Ekaterina (TV series)

Ekaterina is a 2014 Russia-1 historical television series 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".

Ekaterina
Ekaterina (TV series).jpg
Екатерина
GenreHistory
Serial drama
Created byAnton Zlatopolsky
Written byArif Aliev
Andrey Ivanov
(series 3)
Ivan Zaruvaev
(series 3)
Directed byAlexander Baranov
(series 1)
Ramil Sabitov
(series 1)
Dmitry Iosifov
(series 2—3)
StarringMarina Alexandrova
Julia Aug
Aleksandr Yatsenko
Pavel Tabakov
Vladimir Menshov
Konstantin Lavronenko
Alexander Lazarev Jr.
Nikolay Kozak
Rinal Mukhametov
Sergey Marin
Artyom Alekseev
Igor Sklyar
Vladimir Yaglych
Sergey Koltakov
Mikhail Gorevoy
Stanislav Strelkov
Alina Tomnikov
Artur Ivanov
Angelina Strechina
ComposerNikolay Rostov
Country of originRussia
Original languageRussian
No. of seasons3
No. of episodes40
Production
Executive producersLilia Chekster
Alexandra Shakhnazarova
(series 1)
Syuzanna Muazen
(series 2—3)
ProducersAlexander Akopov
Natalia Shneiderova
Tatyana Belichenko
(series 1)
Alexey Kozin
(series 1—2)
Ekaterina Efanova
(series 1—2)
Alexey Kublitsky
(series 1—2)
Leonid Blavatnik (series 2)
Anton Zlatopolsky
(series 2—3)
Dmitry Golubnichy
(series 2—3)
Nikolay Rostov
(series 3)
Anastasia Koretskaya
(series 3)
Production locationsSaint Petersburg
Moscow
Crimea
Veliky Novgorod
Prague
CinematographyMaxim Shinkorenko
Running time32–60 minutes
Production companiesProduction Value (season 1)
Amedia (seas. 1–2)
COSMOS Studio (seasons 2–3)
Release
Original networkRussia
Picture formatHDTV 1080i
Audio formatDolby Digital 5.1
Original releaseNovember 24, 2014 (2014-11-24) –
present

The first season premiered on November 24, 2014 on Russia-1,[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 February 27, 2017, and was released on Amazon in 2018. The series premiered its third season on October 21, 2019.

Plot summaryEdit

Season 1: Catherine (2014)Edit

Motto – «I will reign… otherwise I will perish…»

In 1744 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.

Season 2: The Rise of Catherine (2017)Edit

Motto – «She ascended the throne to become Great!»

1768. Catherine has ruled Russia for six years. A dangerous prospect of war with Turkey is looming. At the same time, Catherine is looking for a way to legally marry her longtime favorite Grigory Orlov and legitimize their common son Alexey, to make him heir to the throne in case Pavel Petrovich (the son of Catherine II and Peter III) remains childless.

However, Orlov’s cheeky and unpredictable behavior, as well as his problems with male health, make the empress abandon her thought of marriage and send her son Alexey abroad. Having thrown Pavel Petrovich into the arms of her maid of honor, Sofia Stepanovna, the Empress makes sure that Pavel Petrovich can have children. Having got rid of Orlov, Catherine falls in love with the guard Grigory Potemkin and finds in Europe a bride for Pavel Petrovich, Wilhelmina Louisa of Hesse-Darmstadt.

1774. The Russo-Turkish war ends with a victory for Russia, which establishes its protectorate over the Crimean Khanate and gets access to the Black and Azov Seas.

1776. Pavel Petrovich marries for the second time to the Duchess Sophie Dorothea of Württemberg, while Catherine marries Potemkin, who in her honor establishes the city of Yekaterinoslav in the south of the empire.

1780. Catherine releases the Braunschweig family, children of the Duke Anton Ulrich – the great-grandchildren of Peter The Great’s brother, from prison. They sail to Denmark.

1782. Catherine opens a statue of Peter The Great in St. Petersburg and sends Pavel Petrovich with his wife and children on a trip to Europe.

Season 3: Catherine. Impostors (2019)Edit

Motto – «Russia is waiting… I won't let anyone stop me!»

Note: This season takes place between the 11th and 12th episode of the second season, from 1774 to 1776.

1774. The rule of the great and mighty Ekaterina is threatened. The Russo-Turkish War continues, draining the Empire’s treasury. Numerous pretenders appear with claims to the throne. The Peasants’ War is in full swing – a war led by Yemelyan Pugachev, who passed himself off as Peter III. There is danger brewing inside the palace, too: the noblemen want to pass the throne on to her oldest son, Paul. Ekaterina’s personal life is troubled. She has lost hope of having a child with Prince Potemkin. She has new love interests, new favorites. But the biggest and most important love of the Empress is Russia itself. Ekaterina has to make decisions that determine the fate of her throne and her empire.

Prequel: Elizabeth (2022)Edit

The prequel tells the story of the Empress Elizabeth, daughter of Peter I, who was all but 16 years old, when her father died and left her to govern her immense empire. For Elizabeth, her throne became a living hell: against her will the young girl was pulled into court intrigues, where she is opposed by notable members of the court such as Andrei Ivanovich Osterman, Aleksandre Danielovich Meshikov, and even her own mother Catherine the First.[2]

CastEdit

Catherine the GreatEdit

Ekaterina Alexeyevna /
Sophie Friedericke Auguste,
Princess of Anhalt-Zerbst-Dornburg
Ekaterina character
Portrayed byMarina Alexandrova
First appearanceEpisode 1.01
Last appearanceEpisode 3.16

MainEdit

Recurring castEdit

Series 1Edit

Series 2Edit

Series 3Edit

EpisodesEdit

Series overviewEdit

SeriesTitleEpisodesOriginally aired
First airedLast aired
1-1224 November 2014 (2014-11-24)27 November 2014 (2014-11-27)
2The Rise of Catherine1227 February 2017 (2017-02-27)7 March 2017 (2017-03-07)
3Impostors1621 October 2019 (2019-10-21)31 October 2019 (2019-10-31)

Series 1 (2014)Edit

No.
overall
No. in
series
TitleDirected byWritten byOriginal air dateRussia viewers
(millions)
11"Episode One"Alexander BaranovArif Aliev24 November 2014 (2014-11-24)N/A
22"Episode Two"Ramil SabitovArif Aliev24 November 2014 (2014-11-24)N/A
33"Episode Three"Alexander BaranovArif Aliev24 November 2014 (2014-11-24)N/A
44"Episode Four"Ramil SabitovArif Aliev25 November 2014 (2014-11-25)N/A
55"Episode Five"Alexander BaranovArif Aliev25 November 2014 (2014-11-25)N/A
66"Episode Six"Ramil SabitovArif Aliev25 November 2014 (2014-11-25)N/A
77"Episode Seven"Alexander BaranovArif Aliev26 November 2014 (2014-11-26)N/A
88"Episode Eight"Ramil SabitovArif Aliev26 November 2014 (2014-11-26)N/A
99"Episode Nine"Alexander BaranovArif Aliev26 November 2014 (2014-11-26)N/A
1010"Episode Ten"Ramil SabitovArif Aliev27 November 2014 (2014-11-27)N/A
1111"Episode Eleven"Alexander BaranovArif Aliev27 November 2014 (2014-11-27)N/A
1212"Episode Twelve"Ramil SabitovArif Aliev27 November 2014 (2014-11-27)N/A

Series 2: The Rise of Catherine (2017)Edit

No.
overall
No. in
series
TitleDirected byWritten byOriginal air dateRussia viewers
(millions)
131"Episode One"Dmitry IosifovArif Aliev27 February 2017 (2017-02-27)6.7 / 18.1%
142"Episode Two"Dmitry IosifovArif Aliev27 February 2017 (2017-02-27)N/A
153"Episode Three"Dmitry IosifovArif Aliev28 February 2017 (2017-02-28)N/A
164"Episode Four"Dmitry IosifovArif Aliev28 February 2017 (2017-02-28)N/A
175"Episode Five"Dmitry IosifovArif Aliev1 March 2017 (2017-03-01)N/A
186"Episode Six"Dmitry IosifovArif Aliev1 March 2017 (2017-03-01)N/A
197"Episode Seven"Dmitry IosifovArif Aliev2 March 2017 (2017-03-02)N/A
208"Episode Eight"Dmitry IosifovArif Aliev2 March 2017 (2017-03-02)N/A
219"Episode Nine"Dmitry IosifovArif Aliev6 March 2017 (2017-03-06)N/A
2210"Episode Ten"Dmitry IosifovArif Aliev6 March 2017 (2017-03-06)N/A
2311"Episode Eleven"Dmitry IosifovArif Aliev7 March 2017 (2017-03-07)N/A
2412"Episode Twelve"Dmitry IosifovArif Aliev7 March 2017 (2017-03-07)6.4 / 19.9%

Series 3: Impostors (2019)Edit

No.
overall
No. in
series
TitleDirected byWritten byOriginal air dateRussia viewers
(millions)
251"Episode One"Dmitry IosifovArif Aliev21 October 2019 (2019-10-21)4.4 / 13.8%
262"Episode Two"Dmitry IosifovArif Aliev & Andrey Ivanov21 October 2019 (2019-10-21)N/A
273"Episode Three"Dmitry IosifovArif Aliev22 October 2019 (2019-10-22)N/A
284"Episode Four"Dmitry IosifovArif Aliev & Ivan Zaruvaev22 October 2019 (2019-10-22)N/A
295"Episode Five"Dmitry IosifovArif Aliev23 October 2019 (2019-10-23)N/A
306"Episode Six"Dmitry IosifovArif Aliev & Andrey Ivanov23 October 2019 (2019-10-23)N/A
317"Episode Seven"Dmitry IosifovArif Aliev24 October 2019 (2019-10-24)N/A
328"Episode Eight"Dmitry IosifovArif Aliev & Ivan Zaruvaev24 October 2019 (2019-10-24)N/A
339"Episode Nine"Dmitry IosifovArif Aliev28 October 2019 (2019-10-28)N/A
3410"Episode Ten"Dmitry IosifovArif Aliev & Andrey Ivanov28 October 2019 (2019-10-28)N/A
3511"Episode Eleven"Dmitry IosifovArif Aliev29 October 2019 (2019-10-29)4.1 / 13.1%
3612"Episode Twelve"Dmitry IosifovArif Aliev & Ivan Zaruvaev29 October 2019 (2019-10-29)N/A
3713"Episode Thirteen"Dmitry IosifovArif Aliev30 October 2019 (2019-10-30)N/A
3814"Episode Fourteen"Dmitry IosifovArif Aliev & Andrey Ivanov30 October 2019 (2019-10-30)N/A
3915"Episode Fifteen"Dmitry IosifovArif Aliev31 October 2019 (2019-10-31)N/A
4016"Episode Sixteen"Dmitry IosifovArif Aliev & Ivan Zaruvaev31 October 2019 (2019-10-31)N/A

ReceptionEdit

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".[3] 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."[4]

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.[5]

ReleaseEdit

Season one, with English subtitles and reformatted into ten episodes, was released by Amazon Prime in June 2017. This drama also aired in Pakistan on filmazia, dubbed in Urdu.

See alsoEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ Catherine on Russia-1 official website
  2. ^ "Starting the new Prequel". Vokryg Journal. 1.3.2021
  3. ^ "EKATERINA: THE RISE OF CATHERINE THE GREAT' (2014) SEASON 1 REVIEW". Retrieved November 2, 2017.
  4. ^ Kahn, Robert (June 27, 2017). "Ekaterina - The Rise of Catherine the Great, now streaming on Amazon Prime Video". Archived from the original on November 7, 2017. Retrieved November 2, 2017.
  5. ^ "Екатерины": сериал лидирует среди телепроектов недели (Russian report)

External linksEdit