Russia: A Journey with Jonathan Dimbleby

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A major BBC documentary, Russia sees Jonathan Dimbleby attempt to put across the largest nation on Earth over the course of a 10,000 mile journey. The end result fills up five 60 minute episodes.

And on the whole, it’s a very strong release. Billed as the first television look of its type at the nation, Dimbleby takes us via road, rail and foot as he undertakes his adventure, and his look at Russia certainly tucks away many of the stereotypes you may be used to seeing.

At its best, Russia is a fascinating, brilliant piece of documentary television, genuinely unearthing new and interesting things, as well as a plethora of individual stories. Dimbleby is perhaps not the most obvious host, sometimes putting a little bit too much of himself into the mix rather than focusing on the nation he’s there to show us, but on the whole he does a commendable job.

Yet inevitably, it’s the nation of Russia itself that’s the main attraction here. And while you can’t help but feel that this documentary only scratches the surface of the nation, it’s still a welcome and thorough introduction to a once-mysterious country.