Video: From Russia, with Agony: Peter the Great

Feb. 2 through 5, 9 p.m. EST

In 1697, Peter the Great of Russia set out on one of history's most momentous vacations. The towering (6 ft. 7 in.), charismatic monarch became the first Czar ever to venture peacefully outside his country, traveling for 18 months to the major capitals of Western Europe. He absorbed Western ideas and technological know-how and returned to guide Russia into the modern world.

That is the most familiar story about Peter the Great. The best one, however, begins nearly three centuries later. An American TV crew embarks on another momentous trip: to the Soviet Union to film a mini-series based on Peter's...

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