Nicholas and Alexandra
Nicholas and Alexandra covers the rise and fall of the last of the Russian Romanovs. We first meet Czar Nicholas (Michael Jayston) and his German bride Alexandra (Janet Suzman) at their 1894 wedding. Though Nicholas is devoted to Alexandra, the Russian populace is less politely inclined to having a "foreigner" as their Czarina. Alexandra gains favor when she gives birth to the much-loved Prince Alexis (Roderick Noble). Alas, Alexis suffers from hemophilia, a disease which strikes every second generation of Alexandra's family. When all conventional medical ministrations fail, Alexandra puts the fate of her son in the hands of mystical holy man Rasputin (Tom Baker, later famous for his portrayal of Doctor Who). As Rasputin's influence and power grows, the Russian peasantry becomes more restless and disgruntled. They are now willing to listen to the speeches of such rabble-rousers as Lenin (Michael Bryant) and Trotsky (Brian Cox), who sow the seeds of revolution. Even after the murder of Rasputin, the Bolsheviks are unsatisfied: The revolution finally comes to pass in October of 1917. At first, the moderate Kerensky (John McEnery) pleads with his followers to allow the Romanovs safe passage out of Russia. But the radicals seize control, and on July 16, 1918, the royal family is summarily executed.