“Power is power.
It's the one element of
the human condition you can't fake.”
‘Reilly: Ace of Spies’
Every so often, the Television Crossover Hall of Fame inducts the televersion of a Real World monster during October. Examples from the past are Adolph Hitler, Lee Harvey Oswald, and Jack the Ripper (who is credited as both himself and by his true identity, Redjac.)
Don’t get snarky with suggestions that Donald Trump should be inducted as a Real World monster…. He was inducted in 2009 as the April Fool member.
With 2020 being the bleepshow that it is,
I figured it was time to bring another Real World monster into the Hall….
Joseph Vissarionovich Stalin (18 December [O.S. 6 December] 1878 – 5 March 1953) was a Georgian revolutionary and Soviet politician who ruled the Soviet Union from the mid-1920s until his death in 1953. He served as the general secretary of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union (1922–1952) and premier of the Soviet Union (1941–1953).
Despite initially governing the Soviet Union as part of a collective leadership, he eventually consolidated power to become the country's de facto dictator by the 1930s. A communist ideologically committed to the Leninist interpretation of Marxism, Stalin formalized these ideas as Marxism–Leninism, while his own policies are known as Stalinism.
Born to a poor family in Gori in the Russian Empire (now Georgia), as a youth Stalin joined the Marxist Russian Social Democratic Labour Party. He went on to edit the party's newspaper, Pravda, and raised funds for Vladimir Lenin's Bolshevik faction via robberies, kidnappings, and protection rackets. Repeatedly arrested, he underwent several internal exiles. After the Bolsheviks seized power during the 1917 October Revolution and created a one-party state under Lenin's newly renamed Communist Party, Stalin joined its governing Politburo.
Serving in the Russian Civil War before overseeing the Soviet Union's establishment in 1922, Stalin assumed leadership over the country following Lenin's 1924 death.
Under Stalin, "socialism in one country" became a central tenet of the party's dogma. Through the Five-Year Plans, the country underwent agricultural collectivization and rapid industrialization, creating a centralized command economy. This led to severe disruptions of food production that contributed to the famine of 1932–33.
To eradicate accused "enemies of the working class", Stalin instituted the "Great Purge", in which over a million were imprisoned and at least 700,000 executed between 1934 and 1939. By 1937, he had complete personal control over the party and state.
Stalin's government promoted Marxism–Leninism abroad through the Communist International and supported European anti-fascist movements during the 1930s, particularly in the Spanish Civil War. In 1939, it signed a non-aggression pact with Nazi Germany, resulting in the Soviet invasion of Poland. Germany ended the pact by invading the Soviet Union in 1941.
Despite initial setbacks, the Soviet Red Army repelled the German incursion and captured Berlin in 1945, ending World War II in Europe. The Soviets annexed the Baltic states and helped establish Soviet-aligned governments throughout Central and Eastern Europe, China, and North Korea. The Soviet Union and the United States emerged from the war as global superpowers. Tensions arose between the Soviet-backed Eastern Bloc and U.S.-backed Western Bloc which became known as the Cold War.
Stalin led his country through the post-war reconstruction, during which it developed a nuclear weapon in 1949. In these years, the country experienced another major famine and an anti-semitic campaign peaking in the doctors' plot. After Stalin's death in 1953, he was eventually succeeded by Nikita Khrushchev, who denounced him and initiated the de-Stalinization of Soviet society.
Widely considered one of the 20th century's most significant figures, Stalin was the subject of a pervasive personality cult within the international Marxist–Leninist movement, which revered him as a champion of the working class and socialism. Since the dissolution of the Soviet Union in 1991, Stalin has retained popularity in Russia and Georgia as a victorious wartime leader who established the Soviet Union as a major world power.
Conversely, his totalitarian government has been widely condemned for overseeing mass repressions, ethnic cleansing, deportations, hundreds of thousands of executions, and famines that killed millions.
For most Westerners and anti-communist Russians, he is viewed overwhelmingly negatively as a mass murderer; for significant numbers of Russians and Georgians, he is regarded as a great statesman and state-builder.
The historian and archival researcher Stephen G. Wheatcroft and Michael Ellman attribute roughly 3 million deaths to the Stalinist regime, including executions and deaths from criminal negligence.
Stalin is a multidimensional, played by a different actor in each of the productions listed here. (O’Bviously, David Burke is listed for the TV series ‘Reilly: Ace of Spies’ and not for the individual episodes.)
‘Reilly: Ace of Spies’ is the only one of these productions to be found in Earth Prime-Time. The rest are scattered to alternate Toobworlds throughout the great tele-mosaic.
Even though David Burke is the Stalin of the main Toobworld, Stalin’s portrayal in the TVXOHOF gallery will be of Melvyn Douglas playing the Butcher. He was one of the first to do so on television; perhaps the first one to do so on American TV.
Here are the actors who played him on TV:
- The Plot to Kill Stalin (1958)
That is the pattern for the next decade - after they've murdered me.
Surely all of this is academic, Comrade Stalin. You're not going to be murdered.
No, I shouldn't like to be murdered, Alexander. After all, if I'm murdered, what would happen to you, huh?
I don't find the thought comforting.
Of course, if you put in with them, that might save you. Have you considered that, Alexander Poskrebyschev?
I find that suggestion unpleasant.
That's no answer. Every man seeks to preserve his own life. Tell the truth. You considered it!
Of course not!
You're lying. The head! I can see it in your face!
As God as my witness...
[Poskrebyshev turns away nervously]
God as a witness?
It amuses you to provoke me, Comrade Stalin.
[Stalin laughs knowingly]
Poor devil. You don't have much to show for your loyalty, do you? You know, Alexander, in Scandinavia, the old custom was to bury the king with a dog at his feet. You will be my dog, Alexander, won't you?
O’Bservation – Eli Wallach played Alexander Poskrebyshev.
The Last Journey (1983)
Podróz do Moskwy (1999)
O'Bservation - This is Toobworld Polskie, where Polish is the global language.
Archangel (2005 TV Movie)
O’Bservation – Stalin is already dead when the film begins. But the premise has it that he had a son in hiding, ready to be revealed and to assume power. It’s a twist for that particular tele-Stalin in that world only.
So you’re in the Hall, Joe.
Just one vowel off from where you really are.
O'Bservation....Team Toobworld, December 18th is Stalin’s birthday. Remember to say his name as you spit on the ground.