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Mary & George: What to expect from Julianne Moore and Nicola Walker's epic period drama

The series tells the extraordinary story of Mary and George Villiers

Julianne Moore as Mary Villiers & Nicholas Galitzine as George Villiers
Nicky Morris
TV and film writer
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Sky's latest drama Mary & George tells the extraordinary true story of mother and son duo Mary and George Villiers, who became one of the most powerful families in England during the reign of King James I. 

Starring Oscar-winning actress Julianne Moore and Red, White & Royal Blue's Nicholas Galitzine as the titular mother and son duo, the series tells of how Mary molded her charismatic son to scheme, seduce, and kill in a bid to conquer the Court of England and King James VI of Scotland and I of England, and become his all-powerful lover. Intrigued? Keep reading for all you need to know about the gripping new drama. 

WATCH: Julianne Moore and Nicholas Galitzine star in Mary & George

Billed as a "historical psychodrama", the seven-parter is adapted from Benjamin Wooley's 2017 nonfiction book The King's Assassin, a nonfiction novel that details the conspiracy to kill King James I by his lover, the Duke of Buckingham - a crime kept "hidden for 400 years". 

It follows Mary, a woman of humble beginnings and huge ambition who sets out to exploit the King's "voracious appetite for fine wine, fine company and fine men," using her "naïvely beautiful" son George. But the duo's quest for power has consequences for their relationship. 

Julianne Moore as Mary Villiers & Nicholas Galitzine as George Villiers in Mary & George© SKY UK
Julianne Moore and Nicholas Galitzine star as Mary and George Villiers

The official synopsis reads: "Always the smartest person in the room, Mary was never able to realise her full potential - until she spots an opportunity to take advantage of the king’s voracious appetite for fine wine, fine company and fine men.

"George, naïvely beautiful and charismatic, is thrust into the spotlight as his mother masterminds their pursuit of the king. Through audacious scheming and seduction, Mary and George claw their way to the centre of Court to become the most powerful family in England.

Tony Curran as King James in Mary & George© Rory Mulvey/ SKY UK
Tony Curran plays King James

"But as George grows in power, his relationship with his mother will be pushed to the very limits. George must prove to himself that he can be defined by more than just his beauty. He must make his mark on history, no matter the consequences."

Nicola Walker as Lady Hatton in Mary & George © Rory Mulvey/ SKY UK
Nicola Walker plays Lady Hatton

The series features an impressive ensemble cast, including Unforgotten star Nicola Walker, Malpractice actress Niamh Algar and Queen of Hearts' Trine Dyrholm.

Sean Gilder (Sherwood, Slow Horses), Adrian Rawlins (Living, Chernobyl), Mark O'Halloran (The Miracle Club, The Virtues), Laurie Davidson (Masters of the Air, Guilty Party), Samuel Blenkin (Atlanta, The Witcher: Blood Origin) and Jacob McCarthy (SAS: Rogue Heroes, The Tragedy of Macbeth) also appear in the series. 

Julianne Moore as Mary Villiers in Mary & George© SKY UK
The series tells the true story of Mary Villiers' quest for power

Rounding out the cast are Tom Victor (Consent), Alice Grant (Anthem at Almeida Theatre), Amelia Gething (Emily, The Amelia Gething Complex), Mirren Mack (The Nest, The Witcher: Blood Origin), Rina Mahoney (Happy Valley, Cobra) and Simon Russell Beale (The Death of Stalin, The Outfit).

Mary & George premieres on Sky Atlantic and NOW on Tuesday 5 March. The series arrives on Starz on 5 April in the United States.

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