Fall of Eagles

"Fall of Eagles" is a 13-part British television drama aired by the BBC in 1974. The series was created by John Elliot and produced by Stuart Page.

The series portrays historical events from the 19th century to 1918, dealing with the ruling European dynasties in Austria-Hungary, Germany and Russia.

It boasted an impressive cast including Curt Jurgens, Gemma Jones, Maurice Denham, Barry Foster, Gayle Hunnicutt, Patrick Stewart, Rachel Gurney, Charles Kay, Frank Thornton, Denis Lill, Diane Keen, Laurence Naismith, Lynn Farleigh, John Rhys-Davies, Paul Eddington, Freddie Jones, Charles Gray, Mary Wimbush Pamela Brown, Tony Jay, Tom Conti, Miriam Margolyes, Andrew Keir and Marius Goring.

The scriptwriters were Keith Dewhurst, John Elliot, Trevor Griffith, Elizabeth Holford, Ken Hughes, Troy Kennedy, Martin Robert Muller, Jack Pulman, David Turner and Hugh Whitemore.


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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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 Sergei Witte and Empress Alexandra also have grave concerns about his methods.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.


*Michael Aldridge—Grigory Rasputin
*Miles Anderson—Young Franz Josef of Austria
*Colin Baker—Crown Prince Willy of Germany
*Neville Barber—Count Paar
*John Barcroft—Prince Philip of Eulenburg
*Michael Bates—Erich Ludendorff
*Hetty Baynes—Grand Duchess Tatiana
*John Beardmore—Police Inspector
*Kenneth Benda—Professor Widerhoffer
*John Bennett—Georges Clemenceau
*Isla Blair—Ella
*Kevin Brennan—Bentinck
*Pamela Brown—Archduchess Sophie
*Robert Brown—Uncle Serge
*Michael Bryant—Pyotr Rachkovsky
*Hugh Burden—Alexander Protopopov
*Antony Carrick—Dr. Wegner
*Eric Carte—Aide to Kaiser Wilhelm
*Ann Castle—Young Ella
*Geoffrey Chater—Prince Charles of Prussia
*Erik Chitty—Chancellor Hertling
*Basil Clarke—Voeykov
*Prue Clarke—Grand Duchess Marie
*Sandra Clark—Wally
*Kenneth Colley—Father Gapon
*Anthony Collin—Manus
*David Collings—Paul Miliukov
*Tom Conti—Glazkov
*Peter Copley—Theobald von Bethmann Hollweg
*James Cossins—Count Hoyos
*Michael Cotterill—Valet de Chambre
*Tom Criddle—Sir Edward Grey
*Alix Crista—Mounia
*Jon Croft—Sergeant
*Rosalie Crutchley—Grand Duchess Maria Pavlovna
*Alan Cullen—Franz Conrad von Hötzendorf
*Desmond Cullum-Jones—Police Sergeant
*Adam Cunliffe—Young Willy
*Noel Davis—Austrian Ambassador (Count Szögyény)
*Maurice Denham—Kaiser Wilhelm I
*Ed Devereaux—Count Pourtalès
*Shirley Dixon—Mme. Izvolsky
*Vernon Dobtcheff—Count Stookau
*David Dodimead—Vladimir Kokovtsov
*Patrick Durkin—Bratfisch
*Peter Dyneley—Bernhard von Bülow
*Paul Eddington—George Plekhanov
*Mavis Edwards—older Queen Victoria
*Sandor Elès—Count Andrássy
*Mike Elles—Bertie
*Denzil Ellis—Wahl
*Rio Fanning—Petitioner
*Lynn Farleigh—Krupskaya
*Leonard Fenton—Mirkov
*Piers Flint-Shipman as Tsarevich Alexei
*Barry Foster—Kaiser Wilhelm II
*Julian Fox—Tupuridze
*Derek Francis—King Edward VII
*Jan Francis—Mathilde Kschessinska
*Noel Fredericks—Aide to Franz Joseph
*David Freeman—Lieber
*Donald Gee—Count Majlath
*Michael Golden—Putilov
*Marius Goring—Paul von Hindenburg
*Michael Gough—Alexander Helphand
*Ronald Govey—Nikolay Chkheidze
*Charles Gray—Mikhail Rodzianko
*Rosamund Greenwood—Fraulein von Ferenczy
*Rachel Gurney—Sisi, Empress Elisabeth of Austria
*Paul Haley—Medal Sergeant
*Irene Hamilton—Baroness Vetsera
*Roger Hammond—Prince Albrecht of Prussia
*Laurence Hardy—Prince Maximilian of Baden
*Brian Hawksley—Sir Arthur Nicolson
*Eileen Helsby—Mother
*Basil Henson—Helmuth von Moltke the Elder
*John Herrington—Stationmaster
*Carleton Hobbs—Abbot Grunboek
*Alan Hockey—Doctor
*Michael Hordern—Narrator
*Ursula Howells—Empress Maria Fyodorovna
*Gayle Hunnicutt—Empress Alexandra
*Frederick Jaeger—Friedrich von Holstein
*Emrys James—Count Taaffe
*Tony Jay—Tsar Alexander III
*Colin Jeavons—Printer
*Peter Jolley—Tsar Nicholas's aide
*Freddie Jones—Sergei Witte
*Gemma Jones—Princess Vicky
*Griffith Jones—Paul von Hintze
*Svandis Jons—Alexandrovna (?)
*Curt Jürgens—Otto von Bismarck
*Charles Kay—Tsar Nicholas II
*Robert Keegan—Fullon
*Diane Keen—Young Sisi
*Andrew Keir—Wickham Steed
*Tom Kempinski—Bolshevik Soldier
*Barbara Keogh—Vara
*Michael Kitchen—Leon Trotsky
*Esmond Knight—General Ruszky
*Denis Lill—Fritz, Kaiser Friedrich III
*Leon Lissek—Police Agent Bayer
*Miriam Margolyes—Anna Vyrubova
*Roy McArthur—Archduke Karl
*David McKail—Mackenzie
*T. P. McKenna—Franz Conrad von Hötzendorf
*Michael McStay—Count Montenuovo
*James Mellor—Aleksey Kuropatkin
*George Merrit—Ketterl
*Kathleen Michael—Hildegarde
*Frank Middlemass—Pyotr Stolypin
*Frank Mills—Alexander Trepov
*John Moffatt—Count Aehrenthal
*Martha Nairn—Grand Duchess Olga
*Laurence Naismith—Emperor Franz Joseph
*David Neal—Baltazzi
*Jay Neill—Heller
*Perlita Neilson—younger Queen Victoria
*Anthony Newlands—Prince Philipp of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha
*John Nightingale—Cousin Serge
*Jim Norton—Alexander Kerensky
*Roger Nott—Secretary
*Robert O'Mahoney—Krasikov
*Heather Page—Archduchess Zita
*Eve Pearce—older Dona
*Melanie Peck—Maid
*Ann Penfold—Helene
*Arnold Peters—Clerk
*John Phillips—Grand Duke Nicholas
*Valerie Phillips—younger Dona
*Clyde Pollitt—Kottwitz
*Olaf Pooley—Police President Baron Krauss
*Peter Pratt—Singer
*Bruce Purchase—Vyacheslav von Plehve
*John Quarmby—Vladimir Lambsdorff
*John Rae—Prince Lvov
*Howard Rawlinson—Constantine
*John Rees—Officer of Russian Army
*John Rhys-Davies—Grigory Zinoviev
*Ian Ricketts—Second Adjutant
*John Robinson—Admiral Müller
*Anthony Roye—Dr. Martin
*Roy Sampson—Danilov
*Peter Schofield—Friedrich Ebert
*Michael Sheard—Losehek
*Isabelle Stanton—Socialist Emigré
*Patrick Stewart—Vladimir Lenin
*Nigel Stock—General Alexeyev
*John Stratton—Hesse
*John Surman—Secretary
*David Swift—Trepov
*Nora Swinburne—Katharina Schratt
*Robert Tayman—First Adjutant
*Malcolm Terris—Mieczyslav Bronski
*Sharon Terry—young Grand Duchess Tatiana
*Glynne Thomas—Spokeswoman
*Frank Thornton—Prince Albert
*Jenny Till—Mounia
*Geoffrey Toone—Wilhelm Groener
*Susan Tracy—Crown Princess Stephanie
*John Turner—Prince Mirsky
*Peter Vaughan—Alexander Izvolski
*Pippa Vickers—Grand Duchess Anastasia
*John Welsh—Archbishop
*Peter Weston—Baumann
*Peter Whitaker—Secretary
*Edward Wilson—Julius Martov
*Mary Wimbush—Vera Zasulich
*Victor Winding—Yevno Azef
*Raymond Witch—Martinov
*Haydn Wood—Officer
*Peter Woodthorpe—Archduke Franz Ferdinand
*Frank Wylie—Police Commissar Gorup
*Ann Zelda—Helphand's Secretary

DVD Release

"Fall of Eagles" was released on video and DVD in 2004 in the United Kingdom, with the release including a comprehensive viewing notes booklet written by Andy Priestner providing further details on the historical events and characters in the series and new interviews with Gayle Hunnicutt, Charles Kay and David Cunliffe (one of the directors). The DVD was also released in May 2006 in the United States, without the companion booklet.

External links

*imdb title|id=0207885|title=Fall of Eagles
* [http://www.survivorstvseries.com/FallofEagles.htm DVD release news]
* [http://www.screenonline.org.uk/tv/id/1046963/index.html British Film Institute Screen Online]

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