For those who don’t know this is a 2-part documentary on OTMA, mostly it seems from material from Helen Rappaport’s “Four Sisters” book.
More here: http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b04fljy7
Some nice (and CLEAR) footage and photos.
Nice views of the present day Alexander Palace and interiors.
Kudos to BBC for actually doing a doc on the Grand Duchesses.
Alexandra is blamed for everything - including at one point as being the main force behind the death of the family (and here I thought that was Yurovsky and Lenin). For the commentators, either she’s too much of a (smothering) mother or not enough of one.
Nicholas, like him or hate or anywhere in between, was a very hard working man. He DID believe in the autocracy (a negative) to the point where he personally looked at every single law/letter to the Tsar/petition that was put on his desk. He worked HOURS. This has been known for decades going back to Massie’s “Nicholas and Alexandra”. Yet the documentary would have us believe he (a man who spoke half a dozen languages fluently and was frequently his father’s ambassor/envoy to different parts of the world) spent all his time as Tsarevich goofing around and then spent all his time as Tsar holed up in Tsarskoe Selo.
Hated, HATED the insinuations about Olga and Tatiana and Rasputin. The show says “there is no evidence” anything untoward takes place AFTER they discuss the rumors. Pure gossip mongering just like the the gossips in N&A’s time.
The voice-overs for the Imperial Family! WTF! After telling us right in the documentary that Alix was more English than German and was practically raised by Queen Victoria, they have an actress reading her letters in a vague German accent (not as bad as how she was treated in “The Lost Prince” also by the BBC but close…) Nicholas II, a man well-known in his time, for having an English accent so perfect that even Englishmen couldn’t tell where he was from is given a very bad Russian accent. OTMA (well Olga, Tatiana and Maria) are given cutesy Russian little girl accents. Remember these are the same girls that Edward VII complained about (in the English visit mentioned in the documentary) for speaking English with an IRISH accent (a hold over from their Irish nanny Eager) to the point that Alix had to employ Sidney Gibbes to correct them and who spoke English with their mother (and members of their extended royal family since it was the one language they had in common) and who grew up with it as their second language and were STILL using it in exile when there were no English people around and in letters. Gleb Botkin actually said OTMA’s accent was neither entirely Russian nor English but a strange combination of the two that he had never heard before or since. One would think BBC would love an excuse to actually play up the English-part of the girls given its an English language documentary (and British broadcaster) but no….
I think maybe 1/5 of the show was about the girls. It was mostly about Nicholas, Alexei’s illness and especially Alexandra. So to that extent its basically another rehash of the girls being in the shadow of their parents and brother’s story. Sad.
Part 2 is about “romance” during the war years (and the hard-to-overlook mass murder at the end). Oy vey.
I’ll probably still watch it though. Just to see if there’s any new footage,