The Romans: Doctor Who: Season 2
The Romans SYNOPSIS:
As the TARDIS is now stuck at the base of a cliff the time travellers have a holiday in 64 BC outside Rome taking up residence in a Roman villa whose owner is currently away in Gaul. The Doctor decides to travel to Rome with Vicki on the way there they find the murdered body of a lyre player and the Doctor assumes his identity when found by a centurion. Attempts are made on the Doctor's life before they get to Rome.
The villa has been raided by slave traders and Ian is sold as a galley slave and Barbara is sold to Tavius a courtier to Emperor Nero where she becomes second hand maiden to the Emperor's wife. The galley Ian is on breaks up during a storm. He and fellow prisoner Delos are captured and sent to be trained as gladiators in the arena.
The Doctor has managed to avoid playing a lyre concert for Nero and integrates himself into the court. The murdered lyre player Maximus Pettulian turns out to have Been in service to Tavius to murder Nero, explaining the failed attempts on the Doctor's life. Nero has decided to throw the Doctor to the lions while Ian is to die in the gladiatorial arena, and Barbara to be poisoned by Nero's wife for tempting her husband.
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The Romans CAST & CREW
William Hartnell (First Doctor)
William Russell (Ian Chesterton)
Jacqueline Hill (Barbara Wright)
Maureen O'Brien (Vicki)
Derek Francis — Nero
Michael Peake — Tavius
Brian Proudfoot — Tigilinus
Kay Patrick — Poppaea
Peter Diamond — Delos
Derek Sydney — Sevcheria
Nicholas Evans — Didius
Barry Jackson — Ascaris
Anne Tirard — Locusta
Dennis Edwards — Centurion
Margot Thomas — Stall Holder
Edward Kelsey — Slave Buyer
Bart Allison — Maximus Pettulian
Dorothy-Rose Gribble — Woman Slave
Gertan Klauber — Galley Master
Ernest Jennings, John Caesar — Men in Market
Tony Lambden — Court Messenger
Production Staff for Serial M:<
Writer - Dennis Spooner
Director - Christopher Barry
Script editor - Dennis Spooner
Producer - Verity Lambert
Associate producer - Mervyn Pinfield
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The Romans REVIEWS
Man how many more Hartnells to go? This is getting torturous. Don't know if I've seen this one. CORRECTION, think I've seen one scene where Hartnell goes all Arnie and beats up on some Roman servant dude with some clumsly judo throws...It's all coming back.
Finally forced myself to watch the Romans, mind you it took many attempts and better do it now as it dragged so much the memories of it will quickly fade. Yep we go back 23 years to the heady beginnings of the series second year. The Tardis has landed in ancient Rome & the crew find a deserted villa and set up shop in it for a month. Nice to actually see them stay somewhere for a while. Then the Doctor & Vicki head off to the main Roman city and end up mistaken for a renown Lyre player and his hand maiden, that was murdered by Roman assassins.
Ian & Barbara set off after them separately and end up being put into slavery, Babs as a handmaiden, Ian as a gladiator. However they all end up at Nero's palace and neither group has knowledge the others are there. Good concept, pity about the fact they needed the budget of a Cecil B Demille picture to realise it. Plus the guest cast seems divided into two distinct groups, half who are treating it as a BBC drama the other half, including the actor playing Nero, who are treating it like Carry On Up The Empire.
Hartnell really does a lot of line fluffing here and even engages it some judo against an attacking assassin. Ian does his macho best as a gladiator in a poorly realised fight and Barbara deals with the treacherous but nice senator trying to kill Nero. But in the end just couldn't wait for the finish, even insomnia has it's limits. Slow Black and white plus a subject like Rome really sort of bores the pants off me. Not the best combo
13 million people tuned into this one... what the hell were they thinking!
The new script editor wanted to give Who more of a comedy slant, and at the time he was living opposite the guy who directed a lot of the Carry On stuff... and a lot of the clichés in this one are straight out of a carry on film... but a very lame Carry on film...
I can't remember if the bits I'm recalling are from this or from Aztecs... but I do remember the end where the Doctor accidentally burns the plans for Rome and Nero decides to burn Rome... and then plays the fiddle... oh dear....