Producer Anthony Nelson-Keys had scripter John Elder take a somewhat fanciful (and unbelievable) approach to the subject of Russia’s bad boys. As a result, the dastardly villain has been given some attributes that are certainly colorful. Christopher Lee’s Rasputin is completely in character – huge, deep-voiced, compelling stare. He’s a proper rascal.
Religious aspects of l’affaire Rasputin are skimmed over, the only two dignitaries portrayed as colorless and dull. Of the Russian court, the Czarina (Renee Asherson) and the Czarevitch (Robert Duncan) are the only Romanoffs shown, the plot revolving (after the monk’s entry into court affairs, accredited to his hypnotic influence over a lady-in-waiting) on a revenge plot by the would-be fiance (Nicholas Pennell) of the seduced lady-in-waiting (Barbara Shelley). His principal accomplices are an alcoholic doctor (Richard Pasco), and an Army officer (Francis Matthews), whose sister (Suzan Farmer) has been lined up as Rasputin’s next victim.