Doctor Zhivago TV 14, S, V
Airing Sundays, December 19 + 26, 2004 on PBS
(Check local listings; dates and times may vary)
Aired previously November 2003
Boris Pasternak's epic love story set against the turmoil of the Russian Revolution comes to Masterpiece Theatre in a thrilling new adaptation by celebrated screenwriter Andrew Davies.
Scottish actor Hans Matheson (Mists of Avalon) stars as the dreamy poet-physician Yury Zhivago, with Keira Knightley (Love Actually, Pirates of the Caribbean, Bend it Like Beckham) as the love of his life, Lara Antipova and Sam Neill (The Piano, Jurassic Park) as Victor Komarovsky, Lara's seducer and stalker -- a political chameleon who comes out on top no matter who is in power.
Boris Pasternak was a beloved Russian poet trying to steer clear of politics when he wrote Doctor Zhivago, an impressionistic account of the period surrounding the Revolution. Completed in 1955, and based partly on his own experiences, the novel was flatly rejected for publication by Soviet authorities -- for failing "to depict the Revolution as a cream cake," as Pasternak acidly put it.
Defying the government, he allowed the book to be published abroad, where it became an international bestseller. In 1958 Pasternak was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature -- a tribute he was forced to renounce after a bitter propaganda campaign against him in the Soviet press. He died a broken man in 1960 at age seventy.
In 1988 Doctor Zhivago was finally published in Russia, where it has since earned a revered place in the post-Soviet literary canon.
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Preview: Doctor Zhivago
Essays + Interviews
The Making of Doctor Zhivago
Russian Love Stories
Novel to Film
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