Where to watch The Great in the UK - plus season 2 cast details

Presenting your next must-watch period programme

a still of Elle Fanning in character as Catherine The Great in season two of The Great
(Image credit: Channel 4)

As the second season lands in the UK, many fans are asking where can I watch The Great?

Boasting many a laugh, lovers tiff and luxury location is that of Hulu series The Great - a new period epic that sees Elle Fanning take the reigns as infamous Russian Empress Catherine the Great. Winning over critics and scooping up several award nominations, it's no wonder that audiences want answers as to where they can watch The Great in the UK.

It's not the only need-to-know-details surrounding the show, with those tuning in also wanting to learn about where The Great was filmed. Much like the stunning scenery in Sanditon season 2 and the stately filming locations of Bridgerton - people want to know whether they can visit The Great's royal palaces and stately grounds in real life.

Where to watch The Great in the UK

UK audiences can watch Season 1 and Season 2 of The Great on STARZPLAY via Amazon Prime. New subscribers can get a 7-day free trial, with subscriptions costing £5.99 a month after this. Season 2 of The Great is also on Channel 4. A new episode airs every Wednesday at 10pm, and is available on All4 to stream shortly after. 

Both series of The Great have already aired to American viewers. The first season was released on Hulu in the US on 15 May 2020, and was shortly renewed for a season 2 that year. Season 2 then followed on 19 November 2021 across the pond - also on Hulu.

STARZPLAY was the first platform to show The Great in the UK - with series one airing on 5 December 2021. It then got picked up by Channel 4 who are currently rolling out the second series each week in August 2022.

What is The Great about?

The Great is set in 18th-century Russia and tells the story of a young Catherine the Great as she enters a disastrous marriage to Emperor Peter III of Russia and eventually succeeds in overthrowing him in a coup.

Billed as an 'occasionally true story', we see how the young bride becomes the longest reigning female ruler in Russia’s history. Channel 4 describes the ten-part series The Great as "a modern love story that incorporates historical facts, occasionally.

"Hoping for love and sunshine, [Catherine] finds instead a dangerous, depraved, backward world that she resolves to change. All she has to do is kill her husband, beat the church, baffle the military and get the court onside."

The Great season 2: Cast list

  • Elle Fanning (Somewhere, The Neon Demon, Maleficent: Mistress of Evil) plays Catherine the Great
  • Nicholas Hoult (About a Boy, Skins) plays Peter III
  • Gillian Anderson (The Crown, The X Files) plays Catherine's mother, Joanna
  • Jason Isaacs (Harry Potter, Sex Education) plays Peter the Great
  • Phoebe Fox (Eye in the Sky, One Day) plays Marial
  • Belinda Bromilow (Doctor Doctor, Happy Feet) plays Aunt Elizabeth
  • Charity Wakefield (Sense & Sensibility, Wolf Hall) plays Georgina Dymov
  • Gwilym Lee (Bohemian Rapsody, Fresh Meat) plays Grigor Dymov
  • Adam Godley (Breaking Bad, The Umbrella Academy) plays Archbishop Archie
  • Sacha Dhawan (Line of Duty, Doctor Who) plays Count Orlo
  • Douglas Hodge (Black Mirror, The Undoing) plays General Velementov

Speaking about her character, Catherine the Great, in season 2, Elle Fanning has said: "It is actually a very stressful time for Catherine because she is trying to get a lot done and she finally has the power and she got what she wanted and now she is kind of like 'well how do I use it? Am I going to be able to change this country or are they just not going to change?'"

She added: "So there is a lot of push and pull and navigating what her court is going to look like, all while being pregnant and dealing with Peter."

While Gillian Anderson, who plays Catherine's mother Joanna, said: "She is German, she has dressed the latest styles of Paris and Europe and she is known as the maestro of marriage because she has arranged very high profile marriages for her all of her many daughters. 

"She has come to Russia because she has heard of her daughter's coup and she kind of wants see it for herself and I guess at the end of the day possibly try and convince Catherine she needs to change her mind and just behave like the wife she was raised to be."

a still of Nicholas Hoult as Peter III in The Great season 2

(Image credit: Channel 4)

And Nicholas Hoult, who plays Peter III said of season 2: "For Peter, it is interesting because he loses the empire and kind of fails in many ways but I think he finds that quite freeing to a degree, and does try and change and become a better person through that.

"He is very excited to become a father, that was a huge thing making an heir and securing the bloodline of Peter so that's a big thing, and also the more Catherine kind of takes charge and becomes more ruthless, the more he sees those sides of her personality the more he falls in love with her, so it's about that."

How many episodes of The Great season 2?

Like the first series, The Great season 2 will be made up of ten hour-long episodes, playing out the second season's story. Season 2 is currently airing every Wednesday at 10pm in the UK.

In this season, "Catherine finally takes the Russian throne for her own – but she will quickly learn that dethroning her husband was just the beginning," according to the official synopsis.

"Catherine must now face the realities of ‘liberating’ a country that doesn’t want to be free. Her fight to bring enlightenment to Russia will mean battling her own court and those closest to her, including her own mother."

Will there be a season 3 of The Great?

Fans of the show will be pleased to learn that producers have confirmed a season 3 of The Great. Hulu announced in January 2022, during Disney's Television Critics Association winter press tour, that the series had been renewed and that the new season will consist of 10 episodes.

Filming of season 3 is currently underway. And after discovering she'd been nominated for an Emmy award for season 3, Elle Fanning said: "I can’t put into words what “The Great” means to me. To be recognized for playing Catherine, a character who has shaped me personally in so many ways, is a moment I will never forget.

Confirming season 3, she added: "We are on set filming season 3 right now." So with this in mind, it's likely that season 3 could be with us as soon as 2023.

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Robyn Morris
Entertainment writer - contributor

Robyn is a freelance celebrity journalist with ten years experience in the industry. While studying for a degree in Media and Cultural Studies at London College of Communication, she did internships at Now and Heat magazines. After graduating, she landed a job at Star magazine, where she worked her way up to features editor. She then worked at Future as Deputy Celebrity Content Director across Woman, Woman’s Own, Woman’s Weekly and Woman & Home magazines.