The Last Czars (2019) s01e03 Episode Script


[male narrator.]
A young woman, alone and deeply traumatized, makes her way to the Landwehr Canal.
She has no money.
No possessions.
But she has an incredible claim.
[clock ticking.]
This woman says she is Anastasia, [gun fires.]
the youngest daughter of Russia’s last Czar.
It is my task to decide if she is telling the truth.
Where did she get these? The Von Kleist family.
They put her up for a while.
They believe that she’s Anastasia.
They were trying to prompt her memories.
[crackle of paper.]
When did you get this? A patient at the Dalldorf asylum gave it to her.
After that, she started saying that she is Anastasia Romanov.
Did you do this? I hope never to see him again.
Did you ever meet him, the mad monk? Only once.
That was enough.
The monk had a very special place in the Romanov household because of the boy’s haemophilia.
[slow, quiet footsteps.]
He could do something no one else could do Calm the boy and stop the bleeding.
[Dr Alexandrova.]
The way Rasputin heals Alexei is very mysterious.
But the actual secret lies in Alexandra.
[Dr Alexandrova.]
 Alexandra believes that Rasputin is sent to her by God.
His confidence calms Alexandra.
And in turn, that soothes Alexei.
It’s all right.
Come in.
I’m a simple peasant.
To be here I am honored that you trust me.
He gets sick.
I can’t think or feel.
I don’t know who I am.
You are his mother.
You're also keeping the biggest secret in Russia.
It is the burden you must carry.
But now now it is mine as well.
Rasputin’s timing, when he meets the royal couple, could not be better.
It’s the revolutionary year of 1905.
Nicholas and Alexandra live in a gilded cage.
Rasputin is this amazing, calming influence.
Alexandra believes that when he speaks, he speaks the word of God.
[sound of children's laughter.]
[Dr Hetherington.]
Alexandra doesn’t want very many people to know that Alexei is ill and that he has haemophilia.
And this is what really puts them in the position to start listening to Rasputin, who claimed to be able to cure Alexei.
[sound of children's laughter.]
[children laughing.]
Father Grigori.
Let’s take a walk.
No one knew what was wrong with Alexei, they knew something was wrong, but didn’t know what.
And much of Nicky and Alix’s behavior was inexplicable unless you knew this terrible secret.
It’s a really, really dangerous moment and potentially catastrophic for the dynasty.
- [birds singing.]
- [footsteps on gravel.]
Your visits are causing quite a stir.
But I don’t care.
I need you here.
Unless you have other responsibilities? My family in Siberia.
I’ll make sure they’re looked after.
You are the only one that can protect Alexei.
Nothing else matters.
[crows cawing.]
[Dr de Orellana.]
The Romanovs don’t understand what is truly happening outside the palace walls, just how much anti-imperial sentiment is brewing out there.
After Bloody Sunday, and the disastrous war with Japan, Russia is in open revolt.
Nicholas shows himself to be bloody and absolutely merciless in suppressing the revolution, and something like 15,000 people are killed Fire! [gun shots.]
with Nicholas encouraging every piece of cruelty.
[Dr de Orellana.]
There are parts of the country that the army has to literally reconquer by force of arms [shouting.]
killing thousands and thousands of innocent civilians.
And Nicholas believes that Jews are one of the biggest problems in Russia, and that most Russian problems, including economic inflation and other challenges, are caused by Jewish conspiracies.
Anti-semitism had been a growing fetish in the Romanov family during the nineteenth century, and Nicky embraced it totally.
But this brought him into conflict with his prime minister, Peter Stolypin, who was a great hope of the dynasty.
You can’t resign.
You ordered me to take this job, sir, you cannot order me to stay.
[quiet footsteps.]
What would it take to persuade you? Respect.
You ignored my plea to stop the violence in the streets.
And now I learn you are funding violent pogroms against the Jews.
I am doing what needs to be done.
They are being murdered in their hundreds.
They are terrorists, they throw bombs.
Maybe if I was forced to live like them, I would throw bombs too.
Soldiers are mutinying in Krondstadt.
Workers are striking again in St.
The peasants are in open revolt.
And this will happen again and again, we deal with the cause.
Which is? Russia needs to change.
It has changed.
I gave them the Duma! What more can I do? Reform.
Give the people what they want.
Food to eat, land to grow crops on education.
Father Grigori says the people will follow their Tsar forever.
You trust him? [Nicolas.]
He’s a peasant.
He understands them.
Sir, the people are changing.
If we do not change too, they will rise up again.
Stolypin could be the man to save the Romanov dynasty.
He certainly had the talents to do so.
He had a vision of creating a strong monarchy based on a popular foundation.
But Nicholas and Stolypin agree that they must suppress the revolution ruthlessly, and that made his job as reformer-in-chief an extremely dangerous one.
We are making real progress in purging this terror.
They even have a nickname for the hangman’s noose "Stolypin’s Necktie".
Now, we must win the people back.
Fight just as hard for reform, for our children, for the next generation My daughter, Natalya.
I’m coming, I’m coming now.
The next generation are depending on us to fix - [man.]
Go, go.
- this blood-stained country.
We cannot let - [man's voice.]
Ha! - [men yelling.]
[bomb explodes.]
[Dr Antonova.]
The entire façade of Stolypin's dacha falls in this huge explosion and dozens of guests are killed.
Stolypin's own daughter is terribly injured.
The crackdown that follows is incredibly brutal.
We must fight this anarchy, and create a great Russia! Reunited, reformed, and reborn! [roar of applause.]
So, for those who think they can paralyze this government, I have two words for you - [shouting.]
Not afraid! - [roar of applause.]
[Dr Antonova.]
Stolypin understands the problems and the scale of the problems facing Russia.
He has ideas for how to solve them.
But doesn't have Nicholas’ full backing, partly because Nicholas is listening to Rasputin in the background.
[Stolypin sighs.]
[groans faintly.]
[door rattles.]
What the [screaming.]
How dare how dare you? How dare you? How dare you? Who sent you? [chuckles.]
Who sent you here? [whispering.]
The Czar.
No! You stay the hell away from my daughter.
Stay away.
Stolypin is horrified by the rise of Rasputin.
He realizes that Rasputin is developing some rather serious influence throughout the court and actual political power through his influence on the royal family.
I don’t understand.
Why risk a scandal in the royal household? Do some digging, will you? Quietly.
Find out what Rasputin wants.
[Dr Alexandrova.]
The fight between Stolypin and Rasputin is a battle for Nicholas’ soul.
And it’s also a battle for influence over his decision-making.
Remember, that at this point, the Czarevich’s disease is still secret.
Grigori, for centuries, the church has been there for the Romanov family.
So, that when the Czar finds comfort in someone new, we need to be sure that we’re all on the same page.
I'll listen to their prayers.
That’s all.
Bullshit! You will listen to me.
Or I will send you back to the nothing you came from.
Then we’ll see who the Czar truly relies on.
And I will tell you now, it’s not some filthy starets.
Hm! Are you sure about that? Over the next five years, Rasputin establishes himself as a bit of a guru in Saint Petersburg’s high society, he’s a kind of priest, counselor, confidant.
[Dr Alexandrova.]
Most of his followers were women and they were absolutely captivated by his very straightforward personality, his hypnotic powers, his ability to understand them, to listen to them, to caress them.
[Rasputin inhales and exhales mysteriously.]
All the while, Empress Alexandra is becoming ever more dependent on him and particularly, on his care of their young son.
[pen scratches on paper.]
Words fail me, Father.
When I think of all you have done, the joy you bring to our family, I cannot begin to thank you.
Words are what I need most, Father.
Your words, of reason and calm.
And I need to hear them every single day.
[Rasputin laughs quietly.]
What a beautiful morning! Ah? [laughs.]
And what stunning, stunning ladies! Does your husband know you’re here, Mrs.
Semenov? Countess.
Kuznetsov is most excited about your proposal.
She’ll be along shortly.
So, first in the queue.
[lady sighs.]
Rasputin’s sexual appetite is legendary.
He becomes this, kind of a leader of a sex cult, almost, in Petersburg during that time.
It started with headaches, er I just feel so tense all the time.
My doctor says it’s common hysteria.
Well, there's nothing common about it.
But also nothing I can’t heal.
Then let God in.
Let him purge your soul.
Cleanse you.
Use temptation.
Let his heat warm your bones and charge your blood.
[lady gasps.]
Hold yourself.
Feel God.
[lady gasps.]
And let his love enter you.
[lady groans.]
Push inside you.
Fill you.
[lady gasps.]
Let the spirit move through you.
[lady gasping.]
[sighing in pleasure.]
[sighing in pleasure.]
I love you.
[lady sighs.]
You love God.
Am I shameful? [Rasputin.]
God never degrades.
He only purifies.
God has moved in you.
[lady sighs.]
And he moves in me too.
I can feel him, can you feel him? [lady sighing.]
[groans in pleasure.]
[Dr Alexandrova.]
Once he moves through the society ladies in Petersburg, Rasputin is an extremely dangerous person for the prestige of the Romanov House.
[rustle of paper.]
Stolypin thinks of course Nicholas will see sense and get rid of Rasputin.
But we’re not really dealing in the realm of reason here.
Nicholas and Alexandra are incapable of understanding the degree to which their private life is a public matter.
Are you sick? [laughs.]
Just from worry.
Sometimes I think the only thing between me, Nicky, and sheer oblivion is you.
[Dr Hetherington.]
There had long been rumors that not only was Rasputin a lewd figure, who had all sorts of affairs and, you know, acted in all sorts of inappropriate ways with women, but that he was having an affair with the Czarina herself.
Our Father, who art in heaven [both.]
Hallowed be thy name.
Thy kingdom come thy will be done on Earth as it is in Heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread.
And forgive us our trespasses.
[Alexandra sighing.]
[door shuts.]
Rasputin wields enormous power over Alexandra, but there’s no way he uses this to begin some sort of sexual relationship.
It is a profoundly, if you will, spiritual sort of relationship, without a physical quality to it, other than a sense of tenderness.
Their relationship had become one where she depended on him, much like one might depend on a psychiatrist or a counsellor today.
Father Grigori, how can I ever thank you for what you have done? [sound of water.]
[Rasputin sighs.]
[lover sighs.]
Again! [smack.]
- Again! Ah! - [smack.]
- [smack.]
- [groans.]
My heart aches to see you again.
- [smack.]
- [groans.]
To fall asleep on your shoulder.
[Rasputin sighing.]
[woman moans fainty.]
[Rasputin gasps.]
I know I have sinned many times.
I am weak.
[groans of pleasure.]
But don’t abandon me.
[moans of pleasure.]
I love you and believe in you.
And I kiss you warmly.
I am your child.
[Rasputin yells in pleasure.]
There is every risk, as he continues his hedonistic behavior, that this will cause a scandal.
You had the police follow him? In his village, he was charged with theft and blasphemy.
That file details several accusations of sexual assault and even rape.
All lies to discredit him.
I saw his filthy hands grope my own daughter! [Stolypin.]
I’m concerned he is comforting your wife, sir.
I would rather have ten Rasputins than one of my wife’s episodes.
Don’t you see? His presence here is damaging you.
It is rumored he’s her lover.
Well, they can say what they like.
I know the truth! Please.
Meet with him.
Give him another chance.
In many ways, what we have here, is statesmanship facing faith.
This is a battle for Nicholas’ mind.
These accusations are totally false.
I am a simple holy man.
From what I hear, you are neither simple nor holy.
I talk and I listen.
That’s all.
Well, listen to me, for the sake of Russia, you need to leave the Czar and his family alone.
I knew a man like you back in my village, a magistrate.
We did not get on.
What did you do? Fuck his wife? We had a clash of faiths.
You Fucking vermin.
- You will leave this city - [bang.]
in 48 hours, or I shall have you arrested.
This, priest.
This is power.
Only God knows what real power is.
And death rides with you.
[Dr Antonova.]
Stolypin is, in many ways, a reasonable man, who sees the state of things in Russia.
To this day, many people believe Stolypin was the last hope of the Romanov Dynasty.
[sound of car engine.]
We’ll never know because he is not around long enough.
You get Stolypin here.
You make him reverse the order.
- And then you fire him.
- [sighs.]
What for? Insulting our friend.
I can’t fire him, Sunny.
He is the most capable prime minister I’ve had.
I need him.
And our son needs Grigori.
[fanfare of brass music.]
[audience applause.]
[opera music in the background.]
[music continues.]
- [man's voice.]
Long live anarchy! - [gun shot.]
Get a doctor! Go! [panting, groaning.]
[gasping breaths.]
Happy to die for the Czar.
Someone! And death rides with you.
After Stolypin is shot in the Kiev Opera in 1911, he still fights for his life for three more days.
When he finally dies, it means not only the end to the reforms, but also, the fact that Rasputin will gain more influence on the Czar.
Your Reverence I do find these meetings a little inconvenient.
What do you need? There’s a dramatic confrontation between Germogen, Iliodor, and Rasputin that takes place in Petersburg at the end of 1911.
They have decided this is their moment to bring Rasputin down.
Our meetings with the Czar have been a little irregular lately.
We were wondering Shall I tell you what you really need? You need to start treating the Czar like your divine leader, not a cash register.
You need to start treating the Empress like a goddess, not a source of gossip.
But mainly, you need to start treating me with some fucking respect.
[ring of a metal blade.]
You were nothing without us.
And, as God is my witness, you will be nothing again.
[quietly laughs.]
Get the fuck off me! - [thumps.]
- [groans.]
Unfortunately for Rasputin, Iliodor sees these letters.
And he then uses them as a weapon to get back at Rasputin and leaks them to the public.
[rustle of paper.]
[Dr Hetherington.]
These letters seem to suggest a deep affection between Alexandra and Rasputin, and depending on how we read them, they could be read as the letters of one lover to another lover.
"My heart aches to see you again" "To fall asleep on your shoulder.
" [both laugh.]
The exposure of the intimacy of the relationship with Rasputin exposes the family itself, and what was really happening inside Nicholas and Alexandra’s court.
And it isn’t a pretty sight.
[woman recites.]
"I know I have sinned many times, that I am weak.
" [door rattles.]
"I kiss you warmly.
I am your child.
" Jesus Christ, Nicky! Is she actually an idiot? Or does she want to bring down the whole dynasty? It’s regrettable.
No, Nicky! Losing one’s umbrella is regrettable! This is the Empress of all Russia doing God knows what with a vagrant! We don’t just regret this kind of thing, we burn for it! Oh! [footsteps.]
[quick footsteps.]
They’ve twisted everything.
I know that.
The problem is no-one else does.
The people will never stop loving you.
The people will never forget this.
We are humiliated.
And so is he! [gasps.]
Don’t you understand? He is hated because we love him.
What will happen next time Alexei bleeds? Who will help us then? Nicky! Please.
It’s for the good of Russia that he stays.
Look at it.
It is precisely for that reason he has to leave.
[Alix yells.]
[sound of a train on tracks.]
[roaring of steam.]
[doors rattle.]
What’s happened? What have you done? I thought the Czarina needed you.
She does.
And she will do again.
Alexei, careful.
[child's voice.]
Anastasia, stop.
[oars on boat boards.]
Why not? Because I want it.
It's mine.
No, it's not, it's mine.
Mama, Anastasia and Maria are fighting again.
- [child.]
You have to learn to share.
- [Alix.]
Anastasia, Maria, please.
- [bump.]
- [screams.]
Alexei Alexei! As a haemophiliac, any bruise, any fall, any bump can lead to a bleed that is, first of all, agonizing.
But also, these can lead to death, and a terrible death too.
This is a nightmare scenario for Nicky and Alix [Alexei.]
I’m dying, aren’t I? [Smith.]
and puts the dynasty in danger.
No, my darling, you’re fine.
Promise it won’t hurt anymore.
[door bangs.]
HAEMOPHILIA Your son is seriously ill and you’re working.
It’s a medical bulletin.
The people need to be told if the Csarevich If you’re going to do anything, then think about the fact that you sent away the only man in the world who could save our son.
Get him here, any way you can.
Wait there.
I'll need to send one back.
I personally believe that he absolutely believed in himself, and that that belief was convincing to everybody else, and self-fulfilling, even from many thousands of miles away.
Dear Tsarina.
God has seen your tears and prayers.
[church bell ringing.]
Do not grieve.
[Priest, speaking in Russian.]
O holy King, compassionate and all-merciful Lord Jesus Christ, Son and Word of the living God, Who desirest not the death of a sinner [Rasputin.]
Do not allow the doctors to bother him.
The little one will not die.
[door latch clicks.]
The arrival of Rasputin’s telegram seemed to coincide with the stopping of his bleeding and his emergence from a near death.
Get out of here.
Get out of here, both of you.
[door clicks.]
Father Grigori is with us.
Alexandra certainly believed, and probably Nicky believed too, that this was a miracle, that this was God’s work, and that Rasputin could stop the bleeding of the child.
I think you have to make a decision.
Do you believe he had healing powers? Or do you not believe in such things? What’s this? What are we celebrating? Our beautiful new gemstones.
From Father Grigori.
 We all have one.
They're so pretty, they're all different colors.
All princesses should have jewels, Daddy.
It’s the law.
Oh, well, it’s very kind of him to send you presents.
Everyone loves surprises, Nicky.
Do you want yours? It’s good to be back.
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