Ian and Delos are forced to fight each other for their freedom while the Doctor has to perform for Nero's court.




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Episode cast overview:
William Russell ...
Jacqueline Hill ...
Maureen O'Brien ...
Derek Sydney ...
Michael Peake ...
Dorothy-Rose Gribble ...
Woman Slave
Derek Francis ...
Brian Proudfoot ...
Tigilinus - Cup Bearer
Kay Patrick ...
Anne Tirard ...
Locusta (as Ann Tirard)


Ian and Delos are forced to fight each other for their freedom while the Doctor has to perform for Nero's court.

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Release Date:

30 January 1965 (UK)  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


This episode was broadcast on the same day as Winston Churchill's funeral, explaining the dip in viewing figures. See more »


Shortly after Nero starts his chase of Barbara, a studio light enters the top left of the shot, causing noticeable lens flare. See more »


Featured in Dennis Spooner: Wanna Write a Television Series? (2009) See more »

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User Reviews

The Romans Part 3: Disappointing and uneven historical adventure
6 July 2014 | by (South Wales, UK) – See all my reviews

Review of all 4 parts:

This 4 part historical adventure from writer Dennis Spooner is a mix of serious drama and comedy. It takes place in Roman times and brings the time travellers to the court of Emperor Nero leading up to the burning of Rome. It features murder, intrigue and humour, some of which is reminiscent of a 'Carry On' film.

This is quite well liked by a fair amount of viewers but I find it pretty weak. The tone is uneven, slipping jarringly rather than smoothly between whimsical humour and dark drama throughout the adventure and descending to full on crazy farce in episode 3. This farce element is silly and just does not work as far as I am concerned, especially when mixed with the story's dark themes, making episode 3 not much better than the very weakest Who episodes. The drama is relatively uninteresting at times throughout the story too. If it were not for the strength of the main cast it would fall totally flat. Luckily the cast carry it off to some extent and I can accept that amongst dark stories such as The Dalek Invasion of Earth and weird sci fi drama The Web Planet a story like this is intended as a fun interlude. I just find it mostly not very well done. Writer Spooner was also the show's new script editor. His tenure had problematic humour and a drop in quality (with the exception of The Crusade).

A few good aspects to the drama and the funnier moments of humour along with some entertaining interaction and dialogue for the main characters (including a decent performance by newcomer Maureen O'Brien as Vicki) keep standards from being entirely poor but this was a disappointing adventure for me.

My Ratings: Episode 1 - 6.5/10, Episode 2 - 6/10, Episode 3 - 5/10, Episode 4 - 6.5/10

0 of 3 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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