In 1996, Ian McKellan starred as Tsar Nicholas II in the film, “Rasputin: Dark Servant of Destiny.” A film released directly to DVD in 2007, “Neverwas”, again features Ian McKellan as a monarch, this time King of “Neverwas.” In “Neverwas”, McKellan portrays a captive King of a secret world.
Symbolically, the King of Neverwas is the escaped Tsar Nicholas, who was not actually killed in the cellar of the Ipatiev House on July 17, 1918. If you can see the image at top, notice the comparison between the younger Tsar and the now-older King. The later photo signifies the survival of the Tsar, now in exile and unacknowledged.
In the “real” world and not in the symbolic world, some will say, “What about the DNA evidence?” Purported remains of the Russian imperial family were found, beginning in 1991, but not at the Four Brothers mine shaft near Ekaterinburg. The “DNA evidence” has become a Golden Calf for too many people, who give it their undivided worship. And yet the Golden Calf of DNA evidence in the Romanov case has been challenged from several knowledgeable quarters. (Background: Keep On Rockin’ With the Tsar, Ersjdamoo’s Blog, September 25, 2014.)
However even if one accepts the supposedly airtight “DNA evidence” in the case of the Russian imperial family, it only “proves” that they died. It does not, for example, prove that the Romanovs were all “mass executed” in a 14 foot by 17 foot cellar room in Ekaterinburg. The tragic family might have been executed elsewhere, or they even might have died of old age by 1991, when their purported remains began to be found.
The “mass execution” in the cellar story was originated by Nikolay Sokolov, who investigated the disappearance in Ekaterinburg of the Romanovs. And Sokolov, as it turns out, was biased in his investigation. In 1976, two British journalists, Anthony Summers and Tom Mangold, saw their book, The File On the Tsar, climb towards the top of the bestseller charts. In their book, Summers and Mangold revealed among other things that they had unearthed Sokolov’s original dossier, used as basis for his final report. Study of those papers “shows that Sokolov was indeed highly selective. He meticulously included all the evidence that supported his premise that the entire imperial family had been massacred at the Ipatiev House, but he omitted evidence that hinted, or stated categorically, that something else had happened.”
If the Romanovs were not all “mass executed” in the cellar, then what did happen to them? One theory developed by Summers and Mangold involves the Germans. The Tsarina Alexandra Feodorovna was originally Alix of Hesse and by Rhine, a subject of the German Kaiser. Because she was originally a German, the Kaiser and his government took a special interest in protecting her and her children. One of the possibilities developed in The File On the Tsar is that Tsar Nicholas (and possibly the Tsarevich Alexei) was taken away to a location in the forest in the vicinity of the Four Brothers mine shaft. There the Tsar and maybe also the Tsarevich Alexei were executed by firing squad. However the Tsarina Alexandra and her four daughters (and possibly Alexei) seem to have been evacuated to Perm, a city 180 miles away.
What happened after Perm? Anna Anderson, who claimed to be the surviving Grand Duchess Anastasia, may have escaped individually from Perm. The Germans also at this time had a strong intelligence network located in the area and others might have escaped. This all is still an unsolved mystery because, even if one believes the disputed DNA evidence, the “mass execution” of the entire family at the Ipatiev House is unproven and is at best only a theory.