Helen Mirren will be starring as Catherine the Great in new Sky drama

Catherine the Great

After the success of Sky and HBO’s Chernobyl, a new TV mini-series is upon us documenting the life of Catherine the Great.

It’s been a while since Helen Mirren has been on the small screen, with her last TV role being Prime Suspect 7: The Final Act all the way back in 2006.

But now, she’s playing one of history’s most iconic figures in a four part series.

What is Catherine the Great about?

According to Sky, it “delves into the politically tumultuous and sexually charged court of the most powerful female monarch in history. Catherine wielded supreme power throughout Russia for nearly half of the 18th century – strong-minded, independent, brilliantly intelligent and sexually liberated, she was the definition of the modern woman.”

Catherine the Great was Russia’s longest ruling female leader, after becoming Empress in 1762 and reigning all the way until her death in 1796.

The mini series will follow Catherine towards the end of her reign, and focus on her passionate affair with Grigory Potemkin (Jason Clarke).

Sky says that the couple were “unable to publicly marry” and were “famously promiscuous”, so we see them develop a unique and devoted relationship throughout the series.

Watch the trailer for the new series below:


Who is starring in Catherine the Great?

Oscar-winning actress Helen Mirren is at the helm of the project, and this certainly isn’t the only time she’s played a female ruler. She’s also known for her work on Elizabeth I and The Queen, playing both Elizabeth I and II respectively.

Speaking about the role, Mirren said, “I am very excited by the possibility of embodying a woman from history who grabbed and then wielded great power.

“She rewrote the rules of governance by a woman, and succeeded to the extent of having the word Great attached to her name, Catherine the Great.”

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Alongside her will be Jason Clarke as Russian nobleman Grigory Potemkin, Catherine’s love interest. Most recently he has appeared in Pet Sematary and The Aftermath.

Catherine’s confidant Praskovya Bruce is played by Gina McKee, the BAFTA-winning actress known for her role as Anne Sampson in Jed Mercurio’s Bodyguard.

Years and Years star Rory Kinnear will play Catherine’s political mentor Nikita Ivanovich Panin, and Richard Roxburgh is Grigory Orlov, the man who fathered her son and was essentially a co-ruler with her until his fall.

When can we watch it?

The four part drama is due to arrive on Sky in Autumn 2019, but an exact date has not been confirmed yet.

Keep your eyes peeled!

Lucy Buglass is a Digital Writer specialising in TV, film and lifestyle content and has written for What's On TV, GoodtoKnow and Whattowatch.com. She's passionate about entertainment and spends most of her free time watching Netflix series, BBC dramas, or going to the cinema to catch the latest film releases. In her spare time, she writes film and television reviews for JumpCut Online and her own blog, Lucy Goes To Hollywood.