The Bolsheviks seize power in Russia and Russian students instead of studying begin to focus on politics. Teachers and scientists do not trust the new government, but the elderly professor Dmitry Illarionovich Polezhaev is able to understand the events that have occurred in Russia and he begins to train the Baltic sailors in the ways of the soviets, after which he is elected deputy of the sailors of the Baltic Fleet.
The film is based on the life of the Russian scientist, Klement Timiriazev, who taught at Cambridge and Oxford and was awarded the Newton Mantle for his work. Timiriazev, one of the few outstanding Russian scientists who (publically) backed the Soviets in their revolutionary campaign, was later elected a delegate to the Leningrad Soviet by the sailors of the Baltic fleet. There he denounced his fellow scientists for failing to aid the Soviets and predicted that such aid would come.