After years of civil war following the assassination of Julius Caesar, his adopted son Octavian manages to unite the various factions and assume control of the Roman Empire. Taking the name...
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After years of civil war following the assassination of Julius Caesar, his adopted son Octavian manages to unite the various factions and assume control of the Roman Empire. Taking the name Augustus, he presides over an unparalleled period of growth and prosperity, but when he dies, the Empire is thrown into confusion by the corrupt and violent reigns of Tiberius and the insane Caligula.Written by
I rarely give any production 10 out of 10 but this series, made in black and white in the 1960s, believed lost for many years, deserves it. 'The Caesars' focuses mainly on the reigns of two Roman Emperors, Tiberius (Andre Morell) and Caligula (Ralph Bates), although it touches on others along the way (Claudius, an excellent performance of someone playing the fool for survival from Freddie Jones; a regal Augustus; a vain Sejanus; and a foolish Germanicus) to make up the six episodes. Female characters also register strongly, with performances coming through clearly from the likes of Caroline Blakiston and Nicola Pagett.
A script of power, superlative acting, restrained depiction of reigns of terror (compare this Caligula with the one enacted by Malcolm McDowell in the 1970s film) makes this series still watchable without it having been dated. The end of the episode 'Sejanus' is excellent and extremely moving, and the standard remains high throughout the whole of the series.
Welcome to DVD and well worth watching.
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