Episodes

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Boris Godunov: Ghosts2016091820210223 (BBC7)
20210224 (BBC7)
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.

Boris Godunov....Shaun Dooley
Maria Nagaya.... Elizabeth Berrington
Feodor Romanov.... Jason Barnett
Vasily Shuisky.... Sean Baker
Feodor I.... Tom Forrister
Jerome Horsey.... James Lailey
Petya.... Fisayo Akinade
Marta.... Kirsty Oswald
Dmitri Ivanovich.... Finn Monteath
Andrei.... Tom Taylor

Director: Sasha Yevtushenko

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

Mike Walker's epic chronicle of the Russian tsars.

Ivan The Terrible: Absolute Power2016091120210222 (BBC7)
20210223 (BBC7)
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.

Ivan IV....David Threlfall
Boris Godunov.... Shaun Dooley
Malyuta Skuratov.... Steven Hartley
Andrei Kurbsky.... Hugo Speer
Anastasia Romanov.... Kirsty Oswald
Prince Belsky.... Sean Baker
Jerome Horsey.... James Lailey
Metropolitan Philip II.... Jason Barnett
Vanya.... Tom Forrister
Younger Ivan.... Graham Butler
Younger Kurbsky.... Will Howard
Midwife.... Elizabeth Bennett

Written by Mike Walker

Director: Sasha Yevtushenko

Originally part of a season of programmes to mark the centenary of the Russian Revolution in October 2017.

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

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

Series Three takes in Nicholas II and the Revolution, the Soviets, and Putin.

The dramas are produced by Alison Hindell and Sasha Yevtushenko.

First broadcast on BBC Radio 4 in 2016

David Threlfall is Ivan the Terrible in Mike Walker's epic chronicle of the Tsars.

Mike Walker's epic chronicle of the Russian tsars.

Peter The Great: Queen Of Spades2016100220210225 (BBC7)
20210226 (BBC7)
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.

Peter.... Elliot Cowan
Martha-Catherine.... Joanna van Kampen
Menshikov.... Sion Pritchard
Nikita.... Simon Armstrong
Alexei.... Toby Laurence
Tolstoy.... Tristan Sturrock
Kikin.... Michael Bertenshaw
Sheremetyev....John Telfer

Director Alison Hindell

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

Mike Walker's epic chronicle of the Russian tsars.

Peter The Great: The Gamblers2016092520210224 (BBC7)
20210225 (BBC7)
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.

Peter....Will Howard
Sophia.... Christine Bottomley
Young Menshikov.... Justin Davies
Nikita.... Simon Armstrong
Lefort.... Carl Prekopp
Brandt / Golitsyn.... Steffan Rhodri
Natalya.... Claire Cage
Gordon / Dolgoruky.... Brendan Charleson
Young Peter.... Isaac Rouse
Menshikov.... Sion Pritchard
Ivan / Nachaev.... Jonathan Green
Eudoxia.... Kirsty Oswald

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.

Mike Walker's epic chronicle of the Russian tsars.