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《切尔诺贝利》第3集剧本-英文原版

2019-6-17 22:29| 发布者: 小白兔| 查看: 213| 评论: 0

摘要: CHERNOBYLEpisode 3 - "Open Wide, O Earth"Written byCraig MazinJuly 20, 2018Copyright© 2018 Home Box Office, Inc. ALL RIGHTS RESERVEDNO PORTION OF THIS SCRIPT MAY BE PERFORMED, PUBLISHED,REP ...
CHERNOBYL
Episode 3 - "Open Wide, O Earth"
Written by
Craig Mazin
July 20, 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.
301 INT. DUCTS - WHERE WE WERE AT THE END OF EPISODE 2 301
PANICKED BREATHING. DARKNESS. WATER RUSHING.
Then: whir whir whir whir...
A SMALL, DIM LIGHT begins to fade up in the darkness,
PULSING brighter and brighter with each whir whir whir...
BEZPALOV - is holding a small hand-powered DYNO TORCH. With
every squeeze, the light grows brighter... then starts to
dim down...
BARANOV moves the DOSIMETER closer to the meager rising/
falling light. Then signals to Ananenko... look at this...
but Ananenko shakes his head. Doesn't matter. Stay calm.
whir whir whirwhirwhirwhirwhir
Ananenko makes gentle movements now with his hand. To both
of them. "Slow your breathing. Don't panic."
whir... whir.... whir.......
The three men wrestle with their fear. Control their
breathing. Then Ananenko grabs Bezpalov by the wrist. Moves
Bezpalov's free hand toward the back of his wetsuit.
Grab it.
Bezpalov grabs it. Then Baranov grabs on to him, so that all
three are now holding on to each other.
Ananenko holds his hand up to them. Makes a FIST. "Tight."
They tighten their grips. If they let go... they are lost.
whir whir whir whir...
Bezpalov moves the dyno torch around so they can see:
THE WALL OF THE DUCT.
Water continues to slowly fill the space
Ananenko moves slowly toward the wall... the two other men
following along in a chain...
When they get to the wall, Ananenko grabs hold of a PIPE.
There are SIX pipes running along the wall. He counts
down... first, second, third, fourth.
1.
Fourth. That's the one that leads to the sluice gate. He
begins FEELING HIS WAY forward, hand over hand, never losing
contact with the fourth pipe...
...and the others follow in the near darkness.
whir whir whir...
302 EXT. CHERNOBYL - VICINITY OF THE HATCH - SAME 302
Pikalov, Shcherbina and Legasov stand waiting. No one says a
word. Then Shcherbina checks his watch.
Legasov says nothing. Just keeps staring at the hatch.
SHCHERBINA
Is it possible the water has already
killed them?
LEGASOV
Yes.
SHCHERBINA
So then what?
(beat)
If it doesn't work?
Legasov doesn't answer. Because there is no answer.
303 INT. DUCTS - SAME 303
Dark. It's deeper here. And emerging from the pitch black...
...the three men. Holding tight to each other. Following
that single pipe. Their only hope. The barest of light
coming from Bezpalov, whose hand is getting tired.
The pulsing of the torch is lower... lower...
They get closer to us. Closer. Closer. Breathing louder.
Water rising up to their WAIST. And then:
A JARRING NOISE
REVERSE TO SEE: in the darkness, Ananenko has walked right
into the CLOSED SLUICE GATE. His MASK is knocked askew.
BARANOV - moves quickly. Adjusts the mask back onto
Baranov's face.
whirwhirwhirwhirwhir
2.
Breathe. You're okay. Look. We did it. We found the gate.
On the sluice gate - TWO RUSTY WHEEL VALVES on either side.
Ananenko wades to one. Bezpalov gives Baranov the dyno
torch, and moves to the other.
The valves look as if they have never been turned.
If they can't open them, then this was for nothing. The men
put their hands on the valves.
Look at each other. And then: THEY PUT their all into it...
and before we can even see if the wheels budge--
304 EXT. CHERNOBYL - VICINITY OF THE HATCH - LATER 304
Shcherbina paces. Pikalov stares at the ground.
Legasov stares silently at the hatch.
And then: a noise... loud enough that it can be heard even
from here. A heavy THUMP THUMP THUMP on the hatch.
Soldiers rush over. Open the hatch.
BEZPALOV emerges. Soaked from the waist down, and SHOUTING
in triumph.
The soldiers BURST into cheers and applause as Baranov and
Ananenko follow Bezpalov out...
Legasov, Shcherbina and Pikalov all slump with relief. They
did it. Shcherbina motions to Pikalov, who immediately heads
toward some military firemen.
PIKALOV
Bring the hoses in. Start pumping.
Shcherbina CLAPS Legasov on the shoulder. Beaming.
SHCHERBINA
Look. Look at our boys!
ON THE THREE - surrounded by cheering soldiers. They look
absolutely fine. Bezpalov takes a swig of vodka.
It's a jubilant scene, but Legasov looks as if he's going to
throw up.
LEGASOV
Get them to the doctors.
3.
Legasov walks away. Shcherbina absorbs that, then looks back
at the scene. The men continue to hug and congratulate the
divers and each other, even as the military firefighters
bring in the pump hoses...
Ananenko catches sight of Shcherbina. The man who told him
it must be done.
The smile fades from Ananenko's face. Replaced with the
simple pride of a man who knows he may have just given his
life to his people.
He raises a bottle to Shcherbina, and Shcherbina solemnly
nods back.
305 EXT. NOVAYA BASMANAYA STREET - MOSCOW - AFTERNOON 305
A large, imposing stone building set back from the street.
Two stories, with tall windows in orderly rows.
LYUDMILLA, the firefighter's wife, enters frame, carrying
her dingy suitcase. A country mouse far from home.
She stops in front of the building. Looks up at it. She's
never felt so small or afraid in her life.
TITLE:
APRIL 30, 1986
HOSPITAL NUMBER 6, MOSCOW
306 INT. HOSPITAL NUMBER 6 - MOMENTS LATER 306
Lyudmilla approaches the receptionist at the front desk.
The receptionist, YENINA, 30, is filling out some paperwork.
Lyudmilla just stands there, waiting silently.
Finally, Yenina STAMPS the paperwork, removes her reading
glasses, and:
YENINA
Yes?
Lyudmilla dutifully recites what the military officer told
her to say.
LYUDMILLA
I'm here to see my husband, Vasily
Ignatenko. He's a firefighter from
Chernobyl. I have permission.
4.
YENINA
Chernobyl? I'm sorry. No visitors.
LYUDMILLA
But-- Major Burov, he told me-- he
said--
YENINA
No exceptions.
LYUDMILLA
Please-- I came all the way from
Kievskaya oblast...
Yenina is unmoved. Just keeps staring.
Lyudmilla puts her suitcase down, and opens her purse. Digs
out some crumpled MONEY. Holds it out silently to the
receptionist.
Yenina looks at the money, then grabs a small slip of paper,
selects a STAMP from her wheel, and-- TWHACK. Stamps a
visitor's pass.
She takes Lyudmilla's money, and hands her the pass.
307 INT. HALLWAY - RADIATION WING - MOMENTS LATER 307
Lyudmilla walks down the hall with her suitcase and her
stamped pass.
She sees a DOCTOR, VETROVA, 30's, wearing a cloth face mask.
LYUDMILLA
Excuse me?
Vetrova turns. Surprised to see a visitor. She lowers her
face mask.
VETROVA
Who are you? What are you doing up
here?
LYUDMILLA
I have a pass.
VETROVA
You can't be here. It's not safe.
Lyudmilla starts into her recitation.
5.
LYUDMILLA
I'm here to see my husband, Vasily
Ignatenko. He's a firefighter from--
VETROVA
I know who Ignatenko is, but you
can't.
Lyudmilla tries to hold back her tears. It's not working.
LYUDMILLA
But I have permission. I have--
Lyudmilla opens her purse once more. There's not much left.
Vetrova realizes what Lyudmilla's doing. Oh god. She puts
her hand on Lyudmilla's. No need for that...
VETROVA
(reluctant)
You can have thirty minutes with him.
Not a minute more.
Lyudmilla, relieved, nods.
VETROVA
And you cannot touch him. In any way.
Do you understand?
LYUDMILLA
Yes.
The doctor hesitates, then:
VETROVA
Room 15.
LYUDMILLA
(overwhelmed)
Thank you.
As Lyudmilla starts to walk down the hall--
VETROVA
You're not pregnant, are you?
Lyudmilla stops. Turns back to the doctor.
LYUDMILLA
No.
The doctor nods. Go on then.
6.
308 INT. HOSPITAL HALLWAY / ROOM 15 - MOMENTS LATER 308
Lyudmilla rounds a corner. Room 12... 13... 14... Room 15.
She screws up her courage, and then pushes the door open.
REVEAL: the FIREFIGHTERS... Vasily sitting up on one bed,
Kibenok and Pravik sitting side-by-side on the other.
Pravik is hooked up to an IV. And they're each in hospital
pyjamas. Skin reddened, as if sunburned. But otherwise?
They're fine. Playing cards, in fact. Pravik looks up.
PRAVIK
Look who the cat dragged in.
Vasily sees Lyudmilla. A big grin breaks out on his face.
VASILY
What did I tell you? There's no
hiding from this woman...
The firefighters laugh. Vasily rises as Lyudmilla drops her
suitcase and RUSHES into his arms, hugging and kissing him
as she weeps for joy.
VASILY
Ow ow... easy! Easy!
She backs off slightly, but just keeps sobbing on him.
VASILY
It's okay. Shhh, Lyusya, shhh. I'm
okay. We're all okay...
SOUND RISES: military drums, a massive crowd cheering, and:
309 EXT. RED SQUARE - MOSCOW - DAY [FILE FOOTAGE] 309
FILE FOOTAGE - A bright, sunny days. Thousands of people.
Red flags everywhere. Children in uniforms. Soldiers
marching in formation. Trucks display nuclear missiles.
TITLE:
MAY 1, 1986
INTERNATIONAL LABOUR DAY
5 DAYS AFTER THE EXPLOSION
7.
310 INT. GARANIN'S OFFICE - MINSK - SAME 310
Garanin is on the phone. Through the window, we hear the
cheering of PEOPLE on the street.
GARANIN
Yes, the parade's already begun. All
of Minsk is out on the street, which
is why I felt it was--
(beat)
Of course not-- but the wind has been
blowing in from the southeast since
early morning. From Kiev. From
Cherno-- no, no... but if we were to
cancel now, just as a precaution-- I
understand, but then perhaps we
should issue iodine tablets to--
He's been cut off again. Then, defeated:
GARANIN
Yes. Certainly you're right. It was
foolish of me to call. I apologize.
Thank you for your wisdom, Minister.
Please-- enjoy the 100th anniversary
of International Workers' Day.
Garanin places the phone receiver back on the cradle. Then
walks to the window. We can't see the parade. We can only
see him watching helplessly.
He picks up his jacket, which is covered in civilian
MEDALS-- the ceremonial finery of a Party leader. He puts it
on, buttons it, straightens it, takes a breath--
--and heads out to join the parade.
311 OMITTED 311
312 INT. MILITARY HELICOPTER - DAY 312
Mid-flight. A RADIOMETRIC CREW is in the back. Full
protective suits. The door is open, and they're holding
RADIOMETERS out to sample the smoky air.
We hear the telltale CRACKLE of a GEIGER COUNTER... and as
the helicopter washes through a PLUME OF SMOKE, the clicking
suddenly explodes into DEAFENING STATIC...
8.
313 EXT. REACTOR SITE - SAME 313
The helicopter is CIRCLING above the destroyed reactor.
TITLE:
MAY 2, 1986
314 EXT. REACTOR SITE - LATER 314
Trailers have been set up near the site as mobile offices. A
web of FIRE HOSES extend out from the ruins toward Pikalov's
specialized military fire trucks, each with pumps running.
FLOOD LIGHTS have been set up to illuminate the work area.
Men move back and forth, some wearing gas masks. Others not.
PIKALOV - talks with one of the radiometrists who was on the
helicopter. Then walks back to:
LEGASOV and SHCHERBINA - who stand over a workbench covered
in maps. They're mid-argument.
LEGASOV
How did this happen? Who gave them
this idea?
SHCHERBINA
Are you suggesting I did?
LEGASOV
Well someone decided the evacuation
zone should be thirty kilometers,
when we know--
(points to the map)
Here! Caesium-137 in Gomel District.
Two HUNDRED kilometers away!
Pikalov waits. Uncomfortable. Clearly has information to
share, but doesn't want to interrupt.
SHCHERBINA
It was decided.
LEGASOV
Based on WHAT?
SHCHERBINA
I don't know.
9.
LEGASOV
(disbelief)
Forgive me. Maybe I've spent too much
time in my lab. Or maybe I'm stupid.
But is this really how it all works?
An uninformed, arbitrary decision
that will cost who knows how many
lives is made by some apparatchik?
Some career Party man?
SHCHERBINA
(angered)
I am a career Party man. You should
mind your tone, Comrade Legasov.
Legasov stares oddly at Shcherbina. Wasn't expecting that
defense. It almost seemed... calculated.
PIKALOV
(ahem)
Comrades.
They turn to him. He's holding a piece of paper in his hand.
PIKALOV
We have visual confirmation that the
fire is nearly extinguished. There
has also been a reduction in iodine-
131 and caesium-137 emissions.
SHCHERBINA
Good.
(to Legasov)
Yes?
PIKALOV
But the temperature is rising. And--
He trails off. Then simply hands the paper to Legasov. It's
a SPECTROGRAPH. Legasov stares at the chart for a moment.
LEGASOV
There's a spike in zirconium-95. It's
from the cladding on the fuel rods.
SHCHERBINA
Which means what?
LEGASOV
We use zirconium to contain the
uranium because its melting point is
so high.
(MORE)
10.
A graphite fire alone isn't hot
LEGASOV (cont'd)
enough to vaporise it. It's the fuel
itself.
(beat)
The meltdown has begun.
The sound of a HELICOPTER buzzing by. The air churns up DUST
from the ground, and we DISSOLVE TO:
315 INT. THE REACTOR - NOW 315
AN EMPTY WATER BASIN - puddles of dark water, rust marks on
the walls, and extending down from the ceiling, a large
DRAINAGE PIPE, like an upside-down T.
We hold for a moment. Then a thin line of dark MAGMA drips
out of drain... dangles in the air, then hits the ground
with a SIZZLE.
Another line from the other opening. And then, without
warning:
A HUGE MASS of CORIUM POURS OUT AND DOWN - from both sides
of the drainpipe - thick, deadly lava, bubbling and POOLING
with a SIZZLE on the concrete below...
We're watching a nuclear reactor core melting down. This is
what it looks like. Hypnotic, and almost beautiful.
Almost.
We hear the concrete CRACKLING, and we cut to:
316 INT. HALLWAY - RADIATION WING -HOSPITAL NO.6 - NIGHT 316
Drip... drip... drip...
A small, rusty DRINKING FOUNTAIN drips. Each drip echoing
slightly in the:
EMPTY HOSPITAL HALLWAY - where Lyudmilla sits in a chair.
Sleeping. No sound but the low buzz of the fluorescent
lights, and drip... drip... drip...
And then a low moan from off screen.
Lyudmilla shifts a bit. Troubled sleep.
Another moan. Another. Then a man SCREAMING in pain.
11.
Lyudmilla instantly wakes. It's silent in the hallway again.
Was that a dream?
Another SCREAM. Louder. She leaps to her feet, and:
317 INT. HOSPITAL ROOM 15 / HALLWAY - MOMENTS LATER 317
Lyudmilla enters the room. Two nurses are attending to
Vasily, blocking Lyudmilla's view of him.
The other two beds are EMPTY, save for BLOOD STAINS on both
of them.
The nurses are clearly struggling.
HOSPITAL 6 NURSE
You have to stop moving. We can't get
the needle in if you don't stop
moving.
His screaming is terrible. Lyudmilla moves towards the
nurses, panicked.
LYUDMILLA
You're hurting him!
She pulls at one of the nurses, and sees:
VASILY - covered in LESIONS. His face, his arms, his neck...
everywhere there is skin, there are tiny open SORES, some
bleeding, some coated in weeping pus.
Vasily writhes in AGONY as the other nurse attempts to hold
him down by his burning skin in order to inject morphine.
Lyudmilla can only stare in horror.
HOSPITAL 6 NURSE
You can't be in here.
LYUDMILLA
What's happening to him...?
Vasily SCREAMS again.
HOSPITAL 6 NURSE
YOU CAN'T BE IN HERE!
The nurse PUSHES Lyudmilla out of the room, and then heads
back to help her colleague.
12.
Lyudmilla stands alone in the hallway, helpless, listening
to her husband screaming... as if he's been set on fire...
We hold on her listening until it's too much to bear, and:
318 INT. KREMLIN CONF. ROOM / INT. COMMAND ROOM - NIGHT 318
Gorbachev's grim face.
ON HIS DESK in the corner of the room - seven newspapers
from major Western nations. On each one, a stapled
translation. They're all about the same thing. Chernobyl.
The PHONE RINGS. He answers.
GORBACHEV
Yes.
(beat)
Put them through.
(beat)
Well?
INTERCUT WITH: Shcherbina on the phone in the command suite
at the Polissya. Legasov next to him, on a second handset.
SHCHERBINA
The graphite fire is nearly out, and
the bubbler tanks are being drained.
We have successfully eliminated the
risk of thermal explosion.
Gorbachev slowly exhales. Then realizes Shcherbina has
fallen quiet on the other end.
GORBACHEV
And?
SHCHERBINA
The situation inside the core is
deteriorating faster than
anticipated. The concrete pad will
hold for 6 to 8 weeks, but after
that, Legasov estimates a 50% chance
the fuel will breach the pad and melt
down into the groundwater itself.
GORBACHEV
And where does that groundwater go?
SHCHERBINA
The Pripyat River, which feeds into
the Dnieper.
(MORE)
13.
The primary water supply for
SHCHERBINA (cont'd)
approximately fifty million people--
not to mention crops and livestock--
would be... unusable.
Gorbachev closes his eyes. Can't take it anymore.
SHCHERBINA
We are recommending we install a heat
exchanger under the pad to lower the
core temperature and halt the
meltdown. In order to do this, I'm
told we'll need all of the liquid
nitrogen in the Soviet Union.
GORBACHEV
(long pause, then)
Alright.
SHCHERBINA
And of course, we'll need--
GORBACHEV
Whatever you need, you have it. That
should be clear by now. Is there
anything else?
SHCHERBINA
My apologies. No. Thank you for--
But:
LEGASOV
Yes. I wanted to address the 30
kilometer exclusion zone--
Shcherbina reacts. What does Legasov think he's doing?
GORBACHEV
What exclusion zone? Is that Legasov?
What are you-- ?
SHCHERBINA
(jumping in quickly)
Minor details, General Secretary.
Premier Ryzhkov has determined that--
GORBACHEV
(angry)
If he determined, then he determined.
Shcherbina glares at Legasov. Idiot.
14.
GORBACHEV
Legasov, you are there for one
purpose, do you understand? To make
this stop. I don't want questions. I
want to know when this will be over.
LEGASOV
If you mean, when will Chernobyl be
completely safe, the half-life of
Plutonium-239 is 24,000 years.
(beat)
Perhaps we should just say, "Not
within our lifetimes."
A stunned Gorbachev hangs on the phone for a few silent
moments... and then slowly hangs up. Then:
SHCHERBINA
I think you and I should take a walk.
LEGASOV
(wary)
It's late. I'm tired.
SHCHERBINA
(not negotiable)
We're taking a walk.
319 EXT. PRIPYAT - STREET - NIGHT 319
A DOG walks steadily, tail wagging. Happy. A bit of SAUSAGE
sails into frame, and the dog snatches it out of the air.
Now another DOG enters frame. Then a CAT.
REVEAL: Shcherbina and Legasov walking down the abandoned
city street. Street lamps shining for no one.
As they go, Shcherbina casually rips pieces of a large
kolbasa and tosses them back to the left-behind pets, a
dozen of whom follow him like he's some kind of Pied Piper.
SHCHERBINA
Would you like some kolbasa?
LEGASOV
(enough with this)
What is it you want? An apology? I
won't sit back and let these people--
SHCHERBINA
What's going to happen to our boys?
15.
LEGASOV
What boys? The divers?
SHCHERBINA
The divers, the firefighters, the men
in the control room. What does the
radiation do to them? Precisely.
Legasov doesn't want to answer this question. But:
LEGASOV
At the levels some of them were
exposed to... ionizing radiation
tears the cellular structure apart.
The skin blisters, turns red, then
dark. There's nausea, dizziness,
fever, loss of consciousness.
Shcherbina throws the last of the sausage into the night,
and the pets chase after it, disappearing into the dark.
SHCHERBINA
Continue.
LEGASOV
This is followed by a latency period.
The immediate effects subside. The
patients appear to be recovering.
Healthy, even. But they aren't.
They arrive at a bench. Shcherbina sits. Legasov joins him.
SHCHERBINA
(calmly, again)
Continue.
LEGASOV
This lasts for only a day or two.
Then the cellular damage begins to
manifest. The bone marrow dies, the
immune system fails, and the soft
tissue and organs begin to decompose.
The arteries and veins spill open
like sieves, to the point where you
can't even administer morphine for
the pain, which is-- unimaginable.
And within three days to three weeks,
you are dead. That is what will
happen to those boys.
Shcherbina takes it in. Then:
16.
SHCHERBINA
Strange. How the things we can't see
are the most dangerous.
(beat)
And what about us?
LEGASOV
We've gotten a steady dose, but much
less of it. Not strong enough to kill
the cells, but consistent enough to
damage the DNA. In time... cancer. Or
aplastic anemia. Either way, fatal.
SHCHERBINA
Well. In a sense, it would seem we've
gotten off easily then... Valery.
His first name. Legasov notes the familiarity. The kind
between friends. A moment between them, and then Shcherbina
just barely nods his head to the left.
Was that a signal? Legasov glances back down the street in
the direction of Shcherbina's nod, and sees:
THIRTY METERS BEHIND THEM - a MAN AND WOMAN under a street
lamp. Clearly following from a distance.
But not just any man and woman. The "husband and wife" from
the bar. The wife who asked Legasov if there were anything
to worry about.
They don't seem worried now at all. Nor do they seem like a
husband and wife. They just stare back at Legasov.
Dead-eyed. Expressionless. And above all, no attempt to
disguise who they truly are.
Legasov turns back to look straight ahead. Terrified. My
god... that night... he almost told them what he knew...
Shcherbina resumes walking. Legasov moves with him. Stiffly.
Trying not to look back.
SHCHERBINA
Now you know why I wanted to take a
walk. Obviously the work site is
bugged. But I suspect our rooms as
well. Even our bathrooms. They say
you haven't taken a proper shit until
you've done it in front of the KGB.
And now Legasov understands the reason for Shcherbina's
impassioned defense of the Soviet state.
17.
LEGASOV
I've seen them before. They've been
here the whole time.
Shcherbina sighs. Legasov is a smart man, and yet so stupid.
SHCHERBINA
Of course they've been here the whole
time. If we're seeing them out in the
open now-- it's because they want us
to know.
Legasov glances back one more time at the man and woman. But
keeps walking along with Shcherbina.
And the pets... and the KGB... keep following.
320 INT. POLISSYA HOTEL - LOBBY BAR - NIGHT 320
Legasov, returning, crosses through the now-abandoned lobby,
then sees:
KHOMYUK alone at the lobby bar, papers spread out around
her. Scribbling calculations. A bottle of vodka and a glass.
He hesitates. Makes a silent decision. Then crosses over and
takes a seat near her at the bar.
She glances up at him from her work, then eyes back down to
her calculations. But she slides a spectrograph page over to
him from the top of her papers. Keeps her eyes on her work
as she talks.
KHOMYUK
You've seen that? The fuel is melting
faster than we expected. The pad--
LEGASOV
I know. I have a plan.
KHOMYUK
Heat exchanger, I hope.
LEGASOV
Yes.
(her equations)
There's something I've wanted to ask
you, Comrade. But I see you've been
asking it yourself.
She finally slams her pencil down. Beyond frustrated. The
anger of a relentless mind facing an unsolvable puzzle.
18.
KHOMYUK
Why did it explode. I've worked the
numbers over and over, presuming the
worst possible conditions in an RBMK
reactor, and I get the same answer
every time.
LEGASOV
Which is?
KHOMYUK
It's not possible.
LEGASOV
And yet.
They sit in silence for a moment. Then:
LEGASOV
I've spoken to the director of your
institute. He says you're difficult
and brutally stubborn.
(beat)
Which I'm hoping for.
He takes her page of calculations.
LEGASOV
You're not going to solve this here.
Not on paper.
She leans forward. Activated. Yes... a hunt. A chase. For
the truth.
LEGASOV
I'm authorizing you to conduct a full
inquiry. Begin in Moscow. Hospital
Number 6. Talk to everyone who was in
the control room that night--
Dyatlov, Akimov, Toptunov-- we need
to know exactly what occurred. Moment
by moment, decision by decision. No
detail is too small. Go now. While
they're still alive. Because if we do
not find out how this happened-- then
it will happen again.
Understood. Feeling the thrill of the chase, she gathers her
papers and rises to leave. Then:
LEGASOV
And Khomyuk...
19.
She turns back. He makes a subtle gesture around himself, as
in-- "the system around us is watching... listening..."
LEGASOV
Be careful.
And we see a twinge in her now. Asking questions and seeking
truth in the Soviet Union is a dangerous game. She nods
stiffly to him, and exits.
We hear BOISTEROUS LAUGHTER now, and cut to:
321 EXT. COAL MINES - TULA, RUSSIA - DAY 321
A group of forty-five MINERS on break. Vodka. Cigarettes.
Behind them, conveyor belts and hoppers. Bulldozers and
dust. Rolling hills pierced by cart tracks.
These men are hard. Blackened faces. Blackened lungs. Young
and old. Thick bellies. Tough muscle. But right now...
OLD MINER
Wait wait I have one, I have one...
so every Friday, Maxim The Factory
Guard sees Yaroslav The Worker coming
out of the factory with a wheelbarrow
full of hay. And each time, Maxim
looks through the hay to see what
Yaroslav's stealing, but he never
finds anything. They do this for
thirty years until Maxim says,
"Yaroslav, I'm retiring. It's my last
day. I promise-- I won't tell anyone,
but I have to know. What have you
been stealing?" And Yaroslav says--
The other miners all shout back at him.
THE MINERS
"I've been stealing the
wheelbarrows!"
They all break out laughing, except for the miner who was
telling the joke.
OLD MINER
Oh, fuck off all of you...
GLUKHOV, 40, short and stocky-- a fire hydrant of a man--
waves his hand to get their attention. His turn.
20.
GLUKHOV
Okay okay, here's one-- what's as big
as a house, burns 20 liters of fuel
an hour, puts out a huge amount of
smoke and noise, and cuts an apple
into three pieces?
(beat)
A Soviet machine for cutting apples
into four pieces.
The men explode with laughter. Except for:
OLD MINER
That's bullshit! It's not even
funny...!
But the miners keep laughing. And Glukhov is laughing the
loudest at his own joke, until he sees:
TWO MILITARY TROOP TRANSPORT TRUCKS approaching in the
distance, led by a BLACK SEDAN with a small Soviet FLAG on
the hood. His smile fades. And now they all turn to see it.
One of the miners SPITS in disgust at the sight of the car.
Glukhov rises and starts walking out to meet their unwelcome
guests. The rest of the miners follow, like a gang on their
way to a rumble.
322 INT. TROOP TRANSPORT TRUCK - MOMENTS LATER 322
DRIVER'S POV - looking through the windshield of the lead
bus as it follows the sedan into the mining facility. Wipers
on to keep the COAL DUST from settling like snow.
And ahead... nearly four dozen angry men... waiting.
323 EXT. COAL MINES - CONTINUOUS 323
The sedan comes to a stop. The driver gets out, walks around
to the passenger side, and opens the door for:
MIKHAIL SHADOV, 40's, ugly pale-blue suit. He emerges,
already intimidated by the hardass miners glaring at him. So
he puffs himself up. Opts for his most authoritative voice.
SHADOV
Who is in charge here?
GLUKHOV
I'm the crew chief.
21.
Shadov makes a show of taking a NOTEPAD and PEN from his coat.
SHADOV
I am Shadov. Minister of Coal
Industries.
GLUKHOV
We know who you are.
And they clearly don't care. This isn't working. Don't let
them see you sweat. Shadov tries again. Louder.
SHADOV
How many men work here?
GLUKHOV
Forty-five on this shift. One hundred
total.
SHADOV
I need all one hundred men to gather
their equipment and get on the buses.
GLUKHOV
Do you? To where?
TWO SOLDIERS have emerged from the troop transport trucks,
each holding an AK-47. They're young. Shadov glances at
them, then turns back to the miners. Renewed confidence.
SHADOV
That's classified.
The miners look at each other. This could get ugly. But
Glukhov isn't worried. He's looking at the soldiers.
GLUKHOV
Go ahead. Start shooting. You don't
have enough bullets for all of us.
Kill as many as you can, whoever's
left over will beat the piss out of
each of you.
Shadov deflates. Knows he's lost. But one of the soldiers...
YOUNG SOLDIER
You can't talk to us like--
GLUKHOV
Shut the fuck up.
The soldier shuts the fuck up. Now he knows he's lost too.
Shadov and the soldiers stand chastened, like school boys.
22.
GLUKHOV
This is Tula. This is our mine. We
don't leave unless you tell us why.
Defeated, Shadov considers the men before him. "Classified"
be damned. All he can do now is tell them the truth. He puts
his notepad and pen back in his coat.
SHADOV
You are going to Chernobyl.
Glukhov stares at him. Stunned. They all are.
SHADOV
You know what's happened there?
GLUKHOV
We dig up coal. Not bodies.
SHADOV
The reactor fuel is going to sink
into the ground and poison the water
from Kiev to the Black Sea. All of
it. Forever, they say. They want you
to stop that from happening.
The miners whisper to each other. Can that be true?
GLUKHOV
And how are we supposed to do that?
SHADOV
They didn't tell me, because I don't
need to know. Do you need to know? Or
have you heard enough?
Glukhov sucks his teeth. Thinks. Then turns back to his men.
Well? The Old Miner lifts his head.
OLD MINER
Who, if not us?
Glukhov nods. Then slowly walks up to Shadov... pats his
DIRTY HAND on Shadov's shoulder, getting the Minister's blue
suit all sooty...
...and heads toward the truck. Shadov barely has time to see
the mess Glukhov's made of him when: THE REST OF THE MINERS
slowly parade past him toward the trucks--
--each one making sure to PAT Shadov on the shoulder... the
chest... the belly... covering him in BLACK COAL DUST.
23.
As the OLD MINER walks by, he gives Shadov a very friendly,
and very sooty, PAT ON THE CHEEK.
OLD MINER
Now you look like the Minister of
Coal...
The miners laugh, and we cut to:
324 INT. HOSPITAL ROOM 15 - DARK 324
CLOSE ON: Lyudmilla, sitting in a chair in the dark room. A
vigil. From just off-camera, we can hear rattling breaths.
REVEAL: Vasily Ignatenko in his hospital bed. Barely
recognizable. His hair is gone. Eyebrows too. His skin is
covered in strange, discolored patches... red, green and
blue bruising, as if he had been beaten.
His body is swollen.
His lips are split open in places, and covered in a thick,
white plaque.
He is 25-years old. He looks so much older.
And all she can do is watch him sleep.
Until-- he stops breathing.
LYUDMILLA
Vasya?
And then: he draws in a sharp breath.
Thank god. She leans over and kisses him on his forehead. He
opens his eyes. Groans. Frustrated.
VASILY
They told you no touching. It's not
safe.
LYUDMILLA
They touch you. If it's safe for them
it's safe for me.
She reaches for a cup of water with a straw. He shakes his
head. No. Then:
VASILY
How are the others?
24.
LYUDMILLA
They took them to a special room.
They won't tell me where.
He doesn't respond. Then:
VASILY
Open the curtains.
She sets the cup down and crosses to the window behind him.
Pulls the curtain aside. BRIGHT DAYLIGHT floods in.
Vasily instantly closes his eyes in pain. Lyudmilla quickly
returns to his side, and places special, bandaged DARKENED
LENSES gently over his eyes.
He waits for the pain to subside. Then...
VASILY
What do you see? Tell me everything.
She turns slowly back to the window. From here, the only
view is a dismal array of brutally ugly apartment buildings,
and a grim highway just beyond.
LYUDMILLA
I see the Red Square from here. The
Kremlin, the Mausoleum, Spasskaya
Tower...
He nods. Pleased.
VASILY
Saint Basil's?
LYUDMILLA
Yes. It's beautiful.
VASILY
You see? I told you I'd show you
Moscow one day. I told you.
She walks back to him. Sits down. Gently takes his hand. The
flesh hangs strangely from his bones, as if it's separating.
LYUDMILLA
Thank you, my love.
BEHIND HER - through the interior window facing the hospital
hallway, we see a figure in PROTECTIVE GEAR passing by...
25.
325 INT. HALLWAY - CONTINUOUS 325
KHOMYUK strides down the hallway in medical clothing. Rubber
gloves. Rubber booties. Sleeves and pants cuffs tucked in.
In her hand, a notebook and pen. She stops in front of a
door, then takes a breath, and raises a cloth face-mask in
place to cover her nose and mouth.
She opens the door.
INSIDE THE HOSPITAL ROOM - a man stands in a hospital gown,
his back to us, staring out the window. He turns slowly at
the sound of the door.
It's DYATLOV. His hair is now missing in patches. His
eyebrows are gone. But otherwise-- he seems oddly fine. No
trace of the morphine delirium we saw before.
He gestures to an uneaten tray of food. Contemptous.
DYATLOV
I'm not eating that. It's shit. Bring
me something else.
KHOMYUK
I'm not a nurse, Comrade Dyatlov. I'm
a nuclear physicist.
Oh really? Her? A sneer, then:
DYATLOV
Well then, Comrade Nuclear Physicist,
unless you happen to have a butter
and caviar sandwich with you, you can
get the fuck out of my room.
And with that, he turns away.
326 EXT. REACTOR SITE - DAY 326
BUSES pull up to the site, just fifty meters or so away from
the blown-open reactor building.
The miners get out... and stare in shock at the sight in
front of them. Soldiers hand out GAS MASKS to them as they
file off the bus.
MINER
Where do we need to go?
26.
SOLDIER
Straight ahead.
The miners stumble forward. This is far from a mine. They're
unsure what they're doing or where they're supposed to be.
327 INT. MOBILE OFFICE - MOMENTS LATER 327
Legasov sits with Shcherbina. A map of the power plant on
the small table in front of them.
Legasov smokes. Worried.
SHCHERBINA
What.
LEGASOV
I'm not good at this, Boris.
(beat)
The lying.
SHCHERBINA
Have you ever spent time with miners?
LEGASOV
No.
SHCHERBINA
My advice? Tell the truth. These men
work in the dark. They see
everything.
A KNOCK on the door, then it opens. A soldier, announcing--
SOLDIER
Andrei Glukhov. Crew chief.
Shcherbina nods. The soldier backs away, and GLUKHOV enters,
gas mask in hand. He sits himself down unceremoniously, and
drops the gas mask on the table. Gestures at it.
GLUKHOV
Do these work?
LEGASOV
To an extent.
Glukhov shrugs. Better than nothing. Then points at
Legasov's pack of cigarettes.
LEGASOV
Of course.
27.
He holds the cigarettes out to Glukhov, who casually takes
the entire pack. Lights one up, pockets the rest for later.
GLUKHOV
Well? What's the job?
Legasov clears his throat. All right. He points to the map.
LEGASOV
We need to install a liquid nitrogen
heat exchanger underneath this
concrete pad. There's no way to
approach it from the interior of the
building. We have to come at it from
underground.
GLUKHOV
And what's above the pad?
Again, right to the point. Legasov glances at Shcherbina,
who gives a tiny nod. "Tell the truth."
LEGASOV
The core of the nuclear reactor,
which is melting down.
GLUKHOV
(melting down?)
What. Like-- ?
He makes a dropping gesture.
LEGASOV
Essentially.
GLUKHOV
Is it going to fall on us?
LEGASOV
Not if you're done within six weeks.
Glukhov takes a long drag on his cigarette. Staring
carefully at Legasov. Then:
GLUKHOV
Dimensions?
LEGASOV
(points at the map)
You'll break ground here, tunnel 150
metres to here, and then excavate
a 30 metre by 30 metre space for the
heat exchanger.
(MORE)
28.
(beat)
LEGASOV (cont'd)
And because we need to keep
disruption of the ground to a
minimum, we cannot use heavy
equipment. It must be done by hand.
Glukhov whistles. That's a big job.
GLUKHOV
We'll need more men. At least four
hundred. And we'll have to work
around the clock.
(beat)
How deep do you want this tunnel? Six
metres?
LEGASOV
Twelve.
GLUKHOV
Twelve? Why?
LEGASOV
For your protection. At that depth,
you will be shielded from much of the
radiation.
GLUKHOV
The entrance to the tunnel won't be
twelve metres down.
LEGASOV
No.
GLUKHOV
And we're not twelve metres down
right now.
LEGASOV
No. We're not.
Ah. So this is the situation.
SHCHERBINA
We have some equipment here on site,
but more will arrive by midnight. You
can start in the morning.
Glukhov stubs out his cigarette. Rises. Grabs his gas mask
off the table.
29.
GLUKHOV
We'll start now. I don't want my men
here one second more than they have
to be.
He stares at his gas mask for a moment.
GLUKHOV
If these worked, you'd be wearing
them.
He tosses the gas mask back on the table, and exits.
CUT TO:
328 NEAR PITCH BLACK 328
The sound of muffled men shouting to each other. A heavy
RATTLE of metal...
TITLE:
MAY 6, 1986
And then a MINER shifts his head to UNBLOCK the lights
behind him, and now we see him and a coworker PUSHING a MINE
CART full of dirt around a CORNER and--
329 EXT. REACTOR SITE - DAY - MOMENTS LATER 329
They EMERGE from the MOUTH of the tunnel shaft, and quickly
TILT the minecart to empty the dirt.
They wear simple white uniforms, and simple white caps, much
in the style of the reactor control room workers. But these
men are covered in dirt. And dripping in sweat.
There is a SIGN nailed to the side of the shaft entrance...
yellow Cyrillic lettering on a piece of brown plywood.
SUBTITLE: Comrades: our goal, 24/7, is to advance the tunnel
by 13 metres each day
GLUKHOV emerges from the tunnel, right behind them. Jumps up
out of the entrance trench.
GLUKHOV
Quickly. Back in. You two! Behind
them.
(MORE)
30.
(to another miner)
GLUKHOV (cont'd)
Iosif, get another spool of wire, and
tell group three to switch with two.
They move quickly, and without care. Jumping down into the
dirt. Wiping the sweaty dust from their faces. No one is
wearing a mask.
Glukhov looks up at the SUN. It's beating down, and it's not
even noon yet.
He walks over to a crude, brown INTERCOM BOX set on top of
some SANDBAGS. Pushes a button on it twice. It emits two
signal tones. Bweee bwee... then we hear a VOICE, crackling
through the tiny speaker.
MINER (INTERCOM)
Yes?
GLUKHOV
What is it up to?
MINER (INTERCOM)
Fifty.
Glukhov hangs his head in frustration. Then sees:
GLUKHOV
Hey. HEY, you!
PIKALOV, issuing commands to his radiometrists, looks over
to see: this short, angry miner MARCHING toward him.
GLUKHOV
We need fans. Thirty or forty.
PIKALOV
For what purpose?
GLUKHOV
What do you mean? What purpose? To
dig your fucking tunnel, what else?
One of Pikalov's men reacts, angrily, but Glukhov jabs his
finger in the air at the soldier.
GLUKHOV
Who's talking to you? Who?
Pikalov raises a hand. Gets in between them.
PIKALOV
Comrades--
31.
GLUKHOV
(back to Pikalov)
It's 50 degrees down there. We can't
breathe with the masks, we can't
breathe without the masks. It's an
oven. We need ventilation.
PIKALOV
Fans will put dust in the air. The
dust will go in your lungs.
GLUKHOV
I've been filling my lungs with dust
for twenty years.
PIKALOV
Not this dust. I'm sorry. But for
your own good-- no fans.
Pikalov and his men walk away, leaving a frustrated Glukhov.
We LOWER DOWN - INTO THE EARTH itself... until we come to:
330 INT. THE TUNNEL - NOW 330
A cramped shaft, dimly lit by bulb strung along swales of
electrical cord.
Five miners are jammed against each other like rats in a
nest, stooped over in the low tunnel, PICKING and SHOVELING
into the earth as fast as they can manage.
The heat is intense. Rippling the air in spots. They drip
sweat, but they keep working.
Gritting teeth. Muscles burning. And even without fans, the
DUST swirls around them... it SHIMMERS in front of the
lights... and we can literally see them inhaling it...
A miner swings his PICK right at us, and we cut to:
331 INT. HOSPITAL ROOM - DAY 331
LEONID TOPTUNOV, the young control room engineer, lies in a
bed. Most of his hair is gone. Bits of his mustache remain
in small patches. His body looks just as bad as Ignatenko's.
Discolored. Swollen. Thousand yard stare.
He barely glances as KHOMYUK enters the room. Then back to
the thousand yard stare.
32.
She moves the chair back a few feet from his bed to maintain
a safer distance, and sits. Still in full protection, mask
covering her mouth. Notebook open in her lap. Pen poised.
She hesitates. Difficult to interrogate someone who is dying
in front of your eyes. But no choice.
KHOMYUK
My name is Ulana Khomyuk. I am a
nuclear physicist working with the
Chernobyl Commission. I want you to
tell me everything that happened the
night of the accident. Is that all
right?
TOPTUNOV
(hurts to speak)
Yes. I want to tell.
KHOMYUK
(reluctantly)
Alright. Your official title was--
TOPTUNOV
(a strange pride)
My name is Leonid Fedorovych
Toptunov. I am the Senior Reactor
Control Chief Engineer at Chernobyl
Nuclear Power Plant.
She stops writing. Surprised.
KHOMYUK
Senior engineer? How old are you?
He slowly turns his head to face her.
TOPTUNOV
I'm 25.
And now BLOOD begins leaking from his nostrils. Steady
rivulets... coming out too easily. Coming out too thin.
Khomyuk crosses to the bedside table, picks up some cotton
gauze, leans over Toptunov, and presses it gently to his
nose.
They're looking straight at each other.
Her face covered by a mask. His face covered by the gauze.
Nothing revealed but eyes gazing into eyes.
33.
332 EXT. HOSPITAL HALLWAY - CONTINUOUS 332
The long hallway - then a BLOND MAN steps into view. 30's,
mustache. Rolling a sucking candy around in his mouth. He
looks around. Oddly out of place, and yet zero emotion.
Just a dead look. It should be quite clear what he is.
He steps out of the way as ORDERLIES come by, wheeling a
GURNEY - with VASILY, the dark lenses shielding his eyes
from the light. Lyudmilla follows right behind.
We move WITH THEM, leaving the Blond Man behind.
VASILY
(scared)
Lyusya...?
LYUDMILLA
I'm here.
They round a corner, and move toward a single room at the
end of the hallway. Double doors.
VETROVA emerges from the room. Visible behind her, in the
center of the room, we see heavy, CLEAR PLASTIC SHEETING
dangling in overlapping strips from the ceiling.
As the orderlies bring Vasily into the room, Vetrova STOPS
Lyudmilla from following. Shocked to even see her.
VETROVA
Have you been here this whole time?
LYUDMILLA
No one said I should leave.
VETROVA
I did. Thirty minutes, I said!
LYUDMILLA
(anger)
Well where have you been? When he's
in pain? When his sores stick to his
gown? When he soils himself five
times a night-- I've been taking care
of him. Where have you been?
Vetrova draws on every ounce of calm she has.
34.
VETROVA
I have been in the north and west
wing where there are dozens of
patients from Chernobyl, exactly like
him. It isn't safe for you here.
LYUDMILLA
He's my husband.
VETROVA
Not anymore. He's something else now.
Do you understand? He's dangerous to
you.
Lyudmilla doesn't understand. Or pretends not to?
LYUDMILLA
He's burned.
Vetrova can only shake her head. Tired. No, exhausted.
VETROVA
Go home.
All the fight leaves Lyudmilla, and she regresses to an
almost child-like desperation and fear.
LYUDMILLA
Please. It won't be much longer.
(can barely say it)
I don't want him to die alone.
Vetrova closes her eyes. Angry at herself for this. Angry
that this is happening at all. Then:
VETROVA
Stay on the other side of the
plastic. Or I will have you removed
by security.
Before Lyudmilla can respond, Vetrova WALKS AWAY. Then the
orderlies exit the room and move past her as well.
Her husband is now in there alone.
333 INT. ISOLATION ROOM - CONTINUOUS 333
We're on Vasily's side of the TRANSPARENT CURTAIN. Through
the plastic, we see the DOOR open.
Lyudmilla approaches. Then stops just on the other side of
the plastic.
35.
VASILY
Lyusya?
A pause, then LYUDMILLA pushes through PLASTIC. On our side
now. On Vasily's side. Stands right next to him.
LYUDMILLA
Yes, my love.
VASILY
Is it day?
LYUDMILLA
No, it's nighttime now.
VASILY
(confused)
I think I had a dream. But it's gone.
LYUDMILLA
Vasya.
(beat)
We're going to have a baby.
He doesn't respond. Perhaps too delirious to understand. But
then... his HAND lifts slightly off the bed. Trembling. The
SKIN sloughing off. He's reaching for her.
He heard. He knows.
And she gently reaches back to take his hand in hers.
334 INT. MOBILE OFFICE - CHERNOBYL COMMAND - NIGHT 334
A plate with boiled chicken and beets. Untouched. A bottle
of iodine pills. A full glass of water. A stack of maps.
Books. Notepads. Blueprints.
Legasov writes a LIST. Four pages in already. Hand cramping.
He puts his pen down, takes his glasses off. Rubs his eyes.
Picks up the glass of water. Then puts it down. His hand is
TREMBLING. He stares at it, then:
THE DOOR OPENS - and Shcherbina enters. Ebullient. A bottle
of VODKA in his hand. He smiles at Legasov.
SHCHERBINA
The fire is out.
He plunks the bottle down. Unscrews the cap, and tosses it.
It lands in the corner with a plink.
36.
SHCHERBINA
It's out, Valera! And the miners are
making incredible progress. They say
the whole job will be finished in
four weeks. Four, can you believe it?
He takes Legasov's WATER GLASS, empties it into the waste
basket, and starts pouring vodka.
But Legasov just stares blankly at his list.
Shcherbina puts the vodka bottle down. Sighs. Just wants to
find some small joy, even now. Even knowing what he knows.
SHCHERBINA
I know the job isn't over. But it's
the beginning of the end.
The beginning of the end? Legasov looks up. A strange look
of pity on his face. And then... he slowly shakes his head.
No.
The smile fades from Shcherbina's face, and: KNOCK KNOCK
KNOCK on the door. Shcherbina crosses over and opens it. A
soldier is standing there.
SOLDIER
I'm sorry to bother you, Deputy
Minister, but-- it's the miners.
Shcherbina looks back at Legasov. What now?
335 EXT. REACTOR SITE - MOMENTS LATER 335
Legasov and Shcherbina follow the soldier through the work
site, under the glare of FLOODLIGHTS. They walk around a
truck and stop dead, as they see:
THE MINERS - working. Digging, emptying the carts, doing
their job.
In the nude.
Well, they have their shoes on. And their paper hats. But
otherwise? Completely naked.
Legasov and Shcherbina just stare dumbstruck. And then they
sees GLUKHOV, as naked as the others.
Legasov raises a hand to him. "May we have a word?"
37.
Glukhov walks over to them. Zero self-consciousness.
GLUKHOV
What?
Legasov isn't quite sure what to say.
GLUKHOV
They won't give us fans, and it's too
hot for clothes. So we're digging the
old way. This is how our fathers
mined.
Oh.
GLUKHOV
We're still wearing the fucking hats.
What do you need?
LEGASOV
You aren't as protected without--
GLUKHOV
Are you telling me it will make a
difference?
Legasov hesitates. Then remembers who he's dealing with.
Shakes his head. No. It won't.
Which is what Glukhov expected. He looks back at his men,
then turns to Shcherbina.
GLUKHOV
When this is over-- will we be taken
care of?
Legasov and Shcherbina say nothing. There's no point in
lying to this man.
Glukhov stares back at them in disgusted disappointment.
Then without another word, he heads back to the tunnel.
Naked. And resigned.
336 INT. HOSPITAL ROOM - NIGHT 336
A pen writes in Cyrillic in a notebook. Half a page of
notes. The other page full. Six or seven pages behind that
one. The pen underlines something. Then:
KHOMYUK stops writing. Looks at Toptunov.
38.
KHOMYUK
So the power level jumped from 200 to
400 megawatts.
TOPTUNOV
Yes. Very fast.
KHOMYUK
Why didn't you press the AZ-5 button
and shut the reactor down?
TOPTUNOV
We did. I reported the increase to
Akimov-- and he pressed the button.
Khomyuk puts her pen down.
KHOMYUK
That's not possible, Leonid.
He turns to her. Grunting in pain from the effort.
TOPTUNOV
He did. I saw him do it. I swear. And
that's when it exploded.
She leans back. Utter disbelief. Silence, then:
KHOMYUK
What?
TOPTUNOV
I wasn't supposed to be there.
(tears in his eyes)
It wasn't supposed to be me.
Khomyuk can only stare in shock.
Vetrova enters with a nurse, who wheels a tray of medicine.
VETROVA
I'm sorry, he needs rest now.
Khomyuk rises.
KHOMYUK
Of course.
(mind spinning)
Which room is Akimov?
VETROVA
27.
39.
337 INT. HOSPITAL ROOM 27 - LATER 337
CLOSE ON - Khomyuk's notebook. She finishes writing "pressed
AZ-5, large jolt, then explosion" (Cyrillic).
REVEAL - Khomyuk sitting in a different chair. Akimov's
room. We never see Akimov. He remains off-camera. But we
HEAR him. A terrible, rattling breath.
Khomyuk's face tells us all we need to know about what
Akimov must look like. There is terrible pity for him. And
horror at what he is suffering.
KHOMYUK
Thank you, Comrade Akimov. You should
rest now.
She gets up to leave, sick to her stomach and on the verge
of tears. And we stay CLOSE on her as she HEARS him... his
awful voice... pained and confused and heartbreaking.
AKIMOV (O.S.)
We did everything right... we did
everything right...
338 INT. HOSPITAL HALLWAY - CONTINUOUS 338
Khomyuk emerges from Akimov's room. Cold sweats. She chokes
back the nausea. Breathe... breathe... easy, easy...
She begins walking down the hallway, trying to absorb what
has become of these men. And what they've told her.
Breathe. Breathe. You're okay.
She turns a corner, then STOPS short. What is she seeing?
REVEAL - she is right in front of the door into VASILY
IGNATENKO'S room. She looks through the window.
IN THE ROOM - Lyudmilla is sitting inside the protective
plastic sheeting.
She is saying something to her husband that we cannot hear.
She touches him with her left hand. But her right hand is
held gently on her belly. She's smiling.
Khomyuk stares in utter shock, then BARGES INTO:
40.
339 INT. ISOLATION ROOM - CONTINUOUS 339
She FLINGS the plastic slats aside and GRABS Lyudmilla by
the wrist.
KHOMYUK
Get up!
Khomyuk PULLS Lyudmilla from the chair, and begins DRAGGING
her by the wrist toward the door.
VASILY
Lyusya?
LYUDMILLA
LET ME GO!
VASILY
Lyusya?
But Khomyuk keeps DRAGGING, pulling Lyudmilla out into the
hallway...
LYUDMILLA
(screaming)
STOP IT! STOP IT!
VETROVA comes running over, drawn by the noise.
KHOMYUK
You let her in that room? Inside the
plastic? Touching him?
VETROVA
What did I tell you?
LYUDMILLA
It's not true!
KHOMYUK
Did you know she's pregnant?
Vetrova absorbs that in shock. Gapes at Lyudmilla.
VETROVA
What have you done?
Lyudmilla, scared, starts to cry. Shaking her head. No.
Nothing. Nothing...
VETROVA
(again, terrified)
What have you DONE?
Khomyuk lets go of Lyudmilla. Turns on Vetrova.
41.
KHOMYUK
What kind of place is this? Where is
her protection? Do you have ANY IDEA
what you're dealing with?
VETROVA
Of course I do. Please, I don't
want--
KHOMYUK
No. People are going to hear about
this.
VETROVA
Wait--
KHOMYUK
People are going to hear! You
understand? Everyone is going to
hear!
The BLOND MAN steps in her path, stopping her short.
BLOND MAN
What is everyone going to hear?
Khomyuk knows instantly what this is. And that she's made a
terrible mistake. Only one way out of this.
KHOMYUK
I'm here on behalf of the official
Chernobyl commission. I have been
authorized by Valery Legasov to--
She glances behind her, sensing ANOTHER MAN arriving from
the other direction. Standing behind her now.
KHOMYUK
You can check this. My name is--
BLOND MAN
We know who you are.
(and again)
What is everyone going to hear?
340 EXT. KREMLIN - MORNING 340
The sun rises over Moscow...
TITLE:
MAY 7, 1986
42.
341 INT. KREMLIN HALLWAY - MORNING 341
The same room we saw when Legasov first arrived at the
Kremlin.
And he's sitting in that little chair again. Waiting. This
time, an empty chair next to him.
A moment, then SHCHERBINA arrives. Sits down next to
Legasov.
SHCHERBINA
You have your notes?
LEGASOV
Yes.
Shcherbina seems preoccupied. Then:
SHCHERBINA
Khomyuk was arrested last night.
LEGASOV
What? Why?
SHCHERBINA
I don't know.
LEGASOV
Was it-- ?
SHCHERBINA
Of course it was. I'm working on it.
LEGASOV
Boris, I can't--
SHCHERBINA
I'm working on it. What else do you
want from me?
(beat)
Fix your tie, for god's sake.
Legasov has no choice but to accept this. And attempt to fix
his crooked tie. Then:
A door opens, and the AIDE emerges with a pleasant smile.
KREMLIN AIDE
They'll see you now.
43.
342 INT. KREMLIN CONFERENCE ROOM - MORNING 342
Gorbachev, the bureaucrats, and generals listen.
SHCHERBINA (O.S.)
...and after thousands of sorties,
our brave helicopter crews
successfully extinguished the fire.
Legasov is staring at one man across the table. At CHARKOV.
The KGB minister.
SHCHERBINA
The miners are working heroically to
ensure that the fuel does not reach
the groundwater. Furthermore, there
is no longer a threat of additional
explosion. The Soviet People have
faced this challenge, and they have
risen to the task. They, and everyone
in this room, are to be commended.
A palpable sense of relief in the room. Finally.
SHCHERBINA
Lastly, Professor Legasov and I have
been vigilant to protect the security
interests of the State. Since the
unfortunate release of information
directly following the accident, we
believe there has been no further
lapse. Comrade Charkov, we hope we
have lived up to the higest standards
of the KGB.
Charkov gives a non-committal smile.
CHARKOV
You have.
(glances at Legasov)
Of course you have.
Legasov, caught staring, quickly averts his eyes.
SHCHERBINA
Thank you. Professor Legasov will now
speak about the work that remains.
Shcherbina sits, and Legasov rises. Reads from notes.
LEGASOV
Thank you. Deputy Minister Shcherbina
has given you the good news.
(MORE)
44.
And it
LEGASOV (cont'd)
is good. The immediate danger
is over. But now, I am afraid, a long
war must begin.
He glances up for a reaction. There is none. He continues.
LEGASOV
There is an enormous amount of
radioactive debris and contamination
spread across a zone of approximately
2,600 square kilometers. This entire
region must be completely evacuated.
Men will need to go to every town,
every village, to ensure this.
Another look. Again, no one seems deeply concerned.
LEGASOV
All animals still surviving within
the zone-- domesticated or wild--
must be presumed contaminated, and
will have to be destroyed to prevent
the spread of radiation and disease.
He turns a page. Unnerved by the silence.
LEGASOV
In the immediate area around
Chernobyl, every tree, every rock...
the very ground itself has absorbed
dangerous amounts of radionuclides,
which will be carried by the wind or
rain if left exposed. We will have to
raze forests. And we will have to rip
up the top layer of earth, and bury
it under itself. Approximately 100
square kilometers. Finally, we will
need to construct a containment
structure around the power plant
itself, which of course is still
extremely--
(beat)
There will be deaths.
He's finished. Sits. A silence. Then a young general,
NIKOLAI TARAKANOV, 45, speaks up.
TARAKANOV
What amount of time, what number of
men do you require?
45.
SHCHERBINA
We expect this liquidation effort to
take three years, and approximately
750,000 men, including a number of
doctors and structural engineers.
GORBACHEV
(still stuck on--)
How many deaths?
LEGASOV
Thousands. Perhaps tens of thousands.
Gorbachev absorbs that. The brutal weight of it. But there
is no choice.
GORBACHEV
Begin at once.
343 INT. KREMLIN HALLWAY - LATER 343
Meeting over. Legasov and Shcherbina emerge... and Legasov
sees CHARKOV ahead, walking away.
He can't help himself. Walks fast to chase Charkov down.
SHCHERBINA
(alarmed)
Valery...
But all Shcherbina can do is follow Legasov, and:
LEGASOV
Comrade Charkov.
Charkov stops and turns around. Ah.
CHARKOV
Yes, Professor?
LEGASOV
My associate was arrested last night.
CHARKOV
Oh?
LEGASOV
I mean no disrespect, but I was
wondering if you could tell me why.
46.
CHARKOV
I'm sorry. I don't know who you're
talking about.
LEGASOV
(yes you do)
She was arrested by the KGB.
Charkov says nothing. Just an "and?" face...
LEGASOV
You are First Deputy Chairman of the
KGB.
CHARKOV
(friendly chuckle)
I am! That's why I don't have to
bother with arresting people anymore.
LEGASOV
But you are bothering to have your
people follow me.
Okay. That's enough of that. Shcherbina takes Legasov's arm
to lead him away.
SHCHERBINA
Professor, the Deputy Chairman is a
busy--
CHARKOV
No, no, it's perfectly understandable.
(to Legasov, warmly)
Comrade, I know you've heard the
stories about us. When I hear them,
even I am shocked. But we're not what
people say. Yes, people are following
you. People are following those
people.
(points)
And you see them?
Two non-descript men in suits at the end of the hallway.
CHARKOV
They follow me. The KGB is a circle
of accountability. Nothing more.
LEGASOV
(at a loss)
You know the job we're doing. Do you
really not trust us?
47.
CHARKOV
Of course I do! But you know the old
Russian proverb: "Trust, but verify."
And the Americans think Ronald Reagan
came up with that! Can you imagine?
(warmly)
It was very nice speaking with you.
As he turns away:
LEGASOV
I need her.
Charkov turns back. All warmth gone. Icewater stare.
CHARKOV
So you will be accountable for her?
Legasov registers the implicit threat. Even so, he nods.
CHARKOV
Then it's done.
LEGASOV
Her name is--
CHARKOV
I know who she is.
(back to friendly)
Good day, Professor.
He walks off. Legasov feels Shcherbina's eyes on him. Knows
he's about to get a lecture. But:
SHCHERBINA
No, that went surprisingly well. You
came off like a naive idiot.
(off Legasov's look)
Naive idiots aren't a threat.
344 EXT. PRISON - MOSCOW - NIGHT 344
A squat, red building with a castle-like tower. Thunder
rumbles in the distance. A storm is coming.
TITLE:
BUTYRSKAYA PRISON, MOSCOW
48.
345 INT. HOLDING CELL HALLWAY - CONTINUOUS 345
THE BLOND MAN walks down the dimly lit, narrow hallway. The
ugly paint can't disguise the brutish, 19th century walls.
All around us, the sounds of caged men. Junkies. Drunks.
Lunatics. Enemies of the state. And occasionally, the scream
of someone in pain.
Legasov follows the Blond Man to:
KHOMYUK'S JAIL CELL. She's sitting on the floor, back
against the wall. And she is still, absurdly, in her
radiation-protective outfit.
She looks up at Legasov. A bit of relief. But mostly, numb.
The Blond Man unlocks the barred door and slides it open.
BLOND MAN
I'll come back when the paperwork is
complete.
Legasov nods, and steps into the cell. The Blond Man closes
the door, locks it, and exits. Legasov stands there.
LEGASOV
Are you all right?
KHOMYUK
They didn't hurt me.
(beat)
They let a pregnant woman into a room
with a-- it doesn't matter. They were
stupid. I was stupid.
The misery of it all washes over her.
KHOMYUK
Dyatlov won't talk to me. Toptunov
and Akimov, yes, but...
(can still see him)
Akimov. Valery, his face is gone...
LEGASOV
You want to stop.
KHOMYUK
(stares at him)
Is that a choice I even have?
He slowly sits down next to her on the floor. She takes a
long look at him. He's not well. And now she feels guilty.
49.
LEGASOV
Do you think the fuel will actually
melt through the concrete pad?
A strange non-sequitur.
KHOMYUK
What?
LEGASOV
It's a matter of probability, of
course. So... odds?
She doesn't understand this shift in tone, but--
KHOMYUK
I don't know. A forty percent chance?
LEGASOV
I've said fifty. Either way, the
numbers mean the same thing. "Maybe."
Maybe the core will melt down to the
groundwater. Maybe the miners I've
told to dig under the reactor will
save millions of lives. Or maybe I'm
killing them for nothing.
And now, shame. A confession.
LEGASOV
I don't want to do this anymore. I
want to stop.
(beat)
But I can't. So tomorrow, I will wake
up and make more decisions that will
kill more people, because there is no
alternative. And no, I don't think
you have a choice any more than I do.
I think, despite the lies, the
stupidity--
(the jail)
--even this... you are compelled. The
problem has been assigned, and you
will stop at nothing to find the
answer. That is who you are.
And she knows he's right.
KHOMYUK
A lunatic, then.
LEGASOV
A scientist.
50.
THE CELL DOOR - opens. The Blond Man stands waiting.
346 INT. BOOKING DESK - MOMENTS LATER 346
Legasov waits while Khomyuk signs papers to receive her
personal items. She hands the form across a desk to a prison
attendant, who heads into a back room with the form, leaving
them alone for a moment.
There's something gnawing at her. Until she can't ignore it
any longer... and she turns to Legasov.
KHOMYUK
Did you know they were running a
safety test?
Legasov sighs. Yes. He heard. It's madness.
KHOMYUK
There's something else. Akimov says he
shut the reactor down, and Toptunov
confirms it. They pressed AZ-5.
LEGASOV
Apparently not soon enough.
KHOMYUK
No. They say Akimov pressed AZ-5, and
then the reactor exploded.
He stiffens. A jolt of fear in his stomach. She doesn't see.
KHOMYUK
If it had been just one of them, I
would have written it off as faulty
memory or even delusion... but they
both agreed. They were adamant.
She turns to him. Legasov seems lost in thought.
KHOMYUK
Comrade?
He snaps out of it. Turns to her.
LEGASOV
Do you think it's possible?
KHOMYUK
No. I think it makes no sense. I
think it's what I would say if I
wanted to cover my own mistakes.
51.
LEGASOV
But?
KHOMYUK
I believed them.
A beat, then he moves in close to her. Sotto voce, so no one
can overhear.
LEGASOV
Then you should pursue it. We have to
pursue every possibility, no matter
how unlikely... and no matter what--
or who-- is to blame.
Understood.
The prison attendant returns with a bin holding Khomyuk's
personal effects. As she gathers her items...
KHOMYUK
I'll go back to the hospital now and
reinterview Akimov and Toptunov... if
they're still awake.
LEGASOV
They're not.
She meets his eyes. Dead? Yes. They're gone. She's surprised
by the depth of her own grief, and:
SOUND FADES/MUSIC RISES
347 EXT. FINAL MONTAGE 347
As the music plays, we dissolve from moment to moment,
drifting back and forth like a ghost...
OUTSIDE HOSPITAL NO. 6 - Lyudmilla exits the building. Numb.
Suitcase in hand. The door closes behind her, but she
doesn't look back. There's nothing left to see.
ISOLATION ROOM - Vasily's bed is now empty. An orderly
removes the blood-stained sheets.
MOSCOW CITY STREET - Soldiers with CLIPBOARDS walk down the
street, and begin heading into apartment buildings.
ACROSS THE STREET - more soldiers, heading into more
buildings. Dozens of them. Old women watch. They've seen
this before. Men will be taken now. Some won't come back.
52.
HOSPITAL LOADING DOCK - SEVEN GURNEYS, each holding a
PLASTIC-WRAPPED BODY. Two men in FULL HAZMAT SUITS lift one
of the bodies and place it into a nondescript PLYWOOD
COFFIN.
MOSCOW PARKING LOT - a man at the front of a queue gets some
papers stamped and handed back to him. He moves off to the
left, and the next man steps up. This is PAVEL, 23, thin,
pale and frightened. He shivers a bit in the cold drizzle
that's begun to fall. He hands his documents to the unseen
officer.
STAMP. Papers are handed back, and Pavel is ushered off.
We will see him again.
HOSPITAL LOADING DOCK - the Hazmat men roughly hammer a lid
onto the plywood coffin, then lift it and put it down into:
A LARGER, ENTIRELY METAL COFFIN. Now they lift a heavy METAL
LID, and place it on top.
HOSPITAL LOADING DOCK - a Hazmat man is WELDING the metal
coffin shut. A reflection of SHOWERING SPARKS in the clear
plastic window covering his face.
As the sparks RISE to fill our view, the music FADES...
...and is replaced by the TOLLING OF A BELL.
348 EXT. MITINSKOE CEMETERY - MOSCOW - LATE AFTERNOON 348
A small gathering of mourners stand under a gray sky. Some
are crying. Lyudmilla is not. She stares blankly ahead.
In front of the mourners, a line of soldiers.
We move through them to see: a large TRENCH has been dug in
the State graveyard, about thirty feet away. There are
already SIX METAL COFFINS in the trench.
A TRUCK-MOUNTED CRANE moves into view, carrying the last of
the WELDED-SHUT COFFINS. It lowers it down into the trench,
where two SOLDIERS wait to hold it in place.
The CRANE TRUCK pulls away, and the soldiers quickly
scramble up and out of the trench. Frightened.
Lyudmilla stares straight ahead. Then, in a quiet voice, to
herself... almost a whisper...
53.
LYUDMILLA
Open wide, O earth, and receive what
was formed from you by the hand of God.
And now, a sound you do not hear at funerals. The deep THRUM
of a heavy motor.
Lyudmilla watches, shaken, as:
A CEMENT MIXER backs into position at the edge of the
trench, and CONCRETE begins pouring out, FILLING THE TRENCH
with the METAL COFFINS.
Lyudmilla's eyes fill with tears, and she trembles from the
horror of it, but she does not look away.
CLOSE ON: a METAL COFFIN. The concrete rises around it, and
we wait and watch over the agonizing seconds...
...until the coffin disappears under the wet gray, and:
FADE TO BLACK
END OF EPISODE THREE
54.





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