The Great

Rating 8.2
Streamers Amazon Prime, Starzplay
Seasons 1
Episodes 10 x 50 mins

Huzzah! The Great will soon to be back for season two, and this time we’re expecting – a baby… and a bloody good follow up. Wonderfully daring and dangerously addictive (think the frills of Marie Antionette crossed with the wit of The Favourite), this is a period drama like no other.

Studio bosses have revealed that season two will land on Hulu in the US on November 19th, which means UK viewers should expect it on StarzPlay around the same time.

+ Check out ten cracking comedies in our Laugh Out Loud List

+ Guess what other period drama is set for a smashing second season? It is of course our beloved Bridgerton 

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But what will be of the discordant yet delightful unity of Catherine and Peter in season two?

1. Remember Catherine’s baby news? Well, she’s now properly pregnant and may wish to update her wardrobe accordingly. But will it be a boy or a girl? And who’s the daddy? Details of this nature are essential when we’re talking kings and queens.

2. Having secured Russia’s crown, it’s the Empress’s turn to rule… but Russia is reluctant to abide.

3. Writer Tony McNamara has confirmed that there will be plenty more bumps in the road for Catherine than the one she is stuffing into a corset. Funnily enough, being Russia’s first female leader is no stroll in the royal park.

4. Even Catherine’s mummy dearest is making an appearance in the new and updated cast, played by none other than (drumroll please) … the legendary Gillian Anderson. Huzzah indeed!

5. We even have an inside scoop that a third season could be in the works, but that’s only if the Empress can make it through the second.

The rest remains to be seen, waiting patiently behind the palace doors before its grand release in November 2021. Oh the excitement!

Just in case you missed season one of The Great, rather than sending you straight to the gallows (where you quite rightly belong, don’t you agree Peter?) we shall comfort you with a recap.

Loosely following the real story of Catherine the Great’s rise to power as the longest reigning female ruler in Russia’s history, it’s a bit of a genre-bender; meshing historical drama with dark comedy, sumptuously dripping in monarchic satire. Season one was far from drab and dropped us straight into the courtly melodrama, following the marriage of Catherine (an effortless Elle Fanning) and the Emperor of Russia, Peter III (Nicholas Hoult playing, once again, the self-entitled bad guy). Their honeymoon period is – let’s say – a short one, and Catherine is faced with a number of choices involving her happiness and the future of Russia. And the ending of season one? Well, what’s a royal wedding without a cheeky coup? Royally juicy stuff.

As a reminder of just how much of a royal success season one was, let’s check in with the noble critics. The Sunday Times Victoria Segal called the first season a “filthy, flippant gallop through the early married life of Catherine the Great”, with Anita Singh, writer for The Telegraph describing it as a “bawdy and bonkers period comedy”, just what our TV tastebuds are yearning for. Finally, the Los Angeles Times’s Robert Lloyd fawned over the way that “above all there is Fanning, a porcelain figuring come to a complicated life, who grounds the series even as she seems to float through it.” High praise indeed.

+ Fancy something bookish? See our literary adaptions list here

+ For another somewhat historically ambiguous drama, try Dickinson

Season two is set to be a royally juicy, and there’s just enough time to binge the first season in preparation. Toosh! My apologies – I mean touché.

First shown June 2020.

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