The Great is the new comedy-drama series coming to Channel 4 - here's all you need to know.
The Great is a satirical, comedic drama about the rise of Catherine the Great from outsider to the longest reigning female ruler in Russia’s history. It’s modern love story that incorporates historical facts, occasionally.
It is the fictionalised, fun and anachronistic story of an idealistic, romantic young girl, who arrives in Russia for an arranged marriage to the mercurial Emperor Peter. Hoping for love and sunshine, she finds instead a dangerous, depraved, backward world that she resolves to change. All she has to do is kill her husband, beat the church, baffle the military and get the court onside.
Watch The Great on TV and online
The Great started in the UK on Channel 4 on Sunday, 3 January.
Episodes will air at 10PM weekly on Sunday nights. The series has 10 episodes.
You'll be able to watch online and catch up via the All 4 player here.
The Great cast
The Great cast is led by Elle Fanning as Catherine the Great and Nicholas Hoult as Peter III of Russia.
They're joined by Phoebe Fox as Marial, Adam Godley as Archbishop "Archie", Gwilym Lee as Grigor Dymov, Charity Wakefield as Georgina Dymova, Douglas Hodge as General Velementov, Sacha Dhawan as Orlo, Sebastian de Souza as Leo Voronsky, Bayo Gbadamosi as Arkady, Belinda Bromilow as Aunt Elizabeth and Richard Pyros as Count Raskolnikov.
In the first episode, Catherine (Elle Fanning) travels to Russia and becomes the Empress by marrying the Emperor of Russia, Peter (Nicholas Hoult). Her hopes of marrying a great love are dashed as Catherine learns that Peter is a selfish, spoiled brat who stands against everything she values.
She is introduced to palace life by her servant, Marial (Phoebe Fox), who was once a lady of the court herself but was reduced to serfdom when her family was stripped of its status. Catherine meets Peter's priest and confidante, Archie (Adam Godley), who signifies the dark side of the church's influence on the crown.
Catherine is horrified to discover the open secret that Peter regularly lays with Georgina (Charity Wakefield), the wife of his best friend, Grigor (Gwilym Lee).Catherine befriends Count Orlo (Sacha Dhawan) and plans to turn an unused palace building into a school to educate the women of the court.
Peter, discovering Catherine's intentions, burns the building to the ground. Catherine is feeling hopeless and verging on suicide when Marial presents her with an alternative path - to overthrow Peter.
The Great airs on Channel 4 in the UK.