In the series finale, following his crushing naval defeat at Actium by Agrippa's forces, Marc Antony realizes that this spells the end for him and Cleopatra. With a hardened Octavian refusing to be ...
Before Spartacus struck down his first opponent in the arena, there were many gladiators who passed through the gates onto the sand.'Spartacus: Gods of the Arena' tells the story of the ... See full summary »
In this British historical drama, the turbulent transition from Roman republic to autocratic empire, which changed world history through civil war and wars of conquest, is sketched both from the aristocratic viewpoint of Julius Caesar, his family, his adopted successor Octavian Augustus, and their political allies and adversaries, and from the politically naive viewpoint of a few ordinary Romans, notably the soldiers Lucius Vorenus and Titus Pullo and their families. Written by
Before the series was broadcast on British television, the BBC decided to edit the first three episodes into two for the British market. The network claimed that much of the exposition was deemed unnecessary since most British viewers are more familiar with Roman history than American audiences. Director Michael Apted, who learned about this by accident, stated that the network had probably done that in order to put more focus on the violence and sex, at the expense of the story. Following the controversy, the uncut first season was later aired along with the second season. See more »
Several historical changes were made to move the story along. Octavian was in Illyria undergoing military training when Caesar was killed. Livia was actually Octavian's third wife and she had two sons when she married Octavian; Tiberius and Drusus. Drusus was married to Antonia, the daughter of Marc Antony and Octavia and was the grandfather of Caligula and the father of Claudius. Octavian had one natural child, Julia, by his first wife. Julia was married at one time to Tiberius. See more »
I Claudius was maybe the best miniseries ever. Now, there's Rome, and
it's even better.
I agree with another reviewer, that quibbles about historical
inaccuracies, such as accents or how old so-and-so should be, are silly
pedantry. I've been a Roman history buff ever since my own high school
triumvirate of Caesar, Cicero and Virgil, and I say that this
historical fiction is both exciting AND quite accurate with the
So far, every player has been terrific, in particular Ciarán Hinds as
Caesar and Max Pirkis as Octavian. Julius Caesar was perhaps the most
complex "great" figure in history. Was he a great populist, trying to
champion the people against the Optimates, or was he an ambitious
demagogue, who was using the Roman mobs to attain the imperium? Hinds
depicts this complexity perfectly, while projecting a steely will that
is shared by Caesar's emerging protégé, Octavian. Thanks to Max
Pirkis's brilliant portrayal, we can already see the no-nonsense
pragmatism, ruthlessness and brilliance that will propel this boy into
becoming the greatest despot in history.
And what about that dissolute Mark Anthony? We can already see Actium
in his face. And with Atia, I think Livia (as depicted in I Claudius)
and Messalina have met their match.
And midst the struggle for mastery of Rome, we see the struggle of more
common folk just to make a living. Rome makes the parallel stories of
the Optimates and Centurian, now Prefect, Vorenus and Legionnaire Pullo
a perfect vehicle for comparing the travails of different classes
their love lives, social lives, how they treated the servants, how they
practiced their faiths, how they fought. Seen from these different
perspectives (which we did not get with I Claudius), we get a
three-dimensional view and, for me, the closest to feeling like one is
actually there of any historical fiction ever produced.
And look at the production values. Is it any wonder, when we see who's
behind the camera Michael Apted and John Milius that we have an
immaculately crafted work?
By their commitment to quality of production and integrity of story,
HBO and BBC are demonstrating what television can be. This is a
wonderful, wonderful series. Anyone with a love of history, drama and
spectacle should be devouring it with delight.
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