Ryan Murphy's long awaited One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest prequel is finally available on Netflix, revealing the twisted origin of coldhearted Nurse Ratched.


Fans of American Horror Story will be right at home here, as the new series stars Sarah Paulson and a number of other familiar faces from Murphy's creepy saga.

The story takes place decades before One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest, picking up with Ratched in her younger years as she infiltrates a psychiatric institution and quickly clashes with the head nurse.

As the new series intends to turn Ratched into an edgy new antihero, co-star Cynthia Nixon compared her to the likes of Walter White and Tony Soprano in an interview with Radio Times.

She said: "In shows like Breaking Bad and The Sopranos, we can have male figures who are problematic to say the least, but we still love them. We’re only just starting to see that with female characters on television. Ratched is a prime example.

More like this

"At the centre of Ratched is a woman, played by Sarah Paulson, who is as much of an anti-heroine as a heroine. We love her and we embrace her in the story. And, much to our shock and horror, we empathise with her. It’s fantastic."

Paulson has expressed interest in returning for multiple seasons of Ratched, although that will rely on how the series is received by Netflix subscribers in the coming weeks.

Here's everything you need to know about the new series, streaming on Netflix now.

When is Ratched released on Netflix?

Ratched was made available to stream on Netflix on Friday 18th September 2020.

If you're wondering whether or not to watch, check out our Ratched review.

Who is in the Ratched cast?

ratched cast

Producer Ryan Murphy's latest Netflix project sees him reunite with his American Horror Story collaborator Sarah Paulson, who also portrayed Marcia Clark in American Crime Story: The People v OJ Simpson.

Leading the Ratched cast, Paulson plays the cruel nurse who bags a job at a luxury psychiatric institution set up by Dr Richard Hanover, played by another AHS alum Jon Jon Briones.

The cast also includes Judy Davis as Hanover's head nurse Betsy Bucket, who clashes with Ratched upon her arrival at the hospital and doesn't trust her motives.

Cynthia Nixon (Sex and the City) and Hollywood legend Sharon Stone also have supporting roles, along with Daredevil star Vincent D'Onofrio as a local politician launching a new election campaign.

Continuing the AHS reunion, Finn Wittrock also appears as serial killer Edmund Tolleson, who arrives at Hanover's asylum to have his sanity assessed.

House of Cards star Corey Stoll, Teen Wolf's Charlie Carver, Top of the Lake's Alice Englert and Oscar nominee Sophie Okonedo also appear.

What is Ratched about?

Rather than taking place in the 1960s, as was the case with the popular film adaptation of One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest, Ratched is set in 1947.

The prequel series follows a younger Mildred Ratched, a nurse who eventually prides herself as the cruel ruler of an oppressive psychiatric ward.

As the Netflix synopsis says of the show: "The series is set to be an origin story of sorts taking us back to before Nurse Ratched had evolved to the monster by exploiting people in the mental health care system."

Joining the staff at Lucia State Hospital, the early trailers have alluded to her manipulating the staff and patients, as she attempts to wrestle away control.

Will Ratched connect with One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest?

One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest

The first season has no direct connection with One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest, but there are plans to slowly build towards it in the future.

Star Sarah Paulson told The Hollywood Reporter: "Ideally, by the time we’re in season four, we’re in that story of the Cuckoo’s Nest."

However, that relies on Ratched actually getting renewed by Netflix, which is no certainty given the streaming service has cancelled many shows in recent years.

Is there a trailer for Ratched?

In fact, there are two! Netflix unveiled the first trailer for Ratched at the beginning of August, which you can check out below:

The following month, Netflix dropped the second Ratched trailer, which seems to take on a more serious tone than the first.


Ratched is available to stream on Netflix. Check out our lists of the best series on Netflix and the best movies on Netflix, or see what else is on with our TV Guide.