The Great' series 2: Elle Fanning and Nicholas Hoult to return in Russian period drama

Elle Fanning as Catherine the Great and Phoebe Fox (C4)
Elle Fanning and Phoebe Fox in 'The Great'. (C4)

The second season of TV drama The Great is set to get its Channel 4 debut.

The Russian-set period dramedy stars Elle Fanning (Mary Shelley) as Catherine the Great, who marries Emperor Peter III (X-Men star Nicholas Hoult) and finds herself plunged into a power struggle for the future of her country.

Although the plot is loosely based on the 18th century rise to power of Catherine the Great, the show openly dramatises and imagines events that are not historically accurate.

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The steamy drama features Peter's cheating and cruel nature towards his wife, and her many plots to overthrow her husband who only got married to secure an heir.

Nicholas Hoult attends The Fashion Awards 2019 at the Royal Albert Hall on December 02, 2019. (Photo by Karwai Tang/WireImage)
Nicholas Hoult will reprise his role as Emperor Peter III. (Karwai Tang/WireImage)

In series two, Fanning and Hoult are joined by The Crown and Sex Education star Gillian Anderson, who plays Catherine's mother.

Anderson is currently filming new TV series The First Lady, where she stars as Eleanor Roosevelt.

The series opens after Catherine has dethroned Peter in a coup at the end of season one and sees her struggle to liberate a country which does not seem to want to be liberated.

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Her battle for Russia's enlightenment even brings her into conflict with her own mother as she also tries to navigate her increasingly complicated relationship with Peter.

Gillian Anderson joins the cast. (Sthanlee B. Mirador/Sipa USA)
Gillian Anderson joins the cast. (Sthanlee B. Mirador/Sipa USA)

Catherine is set to discover that becoming great will take much more than she had realised as she treads a fine line between idealism and delusion.

The cast also includes Phoebe Fox, Adam Godley, Gwilym Lee, Charity Wakefield, Douglas Hodge, Sacha Dhawan, Bayo Gbadamosi and Belinda Bromilow.

Series two of The Great, which is created by The Favourite writer Tony McNamara, aired in the US in November and has been available on Starzplay since December, but will now come to terrestrial TV for the first time, due to air on Channel 4 in the summer.

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