This is the story of Peter I, Tsar of Russia from 1682, and the constant struggle between him, his sister Sophia and the Streltsy, an important Russian military corp. The story depicts the ... See full summary »




Nominated for 3 Golden Globes. Another 5 wins & 5 nominations. See more awards »


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Series cast summary:
 Prince Feodor Romodanovsky 4 episodes, 1986
 Sir Isaac Newton 4 episodes, 1986
 Alexander Menshikov 4 episodes, 1986
 Charlotte 4 episodes, 1986
 Frederick 4 episodes, 1986
Mike Gwilym ...
 Shafirov 4 episodes, 1986
 Count Tolstoy 4 episodes, 1986
 Boyar Lopukhin 4 episodes, 1986
 Patriarch 4 episodes, 1986
 Prince Vasily Golitsyn 4 episodes, 1986
 Col. Patrick Gordon 4 episodes, 1986
Vladimir Ilin ...
 Earl Sheremetief 4 episodes, 1986
Roman Filippov ...
 Danilo Menshikov 4 episodes, 1986
Vsevolod Larionov ...
 Prince Sukhorukov 4 episodes, 1986
Algis Arlauskas ...
 Father Theodosius 4 episodes, 1986
Walter Buschhoff ...
 Silvestre Mons 4 episodes, 1986
 Karl XII, King of Sweden 4 episodes, 1986
Luba Ghermanova ...
 Afrosina 4 episodes, 1986
Burkhard Heyl ...
 Count Piper 4 episodes, 1986
 10 Year Old Peter 4 episodes, 1986
Tolly Thwaites ...
 Boy Alexis 4 episodes, 1986
Ulli Philipp ...
Denis DeMarne ...
 Old Peter the Great 4 episodes, 1986
Philip Bowen
Michael MacKenzie
Vera Kharybina
Anton Ragulin
Heinz Weiss ...
 Austrian doctor 4 episodes, 1986
Dmitriy Chernigovskiy ...
 Michael Menshikov 4 episodes, 1986
Cameron Austin Schiller ...
 Boy in Castle 4 episodes, 1986


This is the story of Peter I, Tsar of Russia from 1682, and the constant struggle between him, his sister Sophia and the Streltsy, an important Russian military corp. The story depicts the efforts of Peter in transforming Russia in an "all European" country, importing scientists, costumes, technology and military tactics. Written by Luis Carvacho <>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis





Release Date:

2 February 1986 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Peter der Große  »

Filming Locations:


Company Credits

Production Co:

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Technical Specs


(4 parts)

Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


During the filming of the winter scenes on location in Russia, temperatures were as low as minus 30 degrees centigrade. See more »


Referenced in Saturday Night Live: Ron Reagan/The Nelsons (1986) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

Great historical mini-series, with a stellar ensemble cast
1 February 2017 | by See all my reviews

This is a hard-to-find NBC TV mini-series from the eighties. The film is a very well-made historical (true) period drama, in six hours, a super-production relating the life and times of czar Peter the Great of Russia, with a stellar ensemble cast including Laurence Olivier, Vanessa Redgrave, Omar Sharif, Mel Ferrer, Ursula Andress, and Elke Sommer, some of them in cameo roles, but they look great in period costumes. Peter the Great is powerfully portrayed by Jan Niklas (younger czar) and Maximillian Schell (adult czar) with Maximillian Schell giving the character epic proportions in the latter years. The series is unpretentiously directed by Marvin Chomsky, with attention to detail to the prevailing conditions and settings of the times: For instance one does not feel artificial light was used at any time, as all filming seems to have been done outdoors in natural light or indoors with chandeliers and candle lights. The Director of photography is Vittorio Storaro who is the cinematographer of such visual feasts as "The Last Emperor", "Apocalypse Now", and "The Sheltering Sky". This mini-series was filmed on location in the ex-USSR (Russia) when it was under Communism, with artistic and technical assistance of an extended Russian crew, which was, at the time, a remarkable example of cultural cooperation between East and West. I hope this film will be digitally remastered, it deserves it, and it would be advisable to affix a (12) rating on the DVD due to scenes of some violence and mild intimate encounters, and of course include side features perhaps by contributors to the original series at the time. This must be one of the best ever made-for-TV historical films, and a great entertainment with palace intrigues, power politics, passionate relationships, and men and women who changed the course of history.

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