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Epic four-hour series about the rise of Octavius who succeeds Julius Caesar and tangles with Marc Anthony for control of the Roman empire and finally went on to become the emperor Augustus.




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Series cast summary:
Santiago Cabrera ...  Octavius 6 episodes, 2005
Vincent Regan ...  Marc Antony 6 episodes, 2005
Emily Blunt ...  Camane 6 episodes, 2005
James Frain ...  Brutus 6 episodes, 2005
Jonathan Cake ...  Tyrannus 6 episodes, 2005
Trudie Styler ...  Servilia 5 episodes, 2005
Graham McTavish ...  General Rapax 5 episodes, 2005
Amanda Root ...  Noella 5 episodes, 2005
Ian Bartholomew Ian Bartholomew ...  Cimber 5 episodes, 2005
Michael Maloney ...  Cassius 4 episodes, 2005
Michael Byrne ...  Cicero 4 episodes, 2005
Orla Brady ...  Atia 4 episodes, 2005
Alan David Alan David ...  Quinitilius 4 episodes, 2005
Clive Riche ...  Herteus 4 episodes, 2005
Roger Ashton-Griffiths ...  Panza 4 episodes, 2005
Christopher Egan ...  Agrippa 3 episodes, 2005
Fiona Shaw ...  Fulvia 3 episodes, 2005
Colm Feore ...  Caesar 3 episodes, 2005
Michael Culkin ...  Lucius 3 episodes, 2005
Dennis Haysbert ...  Magonius 3 episodes, 2005
Sylvia De Fanti ...  Moira 3 episodes, 2005
Fillipo Reda Fillipo Reda ...  Piso 3 episodes, 2005
Caroline Ashley Caroline Ashley ...  Titiana 3 episodes, 2005
Julian Firth ...  Publius Claudius 3 episodes, 2005
Inday Ba ...  Nila 3 episodes, 2005
Amelia Curtis ...  Wife of Publius Claudius 3 episodes, 2005
Stephanie Leonidas ...  Girlfriend 3 episodes, 2005
Martin Marquez Martin Marquez ...  General Crito 3 episodes, 2005
Terence Maynard ...  Atticus 3 episodes, 2005
Joe Hanley Joe Hanley ...  Lagos 3 episodes, 2005
Edoardo Trowse Edoardo Trowse ...  Rough Youth 3 episodes, 2005
Jean-Marie Paris Jean-Marie Paris ...  The Reterian 3 episodes, 2005
Angel Turner Angel Turner ...  Gordiana 3 episodes, 2005
Jonis Bashir Jonis Bashir ...  Drax 3 episodes, 2005
Ed Stoppard ...  Sebastianus 2 episodes, 2005
Felix Dexter Felix Dexter ...  Maximus 2 episodes, 2005
Michael Jenn ...  Saturnicus 2 episodes, 2005
Ian Redford ...  Nobleman Marius 2 episodes, 2005
Robert Willox Robert Willox ...  Balthus 2 episodes, 2005
Stephen Graham ...  Bazzer 2 episodes, 2005
Giannina Salvetti Giannina Salvetti ...  Market Seller 2 episodes, 2005
Anthony Souter ...  Slave Trader 2 episodes, 2005
Luca Venantini ...  Fortunus 2 episodes, 2005
Antonio Del Prete ...  Slave 2 episodes, 2005
Alessandro Dieli ...  Caelus 2 episodes, 2005
Giacomo Gonnella ...  Bestiari 2 episodes, 2005
Joseph Murray Joseph Murray ...  Davus 2 episodes, 2005
Jay Natelle ...  Soldier 2 episodes, 2005
Mario Opinato ...  Sergeant at Arms 2 episodes, 2005
Francis Pardeilhan ...  The General 2 episodes, 2005
Ian Ruskin Ian Ruskin ...  Voice Actor 2 episodes, 2005
Bart Ruspoli ...  Principe 2 episodes, 2005
Anna Sarnholm Anna Sarnholm ...  Larissa 2 episodes, 2005
Massimiliano Ubaldi Massimiliano Ubaldi ...  Centurion 2 episodes, 2005
Diz White Diz White ...  Voice Replacement 2 episodes, 2005


The story is set in Rome around 44 B.C., just after the assassination of Julius Caesar. Octavius, aged 17, who was named heir by Caesar, is challenged by Marc Anthony. A civil war ensues, ending in a showdown between Octavius and Marc Anthony. Written by Justine Lewis

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Lust, Power and the Epic Battle for Rome


Action | Drama | History


TV-14 | See all certifications »






Release Date:

28 June 2005 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Empire See more »

Filming Locations:

Rome, Lazio, Italy


Box Office


$50,000,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


(6 parts) | (DVD)

Sound Mix:




Aspect Ratio:

1.78 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


Real swords were used in close-up shots for authenticity. This risky decision resulted in Jonathan Cake being cut during filming for the first episode. The cut became infected and Cake required hospital treatment. See more »


During the final battle between Antony's and Octavius's armies, Tyranus removes two silver emblems from his chest to denounce Antony and fight for Octavius. In the next shot, they are there again. Later, they disappear once more. See more »


Cassius: There's so much suffering in this room. Am I with a woman?
See more »


Version of Imperium: Augustus (2003) See more »

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User Reviews

Too much crowd pleasing, not enough reality
22 December 2012 | by Leofwine_dracaSee all my reviews

Watching and taking EMPIRE seriously after having seen ROME is a near impossibility. EMPIRE is a TV miniseries charting the rise to power of Julius Caesar's nephew, Octavius (isn't it Octavian?), in much the same way that ROME did, except the two productions are totally at odds. ROME was lavish, expensive, expertly made and very well written. EMPIRE is silly, generic and more often than not, derivative.

The main source of inspiration is Ridley Scott's GLADIATOR, thus we have the presence of a gladiator in the leading role. It's not just that Tyrannus is out of place - what's a gladiator doing having one-to-ones with Caesar, for goodness' sake? - it's that he's so bland. The producers picked a good-looking guy to make the housewives swoon and do zilch with his character for the entire running time. It makes for a highly boring production. His character arc is non-existence and he feels like a male model simply acting as a clothes horse throughout.

Not that the rest is much good, either. I'm no stickler for historical accuracy, I'd rather a historical series or movie be entertaining rather than realistic and deathly dull. But EMPIRE takes the biscuit, throwing in sub-plot after sub-plot that never happened, and ludicrous situations like a romance with a Vestal Virgin. There's far too much senseless combat featuring the aforementioned gladiator hacking his way through various foes, and of course as this is a TV production there's no real sex or violence to offend anybody.

Some of the cast members ARE good, it's just that their characters aren't. Vincent Regan was excellent in 300, but his Mark Antony seems a bit impotent, lacking in menace and failing to be larger than life as the role requires. James Frain seems to be doing a dry run for his turn in THE TUDORS but is underutilised, as are Michael Maloney (TRULY MADLY DEEPLY), Michael Byrne and RAMBO's Graham McTavish. The women fare less well: Emily Blunt, on the cusp of THE DEVIL WEARS PRADA and stardom, fails to convince and the horrendous Trudie Styler is little more than a walking advert for Botox (who knew the Romans invented it?). The effeminate Santiago Cabrera might as well be listed under the female parts, so weak and weedy is he.

Lack of a decent budget means that there are no real set-pieces or memorable moments, just a couple of CGI-enhanced backdrops here and there. However, the production does seem to have been made in Italy with an Italian supporting cast and crew, which counts for something, and the episodes are fast paced and have stuff going on. It's just a shame that the stuff that does happen is so familiar, made up, and derivative of what's come before. This TV stuff can be good - I liked the recent version of BEN HUR for instance - but EMPIRE misses the mark by quite a bit.

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