The first episode recounts Churchill’s early life — his aristocratic birth, his search for glory on the battlefield, his rise up the political ladder and his fall from it. By his 55th birthday in 1931, Churchill had fought in five wars, contested 14 elections and raised a family of five children. This descendant of the famous Duke of Marlborough believed he was destined for greatness. At the height of Queen Victoria’s reign in 1898, the 23-year-old Churchill took part, as soldier and journalist, in the last great cavalry charge of the British army in the Battle of Omdurman. He later fought in the Boer War in South Africa and in World War I. His election to parliament in 1900 began a controversial and checkered political career that lasted 60 years. This episode follows his journey from young Conservative star to leading Liberal social reformer, from the disgraced head of the British Royal Navy in WWI to the senior position of Chancellor of the Exchequer. The program ends in 1931, when Churchill is no longer part of the national government.