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 »
Written by David S. Goyer, the series follows the "untold" story of Leonardo Da Vinci: the genius during his early years in Renaissance Florence. As a 25-year old artist, inventor, ... 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
The names of the main characters, Lucius Vorenus and Titus Pullo, are actual historical. They are mentioned in Caesars' The Gallic war as two close partners with quarrels between them about each others bravery and who is to be promoted primus pilus. They are mentioned explicitly courageous when Marcus Tullius Cicero's brother was besieged. The audacity of Pullo is also noted, being similar to the Pullo in the series (Book 5.44). 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 »
Servilia of the Junii:
Gods of the Junii, with this offering I ask you to summon Tyche, Megaera, and Nemesis so that they may witness this curse. By the spirits of my ancestors I curse Gaius Julius Caesar. Let his penis shrink. Let his bones crack. Let him see his legionnaires drown in their own blood. Gods of the Junii, I offer to you his limbs, his mouth, his breath, his speech, his hands, his heart, his stomach. Gods of the Inferno, let me see him suffer deeply, and I will rejoice and sacrifice to you.
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And if the premiere episode is any indication, you WILL want to. Leave it to HBO, to replace the dearly departed SIX FEET UNDER with a worthy substitute already. And considering how outstanding that series was, that's saying something for ROME, that it may be able to measure up to how far the bar has been raised for dramatic series in a premium cable format.
Ten years in the planning and production, as lavish, sprawling, deep, dark and deviously, deliciously decadent as anything of its like, ROME combines historical figures with equally compelling fictional side characters, many of whom show us what it was like through their eyes, to bear witness to the heady rise and staggeringly shocking fall of one of the greatest empires in history.
For those who like their summaries simple, you only need to know that the core of the doings in ROME is comprised of three major stories: the contentious relationship between Roman movers and shakers Magnus Pompey (Kenneth Cranham) and Gaius Julius Caesar (Ciaran Hinds), which grows even more fractious when Pompey's wife Julia, also Caesar's daughter, dies in childbirth. Then there's Roman centurions Lucius Vorenus (Kevin McKidd) and Titus Pullo (Ray Stevenson), two complex men struggling to do their duty and buck their fates as pawns in the machinations of the two leaders to which each is separately loyal, while testing the bond of their own tentative friendship, as much as the complications within their lives will allow.
And, oh yes, what would any man be without the support of a good woman behind him...hopefully not with a dagger in her hand? In this case the women would be Atia (Polly Walker), an ambitious socialite and political strategist who makes Lady Macbeth look like a rank amateur, and Servilia (Lindsay Duncan), whose sweet and civilized demeanor more than likely hides the cunning and ruthlessness of a cobra. Oh, and does it bode well that Caesar is her secret lover, and that his confidant and friend, Cassius Brutus is also Servilia's son?
Webs are being woven and plots are being planned even in the first few moments, and the mostly British cast is well up to the task (the series is produced in conjunction with the BBC). It's also a great sign that not all the heavy hitters are among the cast of characters, but also behind-the-scenes as well, (Michael Apted and John Milius are vital parts of the creative team, and directorial chores are being handled by everyone from Allen Coulter (THE SOPRANOS) to Alan Poul (SIX FEET UNDER).) Plus the sets which dominate the bulk of the world-renowned Cinecitta Studios in Rome itself have a startlingly authentic feel. Every penny of the $100 million-plus budget is apparent on screen and was well worth spending.
Speaking of which, my TiVo is already set for the next episodes. Looks like Sundays will be well worth spending here, too.
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