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3.2 out of 5 stars
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3.2 out of 5 stars
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on 15 October 2008
Highly historically inaccurate, the portratal of the pale, sickly, yet highly politically-astute Octavian as a bronzed muscled Latin jock is a bit hard to swallow. You really get the impression that this was a rushed-out spoiler to HBO's 'Rome'.

Still, it's enjoyable enough, as long as you don't obsess over the details. Some *are* correct -- like the staging of gladitorial combats in temporary, 'bleacher-like' enclosures (a lot cheaper to stage, too...;0).

And, in Colm Feore, we have a Caesar who looks remarkably like the portraits we have.

So, don't get your hopes, up -- just enjoy the set pieces, the scenery and the architecture.
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If we accept the generally agreed account of History then this story is a fiction story. According to the agreed history by professional historians the true facts are not to be found here.
However How accurate are the historians? and secondly was this mini series supposed to be a factual History Lesson?
The answer to the latter point is No. This is just a TV drama.
Is Star Wars fact? No, its fiction?
Was the film Apollo 18 based on fact? No it is fiction?
Are the events of the love story in the 1997 film blockbuster Titanic fact?
No they are fiction.
And that is all this mini series is.
The story is partly correct according to official historians and the period details are also partly correct.
The series has good atmosphere of the Roman Empire Era as far as anyone is ever going to know. (I mean who actually remembers what it was like in the era of the Roman Empire?)

So what do we get? We get a good drama story with action, betrayal and intrigue. The sets and effects are reasonable considering this is a TV mini series and not a multi million pound film Epic. Its all good fun really and shouldn't be taken too seriously. The acting is not the greatest in the world but some actors are better than others. And it isn't all bad.

There is one issue and that is that this has been issued again under the title of Rome, Blood and sand. And in truth that the real title is Empire as here.
Its obvious that since the interest in the recent first TV series Spartacus subtitled Blood and Sand we get this earlier series Empire re packaged and released as Rome, Blood and Sand.

If you have brought the Rome, Blood and sand already don't bother buying this earlier version and get the series twice. Other wise give it a chance it isn't as bad as other reviewers make out if you remember the golden rule to not take it too seriously.
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on 20 February 2015
Not normally what I'd watch because I've no interest in Roman Empire stories other than the brilliant serial I Claudius which commences during the reign of Augustus. Having enjoyed I Claudius so much so having some special interest in Octavius, and remembering my Shakespeare - Julius Caesar - I decided to find out what was in this version of the Emperor Augustus's earlier life.
I can't imagine there's very much historical accuracy in it, but who cares. It's a good piece of escapism with some excellent acting, especially of the initially pretty naive (in this version) Octavius, and the gladiator who protects and trains him. The devious treacheries of Cassius, conflicted and annoying Brutus, and power-hungry Mark Antony come over particularly well.
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on 14 April 2015
I loved this for Jonathan Cake and Santiago Cabrera but historically it is a little wobbly. I loved the line "now he's changed the bloody calendar" said of Julius Caesar - classic. It is a cheap and cheerful remaking along the lines of "Gladiator" and other sword and sandals films but for television. Worth a watch on a cold, windy winter evening.
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on 31 January 2016
Excellent mini series, with great acting and scenery. One of the best of this era that I have watched in years. I was so hooked I watched the whole lot in one evening. For lovers of Rome this is a must see.
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on 3 September 2008
Although entertaining this mini series seems to be based on more fiction than fact.

The worrying aspect is that nowadays many people get their whole history from this type of media
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on 3 September 2015
The complete "Empire" series without breaks for TV Ads!
This may not be a history lesson, but it is fascinating in itself and loosely based on the events around the time of Julius Caesar and the establishment of the Roman Empire out of Republic.
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on 29 March 2014
My husband enjoyed this series. This is to his taste. Typical historic adventure. Exciting. Can recommend it. Not the best but not the worst.
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on 30 January 2010
If you have watched "ROME" you start to expect a lot. "Imperium" vol. 1+2 have fulfilled most.
The Italian sets looked authentic, the passage under the arena (first minutes) is backed by research. Only the forum shows some artistic liberties. In the action scenes there is little blood, only good fighting. The assassination scene is the picture by Piloty become flesh.

Cicero has been cast by an affable Michael Byrne; his lack of courage and political agreement with Caesar would not make him risk his life for his dead rival's last will, however.
Santiago Cabrera [unknown to me] as Octavius appears nondescript -as the future Augustus might have been at that age.
The casting of Brutus by James Frain is a waste of money and talent, considering the lack of time he gets by the script.
Watching Camene (by Emily Blunt), we are reminded that Caesar had been Pontifex maximus, so all vestals at that time had been consecrated by him.

The absolute top was Colm Feore as Caesar.
His presence alone made this purchase worth every cent. We get to know many features of the great Julian which usually aren't shown/well known: his lust for speed (today he would drive a Ferrari), his charming smile which remained entirely superficial when dealing with other politicians, his taciturnity regarding his private views, his surprise appearances, his popularity with common people, his utter, almost ruthless fearlessness which might stem from disdain.
Mr. Feore may have the unfair advantage of bearing a strong physical resemblance to the great Julian. The high broad skull, the slightly aquiline nose, firm lips and chin - the only thing missing are the lids hooding the eyes. So far he is the best Caesar I have ever seen. (Thank you, Mr. Feore!)

"Imperium" does get on my nerves by its predictable plot. The distraction of Caesar's unofficial bodyguard has been seen in "Rome" - there it had been Vorenus. The goodies and baddies are easily identified. You can read about the history of the republic in advance.
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on 23 November 2012
I watched part 1 of this series on the Yesterday channel and then deleted it from the recording schedule. What a waste of a brilliant cast.
Referring to the Product Description above, "With the assassination of Julius Caesar by the ambitious Marc Anthony", Julius Ceasar was not assassinated by Marc Anthony, the main conspirators were Brutus and Cassius.
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