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47 Reviews
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41 of 43 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Good introduction to some chapters of Roman history
While this BBC series does not have the fine scenery details and generally superior acting of HBO Rome, it is a good mixture of history and drama. Through its 6 chapters, the series touches some less known (popular) episodes of Roman history, including the emperor Constantine and his conversion to christianism, or the chain of betrayal between Rome last emperors and...
Published on 2 Nov 2008 by Luis

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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Viewable but with a few reservations
The thing that I find disturbing with this series is that some of the episodes remind me of long, Hollywoodesque, film trailers. The commentary sounds a bit too much like the bumper-sticker English we are used to in disaster films like Armageddon. Not even the best actors can conceal the fact that their lines are a bit too two dimensional.
BUT, when you stop focusing...
Published on 28 Jan 2008 by Magnus Andersson


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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Informative and interesting but lacking authenticity, 15 Nov 2012
This review is from: Ancient Rome The Rise And Fall Of An Empire [DVD] (DVD)
This DVD explained in a fair amount of detail six important parts of Roman history. Sadly, there appeared to be no effort to choose actors who even remotely resembled their famous characters. Nero's and Constantine's actors were particularly bad choices, since they looked totally different to the emperors. All of the people spoke with British accents, which would have been perfect if the accents had been consistent. Instead, there were accents from all over England, making it annoying and distracting.
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1 of 3 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars 1st episode pretty good..., 6 Feb 2010
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This review is from: Ancient Rome The Rise And Fall Of An Empire [DVD] (DVD)
... with Michael Sheen as Nero if I remember right, however the rest of the series is plagued by utterly dire acting which is brutally painful to watch
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42 of 82 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Gah, what a disappointment!!!, 29 Jan 2007
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Kieran Madden - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Ancient Rome The Rise And Fall Of An Empire [DVD] (DVD)
I am nearly finished watching the first episode about Caesar, and I'm not sure I can stomach the rest.

If you have read Colleen McCollough's Masters of Rome series, or anything else that is remotely historically accurate, you will realise how dumbed-down this "documentary" is. Caesar is portrayed as a mincing tyrant, rather than the military and political genius than he was (he often faced accusations of being gay but that was more because he was too good looking - most of the evidence indicates that he behaved all the more masculine to assuage those accusations). And while Caesar suffered mutiny in his legions several times, I was never aware that he punished them with decimation.

In addition, the "boni" who stood against him are portrayed as just defenders of the republic, rather than stubborn fools who forced civil war upon a man who wanted to come home with the honour he deserved.

I have not read the original source material, therefore I realise that I am at the mercy of the interpretations of McCollough and other books I have read. It is likely that Caesar was not quite as perfect as his accounts make out (these are the main direct source of information for historians). But this series has been stripped so bare of facts that what may otherwise be a valid re-interpretation of ancient events has been utterly stripped of any credibility as far as I'm concerned.

Another point - I really don't understand why people have said that the acting in this is better than the acting in the Rome series. Personally, I think it is dire and over-done, and the actors appear to have researched their given characters poorly. The Rome series, while historically inaccurate at times, is closer to my understanding of the period than this. And why does everyone keep portraying Caesar as a short, brown-haird guy?! All the records, as well as the statues, indicate that he was tall, slim and blonde.

If you want a vivid tapestry of the events of the time, go and read Colleen McCollough. If you want a misleading, stripped down black-and-white & simplistic version of the period, then watch this documentary series.

If I am wrong about the history, I am happy to be corrected by someone more knowledgable than I. I hope I am, otherwise I truely believe that the BBC has let itself down here.
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0 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Ancient Rome The rise and fall of an empire, 6 Mar 2013
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This review is from: Ancient Rome The Rise And Fall Of An Empire [DVD] (DVD)
Seems to be comparable with other histories of the period but there are some inaccuracies. I'll run it by my mother-in-law.
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0 of 5 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars More Fighting?, 29 Aug 2012
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This review is from: Ancient Rome The Rise And Fall Of An Empire [DVD] (DVD)
Wow....really was surprised to see so much fighting again in another docu drama on Roman Empire. (hope you catch my sarcasm).
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0 of 5 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars light weight, 17 Oct 2010
This review is from: Ancient Rome The Rise And Fall Of An Empire [DVD] (DVD)
dull doc drama.
would have some interest to those wanting to re-enforce their knowledge of ancient Rome but
no very entertaining.
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0 of 6 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Hollywood at its worst, 4 May 2013
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This review is from: Ancient Rome The Rise And Fall Of An Empire [DVD] (DVD)
I presume hollywood. A glamourised, glitzy production of one of the most dramatic periods of history. totaly spoilt by a seeming obsession with sleaze rather than pivotal moments.
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