Set against the politically tumultuous and sexually charged court of Russian empress Catherine the Great, who wielded supreme power throughout Russia for nearly half of the 18th century, the limited series follows Catherine towards the end of her reign during her passionate affair with Grigory Potemkin. Amid scandal, intrigue and immense conflict, they develop a unique and devoted relationship, overcoming their adversaries and together serving as the architects of modern-day Russia.
The executive producers also include Philip Martin, David M. Thompson for Origin Pictures, and Charlie Pattinson and Christine Healy for New Pictures. The writer of the HBO/SKY co-production is Nigel Williams.
Catherine the Great 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.
Helen Mirren plays Catherine the Great, the Russian Empress who was strong-minded, independent, brilliantly intelligent and sexually liberated – the definition of the modern woman. Jason Clarke portrays Grigory Potemkin, a Russian military commander who became Catherine the Great’s lover, favored statesman and life-long friend. Joseph Quinn will play Paul, Catherine’s son and heir.
Also starring is Gina McKee as Countess Bruce, Catherine’s lifelong friend and confidante; Rory Kinnear as Minister Panin, a skillful politician, advisor and governor to Catherine’s son; Richard Roxburgh as Grigory Orlov, one of Catherine’s former lovers, who helped orchestrate the coup that brought Catherine to power; Kevin R. McNally as Alexei Orlov, who, with his brother Grigory, helped orchestrate the coup that brought Catherine to power; and Sam Palladio as Alexander Vasilichikov, Catherine’s young lover.
The additional cast includes: Clive Russell as The Fool; 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 Northcoate as Alexander Bezborodko; and Andrew Rothney as Alexander Dmitriev-Mamonov.