There have been several Roman based movies made since Gladiator showed that audiences were ready to hear these ancient stories told once again. Also with the advent of CG these stories could be told a lot more impressively visually as so much about the ancient Romans had to do with their amazing cities and huge battles. With CG you can bring those spectacles to life which filmmakers were not able to do so easily pre this modern era.
Whenever I see the special features of these current movies though, I often hear the same name come up, I Claudius. I Claudius was a BBC TV series made back in the 70’s and it is often held up as the show to watch as it seemed to inspire so many of the current Rome based movies. But could a 70’s TV budget keep a modern audience interested?
This is a 12 hour epic miniseries and I’ve got to admit that the first 30 minutes I struggled with the thought that I was going to be watching all of it as it felt like a play being filmed. With no CG and no big epic scenes this series focused 100% on the characters and the intrigue that surrounded them through their lives.
However, after that first 30 minutes I was hooked! I’m a fan of Roman history and this captures a large chunk of a very important part of their history and does it perfectly. This deserves to be the show that current filmmakers look up to when making their CG heavy versions of Roman history, as it shows that good storytelling and acting trumps spectacle any day.
9 out of 10 from me!!!