Which show just beat David Attenborough's 'Planet Earth II' as TV's top-rated series?

Ben Arnold
Contributor
Sir David Attenborough (Credit: Joel C Ryan/Invision/AP)

Planet Earth II was indeed jaw-droppingly spectacular, but it's just been knocked off the top spot as TV's best-rated show.

Steaming into the number one slot is HBO's critically acclaimed new series Chernobyl, and it's only three episodes into to its five-episode run.

It's leapfrogged David Attenborough's nature series with a 9.5 rating from viewers on IMDb.

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That means the show has also bested Steven Spielberg's iconic Band of Brothers, the first series of Planet Earth, Breaking Bad, Game of Thrones and The Wire.

Starring Mad Men's Jared Harris, Thor actor Stellan Skarsgård, War & Peace actress Jessie Buckley and British star Emily Watson, it tracks the disaster at the nuclear power plant at Chernobyl in Soviet Ukraine in 1986.

Chernobyl (Credit: HBO)

Harris plays chemist Valery Legasov, who tried to convince authorities of the dangers facing Russia and its neighbours from the radioactive fallout.

Directed by Johan Renck it's been hailed by critics, who have drawn parallels with the drama and the spread of disinformation today.

The Washington Post writes that the show displays 'what happens when lying is standard and authority is abused'.

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It may never be known how many people died as a result of the accident, though only two lives were claimed in the initial explosion.

One study by Greenpeace asserted that deaths associated with the after effects of the accident ranged from 10,000 to as many as 200,000.

Another suggested that 985,000 premature deaths could have occurred due to the radiation released into the atmosphere.

The series airs on Sky in the UK.