Adventures in Catacombs Connect Odessa and Kyiv!

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The Other: Adventures in Catacombs

Connect Odessa and Kyiv

The shooting of a 16-epsiode television film The Other is on. The series is a kind of mix of a family drama, psychological thriller and adventure detective story. The production is by Star Media specially for the television channel “Ukraine”.



“It is a stunning combination of genres,” says Dmitry Laktionov, the director (Women in Love), “I’ve already did some detectives, thrillers and melodramas, but it’s the first time I work on such a cocktail. And all these are the elements of a complex story, puzzles one has to put together at the end.”

There is no doubt in Laktionov’s abilities since he is a disciple of renowned Alexander Mitta, who was the first to create a multigenre masterpiece – Air Crew (original 1979 film and a successful 2016 remake), which combines a melodrama and a disaster film.



The crew has no time to get bored as the shooting started in the Odessa Catacombs and then continued in the Kyiv drainage system (a network of underground channels for draining rainwater). “Editing makes wonders,” jokes the director, “in the film, we’ll link two dungeons separated by hundreds of kilometers.”

According to the plot, the protagonist, Ulyana, a medic, decides to try her hand at potholing and see catacombs. There she goes together with her old friend, an experienced potholer. However, Ulyana gets lost and suddenly becomes a witness of a murder… She flees the site having remembered the murderer’s face, while he fails to do so.



“You see these bruises? I was running away from the crime scene,” says Natali Starynkevich, the lead actress (Glukhar, Shram), and shows us a bruise on her knee and a scratch on her shoulder. “I was running on a small hill down there. I was wearing special boots. They’re really big, and that’s why you have to wear them on top of your shoes. The water there is ankle high. I was running and realzied I couldn’t stop that easy. So I grabbed a wall, broke my nails, scratched my shoulder but managed to stop right in front of the camera…,” says Natali merrily squinting her big grey eyes.

Her character is a conscientious person. That is why, despite she is terribly scared, she goes to the police to tell them of the crime she has witnessed. She is given a cop to protect her, but he… attempts to murder her. She realizes she is in danger and leaves for another city to stay at her twin sister’s, with whom she has long been in tense relations. On arrival, she finds her sister dead. However, the circumstances force her to pretend she is her sister to avoid persecution. Ulyana has to undertake the lifestyle of her sister, to whom she has not spoken for years.


“The twins were brought up by the same parents, but they are totally different in their characters. One of them values humane, sincere relations, while the other is rather materialistic. The circumstances force them to exchange their roles and transform their characters,” explains Laktionov. “More so, each sister plays a double game. That’s the reason Natali actually has to play four roles at the same time.”



Natali Starynkevich plays both sisters. When we asked her whether this difficult task makes her go crazy, she sincerely answered, “It does. The makeup artists tell me “Hold on, we need a transitional hairstyle here.” When Ulyana only started pretending she’s her sister, she was her absolute copy. Though, gradually getting into her character, she starts displaying more of her own traits. That’s why we need a transition here. You see the level we’re working at?” smiles Natali. “What can I do as an actress if everything depends on my appearance? I try to embrace the characters of both sisters despite they’re absolutely different people: Ulyana cares for others, while her sister is selfish. Though I like both of them, each in her own way.”

The crew goes underground again. Working there is a great challenge. Nevertheless, Laktionov, in terms of his role of the director, remains polite and reserved even in the toughest conditions. Directors quite often start shouting if something goes wrong. However, Dmitriy has a Charlie Chaplin tattoo on his left arm. Charlie stares at an actor Dmitriy is speaking to and… the actor starts realizing their task.



The Other is based on the format of Ringer, a series produced by CBS Television Studios and Warner Bros. Television in association with ABC Television Studios and Brillstein Entertainment with executive producers Pam Veasey (“CSI, NY,” “The District”), Jon Liebman and JoAnne Colonna, and co-executive producers/co-creators Nicole Snyder (“Supernatural”) and Eric Charmelo (“Supernatural”), as well as co-executive producer Sarah Michelle Gellar. The series and scripted format is distributed by CBS Studios International.


The Other

Year of Production: 2019

Country: Ukraine

Number of Episodes: 16

Genre: drama, thriller, detective

Place of Production: Kyiv, Ukraine

Director: Dmitriy Laktionov

Camera by Mikhail Markov

Production Design by Olesya Bondar

Writers: Yana Dubinyanskaya, Igor Ter-Karapetov

Cast: Natali Starynkevich, Alexander Nikitin, Svetlana Malyukova, Kirill Zhandarov, Mila Sivatskaya, Petr Nesterov, Svetlana Stepankovskaya, Dmitriy Saranskov