In our post-Game of Thrones era, we have become used to long, sweeping TV shows, complete with endless world-building seasons.
But sometimes a series is perfect on its own, working most effectively with just a few well-crafted episodes.
Chernobyl is one such show, packing a powerful, lasting punch in just five taut episodes. However, there are – of course – many viewers who have held out hope for a second season.
Following an interview with creator and writer Craig Mazin, Decider writer Kayla Cobb pondered over the possibility of a another season, noting how viewers have previously been gifted surprise second seasons of Big Little Lies and 13 Reasons Why.
And indeed, it certainly appeared there was plenty left to explore, with Mazin telling Decider:
If I were to continue this anthologically, probably it would be another investigation of another aspect of Soviet life because that part is something that is fascinating to me and kind of exciting to view again.
However, when retweeting the interview in question, Mazin has made it very clear this was always intended to be a standalone season:
All due respect to Decider, but the definitive answer to the headline’s question “Will There Be A Season 2 of Chernobyl?” is “No.”
During the interview, Mazin told Decider how he felt a shorter series would be more effective and, judging by the phenomenal IMDb score, he made absolutely the right call.
Speaking with Decider, Mazin emphasised how his respect for his audience led to him keeping the show short and ‘frantic’:
I respect the audience too much and I want them to stay engaged and I just felt like, well, the events in the first weeks following the explosion are frantic and the show should be frantic. So I took two episodes and squished them into one, so now we have five,
Now, what I didn’t know was that I was being paid by the episode,
However, this (hopefully) doesn’t mean there isn’t room for Mazin to potentially turn his pen to other catastrophic events in history, imbuing them with the same sensitivity and intrigue.
According to Decider, Mazin said:
If I came to HBO and said ‘I want to do another season of Chernobyl, except it’s gonna be about another terrible tragedy,’ whether it’s Bhopal or Fukushima or something like that, I would imagine they at least would give me polite interest.
Although some people will no doubt be a little disappointed by this one season only confirmation, some things are just best left as they are.
Chernobyl aired each week on Sky Atlantic and HBO. HBO Home Entertainment will digitally release Chernobyl as of June 24.
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Jules studied English Literature with Creative Writing at Lancaster University before earning her masters in International Relations at Leiden University in The Netherlands (Hoi!). She then trained as a journalist through News Associates in Manchester. Jules has previously worked as a mental health blogger, copywriter and freelancer for various publications.