Waiting for season 3 of The Great? Here are 5 madcap dramas to tide you over...

The cast of The Great season 2.
(Image credit: Hulu)

The story of Catherine The Great, the last and longest-ruling Empress of Russia, has been put on screen numerous times, with the likes of Catherine Zeta-Jones, Marlene Dietrich and Helen Mirren all taking on the role at various times. But she has never been put on screen with as much swagger, mirth or joy than she has in Hulu's The Great. 

This take on Catherine has been penned by Tony McNamara, who delivered the script for terrific Oscar-winning historical dark comedy The Favorite, and that same slightly madcap tone is present in every line in The Great. Led by Elle Fanning and Nicholas Hoult, The Great is an acerbic look at the rise of Catherine and her relationship with the dreadful Emperor Peter III of Russia, who she is scheming to remove from power.

Unlike Mirren's 2019 turn in the role, which was told in a singular miniseries, Fanning and Hoult have enjoyed two seasons thus far of The Great and a third is booked. Viewers all over the world have fallen for McNamara's take on the character and its mixture of slapstick humour, withering putdowns and good, old-fashioned drama has proved to be utterly captivating. 

That said, we don't know when the third outing will be arriving. The show's second season dropped at the very end of 2021, so there's every chance we'll be waiting until the end of 2022 or even the start of 2023 for the new run. 

So, to tide you over until then, we thought we'd compile five other acerbic and tongue-in-cheek looks at history's big characters that are just as addictive as The Great. Happy watching...



(Image credit: Canal+)

Versailles arrived before we'd really got used to seeing giant budgets and lavish sets on television, and it was a show that really pushed the limits of what was thought possible. As well as being packed with scenes that made us all blush. 

With a budget of $30 million, making it the biggest TV show in French history, the show showed off the splendor and excesses of the court of Louis XIV. 

The show's three seasons track Louis' reign, as he decides to head off plotting noblemen by moving his court from Paris to Versailles and building a new dynasty for France. 

Led by a handsome young cast, Versailles has a soapier, fizzier feel than The Great and its not as funny, but it has a real energy and compelling writing. 

Where to stream it: Netflix (US), Prime Video (UK), SBS (AU)

The Devil's Whore

The Devil's Whore

(Image credit: Channel 4)

Released in 2008, Channel 4 brought together Andrea Riseborough, John Simm, Michael Fassbender, Dominic West and Peter Capaldi for this gripping four-parter. 

Known as The Devil's Mistress in the US, the show is set during the English Civil War follows Riseborough's Angelica Fanshawe. After her husband is executed by Charles I for surrendering his house and estate to rebels in league with Oliver Cromwell, Fanshawe finds herself banished from court and homeless. 

Then forced to rely on her wits to survive, Fanshawe finds herself to drawn to the rebels' cause and begins to make new alliances. 

Led superbly by Riseborough, this is sizzling, elegant and caustic bit of period drama and should be right up your street if you've been bowled over by Elle Fanning's Catherine. 

Where can I stream it?

All4 (UK), Amazon Freevee (US)



(Image credit: Sky)

Britannia is the brainchild of Jez Butterworth, playwright extraordinaire, and writer of Daniel Craig's fourth 007 outing Spectre and Edge of Tomorrow, and there are three seasons to enjoy. 

Set in AD 43, the series follows ancient Rome's conquest of the Celts in the British Isles and their battle with warrior women and powerful druids to do so.

With an all-star cast that includes David Morrissey, Kelly Reilly, Nikolaj Lie Kaas, Mackenzie Crook, Zoë Wanamaker, Ian McDiarmid, Julian Rhind-Tutt and Hugo Speer, the show has the same madcap, unhinged and jangly feel as The Great and should be a slam dunk if you're in the mood for something similar. 

Where can I stream it?

NOW (UK), Epix (US), BiNGE (AU) 



(Image credit: HBO)

Before Game Of Thrones, HBO debuted another raunchy, violent, daring and hugely expensive series, only this show was loosely based on real events. 

Rome was set in the 1st century BC and chronicled during Ancient Rome's transition from a small-ish Republic to a globe-spanning Empire. All the key players in the period were covered, but most of the story was told through the eyes of two soldiers named Lucius Vorenus and Titus Pullo. 

Kevin McKidd starred as Vorenus with the MCU's Ray Stevenson playing Pullo, with Polly Walker, Ciarán Hinds, Kenneth Cranham, Lindsay Duncan, Tobias Menzies and Indira Varma among the supporting cast.

Compelling, fast-paced and often very funny, the show's vast cost meant it was only given two seasons, but they're both tremendous fun. 

Where can I stream it?

BritBox (UK), HBO Max (US), BiNGE (AU) 



(Image credit: NBC)

A vicious, uncompromising and underrated drama for our final recommendation. 

Jamestown stars Naomi Battrick, Max Beesley, Jason Flemyng, Dean Lennox Kelly and Niamh Walsh and follows the lives of the folk who arrived to set up the first British colony of Jamestown, Virginia. 

For 12 years, the town has been populated only by men, but the settlement is shaken up when the first women arrive. As you can imagine, things get rather bumpy. 

Where can I stream it?

NOW (UK), PBS (US), Stan (AU) 

Tom Goodwyn
Freelance Entertainment Writer

Tom Goodwyn was formerly TechRadar's Senior Entertainment Editor. He's now a freelancer writing about TV shows, documentaries and movies across streaming services, theaters and beyond. Based in East London, he loves nothing more than spending all day in a movie theater, well, he did before he had two small children…