Sky and HBO have released a first look image of Helen Mirren in the forthcoming historical drama, Catherine the Great, a lavish new series set against the backdrop of the politically ruthless 18th century Russian court.
The first-look image shows Helen Mirren as Empress Catherine in her private quarters modelled on the original Russian palaces and surrounded by hand-copied paintings from the Hermitage.
Currently shooting in palaces and sets across Russia, Latvia and Lithuania, this four-part epic will chart the latter years of Catherine’s 34-year reign, as she builds Russia’s reputation as one of the great powers of Europe.
The series also stars Jason Clarke as Catherine’s favoured statesman, military commander and lover Potemkin, Gina McKee as Catherine’s lifelong friend and confidante Countess Bruce, and Rory Kinnear as Minister Panin, a skilful politician, advisor and governor to Catherine’s son and heir Paul (Joseph Quinn).
Richard Roxburgh also joins as Grigory Orlov, one of Catherine’s former lovers who, with his brother Alexei Orlov (played by Kevin R McNally), orchestrated the coup that brought Catherine into power.
The wider cast includes Clive Russell as The Fool, Sam Palladio as Catherine’s young lover Alexander Vasilichikov, Lucas Englander as Lieutenant Mirovich, Antonia Clarke as Princess Sophie, Paul Ritter as General Suvorov, Paul Kaye as Pugachev, Thomas Doherty as Peter Zavadovsky, Raphael Acloque as Platon Zubov, James Northcote as Alexander Bezborodko and Andrew Rothney as Alexander Dmitriev-Mamonov.
Written by Nigel Williams (Elizabeth I) and directed by BAFTA and Emmy® Award-winning Philip Martin (The Crown), Catherine the Great is produced by Origin Pictures and New Pictures. It is the third commission from Sky and HBO’s high-end global drama partnership.
The series will air on Sky Atlantic and TV streaming service NOW TV in the UK and Ireland next year, and on Sky Atlantic in Italy, Germany, Austria and Spain. Sky Vision will handle international sales and distribution.