After the success of The Crown, it seems Netflix has got a taste for royal families, setting their sights on Russia’s Romanov family for their next original series.
The streaming service has commissioned a six-part docuseries titled The Last Czars, and is set to the tell the story of the Romanov dynasty, the family which ruled Russia from 1613 to 1917.
It will follow the rise and fall of the family, which ended when Tsar Nicholas II and his immediate family were killed following the February Revolution. The series will be a mix of documentary and reconstruction.
Check out the trailer here:
Netflix describe the show as:
When social upheaval sweeps Russia in the early 20th century, Czar Nicholas II resists change, sparking a revolution and ending a dynasty.
The series will differ from Netflix Originals such as The Crown and Stranger Things though, as it’s being called a Netflix Alternative commission, the side of Netflix which focuses on non-scripted shows, rather than the high-end dramas or comedies we’ve seen in the past, according to Deadline.
The new show comes just after the 100th anniversary of the assassination of Tsar Nicholas and his family. The six-part series will delve into the family’s downfall and the circumstances which led to it.
In early 20th century Russia, huge social upheaval swept across the country, with the Russian Revolution quickly and violently ending the Romanov family’s 300-year rule.
Nicholas abdicated from the throne in 1917 after the February Revolution, and he and his family were imprisoned. A year later, they were taken from the Russian town of Tobolsk to the local Ural Soviet council, in the city of Yekaterinburg, and were executed by Bolshevik guards.
While the new show has similarities to other Netflix series about a royal family, The Crown, The Last Czars features the addition of expert historians sharing knowledge of the era of the family’s reign.
Susanna Herbert, who plays Empress Alexandra in the series, told Harper’s Bazaar:
This is about 80% drama, 20% documentary. It’s a pretty new style because it’s a really high-quality production, and epic in scale, yet you also get the additional benefit of hearing from world-class historians to explain some of the context behind the scenes.
In The Crown you sometimes wished you knew a bit more about the context between the scenes, and I hope that this plugs that gap. The show is driven by the drama with the historians popping up and explaining amazing details. The dramatic scenes are about human struggle and conflict. It’s certainly not done in a reconstruction that you’ve ever seen before.
The series will also tell the story of how Grigori Rasputin, a self-proclaimed mystic and holy man, befriended Tsar Nicholas II and gained influence over the family.
The Last Czars airs on Netflix from July 3.
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Charlie Cocksedge is a journalist at UNILAD. He graduated from the University of Manchester with an MA in Creative Writing, where he learnt how to write in the third person, before getting his NCTJ. His work has also appeared in such places as The Guardian, PN Review and the bin.