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Source: HBO

Unraveling the History Behind HBO's 'Catherine the Great'

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Nobody makes a miniseries quite like HBO, and with Helen Mirren in the lead, the new biopic limited series Catherine the Great is sure to dazzle, especially with a historic figure as legendary as the 18th century Russian czarina. The four-part series opens in the middle of the monarch's history, where she's facing opposition from her subjects and various threats to her reign, including her own son and a little someone referred to as "Prisoner Number One." 

While we think biopics are exempt from spoiler warning rules, we'll go ahead and warn you that this article is full of spoilers from, you know, history. If you want the historical context behind the drama, though, read on!

Who is Prisoner Number One on Catherine the Great?