‘The Last Czars’ EP on Bringing the ‘Incredible Story’ of the Romanovs to Netflix
Whether it’s the Carringtons of Dynasty or the Roys of Succession, wealthy, powerful families (and all their ups and downs) always make for great entertainment. Which is why the story of the Romanovs — the imperials who ruled Russia from 1613 until they were overthrown by revolutionaries in 1917 and executed the following year — are prime subjects for TV.
In the six-part series The Last Czars is framed by the story of a woman (Indré Patkauskaité) who claims to be Anastasia, the sole Romanov member to survive the execution. The action also jumps back in time to the 19th century to show the reign of young final czar Nicholas II (Robert Jack), who relied heavily on his wife, Alexandra (Susanna Herbert), and adviser/uncle, Grand Duke Sergei (Gavin Mitchell, above, with on-screen wife Elsie Bennett).
“The story, from a family and personal point of view, hasn’t been told in this much depth,” executive producer Ben Goold reveals.
It also hasn’t been told this way. Goold mixes cinematic-style scripted scenes with expert interviews to put the story in historical context. “We wanted to make a series that tapped into what was an incredible family drama, [but] also not fiction,” says Goold, who relied on documents for intimate details. “There is a record of what their life was [like] because letters between Nicholas and Alexandra survived. It’s an incredible story with extraordinary characters that you couldn’t make up!”
The Last Czars, New docuseries, Streaming now, Netflix