Episodes

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Alexander I: Into The Woods20170507

The story of Alexander I, the tsar who took on Napoleon Bonaparte and won.

Alexander never wanted to be Tsar. Before his accession he told friends that he hoped to retire into private life abroad. Life, however, had other plans. Starting with his own father's ill-fated reign, and his subsequent murder. How complicit was Alexander in all of this? And then came the greatest threat Russia had ever seen: the new French Emperor. Mike Walker's epic chronicle of the Russian Tsars continues with the story of Alexander I, the Tsar who took on Napoleon Bonaparte and won.

Director Sasha Yevtushenko.

Alexander I: Into The Woods20170513

The story of Alexander I, the tsar who took on Napoleon Bonaparte and won.

Alexander never wanted to be Tsar. Before his accession he told friends that he hoped to retire into private life abroad. Life, however, had other plans. Starting with his own father's ill-fated reign, and his subsequent murder. How complicit was Alexander in all of this? And then came the greatest threat Russia had ever seen: the new French Emperor. Mike Walker's epic chronicle of the Russian Tsars continues with the story of Alexander I, the Tsar who took on Napoleon Bonaparte and won.

Director Sasha Yevtushenko.

Alexander Ii: The People's Will20170514

Joseph Millson plays Alexander II in Mike Walker's epic chronicle of the Tsars.

Alexander Ii: The People's Will20170520

Joseph Millson plays Alexander II in Mike Walker's epic chronicle of the Tsars.

In 1861, Alexander II liberated 23 million Russian serfs, four years earlier than the abolition of slavery in the USA. But twenty years later, the tide of revolutionary thinking is rising and dissatisfaction with the regime has led to terrorist cells making several assassination attempts on the Tsar's life. One cell in particular, The People's Will, is determined to succeed this time but in the struggle between autocracy and radical socialism there can be only one winner.

Director Alison Hindell

A BBC Cymru Wales production.

Catherine The Great: Husbands, Lovers And Sons20170506

Samantha Spiro is Catherine the Great in Mike Walker's epic chronicle of the Tsars.

Did the young Catherine foresee the consequences of staging a coup d'├ętat against her husband the Tsar? Or did she want him dead from the start? Mike Walker's epic chronicle of the Russian Tsars continues with the story of Catherine The Great, who came to Russia as a young 15-year-old girl from Prussia and became one of Russia's most renowned monarchs, transforming the country into one of the great powers of Europe.

Director: Sasha Yevtushenko

As we approach the centenary of the Russian Revolution in October 2017, Radio 4 has an ambitious chronicle of Russian leaders; set over 11 plays, in three seasons - it began with Ivan the Terrible, contemporary of Elizabeth I, and ends with Russia's current Premier - Vladimir Putin. TSAR continues the full-blooded, rich 'more is more' tradition forged by the team that made Plantagenet and The Stuarts for Radio 4.

Series One covered the reigns of Ivan IV (aka The Terrible), Boris Godunov and Peter The Great.

Series Two (Spring 2017) chronicles the reigns of Catherine the Great; Alexander I and the Napoleonic Wars; and Alexander II and the emancipation of the serfs.

Series Three (Autumn 2017) takes in Nicholas II and the Revolution, the Soviets, and Putin.

The dramas are produced by Alison Hindell and Sasha Yevtushenko.