All two seasons of Rome found their way into german television recently and I had the chance to watch it. Had it on my radar for a while but never had a chance to get my hands on it. Now I finally managed to see it and it was worth the waiting.
Now after some research I found out that the series is pretty much the historical most accurate version of the old rome and all the happenings regarding that particular time period. Pretty much all the main characters in the production really existed. So they really invested some time into the process of making it all look and feel as authentic as possible. Of course you have to bend the truth a bit to create a nice storyline. So it comes that the death of Cleopatra isn’t how she really died. But that’s fine with me. It’s still a very powerful scene when it comes to that point.
Due to the fact that the production really tried to be authentic, it was one of the most expensive tv productions at the time (2005). You can really see the production value from frame one to the very last frame of the last episode. Camera, VFX and sound work great.
One of the key elements that really kept me watching the series was the friendship between Lucious Vorenus and Titus Pullo. How that friendship came together and evolved through the episodes. Kevin McKidd and Ray Stevenson really played their characters well. There was never a second you could think they did not take their part serious. Especially Lucious Vorenus is a character that sort of stumbles up the ladder and becomes someone in rome. You can see his pain and anger when things start to fall apart. Then you have the Titus Pullo character who is also stumbling through life and not up the ladder. Still these two manage to make their way and deliver a nice base for the viewer. Through the eyes of these two characters we get a view from the normal people’s perspective in the rome of the past. Then there are the higher hierarchy people like Caesar and the senate. A lot of intrigues going on. Endless battles for power. That will ultimately lead to a big clash between Mark Antony and Gaius Octavian Caesar. We also see how decisions of the upper class affected the lower class people in rome. The series manages to deliver a nice picture of how connected the characters/classes are with each other. It also manages to show how important belief and religion was to the people.
So ultimately all the actors did a nice job. I still want to mention a few. James Purefoy for example, who delivers a really awesome job with his Mark Antony character. There is no second where you don’t see the passion of a strong leader and great soldier when you look into this characters face. Loved waching this character. Especially at the end of season two. Polly Walker who plays the mother of Gaius octavian Caesar. She’s really sexy there and also pretty much the word ‘intrigue’ herself. You soon learn to hate that character because of the ruthless evilness she spreads. Nonetheless it’s a character that undergoes some changes too. Especially in season two. In the last minutes of the last episode, when Octavian becomes the legit Caesar, she brings a line and suddenly I felt “yeah! beat them!”. The whole series you only have that bad image of her, and you very soon learn to hate her, but in the final minutes they managed to made me stand on her side. I found that really interesting. Kevin Mckidd and Ray Stevenson, as previously mentioned, did a fabulous job too. Rarely saw a friendship portrayed this well. Thanks to good writing there. Marcus Junius Brutus played by Tobias Menzies was also a nice character to watch. His inner struggles and how he finds strength again but is still losing his battles. Just great acting through the bench.
So yeah… what else than a straight recommendation to everyone who is interested in that historic time period.