Chernobyl, The Last Czars and the Pros & Cons of Dramatizing History w/ Philippa Heatherington & Jon Waterlow (#141 rebroadcast)

November 7, 2022
On Spotify
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The Netflix series The Last Czars and HBO’s Chernobyl have (in very different ways) brought Russian & Soviet history to televisions across the world. In this episode, Ben sits down with fellow Russian historians Dr. Philippa Hetherington and Dr. Jonathan Waterlow to discuss their opinions on the two series, what they think they got right, and ways that producers and scholars might benefit most from collaboration on future projects. Philippa, who is a featured scholar in The Last Czars, shares her experience being interviewed, her impression of the show after seeing it, and her work to correct historical errors that viewers identified after release.

This episode is a rebroadcast of RTN #141, which originally aired on Sept. 2, 2019. Tragically, Philippa Heatherington passed away on November 5, 2022 after a long fight with cancer. She was a brilliant scholar, an advocate for those living with cancer, and a genuinely delightful human being. You can learn more about her work at

This reair was edited by Ben Sawyer.

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