You may have to hit rewind after being lost in the visuals with this one.
Are you ready for more great television?
We undoubtedly live in the golden age for prestige TV, it's true. Every year, enthusiasts argue that the medium is gradually overtaking cinema, and to be fair, more shows are becoming increasingly cinematic.
Such titles as Game of Thrones have really been game-changers, ratcheting up their budgets and creating small-screen events that the masses flock to like blockbusters. The HBO fantasy series is about as big as TV gets, but there are still so many recent titles that can serve to defend the earlier claim.
When you have efforts like the critically acclaimed mini-series Chernobyl and imaginative filmmakers like Nicholas Winding Refn turning to the episodic structure - he helmed Too Old to Die Young - then things are clearly still on the up. One of the latest series' to captivate audiences is Catherine the Great.
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Catherine the Great on Sky
It can be considered an epic of sorts, yet it's made up of a palatable four episodes.
That's right - it's a miniseries, so a quick easy binge is manageable for this one. Directed by Phillip Martin (The Crown) and written by English novelist Nigel Williams (2005 TV drama Elizabeth I), this latest work turns its lens to the female monarch, painting an intriguing tapestry of eighteenth-century drama and relations.
By examining her reign of power amongst an array of other plot threads, there really is a lot to appreciate here, and the attention to detail is really quite hypnotic.
With Helen Mirren (The Queen), Rory Kinnear (The Imitation Game) and Jason Clarke (Zero Dark Thirty) in the cast, it's amusing to note that their surroundings are stars in their own right too...
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Where was Catherine the Great filmed?
One of the best things about the new series is its stunning and lavish locations.
According to Radio Times, a great deal of shooting took place around Russia, Lithuania and Latvia.
However, let’s identify some key, identifiable locations which can be observed throughout. Firstly, it’s worth highlighting the incredible Latvian location of Rundale Palace, which provides a gorgeous tapestry of exterior shots - plenty of following shots and so forth in corridors were filmed there. Additionally, you have Countess Bruce’s quarters and the cross-dressing ball - played out in episode one taking place there.
Moving on, there is also the Pazaislis Monastery in Kaunas, Lithuania.
This spot was transformed to recreate soldiers’ barracks; also shot there was Paul’s ceremony and the mortuary.
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This is Rundāle Palace, the Versailles of Latvia, on a beautiful sunny day. No sweat here. pic.twitter.com/CxBybNT3Za— Martin Trusler (@TruslerMartin) July 25, 2019
The same source notes that Vilnius in Lithuania was used, and such locations as Catherine’s and Paul’s quarters and the council rooms were crafted there.
Then, of course, there were numerous Russian locations used to help bring Catherine the great gloriously to life. Eagle-eyed viewers may be able to identify the likes of Peterhof Palace - which was used for the fountains sequence when Catherine and Lady Bruce see Potemkin and also Yusupovkiy Palace for the scenes in the theatre.
Last but not least, you will also see scenes filmed at Gatchina Palace, which was used to sculpt the palace of Prince Paul. There are so many gorgeous locations throughout - it’s worth watching the series for them alone, honestly!
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