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HBO's Rome


Romier S
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You knew the thread was coming. :) With the new preview for the show finally hitting the screen after Deadwood I did some research on the series and here is what I found from several sources:

 

Dark Horizons on Rome

 

- The production budget for the first season stands at US $75 million. Assuming its successful enough, expect the same cost for a second & potential third season.

 

- A broad idea for the series was hatched by the creator after watching the DVD box set of the acclaimed 1976 UK 13-episode miniseries "I, Claudius" which starred the likes of Derek Jacobi, John Hurt, Patrick Stewart, John Rhys-Davies, Brian Blessed and James Faulkner. Like that ground-breaking show which spanned decades and several rulers (ie. Augustus, Tiberius, Caligula, etc.), this is expected to cover a great passage of time as well.

 

- The concept was to peek at imperial Rome from the perspective of the common man's living room rather than from the Caesar's lair. What emerged was a plot that whirled around two soldiers who return to the city after years away dismembering Gauls

 

- In early March, the producer rented a bus and with a large group of the actors an d traveled two hours south to the remains of Pompeii, near Naples - "It just gives you a sense of the life: the width of a street, the size of a room. It builds a subconscious picture that's part and parcel of everything

 

- The show's production staff is taking great pains to be true to the past. They collected a small library's worth of obscure tomes, including several on the physical gestures of ancient Romans.

 

More from this site .

 

Ciaran Hinds, Kevin McKidd and Lindsay Duncan head a cast of top British acting talent in Rome, the BBC/HBO blockbuster epic drama series that chronicles the rise of the ancient Roman Empire through the eyes of two foot soldiers.

 

Ciaran Hinds stars as Gaius Julius Caesar, the battle-weary commander of Rome's conquering army in Gaul and Kevin KcKidd is Lucius Vorenus, one of the two foot soldiers around whom the drama unfolds.

 

Ray Stevenson is the headstrong legionary Titus Pullo, Vorenus's battlefield cohort; James Purefoy is Mark Antony, one of Caesar's powerful political allies; Lindsay Duncan is Servilia, the lover of Caesar and mother of Brutus; Polly Walker is the powerful, manipulative and sexy Atia, Caesar's niece; Kerry Condon is Octavia, the daughter of Atia, who is forced to choose duty over love; Ben Whishaw is Gaius Octavian, who becomes the first Emperor of Rome and Indira Varma is Niobe, Vorenus's stunningly beautiful wife.

 

Rome is a co-production between the BBC and HBO.

The 12-part series begins shooting in Rome this month, with Michael Apted directing the first three episodes.

 

Production will be based at Rome's Cinecitta Studios, where a five-acre set is currently being built.

 

Additional location filming will take place throughout Europe and North Africa.

 

The lead writer is English screen-writer Bruno Heller, who is also an executive producer on the drama.

 

Adrian Hodges (Charles II, The Power And The Passion) is a co-writer.

 

The project is a cross-genre collaboration for the BBC, with Jonathan Stamp, an executive producer for history and archaeology, as a consultant on the series.

 

Stamp's recently acclaimed programme Colosseum, has been nominated for a Bafta.

 

Sounds pretty damn good so far. :tu

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I'm slightly nervous that this will turn out as glossy but blandly "human interest" as some of the Beeb's other Roman stuff has recently done, but we'll see.

 

I've long since felt that HBOs drama output for television far excels anything even coming out of American cinema in recent years, and a partnership with the BBC on such a massive series is certainly a rather exciting prospect since I am fond of the old beeb since when they want to be good they can be bloody exceptional.

 

A decent depiction of this era in history (even if fiction set to the backdrop of historical events) is something I don't believe has been successfully produced in the last twenty odd years in television or film, but the talents behind Rome -on and off camera- certainly have the ability to change this, so right now I am pretty confident about the production. It'll be the closest thing I can have to 'Rome: Total War the TV series!' anyway.

 

What's also interesting is ABC has their own series, Empire, in production at the moment too. Rome certainly seems to be generating more interest, though I am sure once promotion for both kicks in it will be all out war between the networks.

 

I?m eager for the announcement of a composer for Rome. HBO has a solid track record of excellent orchestral musical scores for their programs.

 

Daniel

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  • 6 months later...

Wow, fantastic episode of Rome tonight. I've read reviews that the show shows substantial change after the third episode and they were really right on the money. Everything just seemed to gel perfectly tonight. In the previous weeks I had come to enjoy the political machinations, and some of the subplots but they never felt totally cohesive (very scattered in fact). Rome also never came through in the production of the show. The city really needed more space and location establishment and this episode really helped that with some nice CG shots and some great editing allowing a more open look at the city.

 

Verenus is definitely my favorite character so far. I enjoy his loyalty and naivette about the situations around him equally. It also helps that he is in the presence of Indira Varma (his wife Niobe), who is an utterly stunning women to behold. She quite literally makes my jaw drop to the floor. The substory with Lucius and her infidelity (and child) interest me almost as much as the battle between Caesar and Pompey.

 

I was somewhat leery about the casting of Octavian. The actor they have to portray him definitely wins points for his role in Master and Commander, but he isn't exactly who I pictured playing the future Caesar Augustus. He has really grown on me throughout the show and I loved the small moment where both he and Julius were shown discussing strategy before Caesar's attack.

 

There's alot of promise/potential here. The show still hasn't completely captured me as a great deal of HBO drama's have in the past, but after this episode it's definitely on the right track.

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Wow, fantastic episode of Rome tonight. I've read reviews that the show shows substantial change after the third episode and they were really right on the money.

 

I couldn't agree more. I was ready to stop watching the show and then bam, I was hugely impressed with Episode 4. Anyone who stopped watching after the first few should check in with the show again.

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  • 1 month later...

I'm not sure who's still watching the show. It seems to have fallen off the radar, but the last two episodes have been fantastic. This past Sunday's episode was the best of the series by far. The gladiator sequence was freaking incredible (not to mention gruesome). Pullo decapitating the heavy set guy with his shield made me wince. The direction in that scene was just pitch perfect, and for once the music in the series completely clicked for me. Awesome moment seeing Vorenus jump in and yell "Thirteen!"

 

Finally the show is really hitting its mark for me (ashame it took so damn long!). Up until now it's been on and off. Some episodes have been great, others I've lost interest in. The season finale is next week though. If it's of the same quality as the last two episodes I'll definitely be interested in Rome Season 2.

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They scheduled it in the UK opposite Grand Designs, so I've not bothered myself. The first episode was pretty embarrassingly poor, I thought, and I just don't have time for all the other series on at the moment anyway so I've not been taping it.

 

The Beeb have signed up for a second series already, though, so I must be in a minority.

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The Beeb have signed up for a second series already, though, so I must be in a minority.

 

I'm not sure they can do anything but air a second series since they co-produced it. It's took a hefty ratings drop of a couple of million viewers by the time the second episode aired here. I too have favoured Grand Designs more, and honesty I no longer have a real desire to keep up with these big season shows that continue on and on each week. I've still never seen an episode of Lost.

 

Daniel

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  • 9 months later...

Just watched the whole first season on DVD this weekend. Wow what a great show! I really need to get off my ass and get HBO before the next season hits.

 

I agree that some episodes do tend to drag in spots, but once you get to know the characters and their motivations the series really takes off. I can't wait to see what happens in Season 2. There were some truly heart wrenching moments at the end of Season 1.

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  • 7 months later...
Bah. The only thing Rome did for/to me was cure my insomnia and kill "Deadwood"...

I had similiar feelings towards the first season Joel but I have to agree with Brandon, the second season is outstanding stuff. The pacing, storylines, characters etc. I recently watched the whole second season in the span of three days on HBO On Demand and I loved every minute of it.

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