This is a story of passion, power, and religion amidst the turbulent collapse of empire. It unfolds in the fabled city of Constantinople, capital of the Ottoman Empire. Where East meets West, where Christianity meets Islam. Ruling over this empire is SULTAN ABDUL HAMID II, one of the most cunning, paranoid sovereigns in the history of the world. Worshiped as the Caliph of all Islam, the Shadow of God on Earth. In an age of empires, no monarch has more mystique than this eastern potentate with his harem of 200 women. In a palace built to rival Versailles, plots for power, driven by greed and lust, abound. This is a story of conquest and assassination, of revolution and betrayal, of slavery and desire. But this is not a medieval story. Our story begins in 1876, and continues into the 20th century. Because human nature never changes.
For five centuries the Sultans of the Ottoman Empire have ruled the most far reaching and powerful empire the world has ever known. Through jihad (holy war) the Ottoman dynasty conquers lands from Africa and Arabia to the borders of Austria in Europe. The Sultans have been strong, fearsome warriors, cultured musicians and artists, drunk, weak and depraved madmen. They create a multi-national empire, build great mosques, sponsor medicine and science. By the late 19th century they must defend their vast empire from the European powers arrayed against them. THE OTTOMANS is a dramatic TV series that begins in a moment of crisis for the Ottoman Empire. The Sultan has been murdered.
The Czar of Russia threatens war. Reformers agitate for democracy. In the midst of this chaos, a young prince sets out to save the dynasty, and secure the throne for himself. The series follows the journey of Prince ABDUL HAMID, the second son of Sultan MEJID. Raised in the harem surrounded by eunuchs and slave-girls, Hamid willseize his only opportunity to escape a lifetime in the golden cage where potential heirs are locked away. In order to secure the throne, he must win the confidence of the Grand Vizier, LORD MIDHAT, the mastermind behind the previous sultan’s downfall.
The series will reveal intrigues among rival factions in the Ottoman family. Hamid’s older half-brother MURAD, a progressive reformer, is the rightful heir to the throne. But brother will turn against brother. Their sister, PRINCESS SENIHA, modern and outspoken, supports an armed attempt against Hamid, becoming a life-long enemy. From the 200 slave-girls in his harem, Hamid must choose wives and concubines, themselves clawing their way to power. This is the story of the paranoia and cruelty that overcome a prince who just wants to be loved.
The series will take us from the heart of the Ottoman palaces where members of the dynasty conspire for control; to the courts of Europe where the major powers scheme to carve up the Ottoman Empire; to the battlefields of the Balkans where the Ottoman Army clashes with the overwhelming forces of the Russian Empire; to the hamam (bath-house) where sexual intrigues play out; to the harem where slave-girls plot for power; to the streets and mosques of Constantinople where secret cells form to rebel against the Sultan. THE OTTOMANS is a 30-year saga of passion and betrayal, power and ambition, of a dynasty in decline and the birth of a republic. A foreshadowing of the Arab Spring, the series unfolds the promising rise to power, the ruthless reign and the revolution that leads to the downfall of an absolute ruler. Epic yet intimate, the series weaves a tapestry of romance, adventure,conspiracy and intrigue, bringing to life forceful characters who shaped the course of world history.