Adventure, Drama, History, Television, War

Rome: The Complete Series (2009)

Comments Off on Rome: The Complete Series (2009) 27 January 2012


Rome: The Complete First Season (2005)
Rome: The Complete Second Season (2007)

Home Box Office (HBO) Home Video, British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC), Radiotelevisione italiana S.p.A. (RAI)
Air Date HBOUSASeason 1: August 28 – November 20, 2005
Air Date HBOUSASeason 2:  January 14 – March 25, 2007
Home Release Season 1: August 15, 2006
Home Release Season 2: August 7, 2007
Complete Season: November 9, 2009
Directed by Michael Apted
Not Rated (Adult Content)

Review by Adam Bielawski


Several weeks ago I took a vacation from normality and just vegged out and watch television. It was kind of like an episode of Married with Children with Al Bundy.  I took a loan out at the library of theHBO/BBC television show called Rome.  I was totally immersed into the series during the next 2 days, I figure 20 or so hours. Rome ran for 2 seasons somewhere in 2005 to 2007. I never new about it; but one of the guys I work with was talking up a storm with high reviews. I decided to check if it was available at my library, luck would have it, yes! However I had to wait a few weeks because there were a couple holds on it.  Finally when Rome arrived during the perfect time, the beginning of a 3 day weekend.  Perfect! I started watching it immediately on Friday evening.  I continued to watch the show through Sunday… when it ended; it was like depression set in. I had no idea what to do now, kind of like leaving the military and returning to civilian life, the adventure ended. I just lived the period of Julius Caesar through the demise of Marc Anthony and Cleopatra. Afterwards I turned on three friends who are all into the show right now.  If it won awards all were worth it. I know that I love it.

The historical series of Rome is a rolling soap opera with historical events during the time of Rome’s nobility of the likes Julius Caesar and the beginning reign of Emperor Augustus. However the main characters are not the historical nobles but two legionnaires by the names of Lucius Vorenus (Kevin McKidd) and Titus Pullo (Ray Stevenson). Some how they find themselves involved with events through the 1st Century BC of Roman rule. The lucky two live through events in their lives such as battles, corruption, greed, wealth and family.  Through out the series, it’s like they have a gold horse shoe up their butt, even Caesar states in one of the first episodes, “these two have powerful gods on their side.”

We are first introduced to Vorenus and Pullo during the battle for Gaul. At first the two are not the best of friends but Caesar recruits Vorenus to find his eagle which was stolen by one of Pompey Magnus’ men. Vorenus is forced to recruits Pullo, who is in jail for insubordination, waiting to be condemned to death. The two set on their journey and find the eagle as well as Julius Caesar’s nephew Gaius Octavian Caesar. From the beginning Vorenus and Pullo lives are intertwined with historical events with Roman nobility from kings, queesn, senators, military leaders and an emperor. In addition to known historical events the series surrounds us with the common lives of Pullo and Vorenus, who were two plebs in Roman society.  As much as was happening with warring and winning Rome, events were happening in the city from family affairs, children, gambling, home financial crisis, the crime with gangs, and everything else that we most likely deal with as regular citizens today. If you choose to further research facts beyond what we learned about Rome in school during early world history, these two men are referenced in a book by Caesar “Commentarii de Bello Gallico,” Google it.

Rome: The Complete First Season (2005) Box Coer

Rome: The Complete First Season (2005)

Some of my favorite episodes in the Romes eries is when Titus Pullo finds the gold treasury, which was hijacked by Pompey’s own men, then found and recovered by Pullo to Caesar. Because of his honor, Pullo was talked into returning all the gold. Caesar reprimands Pullo for not having returned it immediately and gives him a 100 pieces of gold.  Let me say, Pullo found a wagon full of gold, just like in the movie Kelly’s Heroes, he buries it, his friend tells him to return it and all he gets is 100 pieces of gold. Those 100 pieces did not last too long; he should have buried a crate, later retrieved it for himself and lived like a king.

Another notable scene is when Julius Caesar heads to Egypt to capture Pompey. Just a note, in an earlier episode, Vorenus and Pullo ran into Pompey and let him go, Caesar and Marc Anthony were not too pleased, but shows you how the two keep connected through the events of history. Anyhow back to Egypt, the two are told by Caesar to find Cleopatra. Caesar wants to align with her and take control of Egypt. However, the current ruler, Cleopatra’s young brother Ptolemy is just a puppet king, his emissaries run the kingdom, and do not want Cleopatra on the throne.  They dispatch a death squad to execute Cleopatra. Vorenus and Pullo stop the execution and save Cleopatra.  On their journey back to Alexandria, Cleopatra is in the mood… Titus Pullo volunteers very eagerly to do the queen’s bidding.  After the sexual encounter he returns to the tent and tells Vorenus that was the best assignment he’s ever had.

In the final episode everyone is more or less dead and the young nephew of Caesar, Octavian Caesar, is now in war with Marc Anthony.  Before the war, Lucius Vorenus left at the side of Marc Anthony to Egypt and Titus Pullo was asked by Octavian to be with him. During our ending scenes, Anthony takes his life, as a true soldier of Rome, not to be captured by Octavian, followed shortly by Cleopatra. Before Cleopatra receives the venom of the asp, she asks Vorenus to take her son to safety.  Octavian, knowing that Cleopatra’s son is of Julius Caesar sends Pullo to execute the young boy. Pullo shortly meets up with Vorenus and does not kill the boy… the two return with the boy to Rome. Vorenus is badly injured but makes it back to say his last goodbye to his children.  (We actually never really see him die, could have been a segway for another season).  Pullo reports back to Octavian that the boy is dead, “I would have brought the head back but it rotted so bad you would know who it was.” In the final scene with Pullo, he is walking through the streets with Cleopatra’s son… and the young boy says, “I will have revenge for my parents.” Titus answers “Let me tell you something about your father.”

Rome: The Complete Second Season (2007) Box Cover

Rome: The Complete Second Season (2007)

I loved this show…. It was great!  It came during the mid 2000s only a few years after the movie Gladiator. I guess all of us wanted more and more.  There is a bunch of new series related to the Roman Empire, hopefully they will stand with the likes of Rome the series.

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