Episodes

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Boris Godunov: Ghosts2016091820160924 (R4)

Shaun Dooley is Boris Godunov in Mike Walker's epic chronicle of the tsars.

By Mike Walker

"Petty thieves hang, great ones escape." Or so goes the Russian saying.

Did Boris Godunov have Ivan the Terrible's son killed in order to steal the throne? And what did he do when the murdered boy came back from the dead - leading an army to steal it all back? Mike Walker's epic chronicle of the Russian Tsars surveys the Time of Troubles, a period that saw the crown change hands 5 times in just 22 years.

Director: Sasha Yevtushenko.

Shaun Dooley is Boris Godunov in Mike Walker's epic chronicle of the tsars.

By Mike Walker

"Petty thieves hang, great ones escape." Or so goes the Russian saying.

Did Boris Godunov have Ivan the Terrible's son killed in order to steal the throne? And what did he do when the murdered boy came back from the dead - leading an army to steal it all back? Mike Walker's epic chronicle of the Russian Tsars surveys the Time of Troubles, a period that saw the crown change hands 5 times in just 22 years.

Director: Sasha Yevtushenko.

Ivan The Terrible: Absolute Power2016091120160917 (R4)

By Mike Walker

Following years of tumultuous reign, Tsar Ivan IV abruptly leaves Moscow and announces his abdication. Russia is without a Tsar and thrown into chaos, with the boyars unable to rule and in fear of an uprising. They beg Ivan to return. His condition is simple: Absolute Power. Are they right to accept? Was it ever really a choice? Mike Walker's full-blooded drama chronicles the fearsome reign of the first Tsar of All Russia.

Director: Sasha Yevtushenko

As we approach the centenary of the Russian Revolution in October 2017, Radio 4 embark on an ambitious chronicle of Russian leaders; set over 11 plays, in three seasons - beginning with Ivan the Terrible, contemporary of Elizabeth I, and ending 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 takes in the reigns of Ivan IV (aka The Terrible), Boris Godunov and Peter The Great.

Series Two (Spring 2017) will chronicle 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.

By Mike Walker

Following years of tumultuous reign, Tsar Ivan IV abruptly leaves Moscow and announces his abdication. Russia is without a Tsar and thrown into chaos, with the boyars unable to rule and in fear of an uprising. They beg Ivan to return. His condition is simple: Absolute Power. Are they right to accept? Was it ever really a choice? Mike Walker's full-blooded drama chronicles the fearsome reign of the first Tsar of All Russia.

Director: Sasha Yevtushenko

As we approach the centenary of the Russian Revolution in October 2017, Radio 4 embark on an ambitious chronicle of Russian leaders; set over 11 plays, in three seasons - beginning with Ivan the Terrible, contemporary of Elizabeth I, and ending 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 takes in the reigns of Ivan IV (aka The Terrible), Boris Godunov and Peter The Great.

Series Two (Spring 2017) will chronicle 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.

Joseph Stalin: The Last Bolshevik20171105

Where was Joseph Stalin when the Soviet Union was attacked?

By Mike Walker

In June 1941, when news came through that the Nazis had taken Minsk, 300 miles into Soviet territory, Joseph Stalin retired to his dacha. And there he stayed for three days - refusing to answer the telephone or to see anyone.

What was he doing, at a time when his country needed him most? Had he suffered a mental breakdown? Was he unable to face up to his gross miscalculation that Hitler would not start a war on two fronts? Or did he fear arrest? And was this an act of cunning, to test the loyalty of his inner circle?

Mike Walker's epic chronicle of the Russian Tsars continues with the story of Joseph Stalin and the invasion of the Soviet Union.

The guitarist was Colin Guthrie.

Directed by Sasha Yevtushenko.

Lenin: Tears20171029

Mike Walker's epic chronicle of the rulers of Russia reaches the Soviet era and Lenin.

In 1917, the Romanov dynasty came to an end and the Soviet era began. Lenin's first priority on returning from exile and joining the provisional
government was to get Russia out of the First World War, but not all of his fellow- revolutionaries agreed. And as the Duma wavered, the
Bolsheviks seized their opportunity for complete power.
By Mike Walker

Director Alison Hindell

For the centenary of the Russian Revolution, Radio 4's ambitious chronicle of Russian leaders reaches the present day.
Earlier series of TSAR have covered the reigns of Ivan IV (aka The Terrible), Boris Godunov, Peter the Great, Catherine the Great, Alexander I and
Alexander II, the liberator of the serfs.

The final season takes in Nicholas II and the Revolution, Stalin and finally, Putin.

The dramas are produced by Alison Hindell and Sasha Yevtushenko.

Lenin: Tears20171104

Mike Walker's epic chronicle of the rulers of Russia reaches the Soviet era and Lenin.

In 1917, the Romanov dynasty came to an end and the Soviet era began. Lenin's first priority on returning from exile and joining the provisional
government was to get Russia out of the First World War, but not all of his fellow- revolutionaries agreed. And as the Duma wavered, the
Bolsheviks seized their opportunity for complete power.
By Mike Walker

Director Alison Hindell

For the centenary of the Russian Revolution, Radio 4's ambitious chronicle of Russian leaders reaches the present day.
Earlier series of TSAR have covered the reigns of Ivan IV (aka The Terrible), Boris Godunov, Peter the Great, Catherine the Great, Alexander I and
Alexander II, the liberator of the serfs.

The final season takes in Nicholas II and the Revolution, Stalin and finally, Putin.

The dramas are produced by Alison Hindell and Sasha Yevtushenko.

Nikolai Ii - Three Hundred Years20171022

Mike Walker's epic chronicle continues with the downfall of the Romanov dynasty.

In 1913, the Romanov dynasty celebrated three hundred years since they had claimed the Russian throne. Despite social unrest, public festivities
were enjoyed and Tsar Nikolai II believed he held the hearts of the people. But four years later, following disastrous military campaigns in the
First World War, and with a populace fired by revolutionary rhetoric, his grudging attempts to move with the times were not enough and he was
forced to abdicate. By Mike Walker.

Director Alison Hindell

For the centenary of the Russian Revolution, Radio 4's ambitious chronicle of Russian leaders reaches the present day.
Earlier series of TSAR have covered the reigns of Ivan IV (aka The Terrible), Boris Godunov, Peter the Great, Catherine the Great, Alexander I, and
Alexander II, the liberator of the serfs.

The final season takes in Nicholas II and the Revolution, Stalin and finally, Putin.

The dramas are produced by Alison Hindell and Sasha Yevtushenko.

Nikolai Ii - Three Hundred Years20171028
Peter The Great: Queen Of Spades2016100220161008 (R4)

Elliot Cowan is Peter the Great in Mike Walker's epic chronicle of the tsars.

By Mike Walker

Peter the Great returns from a grand tour of Europe full of ideas of modernisation. Distracted with the building of his new capital of St Petersburg, and the passion of Catherine, the only woman to meet his match, he ignores his opponents who don't want to be dragged into the eighteenth century. But when his own son Alexei declares his colours, Peter is forced to take action.

Director Alison Hindell.

Elliot Cowan is Peter the Great in Mike Walker's epic chronicle of the tsars.

By Mike Walker

Peter the Great returns from a grand tour of Europe full of ideas of modernisation. Distracted with the building of his new capital of St Petersburg, and the passion of Catherine, the only woman to meet his match, he ignores his opponents who don't want to be dragged into the eighteenth century. But when his own son Alexei declares his colours, Peter is forced to take action.

Director Alison Hindell.

Peter The Great: The Gamblers2016092520161001 (R4)

Will Howard is the young Peter the Great in Mike Walker's epic chronicle of the Tsars.

By Mike Walker

Moscow, 1682 and clan rivalry forces the accession of two joint tsars: one, Ivan, is feeble-minded and the other is Peter, a child of ten years old. Sophia, their half-sister, proclaims herself regent and in so doing becomes the first woman to rule Russia, with the Streltsy, the tsar's regiment of ruthless musketeers, on her side. But under-estimating Peter as he grows up could prove a dangerous mistake.

Director Alison Hindell

In the run-up to the centenary of the Russian Revolution in October 2017, Radio 4's ambitious chronicle of Russian rulers continues. 11 plays, in three seasons, from Ivan the Terrible, contemporary of Elizabeth I, to Russia's current Premier, Vladimir Putin, TSAR continues the full-blooded, 'more is more' tradition established in Plantagenet and The Stuarts for Radio 4.

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

Series Two (Spring 2017) will chronicle 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.

Will Howard is the young Peter the Great in Mike Walker's epic chronicle of the Tsars.

By Mike Walker

Moscow, 1682 and clan rivalry forces the accession of two joint tsars: one, Ivan, is feeble-minded and the other is Peter, a child of ten years old. Sophia, their half-sister, proclaims herself regent and in so doing becomes the first woman to rule Russia, with the Streltsy, the tsar's regiment of ruthless musketeers, on her side. But under-estimating Peter as he grows up could prove a dangerous mistake.

Director Alison Hindell

In the run-up to the centenary of the Russian Revolution in October 2017, Radio 4's ambitious chronicle of Russian rulers continues. 11 plays, in three seasons, from Ivan the Terrible, contemporary of Elizabeth I, to Russia's current Premier, Vladimir Putin, TSAR continues the full-blooded, 'more is more' tradition established in Plantagenet and The Stuarts for Radio 4.

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

Series Two (Spring 2017) will chronicle 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.

The Shield And The Sword20171112

Thirteen stories about the current president of Russia, Vladimir Putin.

By Mike Walker

Mike Walker's ambitious chronicle of the Russian Tsars concludes with a drama that surveys the reign of Vladimir Putin.

As with Putin's beloved espionage serial The Shield and the Sword, at the heart of this story stands a spy who lives a hundred lives to protect one life: his true identity.

Weaving together many interconnected stories, some true and others fictional, the drama goes in search of the true identity of the enigmatic Russian President, whose leadership has lasted almost 18 years. We tell stories from Putin's childhood, the early days in the KGB, his relationship with outgoing President Yeltsin, the battle with the oligarchs, the fallout from the Kursk tragedy, as well as the accusations of corruption and authoritarian repression.

Does each new story shed further light on the mystery, or leads us further into the labyrinth?