The Last Czars

The Last Czars

Netflix Series
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The Last Czars is a docu-drama that chronicles the tragic story and downfall of the Romanov dynasty, the wealthy royal family who ruled over Russia for more than three centuries.

Netflix has enjoyed huge success with the drama series The Crown. The show has been hailed by audiences and critics alike.

So it was no surprise when the streaming service announced it was making a series based on the true story of the last Czar of Russia.

If any Royal household could upstage the opulence and splendour of the British monarchy, it was the Romanov dynasty. The family was so wealthy, it's estimated at today's values their fortune would be worth more than $300 billion.


But sadly the house fell and with it the reign of Nicholas II, the last emperor of Russia's Romanov family.

Starring Robert Jack, Susanna Herbert and Ben Cartwright The Last Czars is a cracker of a show.

What Is The Last Czars About?

Robert Jack plays Czar Nicholas II, and Susanna Herbert plays Alexandra Feodorovna, the wife of the Czar. The German-born princess was a Granddaughter of Queen Victoria.

She and Nicholas had five children together, including Alexei, the heir to the Russian throne. Unfortunately, young Alexei was born with Haemophilia and required constant medical attention. When doctors failed to alleviate his suffering, Alexandra turned to a mystic monk with healing powers for help.

Ben Cartwright plays Rasputin, the infamous ‘Mad Monk' who cleverly positioned himself at the heart of the Romanov family.

Rasputin's relationship with Alexandra became the focus of a scandal in Russia's high society and set the scene for the downfall of the monarchy.

Ben is excellent as Rasputin, a role which can all too often lend itself to hammy performances. If truth be told, the whole cast does well to avoid the potential clichés in portraying period characters.

The series not only delves into the political turmoil but also the personal trials and tribulations of the royal family. It offers a deep dive into the tumultuous and tragic reign of Nicholas II, Russia's final emperor, and the eventual fall of the Romanov dynasty.

Set against the backdrop of political unrest and societal upheaval, the series presents a multifaceted portrayal of Nicholas II's rule and the profound influence of the mysterious Rasputin on the royal family.

Covering the significant events leading up to the Russian Revolution, including how Russia's disastrous war against Japan prompts civil unrest, it blends dramatic reconstructions with documentary-style commentary.

It is an intimate look into the lives of the Romanov family, Russian history and the civil war that culminated in the dynasty's tragic end.

The Last Czars Official Trailer

Is The Last Czars Worth Watching?

There really is a lot to love about The Last Czars on Netflix. Stunning sets and beautiful period costumes help bring this drama to life. Just like The Crown, this series has exceptionally high production values.

The story of the Romanovs' is extraordinary; from tragic personal loss and world-shattering political upheaval to sex scandals and assassination, it has it all.

Striking the right balance between history and entertainment is a difficult task. Nevertheless, the creators have done a great job of bringing this to the small screen.

Each of the six episodes is approximately 40 minutes long, making it perfectly bingeable.

The Last Czars is a must-watch for anyone who’s into history or drama or both! The unique mix of dramatic reconstructions and documentary-style commentary sets it apart.

What's particularly engaging about the series is its exploration of individual characters. It's not just a broad overview of events. You'll find yourself empathising, cheering, or occasionally baffled by the choices made by these historical figures.

By the end of the series, the Romanov family’s story will be etched in your memory.

How Historically Accurate Is It?

The Last Czars makes a commendable attempt to portray the final years of the Romanov dynasty, but like many dramatised historical series, it takes certain creative liberties for narrative enhancement.

While the series generally adheres to significant events and provides a broad overview of the Romanovs' decline, there are moments and character depictions that veer from historical fact or amplify drama for television appeal.

One of the show's significant sources of drama, the story of Rasputin, is particularly subject to some embellishment. Although Rasputin did have considerable influence over the royal family, especially Alexandra, some events and interactions in the series might be exaggerated for dramatic purposes.

Furthermore, the inclusion of documentary-style interviews with historians provides context and seeks to clarify facts, but it's essential for viewers to remember that even with these expert insights, the series is primarily entertainment-focused.

Is It Like The Crown?

With two shows that focus on the Royal families of their countries, you could be forgiven for thinking they would be pretty much the same.

However, where they differ is in their storytelling method. The Crown does not offer historical analysis on top of the unfolding drama on screen. In The Last Czars characters and important events are given exposition from historians, authors and experts.

While these explanations clarify the relationships and political intricacy of the period, they can interrupt the flow of the drama. However, without them, it would be impossible to fully understand the complexities of the time period and the political forces at work.

The Crown is very much a drama whereas The Last Czars at least tries to be as accurate as possible and combines documentary analysis alongside the more dramatic retelling of the story.

Cast of The Last Czars Netflix

Robert Jack as Czar Nicholas II, a leader who rejects modern ideas in favour of maintaining the status quo of pure autocracy even as civil war erupts.

Susanna Herbert as Czarina Alexandra Feodorovna, wife of the Czar who embarks on a perilous relationship with Rasputin.

Ben Cartwright as Grigori Rasputin, a monk who was part of the Russian orthodox church

Oliver Dimsdale as Pierre Gilliard

Bernice Stegers as Dowager Czarina Maria Feodorovna

Gerard Miller as Prince Yusupov

Steffan Boje as Dr. Schmidt

Indre Patkauskaite as Ana Anderson

Elsie Bennett as Grand Duchess Elizabeth Feodorovna

Jurga Seduikyte as Militsa

Duncan Pow as Yurovsky

Karina Stungyte as Grand Duchess Stana Nikolaevna

Milda Noreikaite as Grand Duchess Militza Nikolaevna

Michelle Bonnard as Praskovya

Gavin Mitchell as Grand Duke Sergei Alexandrovich of Russia

Good

  • Well Acted
  • Beautiful Sets
  • Interesting History
8.9

Great

1 Comment

  1. It probably would have been just as good (or even better) without the repetitive and somewhat annoying use of the word “fucking”. I found it irritating and the gist of the conversations would have been just as well made without the profanity. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t care for over-censoring, but this isn’t even censoring, it’s just good script writing which does not have to be profane to make a point.

    Reply

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