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Doctor Zhivago
updated 4.17.2007

Dear Masterpiece Theatre,
Overall, I enjoyed the Masterpiece Theatre production of Doctor Zhivago, but I was troubled by some loose ends. Primary among those: whatever happened to Lara's daughter? Lara reappears in Moscow with Yuri's son shortly before the latter's death, but Antipov makes no mention of Lara's daughter. Am I missing something? It seems to me to be more than just a detail.

Janet Lynch
Brunswick, ME

Dear Masterpiece Theatre,
I'm only 15 and am usually not interested in such shows as Doctor Zhivago, but it really was one of the most moving films I've ever seen. I can't wait to read the book and I hope it's as inspiring as the movie. As for the backlash Keira Knightley is getting, I really don't think she was that bad. She wasn't great, but at some points I could really relate to her character, Lara. Honestly, I just think women are jealous of her looks, so they're trying to damage her credibility as an actress. And Sam Neill really was the only great actor in the show. I loved it!

Jenna Meraneau
Staten Island, NY

Dear Masterpiece Theatre,
I was at home, just getting up from a nap, when my eyes focused on a movie that I was not able to turn off. The movie was Doctor Zhivago and I have to say I loved it! I like to watch PBS for Masterpiece Theatre, but this movie just stood out. I even told others about it so that they might get a chance to see it also. The storyline and the emotions just blew me away. Anyone who has not seen this movie is missing out. Thanks!

Alexis Jackson
Glen Burnie, MD

Dear Masterpiece Theatre,
I'm 16 years old and can you believe I had never seen, read or even heard of Doctor Zhivago or of the series Masterpiece Theatre? Well, I have just finished watching Doctor Zhivago and am so excited that I just had to post something. Believe me when I say I will religiously watch Masterpiece Theatre every Sunday from now on. I am completely touched by Doctor Zhivago. What a great movie! I am so dumbfounded that I don't have many words that can describe how I feel. The only disappointment is the fact that Yury was unfaithful to Tonya. Yury, who I fell in love with from the beginning! (The fact that Matheson is so handsome helps.) Oh, well. Also, Knightley didn't do such a great job either. Of course, I must congratulate Sam Neill for playing Komarovsky so well. You know you're a great actor when you play an enemy and the viewers hate you like I did.

I read in one of the messages in the Forum that he/she hoped that it would reach younger viewers like myself. Well I guarantee you that it did and now I want to buy it! I even want to read the book! Thank you, Masterpiece Theatre.

Puerto Rico

Dear Masterpiece Theatre,
I must admit that I loved this movie. To be frank, not all movies about Russia are so excellent as this one. As a rule, almost all images about Russian mentality and Russian life are quite wrong and when they're shown in the movies, they make all Russians laugh.

Well, I must say that Doctor Zhivago is a very good and successful movie. It really is. The music is very well-selected and the actors too. As for some of them I'd like to make a comment.

Hans Matheson is a very promising actor, very talented. He managed to portray Yuri and made this character so romantic and touching. Bravo!

Alexandra-Maria Lara represents quite truly the image of a Russian woman: a very gifted and beautiful actress. She is very expressive and made Tonya a very true-to-life character.

Sorry, I can't say the same about Keira Knightley. I guess she was taken in the movie only due to her appearance (very gentle and pretty). As for her talent I should say that she plays in the same way in every movie. Her emotions never produce any effect on me. She is a beginner in showbiz so I'm sure she'll learn how not to play her characters so one-sided.

And why has nobody spoken about Misha Gordon? Let me do it then. Daniele Liotti is very famous in Italy, Spain, and Germany as well as in Russia. I had such an impression that in America few people know him, as I saw no comments. That won't do. Daniele is a very gifted actor (besides that, he's so handsome) and I was surprised that not a single viewer valued his part in this movie! Though Misha's role was quite modest and we see him only in some episodes, I should say that he played Gordon perfectly well! Let's take into consideration that Daniele was the only foreign actor there and he had to speak English. So, the only thing to add here is bravo, Daniele, bravo! Excellent job!

Eliza Starr
Moscow, Russia

Dear Masterpiece Theatre,
My father lived through the turmoil of the First World War, German occupation and the Bolshevik revolution. The production brought that grim era to life, showing what he, my aunt and my grandparents went through.

The teenage boy who jumped off the train and ran away in the snow was about the same age as my father at that time; it was a moving experience that almost brought me to tears.

I can only give thanks that my family ultimately escaped to the west in winter, and settled in America by the spring of 1922.

David Rivkin
Jamaica Estates, NY

Dear Masterpiece Theatre,
I was surprised to read viewers' comments about your production of Doctor Zhivago. No one mentioned the performance of Sam Neill as Komarovsky -- absolutely outstanding. Mr. Neill's range as an actor never ceases to amaze me.

Suzanne Gentling
Glen Rose, TX

Dear Masterpiece Theatre,
I was surprised when reading viewers comments about your production of Doctor Zhivago that no one mentioned the performance of Sam Neill as Komarovsky. It was absolutely outstanding. Mr. Neill's range as an actor never ceases to amaze me.

Suzanne Gentling
Glen Rose, TX

Dear Masterpiece Theatre,
Wow, I haven't seen such wooden acting since the last time I was at a puppet show. Keira Knightley has got to be the most beautiful and most boring actress I've seen in years. In fact other than Sam Neil all the performances were forced and utterly lacking in any range. Yuck.

P. Pakroo
San Francisco, CA

Dear Masterpiece Theatre,
Thank you Masterpiece Theatre for your version of Doctor Zhivago! I think you've captured Russian history quite accurately. The final scene when Lara leaves her son is as sad as Stalinism was. Keira Knightley -- who has a wonderful "Slav" beauty -- Alexandra M. Lara, and Sam Neill performed fantastically. Mr. Matheson wasn't as good. We're closer to Pasternak's work, i.e. to real Russia.

Peter Samuelsson

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