Ian and Delos manage to escape from Sevcheria and Tavius agrees to help Barbara rejoin them.The Doctor's attempts to avoid being thrown to the lions inadvertently result in Nero deciding to burn down Rome.

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Ian and Delos manage to escape from Sevcheria and Tavius agrees to help Barbara rejoin them.The Doctor's attempts to avoid being thrown to the lions inadvertently result in Nero deciding to burn down Rome.

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6 February 1965 (UK)  »

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This episode was watched by 12 million viewers on its original transmission. See more »

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A close-up reveals that the coins Nero uses to pay his torch bearers are in fact metal washers. See more »

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Ian: I've got a friend who specialises in trouble. He dives in and usually finds a way.
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Featured in Doctor Who Live: The Afterparty (2013) See more »

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The Romans Part 4: Rather 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


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