Empire of the Tsars

Watch Empire of the Tsars

  • 2016
  • 1 Season

Empire of the Tsars is a historical documentary series by BBC Four that takes viewers on a journey through the history of the Russian Empire. The show is hosted by the popular British historian and television presenter Lucy Worsley, who serves as a guide to Russia's rich and fascinating past.

In the series, Worsley traces the emergence and development of the Russian Empire, starting from its foundation in the early 16th century up to its downfall in the aftermath of the Russian Revolution in 1917. The show explores the lives of the Tsars and their families, as well as the major events, struggles, and achievements of the empire during its three centuries of existence.

The series is divided into three hour-long episodes, each of which focuses on a different period of the empire's history. The first episode, "Reign of Blood", delves into the early years of the empire, including the reigns of Ivan the Terrible and Peter the Great. The second episode, "City of the Tsars", explores the art, culture, and architecture of St. Petersburg during the reign of Catherine the Great. The final episode, "The Road to Revolution", covers the volatile period of the 19th century, leading up to the fall of the Romanov dynasty and the rise of the Bolsheviks.

Throughout the series, Worsley uses her expertise and engaging presenting style to bring the history of the Russian Empire to life. She visits key locations, from the opulent palaces of the Tsars to the remote battlefields of the Crimean War. She also examines a range of primary sources, including letters, diaries, and artwork, to provide a vivid picture of life in the empire at different points in its history.

In addition to its compelling storytelling and expert analysis, Empire of the Tsars features stunning visuals that help to immerse viewers in the world of the Russian Empire. The series uses a combination of impressive CGI recreations, period artwork, and on-location footage to create a stunning portrait of this fascinating historical era.

In sum, Empire of the Tsars is a fascinating and expertly crafted documentary series that offers a fresh perspective on the history of the Russian Empire. Through the lens of Lucy Worsley's engaging narrative and expert analysis, viewers are given a rare glimpse into the lives and struggles of the Tsars and their subjects, as well as the enduring legacy of this iconic historical era.

Empire of the Tsars
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The Road to Revolution
3. The Road to Revolution
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Falling victim to revolution, the Romanov dynasty met a brutal end thanks in part to Nicholas II and his faith in the notorious Rasputin.
Age of Extremes
2. Age of Extremes
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When Catherine the Great seized power in 1762, she became the most powerful woman in the world and attempted to modernize Russia, with mixed results.
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Lucy Worsley investigates how a 16-year-old boy became the leader of the world's largest country and started Russia's Romanov dynasty.
  • Premiere Date
    January 6, 2016