New comedy drama, loosely based on Catherine the Great. The ladies of the court spread a rumour that Catherine (Elle Fanning) was once intimate with a horse. Trying to win back their favour, she tries flattery, gift-buying – but nothing works. The true power of the women becomes clear during a tea dance that turns violent. When the influential Patriarch of the church dies, Peter (Nicholas Hoult) must choose a new one. Orlo (Sacha Dhawan) tries to sway Peter and Archie (Adam Godley) over who the successor should be, explaining secretly to Catherine that she will need the church when she takes power. Bishops come forward as candidates but Peter, tiring of them quickly, tells Archie to procure an answer from God himself. Aunt Elizabeth (Belinda Bromilow) advises Catherine that she must have the women’s respect. While pondering this advice she comes across Archie, who has consumed mushrooms to connect with God. He thinks Catherine an angel, and she tells him he should be Patriarch. And, in a staged fight, Catherine publicly strikes down Marial (Phoebe Fox), managing to impress the ladies of the court.
The Great: Moscow Mule – Sunday 9pm on Channel 4