WGBH Openvault

Masterpiece Theatre; Anna Karenina, Series II

Anna Karenina Episode 1

License Clip

More material is available from this program at the WGBH Archive. If you are a researcher interested in accessing the collection at WGBH, please email archive_requests@wgbh.org.

Undigitized item: Request Digitization

Untranscribed item: Request Transcription

Masterpiece Theatre
Anna Karenina, Series II
Program Number


Series Description

Program premiered in 1971 with The First Churchills. Hosted by Alastair Cooke. Intended as a showcase for the best of British television drama. Spawned MYSTERY! in 1980. Current executive producer Rebecca Eaton. All promotion of program done by Frank Goodman & Associates (see below). Synopsis, cast information and producers listed by individual title. Series release date: 1971

Program Description

This new adaptation of one of literature's greatest -- and most disastrous -- love stories stars Helen McCrory as Anna, Tony Award-winner Stephen Dillane (The Real Thing) as her husband, Karenin, and Kevin McKidd as her lover, Vronsky. Leo Tolstoy's classic 19th-century novel of forbidden love also stars Paloma Baeza ("Far From the Madding Crowd") and Douglas Henshall as Kitty and Levin, whose quiet, enduring passion contrasts sharply with the reckless, rapturous relationship between Anna and Vronsky. Mark Strong and Amanda Root ("Persuasion," "Breaking the Code") star as Oblonsky and Dolly. 3012--In 1872, Anna Karenina travels by train from St. Petersburg to Moscow to sort out her brother's troubled marriage. While there, a dashing cavalry officer, Vronsky, falls madly in love with her. Anna succumbs and experiences true passion for the first time in her life. Eventually, she becomes pregnant and confronts her husband, Karenin, with her infidelities. He threatens divorce, but they reconcile as she lies near death after delivering Vronsky's child. Desperate for Anna and the child, and humiliated by Karenin's forgiveness, Vronsky shoots himself. 3013--Recovered from his suicide attempt, Vronsky visits Anna. They realize they can't live apart and move to Italy, beyond the reach of scandalized Russian society. But they soon return. Anna realizes if they are to be accepted, she must divorce Karenin. Influenced by a pious friend, he refuses, plunging Anna into despair and paranoia. Suspecting that Vronsky no longer loves her, she takes desperate measures.



Asset Type

Broadcast program

Media Type


Chicago: “Masterpiece Theatre; Anna Karenina, Series II,” WGBH Media Library & Archives, accessed October 28, 2016, http://openvault.wgbh.org/catalog/V_D2897E35EDE94309B51CAB5029916293.
MLA: “Masterpiece Theatre; Anna Karenina, Series II.” WGBH Media Library & Archives. Web. October 28, 2016. <http://openvault.wgbh.org/catalog/V_D2897E35EDE94309B51CAB5029916293>.
APA: Masterpiece Theatre; Anna Karenina, Series II. Boston, MA: WGBH Media Library & Archives. Retrieved from http://openvault.wgbh.org/catalog/V_D2897E35EDE94309B51CAB5029916293
If you have more information about this item, we want to know! Please contact us, including the URL.