily as they play.
We're back in the courtyard surrounded by blocky Soviet
apartment buildings.
LYUDMILLA - heavily pregnant, sits on a bench, still alone.
Watching the children play. Watching the mothers. And
fathers.
TITLE:
DECEMBER, 1986
45.
A RUBBER BALL - bounces across the playground toward
Lyudmilla. She bends down with effort to pick it up, and a
LITTLE GIRL, 6, runs over to get it.
Lyudmilla smiles and hands the ball back to the girl, and
the girl smiles back.
Then the pain hits.
Lyudmilla doubles over. A contraction. The little girl's
smile fades. She just stares.
WIDE SHOT - from across the courtyard. Women gathered in the
foreground, chatting. In the B.G., Lyudmilla is doubled
over... the little girl standing next to her.
The PAIN hits again. Harder. She cries out. The little girl
RUNS AWAY, afraid... and finally, one of the grown women
turns to see Lyudmilla.
Another cry. They all see her now. It's like they're just
discovering she exists. And finally, two of the women start
running across the concrete courtyard to help her, and:
DISSOLVE TO:
462 EXT. PRIPYAT - LATE AFTERNOON 462
Silent streets. The freezing air is still. May Day banners
hang limp and torn. Dead trees line the streets.
And then, at the far end of the street - MOVEMENT. A Red
Army UAZ-469, the Soviet version of a Jeep, turns into view.
Slowly moving toward us.
463 EXT. PRIPYAT - CONTINUOUS 463
BIRD'S EYE VIEW - the UAZ drives down the street. Nothing
else moves in the dead, empty, silent city.
464 EXT. OUTSKIRTS OF PRIPYAT - MINUTES LATER 464
LOW TO THE GROUND - a cluster of dead bramble. The legs of a
CHILD'S DOLL stick out obscenely from the branches.
The UAZ enters, and rolls to a slow stop. KHOMYUK emerges
from the passenger side. A FILE FOLDER under her arm.
46.
In front of them, an ugly building. Dull white tiles. Four
stories. Broken windows. She looks around. No one in sight.
No sound in the frigid air. They are completely alone.
She nods in thanks to the driver and turns to the building.
465 INT. DILAPIDATED BUILDING - MOMENTS LATER 465
Khomyuk walks slowly down a dim corridor. Broken glass
occasionally crunching under her feet. Her breath fogging in
the freezing air. This was an ELEMENTARY SCHOOL. Children's
artwork shares space on the walls with propaganda posters.
WATER drips down from the ceiling, plinking into puddles on
the concrete floor. The barest amount of daylight filters in
through the small windows in the classroom doors.
Khomyuk heads up a staircase to the second floor, and:
466 INT. SECOND FLOOR LANDING - CONTINUOUS 466
Peeling paint. Toppled chairs in a corner. Debris. Cards
feature letters of the alphabet ring the walls, interspersed
with framed pictures of Soviet dignitaries.
A fluorescent light half-hangs from the ceiling, suspended
by a few remaining wires.
SHCHERBINA and LEGASOV - are waiting on the landing.
SHCHERBINA
I'm sorry for all this. But we needed
to speak to you without...
The KGB listening. She understands. She climbs up the stairs
to them. All three are bundled up against the cold.
Shcherbina looks at Legasov. Tell her.
LEGASOV
They're putting Dyatlov on trial. And
Bryukhanov. And Fomin. We're going to
be called for expert testimony. All
three of us. But before that happens--
SHCHERBINA
The Central Committee is sending
Legasov to Vienna. It's the
headquarters of the International--
47.
KHOMYUK
Atomic Energy Agency, I know what's
in Vienna--
(to Legasov)
What are they asking you do to?
LEGASOV
Tell the world what happened.
She feels a quick excitement. And fear. The promise of
revealing the truth. And then a flicker of resentment.
Because she's done the work. And he'll be the one in Vienna.
KHOMYUK
Well then you should know what
happened.
She opens her file folder. Hands him a report and additional
pages as she speaks...
KHOMYUK
I've constructed a timeline. Minute
by minute. Second by second in some
places. Every decision. Every button
press. Every turn of a switch.
SHCHERBINA
And? Are they guilty?
Legasov is flipping pages. Reading. Scanning. Absorbing.
KHOMYUK
Yes, of gross incompetence, violation
of safety regulations, recklessness
beyond belief... but the explosion?
I'm not sure.
And now Legasov closes her report. He's seen enough already.
His worst fear confirmed.
SHCHERBINA
What do you mean you're not sure?
She's bored of dealing with Shcherbina. He won't comprehend.
Not quickly enough at least. She turns back to Legasov.
KHOMYUK
I've analyzed the data. Toptunov was
telling the truth. They shut the
reactor down, and then it exploded.
She hands him the journal article from her file folder.
48.
KHOMYUK
I think this article may have the
answer. But two pages have been
removed.
Then she sees on Legasov's face-- foreknowledge. And guilt?
She realizes:
KHOMYUK
You know what they are. You've seen
them before.
LEGASOV
Please believe me when I tell you-- I
did not know it could lead to an
explosion. None of us knew.
KHOMYUK
(anger rising)
None of you knew what.
Legasov lifts two toppled chairs into position, then slowly
sits down. Khomyuk sits in the other.
LEGASOV
In 1975 at the RBMK reactor in
Leningrad, a fuel channel ruptured.
The operators pressed AZ-5, but
instead of the power immediately going
down, for a brief moment-- it went up.
KHOMYUK
How is that possible?
LEGASOV
That was the very question asked by a
colleague of mine named Volkov. He's
the one who wrote this article.
(to Shcherbina)
When the RBMK runs at low power, as it
was that night, it's notoriously
unstable. Prone to-- swings-- in
reactivity. Under normal circumstances,
control rods can compensate for that.
KHOMYUK
Under normal circumstances.
(her report)
The Chernobyl staff stalled the
reactor during the test. They pulled
almost all of the control rods to
bring the power back up.
49.
LEGASOV
This is what Volkov learned from
Leningrad. If the boron rods are
completely withdrawn from the core,
when they're put back in, the first
thing into the reactor isn't boron.
(beat)
It's graphite. The boron control rods
have graphite tips that displace
water and steam. Reactivity doesn't
go down. It goes up. Dramatically.
Khomyuk leans back. In shock. But Shcherbina can only stand
there dumbly, waiting for an explanation.
LEGASOV
Imagine there's a fire in a building.
You turn on a hose, but instead of
water coming out, it sprays petrol
instead.
SHCHERBINA
Then why in god's name did they push
that button?
KHOMYUK
(finally understands)
They didn't know.
And now Shcherbina takes another chair and sits. My god...
LEGASOV
Volkov warned the Kremlin ten years
ago. But there must be no doubt about
the supremacy of the Soviet nuclear
industry.
SHCHERBINA
(realizing)
The KGB classified it as a state
secret.
Yes.
LEGASOV
When I saw the reactor blown open, I
still didn't think it could be this
flaw in AZ-5... because the flaw will
not lead to an explosion unless the
operators have first willfully pushed
the reactor to the edge of disaster.
50.
SHCHERBINA
So it is their fault.
LEGASOV
Yes.
KHOMYUK
But not only their fault.
LEGASOV
No.
KHOMYUK
And is that what you're going to say?
In Vienna? Valery, you have to tell
the truth. All of it.
SHCHERBINA
You can't possibly be that naive.
KHOMYUK
There are 16 RBMK reactors running
right now in the Soviet Union. We
have to fix them, and the only way to
make that happen is to go public. In
Vienna, in the West, and force the
Central Committee to take action.
SHCHERBINA
What you are proposing is that
Legasov humiliate a nation that is
obsessed with not being humiliated.
Shcherbina swallows his anger. Then, to Legasov:
SHCHERBINA
We can make a deal with the KGB. You
leave this information out in Vienna,
and they quietly allow us to fix the
remaining reactors.
KHOMYUK
A deal. With the KGB. And I'm
naive...
Legasov doesn't know how to respond. Caught between the two
of them. Between his heart and his mind.
SHCHERBINA
Valery, they will go after your
friends, your family--
51.
KHOMYUK
You have a chance to talk to the
world. If it were me--
SHCHERBINA
But it isn't, is it. I have been a
part of this system for 44 years, so
listen carefully. I have known braver
souls than you, Khomyuk. Men who had
their moment and did nothing, because
when it is your life and the lives of
everyone you love, your moral
conviction doesn't mean a damn thing.
It leaves you. And all you want in
that moment is not to be shot.
A few seconds. Then she turns calmly to Legasov.
KHOMYUK
Do you know the name Vasily
Ignatenko?
Legasov shakes his head no.
KHOMYUK
He was a fireman. He died two weeks
after the accident. I've been looking
in on his widow. She gave birth
today. A girl.
(beat)
The baby lived four hours. She had 28
roentgen. They said the radiation
would have killed the mother, but the
baby absorbed it instead. Her baby.
(quietly)
We live in a country where children
have to die to save their mothers.
The hell with our names and the hell
with your deals. Someone has to start
telling the truth.
Legasov looks at them. Khomyuk, who is right. And
Shcherbina... who is also right. And only he can decide.
TARAKANOV (V.O.)
Congratulations, comrades.
467 EXT. MASHA - DAY 467
Completely clean of debris. Two men emerge onto the roof.
One carries a metal POLE. The other has a cylindrical case
strapped to his back.
52.
TARAKANOV (V.O.)
You are the last of 3,828 men.
468 EXT. REACTOR SITE - CONTINUOUS 468
Tarakanov addresses a group of eight soldiers, still in
their heavy gear, but not wearing gloves or masks.
TARAKANOV
You have performed your duties
perfectly. I wish you good health and
long life. All of you are awarded
with a bonus of 800 rubles.
Tarakanov approaches the first soldier. Shakes his hand.
TARAKANOV
Thank you.
SOLDIER #1
I serve the Soviet Union.
Tarakanov moves to the second soldier. Shakes his hand.
TARAKANOV
Thank you.
SOLDIER #2
I serve the Soviet Union.
469 EXT. VERY TOP OF THE COOLING TOWER - CONTINUOUS 469
The two men attach a pole and RED FLAG to the top of the
tower. It flaps in the wind.
TARAKANOV (V.O.)
Thank you.
SOLDIER #3 (V.O.)
I serve the Soviet Union.
470 EXT. LIQUIDATOR CAMP - SAME 470
From here, we can see the REACTOR SITE in the near distance.
And the RED FLAG fluttering on the cooling tower.
PAVEL - stands in place, gazing out at it. He's gaunt.
Sallow skin. His hair seems thinner. Numb. Blank stare.
He's smoking now.
53.
A YOUNG RECRUIT, 21, fresh-faced believer, walks up to
Pavel, and joins him looking out at the flag.
RECRUIT
Makes you proud, doesn't it, comrade?
Pavel doesn't look at him. Just keeps staring out.
RECRUIT
They sent me over to you. For
assignment.
(his radiation badge)
They gave me this to wear. I guess
everyone has one. We don't have
anything to worry about, right?
Pavel still doesn't look at him. But:
PAVEL
You can get up to 24 roentgen before
there's a problem.
RECRUIT
Oh. How much do you have?
Pavel keeps his eyes locked on the flag. Takes a long drag
on his cigarette. Then:
PAVEL
23.
DISSOLVE TO:
471 INT. HOSPITAL - DAY 471
The maternity ward. New mothers pass in front of us. Some
walking, some being wheeled. Cradling their newborns.
But we move through them like we're not there. Like we're a
ghost. Until we find an open door... and stop.
In a bare room, LYUDMILLA sits on the edge of the bed, still
in a hospital gown, looking out the window. Forgotten. And
alone.
She puts her hand to her belly, and:
FADE TO BLACK
END OF EPISODE FOUR
54.





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