In 1968 a book called 'В круге первом' was published, its English title was 'In the First Circle' (sometimes just 'The First Circle'), and it has since become not just widely acclaimed but accepted as one of the most important novels of the 20th century. Its author, Alexandr Solzhenitsyn, was himself a prisoner in a sharashka (a Soviet prison for scientists where they were forced to ply their trade for the benefit of the state) and as such it is not far-fetched to call this an autobiography. With regard to this miniseries, it should hold the same historical accuracy as the novel since director Gleb Panfilov is assisted by the author himself. The author even insists on narrating it himself. This does indeed seem to be history repeated as clearly as by a photograph - well, except for the portrayals of Soviet leaders, which seem to be viewed through the lens of the prisoners.
Gleb Panfilov's film has not been the first attempt to bring the cognominal novel by Alexander Solzhenitsyn to the big screen. There were "The First Circle" of Alexander Ford's, 1973, and a two-part Franch-Canadian feature of the same name filmed in the 80th but both really bombed. Panfilov's serial is the first screen version the script to which has been written by Solzhenitsyn! The author has already partially seen the draft variant of the film and it has made a good impression on him. The film is not only in sync with his conceptions but in many respects even develops original characters, as the wife of the master testifies.
"V kruge pervom" is a ten-episode TV-series based on the autobiographical book 'The First Circle' by Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn. Film is set in 1949-1950, in Moscow and in a prison-laboratory in the town of Marfino, near Moscow. Gleb Nerzhin (Mironov) is arrested and imprisoned in "Sharashka" in Mafrino, a prison-laboratory for secret research. His life has a value due to his degree in mathematics. He is involved in making a telephone bug, a research program which is supervised by Stalin.