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November 21, 2005

Sic Semper Tyrannis

I just finished watching the last episode of Rome until 2007 and I have to say, HBO has really outdone itself with this series. The assassination scene was done very well; slowly, with multiple camera angles, losts of stabbing. The best part was that Caesar did not say "Et tu, Brute?" or even "Καὶ σὺ τέκνον." Instead, it was all delivered with the eyes. Ciarin Hinds deserves an Emmy for his work as Gaius Julius Caesar.

In fact, most of the cast of Rome deserve Emmys. I don't think I've ever seen such great acting from so many people on one teevee show. Kevin McKidd (Tommy from Trainspotting) was brilliant as Lucius Varenus, the centurion turned magistrate turned Senator in the last episode.

Other great performances: James Purefoy as Mark Antony. Polly Walker as Atia of the Julii who, along with Lindsey Duncan as Servilia of the Junii, brought a Dynasty-like nastiness to the show's more non-historical plotlines. Tobias Menzes as Marcus Brutus. Ray Stevenson as Titus Pullo, Varenus's, rabble-rousing sidekick from the legion.

An interesting historical point. Varenus and Pullo are two of the unknown characters introduced in the show to enable the writers to create some plotlines outside of the arc of Roman history but, in fact, Caesar mentions Varenus and Pullo in Book IV of De Bello Gallico. So the writers were even using primary sources for the characters who don't appear to be historical at all.

And finally, if you like gladiators severing heads and limbs, the 11th episode of Rome is for you. It makes Gladiator look like A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving.

Posted by Half-Cocked at November 21, 2005 08:07 PM

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I only caught like the first or second episode of this -- the rest were pretty good I take it?

Do you happen to know if they're coming out on DVD?

Posted by: J at November 22, 2005 10:54 AM

Yes, J. I don't know when though. There's alway bittorrent.

Posted by: Steve at November 23, 2005 01:47 PM

I'm just glad to see it's been renewed, even if I have to wait until 2007 to see it again.

Posted by: Beanie at November 29, 2005 07:08 PM