Wahey! At last, after many years of waiting this little gem has finally been released on DVD!
Written by and starring Jimmy Mulville and Rory McGrath, the series is set in Roman occupied Britain in the year 123. Sent to be the governor of Britain as a punishment by the Emperor Hadrian, Aulus Paulinus (Mulville) finds himself struggling to adapt to life in the uncivilised and rather muddy province. Badvoc (McGrath) is the uncivilised leader of the local tribe, who has no time for the trappings of civilisation and just wants to be left alone to get on with his uncomplicated life of loot and pillage. He is a schemer, and along with his lieutenants Mungo and Blag enjoys making a few denarii out of the Romans while sticking two fingers at them.
A decent mixture of the erudite and stupid (the first episode is conducted largely in Latin, with some hilarious subtitles) and with quite a lot of attention paid to historical detail, these are well constructed with lots of clever one liners and situations. The characters are a little one dimensional, but it works so well you don't really notice.
Added to which is the roster of actors appearing here, many of them would go on to greater things, and it is packed with faces still familiar today. Neil Pearson (Drop the Dead Donkey, Between the Lines), Andy Hamilton (Drop the Dead Donkey, Old Harry's Game), Philip Pope (Old Harry's Game), Geoffrey Whitehead (Z Cars), Geoffrrey McGivern (Hitch Hiker's Guide to the Galaxy, Lab Rats) Mark Wing-Davey (Hitch Hiker's Guide To the Galaxy) and Chris Langham (The Thick of It) all make appearances. The wealth of good actors here ensures that this is a superior comedy, easily up there with, if not better then, Blackadder, it's main rival at the time.
This set contains all 13 episodes, 6 from series 1, 7 from series 2. In all a highly recommended buy! 5 stars.