The USSR and SMK Timeline

The leadership (defined broadly as ‘head of state’ ) of the USSR and the airing timeline of Scarecrow and Mrs King  is as follows:

BrezhnevBrezhnev:  June 1977 –  Nov 1982
(Portrait seen in Three Faces of Emily)




Vasiliy Vasilyevich Kuznetsov

Kuznetsov (acting H of S): Nov 1982- June 1983



AndropovAndropov: Nov 1982 to 9 Feb 1984
SMK started with The First Time aired: Oct 1983.
He was replaced as leader, between the airing of Dead Ringer and The Mole.



Kuznetsov (acting H of S): 9 Feb 1984- 11 Apr 1984.
He was replaced by Chernenko between Fearless Dotty and Weekend!

Chernenko2Chernenko: 11 Apr 1984- 10 Mar 1985.
He was replaced by Kuzetsov the day before the airing of Car Wars.




Kuznetsov (acting H of S): 10 Mar 1985 – 27 July 1985.
He was replaced in the break between season 2 and season 3 (break was from May 13 to 23 Sep 1985)

Andrey Andreyevich GromykoGromyko: 27 July 1985 – 1 October 1988.
Ruled when Season 3 started with A Lovely Little Affair, then was replaced by Gorbechev after SMK had finished ( on 28 May 1987)



Gorbechev: 1 October 1988 – 25 May 1989

In terms of leaders of the Communist party for the time of SMK the dates are as follows:

General Secretaries of the Central Committee
Brezhnev:   8 Apr 1966 – 10 Nov 1982

Andropov:  12 Nov 1982 –  9 Feb 1984
From the start of SMK to between Fearless Dotty and Weekend.

Chernenko: 13 Feb 1984 – 10 Mar 1985
From episode The Mole, to Car Wars ( aired on 11 March)
Gorbachev: 11 Mar 1985 – 24 Aug 1991
From episode Car Wars to the end of SMK.

It will be interesting as we walk through the episodes to keep our eyes out for political references! I remember there was a portrait of Gorbachev in at least one smk episode.. stemwinder maybe?? We’ll find out when we get those dvds in a few days!

Of course, I am no expert on Russian history [or SMK for that matter!] so if any of the dates are wrong please let me know and I’ll fix it – thanks!

[Also, not wanting to neglect USA politics I double checked and Ronald Reagan was president for the entire duration of SMK Smile ]

19 responses to “The USSR and SMK Timeline

  1. I didn’t remember that the USSR had so many leaders, either. I was a pre-teen/teenager during the 80’s. I remember all the talk of atomic bombs and the Cold War, but I was much more of an optimist in those days. Thank you for posting this information. I wish I could have joined in when you first started the walk. I have been reading up to this point, but this is just my second comment. I am enjoying this blog even if I am late.


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  3. Pingback: 1/ Season Three, Episode 21: Three Little Spies -Scarecrow and Mrs King | "Just walk with me.."

  4. Oh, yes…Reagan politics. I heard he used to fall asleep during cabinet meetings because he was so old…anyway, I was like 8-11 when all this was going on. It’s interesting as an adult to see it and judge. And also, It seems weird that they went through so many leaders. I didn’t know the Soviet Union did this!


    • I’m a few years ahead of you, Ruby. Between the parade of old Soviet leaders and (my perception of) a trigger happy cowboy as president, I really thought there was a good chance we would have been all blown up.
      I remember being relieved when Gorbachev took over the leadership of the USSR. He seemed reasonable, younger and stable.


      • Hi Rubyray!
        LOL! Reagan was falling asleep in cabinet meetings? No wonder people we so afraid in that era! I had no idea the russians went through so many leaders either! It also seems they had a number of different types of Leaders – and changed their titles many times.. so it is all quite convoluted to me!
        Any russians reading? we’d love to hear from you!
        I have often wondered what a Russian take on smk would be.. and would a Russian find Emily’s accent funny? I’m not even sure why I find it so funny.. I think part of it though is how Emily is being so tough with him: and to us it is so obviously an over the top persona! Thoughts anyone?

        I do forget sometimes that the early 80s was in the time of the cold war.. and the threat of a nuclear bomb.. it makes the plot of an episode like Playing Possum seem less incredible!

        Cindy I too remember having the feeling that with Gorbachev in power: there was no longer a threat of someone doing something really dumb! A scary time! Remember the song by Sting ‘ Russians’ ?? That was released in 1985.. a very moving song.. I still find it moving! [Sting rocks]

        Is anyone reading knowledgeable about the cold war? if so.. I’d love to hear more about the time.. especially the events around the time of smk..


        • I remember Gorbachev saying something along the lines that only an idiot would think a nuclear war was winnable and would not destroy the whole planet. I still remember the huge sense of relief I felt after hearing that. ( I think it was just after the made for tv movie “The Day After” was aired. )


          • Melissa Robertson

            I too remember a sense of relief when Gorbachev took office…I think some thought he was softer. I remember that the Russians were our enemies and that we had missiles aimed at each other. I also remember Reagan’s 1987 speech in West Germany he said, “Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall!”


        • In 1991, I did a paper in high school on Senator Joe McCarthy, a fanatical anti-Communist from the 1950’s to 1960’s, I believe. I drew inspiration from a song called “Leningrad” by Billy Joel that came out in 1989. So even as a teenager, I took something of a keen interest in the political tensions between the USA and USSR. Coincidentally, this is also when I became enamored with SMK in syndication.


          • I’m totally overposting here, but I keep coming up with more thoughts! Anyway, I just wanted to post the link to “Leningrad” because it really captures the feel of the Cold War for you, Iwsod.
            It still makes me a little bit weepy, knowing he’s referring to a time when people truely believed nuclear war was imminent, and then Vietnam…*sigh*


        • I’m laughing at all this cuz I remember watching MTV in like ’84 and the Genesis video “Land of Confusion” would come on featuring the DC Follies puppets. One was Regan on the waterbed with Nancy and he wakes up in the middle of the night to push a button but instead pushes the nuclear bomb button! It creeped me out then but it’s hilarious now!


    • Melissa Robertson

      Ah, I loved Reagan…that’s when I started following politics. Oh, to have another President like him 🙂


      • I’m with you, Melissa…another Reagaphile. 😉


        • I was too young to think about politics back then but consideting Dukakis was the alternative, I think anyone was better.


          • Hi Cindy! ahhh yes all those nuclear holocaust movies! The Day After? I haven’t heard of that one!

            Hi Paula! Hope you are keeping well! Ahh I was hoping there could be some input from Americans or Russians on this time in history! McCarthy? wasn’t the title ‘ I am not now, nor have I ever been… a spy’ – a reference to him? That is the only thing I know about him- his hunt for communists..The more we hear from you the better Paula! there is no limit share away! 🙂

            I watched Leningrad Paula: I didn’t know that song at all! So thanks alot for sharing it! It has a beautiful story! The footage of Billy Joel and his Russian friend was just lovely.. a great story. Thanks so much for sharing it! Times they are a changin!! 🙂

            Rubyray.. Land of Confusion? Hmm.. that rings a bell.. Found it!

            Thanks Rubyray– Those puppets are really creepy!!! LOL I’m going to have nightmares now 😉 haaaa

            So glad you guys have found this interesting too! I was worried I might be boring people – but glad I posted it now 🙂 I like to think SMK makes me smarter 😉 I’d love to hear if you find any political insights or references as we walk through the episodes!


            • Those puppets are from a UK TV show called Spitting Image which basically poked fun at people in world politics, royal family and media. They had a great one for the Prime Minister at the time who was John Major. He was completely grey. Summed up his personality to a T LOL

              I never realised USSR had so many leaders! I confess in my ignorance Gorbachev had been in charge earlier than he actually thought. Love how the portrait of him is missing a bit of him LOL


        • Ah, so glad this thread took a turn. I loved Reagan. He was unapologetically patriotic. He was human, both in an approachable way and a fallible way. The reporters loved him for his sense of humor and his warm, respectful manner to them, and they treated him kindly in return. He loved his wife dearly. He was the driving force behind the defense devices that intercepted the SCUD missiles aimed at our troops during the Gulf War. He sometimes played the fool (actor that he was), but in fact he was extremely intelligent. “Trust, but verify” was his famous quote, one I still use to this day. He was a man of faith and of action, and he didn’t tolerate America or Americans being threatened. He shook up the world of Presidential fashion by wearing brown suits :-). He challenged the communist world to “take down this wall” … and what an amazing moment it was when the Berlin Wall did come down! Yep, the Reagan years were good years in the US, a time of peace (believe it or not! 🙂 ) and prosperity and patriotism. And SMK is a wonderful reminder of those years! *waving my flag as I step off my soapbox*


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