Conceived and developed by Steve Allen, the award-winning PBS-TV series Meeting of Minds brought together the most provocative figures of history for conversation and conflict. Volume XII, the final gathering of brilliant ambassadors from the past, brings together three strong personalities whose profound disagreements make frequent bursts of dispute inevitable.
In a ceremonial faux pas, a loud rendition of "God Save the King" greets an indignant Oliver Cromwell, the only ruler of England who was neither a king nor a queen. He and Daniel O'Connel, "The great Irish Liberator" pursue the ancient tradition of discord between their two peoples which continues to the present day. Catherine the Great, empress of Russia for 30 years in the 19th century, describes her lifelong passion for her adopted country -and refuses to apologize for her more notorious passions.
Though all three of these giants suffered ignominious treatment in death, their dramatic interactions offer an exciting climax to this intellectually stimulating series of programs.