Who we are

Russian Revolution Centenary

To mark the centenary of the October Revolution, the BBC has commissioned a selection of programmes across television and radio examining this significant event and its continued impact on society.


The season will include programmes on both radio and television and will span art, culture and politics. Programmes will include dramatisations and documentaries exploring a wide range of themes including the historical context for the October revolution, eye-witness accounts and how revolution still impacts our society today.  These programmes could provide incredibly useful resources for history teachers from KS4 upwards.

Although the season starts next week and continues through October into early November, not all of the transmission details are available yet and we’ll flag these up via Twitter @ERAresources. In the meantime I’ve selected some of the upcoming programmes together with a few extra resources available elsewhere on the BBC.




Ten Days that Shook the World  BBC Radio 4 Mon- Fri from 9 October 9.45am and 7.45pm

Radio 4 produces its own adaptation of American Journalist John Reed’s book based on his own first-hand experience of the revolution.  Dramatised over 10 15 minute episodes to match the paciness of the events portrayed.


Start the Week BBC Radio 4 9 October 9.00am

Tom Sutcliffe discuses the legacy of the Revolution with the Director of the Tretyakov Gallery in Moscow along with  journalists Zelfira Tregulova and Arkady Ostrovsky.


Revolution in Ideas BBC Radio 4 9 October 8.00pm

Historian Justin Champion considers how the revolution produced new ideas which inspired western thinking.


It’s Just a Joke, Comrade: 100 Years of Russian Satire, BBC Radio 4 10 Octobr, 11.30am

Journalist and Comedian VV Groskop continues her exploration of Russian humour with a look at the humour unleashed by the revolution.




Russia 1917: Countdown to Revolution BBC2 10 October 9pm

In this documentary, writers and historians, including Martin Amis, Orlando Figes, Helen Rappaport, Simon Sebag-Montefiore and China Miéville, battle over the meaning of the Russian Revolution and spell out how it shapes the world we live in today.


Upcoming programmes to watch out for include:


10 Days that Shook the World  (BBC4 tbc)

BBC Four presents a re-mastered version of the classic 1928 film, directed by Sergei Eisenstein and Grigori Aleksandrov and based on John Reed’s book of the same name. “Presented in documentary style, this Soviet silent film begins with the crumbling of the Russian monarchy leading to the rebelling and over-throwing of Tsar Nicholas II’s Winter Palace. Commissioned by the Soviet government on the 10 year anniversary of the Revolution, this film continues to receive attention for its use of imagery.” (BBC)

Revolution: New for A New World (BBC4 tbc)

This film tells the stories of avant-garde artists like Chagall, Kandinsky and Malevich – pioneers who flourished in response to the utopian challenge of building a new art for a new world, only to be broken by implacable authority after 15 short years. It features paintings previously banned and unseen for decades, as well as masterpieces which rarely leave Russia.


Further resources currently available:

The First Russian Revolution

Hear eyewitness accounts of the revolution from the BBC radio archive.


The Russian Revolution

From BBC World Service Witness archive:

In 1917 as revolution swept through Russia, Irena Sergevna Konkayevich watched battles between the White Army and the Bolsheviks outside her family’s flat in Moscow, close to the Kremlin.