Ekaterina (TV series)
|Created by||Aleksander Baranov|
Alexander Lazarev Jr.
|Country of origin||Russia|
|No. of seasons||2|
|No. of episodes||24|
|Executive producer(s)||Natalia Schneiderova|
Saint Petersburg (Russia)
Prague (Czech Republic)
|Running time||45–60 minutes|
|Picture format||1080i (16:9 HDTV)|
|Audio format||Dolby Digital 5.1|
|Original release||November 24, 2014– present|
Released in 2014, Ekaterina is a Russia-1 historical television biographical film starring Marina Aleksandrova as the eventual Russian empress Catherine the Great. The first season tells the story of princess Sophie Friederike Auguste, and her rise to power to become Empress of Russia, following a coup d'état and the assassination of her husband, Peter III. The second season portrays the challenges she faces at home and abroad during the early years of her rule, as she tries to revitalise Russia to become one of the great powers of Europe, and becomes titled 'the Great'.
The first season premiered on November 24, 2014 on Channel Russia-1, and was released on Amazon in 2017 under the title Ekaterina: The Rise of Catherine the Great. The second season premiered on Russia-1 on 27 February 2017, and was released on Amazon in 2018.
During the broadcast, the series held the top spot for film and television series ratings in Russia, and became one of the most popular TV series in the Russian Federation. In September 2018, Marina Aleksandrova has confirmed on her Instagram account that they were filming a third season.
In 1745 in Saint Petersburg, Empress Elizabeth is childless, and she appoints her nephew Peter Fedorovich as the heir to the Russian throne. But he had been born in Prussia and could hardly speak Russian.
Elizabeth decides to marry him to a princess, intending to take any future son and educate him to become the future emperor. Elizabeth chooses a wife for her nephew, German Princess Sophie Friederike Auguste von Anhalt-Zerbst-Dornburg. Sophia Frederike hopes to find happiness in the distant and foreign land, but she is faced with the intrigues and plots of the Russian Imperial court, the indifference of her husband, and the plans of the Empress. The girl takes the name Catherine Alexeevna (Yekaterina) and works to save herself and her children from danger, as the emperor Peter III desires to send her away from the palace.
In July 1762, barely six months after becoming emperor, Peter commits the political error of retiring with his Holstein-born courtiers and relatives to Oranienbaum, leaving his wife in Saint Petersburg. On July 8 and 9, the Leib Guard revolts, deposes Peter from power, and proclaims Catherine as the new monarch. The bloodless coup d'état succeeds and Catherine becomes the new empress, and thus the Golden Age of the Russian Empire begins.
- Marina Aleksandrova as Catherine the Great
- Julia Aug as Empress Yelizabeta Petrovna
- Aleksandr Yatsenko as Pyotr III Fyodorovich
- Vladimir Menshov as Count Alexey Bestuzhev-Ryumin
- Rinal Mukhametov as Count Sergei Saltykov
- Sergei Sterlnikov as Grigory Orlov
- Konstantin Lavronenko as Jean Armand de Lestocq
- Alexander Lazarev Jr. as Alexey Razumovsky
- Isabelle Schosing as Joanna Elisabeth of Holstein-Gottorp
- Alexey Vorobyov as Stanisław August Poniatowski
- Nikolay Kozak as Alexander Shuvalov
- Ivan Dobronravov as Pimen
- Patrick Rollin as Marquis de La Chétardie
- Vitaly Kravchenko as General Apraksin
- Hartmut Krug as Frederick II
- Pavel Vorozhsov as Mikhail Lomonosov
- Polina Lazareva as Princess Yekaterina Vorontsova-Dashkova
The series has received praise for its acting and costume design, and the first season won Russia's Golden Eagle award for "best television series". A review at Eclectic Pop described it as "a vivid and beautifully crafted series replete with lavish costumes and a stirring musical score". Writing for Broadway World, Robert Kahn described the series as "gloriously filmed" and added: "The story of Catherine's rise to power rivals any contemporary soap opera, as an intricate web of politics, adultery and betrayal unfolds within the Russian court in spectacular fashion." Russia Insider wrote that the "production level is really first rate, reflecting great depth of talent and experience in Russian film-making".
- Catherine on Russia-1 official website
- "Екатерины": сериал лидирует среди телепроектов недели (Russian report)
- "EKATERINA: THE RISE OF CATHERINE THE GREAT' (2014) SEASON 1 REVIEW". Retrieved 2 November 2017.
- Kahn, Robert (27 June 2017). "Ekaterina - The Rise of Catherine the Great, now streaming on Amazon Prime Video". Retrieved 2 November 2017.
- "Amazon Video Debuts Excellent Russian TV Series About Catherine the Great". 13 July 2017. Retrieved 2 November 2017.