Author Topic: The Romanovs - The History of the Russian Dynasty  (Read 21122 times)

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Offline edubs31

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The Romanovs - The History of the Russian Dynasty
« on: June 03, 2015, 09:49:30 AM »
Apologies in advance if there is a thread on this lingering out there somewhere. Otherwise I'm amazed this hasn't been discussed.

Has anyone seen the lengthy documentary that came out last year: The Romanovs - The History of the Russian Dynasty? I've watched the first two of what appears to be eight 50-52 minute episodes so far and am enjoying it a great deal. I can't wait to see what's in store in the later episodes when I assume the focus will shift to the last Imperial family and Russian Revolution.

The whole thing appears to be on Youtube. Highly recommended!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NGYLOYd9Pt8&index=1&list=FLK1_PIIqxjHBamEYRYM6V9A
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Offline Maria Sisi

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Re: The Romanovs - The History of the Russian Dynasty
« Reply #1 on: June 03, 2015, 12:04:39 PM »
That's the documentary I posted about a while ago! I believe it was originally released in 2013 to co-inside with the 400th anniversary of the dynasty.

I bought it for Christmas and loved every minute of it. The one I got was in the original Russian language with English subtitles. I'm not sure if the English narration one was released on DVD but from what I have seen on youtube the narration is different.

I wish each episode was longer as they felt more like summaries then a full story but it looks rather expensively made so I excuse that. I highly recommend buying it! There unfortunately aren't many Romanov documentaries available on DVD.

Offline Romanov_Fan19

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Re: The Romanovs - The History of the Russian Dynasty
« Reply #2 on: June 03, 2015, 02:09:31 PM »
ITS GREAT

Offline edubs31

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Re: The Romanovs - The History of the Russian Dynasty
« Reply #3 on: June 03, 2015, 02:29:15 PM »
That's the documentary I posted about a while ago! I believe it was originally released in 2013 to co-inside with the 400th anniversary of the dynasty.

I bought it for Christmas and loved every minute of it. The one I got was in the original Russian language with English subtitles. I'm not sure if the English narration one was released on DVD but from what I have seen on youtube the narration is different.

I wish each episode was longer as they felt more like summaries then a full story but it looks rather expensively made so I excuse that. I highly recommend buying it! There unfortunately aren't many Romanov documentaries available on DVD.

Hey Maria Sisi...thanks for clearing that up. I vaguely remember somebody saying something about it but after watching I honestly can't believe this isn't a bigger topic of conversation. A more comprehensive English language feature on the Romanovs and (to a large extent) Russian history has never and probably could never be created! If I'm seeing this correctly it's an eight-part series, correct?

As your mentioned it's obvious the original production was done in Russian since the words on the screen in that language. But the English narration makes it easy to understand.
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Offline Maria Sisi

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Re: The Romanovs - The History of the Russian Dynasty
« Reply #4 on: June 04, 2015, 09:51:32 AM »


Hey Maria Sisi...thanks for clearing that up. I vaguely remember somebody saying something about it but after watching I honestly can't believe this isn't a bigger topic of conversation. A more comprehensive English language feature on the Romanovs and (to a large extent) Russian history has never and probably could never be created! If I'm seeing this correctly it's an eight-part series, correct?

As your mentioned it's obvious the original production was done in Russian since the words on the screen in that language. But the English narration makes it easy to understand.

Yes its an eight-part series, each ruler get around 25 minutes each. They give you a nice summary on their personal life and Russia during their rule.

The closest type of program I can think of that was in English was the History Channel's "Russia: Land of the Tsars," with narration by Edward Hermann. That series, two parts, five hours, started with the founding of Russia, then skipped to Ivan the Terrible and ended with Nicholas II. Of course that was when the History Channel didn't totally suck! Such a program even like that would never be made in the U.S. today.
« Last Edit: June 04, 2015, 09:54:35 AM by Maria Sisi »

Offline edubs31

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Re: The Romanovs - The History of the Russian Dynasty
« Reply #5 on: June 04, 2015, 11:32:16 AM »


Hey Maria Sisi...thanks for clearing that up. I vaguely remember somebody saying something about it but after watching I honestly can't believe this isn't a bigger topic of conversation. A more comprehensive English language feature on the Romanovs and (to a large extent) Russian history has never and probably could never be created! If I'm seeing this correctly it's an eight-part series, correct?

As your mentioned it's obvious the original production was done in Russian since the words on the screen in that language. But the English narration makes it easy to understand.

Yes its an eight-part series, each ruler get around 25 minutes each. They give you a nice summary on their personal life and Russia during their rule.

The closest type of program I can think of that was in English was the History Channel's "Russia: Land of the Tsars," with narration by Edward Hermann. That series, two parts, five hours, started with the founding of Russia, then skipped to Ivan the Terrible and ended with Nicholas II. Of course that was when the History Channel didn't totally suck! Such a program even like that would never be made in the U.S. today.

Spot on! Yes I've watched Land of the Tsars and was pleased with it. But that looks like a Cliffs notes documentary compare to this Russian production.

Watched the third episode last night largely devoted to Peter the Great. Confirmed a few things I already knew/thought about him but added a nice perspective. Honestly though I'm enjoying this program more for some of the lesser know Tsar's where my knowledge is understandably a bit lacking. I was especially impressed by how they presented Feodor III and his accomplishment over such a brief period.
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Offline TimM

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Re: The Romanovs - The History of the Russian Dynasty
« Reply #6 on: June 05, 2015, 05:27:46 PM »
Looks good.  Thanks for the link.
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Offline Romanov_Fan19

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Re: The Romanovs - The History of the Russian Dynasty
« Reply #7 on: June 09, 2015, 02:10:30 PM »
a question  On the Part about Peter  II   It shows him with Facial hair   did he really  have any

Offline Maria Sisi

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Re: The Romanovs - The History of the Russian Dynasty
« Reply #8 on: June 09, 2015, 03:31:57 PM »
a question  On the Part about Peter  II   It shows him with Facial hair   did he really  have any

Well he was only 14 when he died so I'm not sure if it was possible for him to have any or not.

I'm guessing it was just an error

Offline edubs31

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Re: The Romanovs - The History of the Russian Dynasty
« Reply #9 on: June 09, 2015, 04:28:15 PM »
a question  On the Part about Peter  II   It shows him with Facial hair   did he really  have any

Well he was only 14 when he died so I'm not sure if it was possible for him to have any or not.

I'm guessing it was just an error

Probably not. Sometimes I feel like they could have found better actors to play some of the characters as the likeness is often a bit of stretch. But overall it's extremely well done, thorough, and fascinating. I'm on episode five now...mostly about Catherine the Great.
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Offline Romanov_Fan19

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Re: The Romanovs - The History of the Russian Dynasty
« Reply #10 on: June 09, 2015, 08:04:35 PM »
Yes that  Peter II  thing   was the only thing that was flawed

Offline edubs31

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Re: The Romanovs - The History of the Russian Dynasty
« Reply #11 on: June 16, 2015, 12:40:49 PM »
I completed the eight-part series last night. Aside from some fumbled facts in the later episodes - Still irks me when people round up the ages of Olga (to 23) and Alexei (to 14) when describing their July, 1918 deaths - I thought it was excellent overall. Perhaps a little info heavy (particularly with regards to Russian finances) for the casual viewer but a must see for any Romanov history fan! The production quality was top-notch and I liked the narrator as well. Seems as though they spared no expense in its creation. Nice to know Romanov/Russian history is popular enough to command such a production budget.

One thing they included that surprised me in the final episode was Nicholas & Alexandra's supposed March 12, 1901 visit to Gatchina Palace to reveal the contents of a letter in a sealed envelope written a hundred years earlier by Paul I. Does anyone know anything about this? It's new to me...

According to the episode one of the few people who were aware of the letter's existence was Maria Gehringer (?) a personal friend of Alexandra (and someone who I've heard little about). Paul's spiritual adviser, the Monk Abel (born Vasily Vasiliev), foretold of events in Russian history with startling accuracy. Nicholas & Alexandra were said to have arrived at the palace in a cheerful excited mood and left it disheartened and alarmed. The Monk had apparently predicted the death of Paul himself, Catherine the Great's reign (prior to taking power), the wars against Napoleon, the burning of Moscow, Decembrist revolt, Alexander II's liberation of the serfs and his own assassination, and an era of peace and prosperity under his son, Alexander III. For Nicholas II's reign he said the following;

"The holy Tsar that is like Job the long suffering will have the mind of Christ and the patience and purity of a dove. A crown of thorns will replace his Tsar's crown, and he shall be betrayed by his people as was the son of God. A Great War will be fought. People will fly in the air like birds and swim under water like fish. They shall destroy themselves withing stinking sulfur. Treason will grow and multiply, and on the eve of victory the Tsar's throne will fall. Blood and tears will water the earth. A peasant with an axe will take power and the plagues of Egypt will begin."
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Offline Rodney_G.

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Re: The Romanovs - The History of the Russian Dynasty
« Reply #12 on: June 28, 2015, 02:16:42 PM »
a question  On the Part about Peter  II   It shows him with Facial hair   did he really  have any

Well he was only 14 when he died so I'm not sure if it was possible for him to have any or not.

I'm guessing it was just an error

Probably not. Sometimes I feel like they could have found better actors to play some of the characters as the likeness is often a bit of stretch. But overall it's extremely well done, thorough, and fascinating. I'm on episode five now...mostly about Catherine the Great.

Yes, on this actor portraying Peter II (episode 4). Sorry, I can't help it, but he reminded me of 1): Pee Wee Herman (Paul Rubens) in those scenes when he was manically rolling in the snow or lolling in bed or otherwise mincing around. The other person he bore a remarkable likeness to in his more sober, melancholy moods was Robin Gibb, one of the Bee Gees. That lean, gaunt, sad-eyed face quite striking. Who knows about the real Peter II.

Good series so far.I'm approaching episode Five. Overall, it reinforces in me the preposterous extravagance of the Romanovs quite early on,as well as of  the chaotic, arbitrary , and often violent day to day life in centuries of Romanov-ruled Russia. I know that's a sweeping statement, but I think largely true.

looking forward to Catherine the Great episode.
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Offline edubs31

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Re: The Romanovs - The History of the Russian Dynasty
« Reply #13 on: June 28, 2015, 09:13:29 PM »
a question  On the Part about Peter  II   It shows him with Facial hair   did he really  have any

Well he was only 14 when he died so I'm not sure if it was possible for him to have any or not.

I'm guessing it was just an error

Probably not. Sometimes I feel like they could have found better actors to play some of the characters as the likeness is often a bit of stretch. But overall it's extremely well done, thorough, and fascinating. I'm on episode five now...mostly about Catherine the Great.

Yes, on this actor portraying Peter II (episode 4). Sorry, I can't help it, but he reminded me of 1): Pee Wee Herman (Paul Rubens) in those scenes when he was manically rolling in the snow or lolling in bed or otherwise mincing around. The other person he bore a remarkable likeness to in his more sober, melancholy moods was Robin Gibb, one of the Bee Gees. That lean, gaunt, sad-eyed face quite striking. Who knows about the real Peter II.

Good series so far.I'm approaching episode Five. Overall, it reinforces in me the preposterous extravagance of the Romanovs quite early on,as well as of  the chaotic, arbitrary , and often violent day to day life in centuries of Romanov-ruled Russia. I know that's a sweeping statement, but I think largely true.

looking forward to Catherine the Great episode.

I think you'll enjoy the Catherine The Great episode, and I also found myself feeling that her son Paul I was more a tragic figure than one deservedly maligned as he is usually portrayed. On the other hand the series made me a bit more critical of Peter the Great. His accomplishments are many but I find him a far less virtuous a character than, say, a George Washington or Queen Victoria, and less intellectually superior, like a Louis XIV type, than I originally believed.

Thus far I was most impressed by the short reign of Feodor III. It would have been interesting to see what could have come of things had he been healthier and sat upon the Russian throne for 20+ years. As it was the Moscow Uprising of 1682 directly led to the ascendancy of a young (and aforementioned) Peter I to the throne.
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Offline Maria Sisi

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Re: The Romanovs - The History of the Russian Dynasty
« Reply #14 on: June 29, 2015, 10:59:10 AM »
I'm hoping with the anniversary of the abdication less then 2 years away and the murder of the IF a little over 3 we get more specials/documentaries as good as this one! Unfortunately all the documentaries from the 90s, which look so enticing, don't come with subtitles or dubbing so hopefully this one is an indication that any new ones that might come will have them. Although I'm still waiting for their mini-series on Rasputin to come out subtitled.