Helen Mirren fans will be blown away by this image of the Oscar winner as one of the most powerful female leaders of all time, Catherine the Great.

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The first image of Oscar-winner Dame Helen Mirren in Sky and HBO’s new British drama Catherine the Great has been released.

Set against the lavish backdrop of the politically ruthless 18th century Russian court, the image shows Mirren as one of the most formidable women in history.

Starring alongside Mirren are Jason Clarke (Zero Dark Thirty) as Catherine’s favoured statesman, military commander and lover Potemkin, BAFTA winner Gina McKee (Bodyguard), as Catherine’s lifelong friend and confidante Countess Bruce, and Rory Kinnear (The Imitation Game) as Minister Panin, a skilful politician, advisor and governor to Catherine’s son and heir Paul (Joseph Quinn).

Richard Roxburgh (Moulin Rouge) also joins as Grigory Orlov, one of Catherine’s former lovers who, with his brother Alexei Orlov (played by Kevin R McNally, Unforgotten), orchestrated the coup that brought Catherine into power.

Currently shooting in palaces and sets across Russia, Latvia and Lithuania, this four-part epic will chart the latter years of Catherine’s 34-year reign, as she builds Russia’s reputation as one of the great powers of Europe.

The first-look image shows Mirren as Empress Catherine in her private quarters modelled on the original Russian palaces and surrounded by hand-copied paintings from the Hermitage.

Written by Nigel Williams (Elizabeth I) and directed by BAFTA and Emmy® Award-winning Philip Martin (The Crown), Catherine the Great is produced by Origin Pictures and New Pictures. It is the third commission from Sky and HBO’s high-end global drama partnership.

The series will air on Sky Atlantic and TV streaming service NOW TV in the UK and Ireland next year.