Creator: Tony McNamara
Starring: Elle Fanning, Nicholas Hoult, Phoebe Fox, Gwilym Lee, Sacha Dhawan
Production Company: Thruline Entertainment, Echo Lake Entertainment, Lewellen Pictures, MRC Television, Macgowan Films
Kent Locations Used: Hever Castle, St Clere Estate, Botany Bay, Cobham Wood, The Historic Dockyard Chatham
The Great (2020-2023), a satirical comedy from American streaming company Hulu, follows the infamous rise of Prussian-born Catherine the Great as she ascends to become the longest serving female ruler in Russian history. Forced to choose between her own personal happiness and the future of an empire, she abandons a life of love and romance and vows to change a country plagued by deceit and ruin.
Series 3 sees Catherine and Peter attempt to make their marriage work after a very rocky start. But with Peter haunted by visions of his late grandfather, Peter The Great (Jason Isaacs), will he stay content as mere First Husband to Catherine the Great for long?
The series was created by Tony McNamara (The Favourite, Ashby) and stars Elle Fanning (Maleficent, Mary Shelley) as Catherine the Great, Nicholas Hoult (Mad Max: Fury Road, Warm Bodies) as Peter III of Russia. Phoebe Fox (Close to the Enemy, The Woman in Black 2: Angel of Death), Gwilym Lee (Bohemian Rhapsody, Midsomer Murders) and Sacha Dhawan (Iron Fist, The History Boys) feature in supporting roles.
Production visited various locations in Kent for Series 1, 2 and 3.
In Series 1 Episode 8, the Italian Loggia on Hever Castle lake doubles as an Eastern European house where Peter III of Russia (Nicholas Hoult) and Catherine (Elle Fanning) meet the Swedish King Hugo (Freddie Fox) and Queen Agnes (Grace Molony). The Loggia reappears in Series 2 Episode 1 as the house in which Peter and his confidantes Grigor (Gwilym Lee) and Georgina (Charity Wakefield) hide out from Catherine’s army.
The fields of St Clere Estate in Sevenoaks were used to stage battle scenes in Series 1 Episodes 5 and 7. The location returned in Series 2 Episode 1 as Catherine’s army’s base camp. St Clere also reappears in Series 3 Episodes 6 and 8 as an army camp on the Russia / Sweden border and the frozen lake where one key character meets an unexpected end.
Cobham Wood appears briefly in Series 3 Episode 6, as Catherine and Grigor ride in a carriage through the woods. The Tarred Yarn Store at The Historic Dockyard Chatham also features in Series 3 Episode 5, doubling as the interior of a town hall where Pugachev (Nicholas Hoult) incites the peasants against Catherine.
Hever Castle is an outstanding 13th century and Tudor castle with a moat, stunning Italianate gardens, a beautiful lake, as well as a mock Tudor Village. It was the original home of the Boleyn family. Productions that filmed here include Inkheart (2008) and The Third Day (2020).
St Clere Estate is set in 2800 acres of the rolling Kent countryside and offers stunning views of the North Downs. Some of the ground’s features include formal gardens, paddocks, a meadow, fields, an orangery, green houses and a temple by the lake. St Clere Estate has previously been used to film Road Games (2016) and Sky’s original series Gangs of London (2020-2022).
One of the most popular filming locations in Kent, Botany Bay is a sandy bay set against a white cliff backdrop with a steep, sandy track for vehicle access and small portable café. Recent productions to have filmed on Botany Bay include The Electrical Life of Louis Wain (2021), The Baby (2022) and Sulphur and White (2020).
Cobham Wood is a vast woodland park containing an array of vegetation and landscapes. The park is home to the Darnley Mausoleum; built in the 18th Century as the final resting place for the Darnley family, it remains unused.
A historic 17th Century Dockyard spanning over 80 acres, Chatham Dockyard contains over 100 buildings dating from the Georgian and Victorian periods. One of the most popular filming locations in Kent, recent productions to have filmed on the site include A Spy Among Friends (2022), Enola Holmes 2 (2022), and Series 3 of Jerk (2023).
Series 3 of The Great will be released on Lionsgate+ on Friday 14th July 2023 and the series is currently available to stream on StarzPlay and All4.
For more information about Kent’s Filming History please visit our Movie Map.