Set in contemporary Moscow and the frozen northern town of Archangel, the drama revisits the stark landscape of Communist Russia and takes place over four days in the life of academic Fluke Kelso. His fateful meeting with a former Stalinist bodyguard leads to the uncovering of one of the world's most dangerous and best kept secrets. He is led unwittingly through murder and intrigue towards his own personal "Holy Grail" - Joseph Stalin's secret legacy - a legacy that could change the face of Russian history forever. Written by
Stalin had two sons, one of whom, Yakov, died in German captivity during the war, the other, Vasilii died of alcoholism in 1962. Yakov's son Evgenii has tried to carry the family torch, much as "Joseph" in the film, with little success. The conceit of the film might be based on the discovery in 2001 of another Stalin grandson, whose father was conceived during Stalin's exile in Siberia before the revolution. See more »
After Kelso and the reporter follow Josef into his cabin, Josef brings them a storage box containing some of his late father's effects. Kelso takes a medal from the box and states that it is the Hero of the Soviet Union Medal. However, it is clearly not the HSU Medal. The pendant (lower part) of the real HSU Medal is in the shape of a simple large star; the medal Kelso holds has a much more elaborate pendant. See more »
This one started out well enough with a certain amount of pace and intrigue. The plot has promise. It is adapted from a Robert Harris novel - a western researcher discovers a secret notebook from Stalin which dark forces are prepared to kill to keep secret. There are some awful movie clichés - e.g. our hero loses the scent, but finds matchbook from a nightclub which leads to club where he meets the sultry love interest.
The movie was shown in two parts and the second episode trailer promised lots of exciting action. So I was prepared to overlook its faults and sat down to the second episode. However this just seemed to drag on. There was no real tension and when the action finally started it was terrible, lacking real tension and full of deus-ex-machina escapes. This movie has very little to recommend it. I expected better from BBC drama.
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