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~:Fall of Eagles:~


Synopsis:
In the latter half of the 19th Century, three ruling houses dominated Europe: the Hapsburgs of Austria-Hungary, the Romanovs of Russia and the Hohenzollerns of Germany. Centuries of despotism, a continued lack of social reform and the advent of the devastating First World War caused the vultures of revolution to start circling. This 13-part epic highlights the fall of these three dynasties with an all-star cast.

Although this series covers all three ruling classes, the Romanovs are the dominate family featured.

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Episode 1: Death Waltz: 1853-1860.
Franz Josef is Emperor of Austria and unmarried. His mother Archduchess Sophie is determined to ensure the Hapsburg line and favours her niece Helene as the future Empress. However, Franz has other ideas when he prefers her sister Elisabeth.

Episode 2: The English Princess: 1858-1871.
Queen Victoria's eldest daughter Vicky marries Fritz of Prussia. The English princess is unprepared for her new life in Germany, where her liberal views clash with the Prussian doctrine of blood and iron.

Episode 3: The Honest Broker: 1887-1890.
Bismarck's aim of a unified German empire is furthered through a new League of the Three Emperors. His plans also extend to Fritz and Vicky's son Wilhelm, who has become estranged from his parents.

Episode 4: Requiem For A Crown Prince: 1889.
Tragedy besets the house of Hapsburg, when Crown Prince Rudolf of Austria-Hungary and his young mistress are found dead at the hunting lodge at Mayerling.

Episode 5: The Last Tsar: 1892-1894.
Alexander III of Russia doubts the ability of his son and heir, the immature Nicholas, to rule Russia. The young Tsarevich is similarly apprehensive. Meanwhile, the autocratic conservatism of Tsarism is breeding revolutionaries.

Episode 6: Absolute Beginners: 1903.
Nicholas II has been Tsar for nine years. In Russia, the question is no longer whether revolution, but how and led by whom? In London, Vladimir Lenin is developing his own, more radical, brand of Marxism and maneuvers to divide the Russian Social Democratic Labour Party from his rival Julius Martov.

Episode 7: Dearest Nicky: 1904-1905.
While Nicholas is pre-occupied by war with Japan and the health of his son, as well as the continuous unsolicited advice of his cousin the Kaiser, a rising tide of discontent among St. Petersburg's working class leads to the assassination of the interior minister Vyacheslav von Plehve and then to a disastrous demonstration led by a police spy George Gapon.

Episode 8: The Appointment: 1905.
When Grand Duke Sergei is murdered, Nicholas dismisses his Police Chief and considers Pyotr Ratchovsky as a suitable replacement, even though he is rumored to use agents provacateur. Both Witte and Empress Alexandra also have grave concerns about his methods.

Episode 9: Dress Rehearsal: 1908-1909.
Russian Foreign Minister Alexander Izvolski, who has his sights set narrowly on the Dardanelles and the freedom of the Russian fleet rather than peace in the Balkans, find himself diplomatically outmaneuvered by Austrian Foreign Minister Alois Lexa von Aehrenthal.

Episode 10: Indian Summer Of An Emperor: 1914.
Franz Josef fears for Austria-Hungary's future in the hands of the imperial heir Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria.

Episode 11: Tell The King The Sky Is Falling: 1915-1916.
While the Russian army drowns in its own blood, and Russian politicians Alexander Trepov, Alexander Protopopov, and Mikhail Rodzianko thrash about, Nicholas and Alexandra have begun to rely heavily on the advice of Grigori Rasputin.

Episode 12: The Secret War: 1917.
As Alexander Kerensky incites revolution in Russia, Lenin and his comrades are stuck in Switzerland. However Germany, with the help of Dr Helphand, may prove to be an unexpected ally in ending their exile.

Episode 13: End Game: 1918.
As America enters the war and British tanks makes advances across France, Kaiser Wilhelm's optimism is not shared by generals Hindenburg and Ludendorff.


Extra: Cast Interviews - 30 Years Later