ORBzine - Rome TV Review

[Season 1 !Season 2 ]

  • Kevin McKidd [ Gunpowder, Treason and Plot] as Lucius Vorenus
  • Ray Stevenson as Titus Pullo
  • Ciarán Hinds [ Lara Croft: Cradle of Life] as Julius Caesar
  • Lindsay Duncan as Servilia of the Junii
  • Polly Walker as Atia of the Julii
  • Max Pirkis as Gaius Octavian
  • Kerry Condon as Octavia of the Julii
  • James Purefoy [ Resident Evil ] as Marc Antony
  • Tobias Menzies as Marcus Junius Brutus
  • Indira Varma as Niobe
  • Kenneth Cranham as Pompey Magnus
  • Rick Warden as Quintus Pompey
  • Karl Johnson as Porcius Cato
  • David Bamber as Marcus Tullius Cicero
  • Lee Boardman as Timon
           S- 1                11 Aug 05   Making Rome (Special Promo Show)

    Season 1

  • Rome Rome [Season 1, Episode 1] The Stolen Eagle

    This is the start of a 12-episode extravaganza co-produced by BBC2 and an American Cable TV company, HBO [Sopranos, Deadwod, Oz]. As a result it brings the best of both worlds. John Milius is credited as being the brains of the operation!

    Set in 52 BCE, it starts with Julius Caesar [Ciaran Hinds] winning victory in battle over the Gauls.

    Back home in Rome, his manipulative bitch of a niece, Atia [Polly Walker - Patriot Games] handles the politics side of things.

    The protagonists in all this are a couple of Roman soldiers. One's a hard-drinking whoremonger, the other a loyal family-man. They're well written and acted, tough guys with a human side - typical of HBO shows.

    They save Caesar's nephew, Octavian. Then they are ordered to accompany Marc Antony back to Rome, to represent Caesar in the Senate.

    Rome Rome [Season 1, Episode 2] How Titus Pullo Brought Down The Republic

    On leave in Rome, Pullo starts a brawl. This ends up sparking a riot between Antony's men and Pompey's followers.

    Rome Rome [Season 1, Episode 3] An Owl In A Thornbush
    Shown 9th November 2005 - Wednesday

    Pompey's double-dealing in the Senate means Marc Antony and our 2 heroes are driven out of Rome. This is Caesar's excuse to cross the Rubicon - the start of the inevitable Civil War.

    Rome Rome [Season 1, Episode 4] Stealing From Saturn
    Shown 16th November 2005 - Wednesday

    Pompey wants his gold back, and sends a hit squad to find it. Pullo is as subtle as ... well, Pullo. It doesn't take anyone long to realise who has the treasure!

    Rome Rome [Season 1, Episode 5] The Ram Has Touched The Wall
    Shown 23rd November 2005 - Wednesday

    Pullo, flat broke after last ep, is hired as Octavian's sword-tutor. He and Octavian get involved in the adultery subplot.

    Meanwhile, the ex-Centurion must decide how to earn a living. Become a gangster, or rejoin the 13th Legion?

    Rome Rome [Season 1, Episode 6] Egeria
    Shown 30th November 2005 - Wednesday

    Marc Antony manipulates the Senate into supporting Caesar's wishes. He also has to sort out his relationship with Atia.

    Veronus and Pullo are back in uniform together, one serving Antony and the other Octavian.

    Rome Rome [Season 1, Episode 7] Pharsalus
    Shown 7th December 2005 - Wednesday

    Atia gets her daughter to play along with her rival. The relationship takes an incredible twist!

    Veronus and Pullo are shipwrecked. In an astonishing turn of events they get yet another chance to become millionaires!

    Will Pompey escape? Will Caesar be merciful?

    Rome Rome [Season 1, Episode 8] Caesarion
    Shown 14th December 2005 - Wednesday

    Caesar and his men arrive in Egypt. Dismayed by Pompey's fate, he decides to play at local poitics.

    The Nubians are sent to kill Cleo. However, Caesar has sent his best men to save her. Yes, Veronus and Pullo are on the job. In more ways than one!

    We don't get to see much of Rome itself. Atia is nowhere to be seen, though Octavia and Servilia are still together. And Marc Antony gets to deal with his political rival, Cicero.

    This is an average ep. The banter between the 2 plebs is good, but the script squeezes about year of events into 45 minutes!

    Rome Rome [Season 1, Episode 9] Utica
    Shown 21st December 2005 - Wednesday

    After three years campaigning, our heroes return home. Well, 3 years encapsulated in the previous episode!

    Caesar's Ex gets Octavia to apply pressure to Octavian. And when Atia finds out, it's bad news for all concerned!

    Rome Rome [Season 1, Episode 10] Triumph
    Shown 28th December 2005 - Wednesday

    Caesar finally gets his Triumph. Yes, he was so busy sorting out the Civil War and Egypt he never got his great parade.

    Verenus gets the nice clean toga, but isn't happy about the politics.

    Pullo can't adjust to civilian life. He decides to free the slave-girl and marry her, but even that leads to bad things.

    Brutus' mother plots. Pompey's son and a fellow named Cassius are staying at her house, while Brutus himself does well in the Senate.

    Rome Rome [Season 1, Episode 11] The Spoils
    Shown 4th January 2006 [Wednesday]

    Pullo descends into a career in organised crime. But, like everything else, he fails at it. As a result he ends up on trial for his life.

    Verenus, on the other hand, is so good at his job that he might even get promoted.

    Rome Rome [Season 1, Episode 12] Kalends of February
    Shown 4th January 2006 [Wednesday]

    Everything seems to be going right for everyone. And as in all good dramas, this is justr the calm before the storm.

    The plotters do what they do best - they plot. And the climax, as historically unavoidable as it is, pulls together all the story threads that have been woven throughout the series.

    Rome Rome [Season 2, Episode ]
    Shown th July 2007 [Wednesday]

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  • Rome Rome [Season 2, Episode 1] Passover
    Shown 14 Jan 07
    Shown th June 2007 [Wednesday]

    Caesar is dead, and the Liberators control Rome. Can Octavian and Anthony turn the tables on them?

    Vorenus tries to cope with the aftermath of his wife's betrayal.

    Rome Rome [Season 2, Episode 2] Son of Hades
    Shown 21 Jan 07
    Shown th June 2007 [Wednesday]

    Atia's life is complicated by a couple of visitors from the East. Cleo visits, to legitimise her son Caesarian. And Timon, Atia's Jewish henchman, is visited by his Zealot brother.

    Vorenus and Pullo take over Rome's Underworld. The Priests announce a Holy truce, under the Goddess Concorde. Vorenus terrifies the thugs with an announcement of his own!

    Antony and Octavian begin the emnity that will continue many years, until one of them is dead ...

    Rome Rome [Season 2, Episode 3] These Being the Words of Marcus Tullius Cicero
    Shown 28 Jan 07
    Shown th June 2007 [Wednesday]

    Antony forces Cicero to promise his support, and thus the support of the Senate. Of course, Cicero has plans of his own.

    Atia faces danger within her own household. An assassin draws near ...

    Rome Rome [Season 2, Episode 4] Testudo Et Lepus (The Tortoise And the Hare)
    Shown 4 Feb 07
    Shown 1st July 2007 [Sunday]

    Pullo goes after Vorenus, to tell him the news about his children. En route he discovers that Octavian has grown up. The boy has aged so much that he now looks like [and is played by] an entirely different actor!

    Cicero realises that he made the same mistake Antony did - he underestimated Octavian!

    Servilia has also made a mistake. And Timon, Atia's henchman, must make a decision ...

    Rome Rome [Season 2, Episode 5] Heroes of the Republic
    Shown 11 Feb 07
    Shown 4th July 2007 [Wednesday]

    Octavian, despite being the victor, is denied his Triumph. He turns the tables on Cicero, of course ...

    Vorenus tries to keep order in the Underworld. Of course, rivals start to suspect he's gone soft.

    Rome Rome [Season 2, Episode 6] Philippi
    Shown 18 Feb 07
    Shown 8th July 2007 [Sunday]

    Anthony and Octavian join forces against Brutus and Cassius. They draw up a list of enemies in Rome, and hire Vorennus and Pullo to kill them off. Cicero's at the top of the list, so the lads make a day of it and invite the women and kids along for a picnic.

    Rome Rome [Season 2, Episode 7] Death Mask
    Shown 4 Mar 07
    Shown 11th July 2007 [Wednesday]

    Herod is in town to bribe the Triumvirate. The Jewish Zealots plot to assassinate him ...

    The Triumvirate nearly fall out over the bribe. To solve it, Atia proposes a public wedding between Anthony and one of Octavian's women.

    Servilia, her other plans ruined, now plays her last card. She stands outside Atia's villa, and demands justice. Her last plan is the least likely to succeed, but it might still work!

    Gaia [ Zuhleika Robinson ] plots to further her relationship with Pullo.

    Rome Rome [Season 2, Episode 8] A Necessary Fiction
    Shown 11 Mar 07
    Shown 15th July 2007 [Sunday]

    Herod's bribe is entrusted to Vorenus for clandestine transportation. Someone steals it ...

    Octavian plots his anti-Vice campaign. He chooses a bride - Livia [the Bitch of Rome is a silly little thing]. Then he clamps down on the women in his family. He exiles Anthony to Egypt ... a bad mistake!

    Vorennus tries to discover who the traitor is. Pullo brings the gangster plotting to a close in a scene straight from Gangs of New York !

    Rome Rome [Season 2, Episode 9] Deus Impeditio Esuritori Nullus (No God Can Stop a Hungry Man)
    Shown 18 Mar 07
    Shown 18th July 2007 [Wednesday]

    Years have passed since last episode, although the actors don't look any older. Anthony is at home in Alexandria - corrupted by Cleo and extorting cash and land from Rome. Octavia sends Atia and Octavia to negotiate with him ...

    Pullo is in charge of the granaries of Rome. With no fresh supplies, the poor are near rioting.

    Livia has learned from her husband. She's become sexually voracious, manipulative and politically astute.

    Tosca, Anthony's sidekick, has to decide what side to take.

    Rome Rome [Season 2, Episode 10] De Patre Vostro (About Your Father)
    Shown 25 Mar 07
    Shown th July 2007 [Wednesday]

    The ep starts with Vorenus and Anthony fleeing after the Battle of Action. For there, things for Anthony and Cleo go downhill. Everyone who has seen the film Cleopatra , or knows their history, knows how their story ends.

    Vorenus and Pullo end up trying to save Caesarian. Ten Legions are combing Egypt, looking for the fugitives.

    A month later, Octavian holds his Triumph in Rome.