Episode 1 - Plot Revealed Below!
Young Yury Zhivago moves in with his uncle and aunt (Alexander and Anna Gromeko) and young cousin Tonya after his father is driven to suicide by his business advisor Victor Komarovsky. When he is grown up and in medical school, Yury falls in love with Tonya. But one day he sees the beautiful Lara Guishar through a café window. Lara's mother, Amalia, is Komarovsky's lover. His attentions soon turn to the daughter.
Jealous, Amalia attempts to kill herself and while treating her, Yury recognizes both Komarovsky and Lara as faces he has seen before. At Christmas, Yury and Tonya attend a glamorous party at which Lara suddenly appears and takes a shot at Komarovsky, but misses. Yury and Tonya wed, while Lara marries her Bolshevik friend Pasha Antipov. The outbreak of World War I sends both Yury and Pasha into the Russian army. Fate brings Yury and Lara to the same battle zone, where he is a medical officer and she is a nurse searching for the missing Pasha, who is reportedly dead. Lara ends up nursing Yury when he is wounded in action. Though they fall deeply in love, the Communist Revolution has arrived and Yury must reunite with Tonya and his son in the turmoil of Moscow, while Lara returns to her daughter in the remote village of Yuryatin in the Ural Mountains.
Episode 2 - Plot Revealed Below!
Yury returns to Moscow to find his house has been taken over by the Reds and the city's public health system is hopelessly politicized. He decides to move his family to his uncle's old estate, Varykino, near Yuryatin. On their way he meets Pasha, very much alive under the new name Strelnikov, a notorious leader with little interest in either Lara or his daughter. One day while in Yuryatin, Yury sees Lara and they start a passionate affair. With Tonya pregnant again, he decides to break with Lara, but on the way home he is captured by partisan fighters and forced to be their medic. When Lara is midwife at Tonya's delivery, Tonya realizes who she is. After months with the partisans, Yury escapes during winter and barely survives his trek to Lara's house in Yuryatin, where she nurses him back to health. Meanwhile, Tonya, her children, and father have left Varykino for Moscow. Pursued by Komarovsky, now a high Communist official, Lara and Yury flee to Varykino, where they spend an idyllic sojourn until Komarovsky shows up to take the now-pregnant Lara away. Yury has a last encounter with Pasha, who is himself a hunted man, and then Yury returns to Moscow to find that both Tonya and Lara have vanished. Several years later he spots a little boy who reminds him of himself as a child; nearby is the boy's mother....
Essays + Interviews | Novel to Film | Who's Who/Cast + Credits
Russell Baker | Episode Descriptions | Links + Bibliography | The Forum
Home | About The Series | The American Collection | The Archive
Schedule & Season | Feature Library | eNewsletter | Book Club
Learning Resources | Forum | Search | Shop | Feedback
Masterpiece is sponsored by: