Catherine (Elle Fanning) finds it easier than ever to introduce new ideas at court, gifting Peter (Nicholas Hoult) a printing press – the first in Russia! But the choices of what to print at court are not as intellectual as she hoped. An outbreak of smallpox occurs in the servants’ quarters, and Catherine convinces Peter to allow Dr Chekhov (Jamie Demetriou) to treat the serfs away from the palace, while Archie (Adam Godley) attempts to convince Peter that the smallpox is God’s punishment for the printing press. Catherine attempts to roll out ‘variolation’: a new treatment that Peter and the court furiously disapprove of.
The Great: A Pox on Hope – Sunday 9pm on Channel 4