Emily Watson in the series Chernobyl
Emily Watson in the series Chernobyl

New series becomes top-rated show ever

It's official. We have a new number one TV series.

HBO drama Chernobyl has become the highest rating show ever on IMDb, only weeks after it went to air.

Reaching a 9.7 (out of 10) average rating, the five-episode series has shot past Breaking Bad (9.5), Planet Earth II (9.5), Band of Brothers (9.5), Planet Earth (9.4) and Game of Thrones (9.3), according to the Amazon-owned website.

Chernobyl, which is available to stream on Foxtel, is based on the real-life events of the catastrophic nuclear disaster in northern Ukrainian SSR in 1986.

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Chernobyl is the highest rating show on IMDb.
Chernobyl is the highest rating show on IMDb.

It's still debated how many people died due to radiation and long-term health effects as a result of the nuclear accident, with estimates ranging from 4000 to a whopping 90,000.

To this day, areas of Eastern Europe are still impacted by radiation.

The series follows the fallout of the April 26 accident, the worst nuclear disaster in history, as physicist Valery Legasov (Jared Harris) works with the Soviet Union government that is desperately trying to hide the truth about the incident, which happened during a late-night safety test.

It's eerie opening scenes reveal the explosion went unnoticed by the people near the plant but was felt right across the Soviet state of Ukraine, with the remaining episodes capturing the graphic demise of those with radiation poisoning.

Emily Watson and Stellan Skarsgard also form the cast.

Social media reaction to the show has exploded in recent weeks, with viewers declaring it a "distressing masterpiece".

It's also boosted tourism in the town by a whopping 40 per cent, with people flocking to visit the area where the nuclear disaster took place.

Chernobyl is available to stream on Foxtel On Demand