Game of Thrones’ potential 2 year hiatus has left many looking for something new to sink their teeth into. While there are lots of great shows on TV right now, fans need look no further than its spiritual predecessor, “Rome”.
With a $100m budget from the BBC and HBO for its first season alone, Rome is the original blockbuster TV show of the 21st century. It follows Lucius Vorenus (Kevin McKidd) and Titus Pullo (Ray Stevenson) as two soldiers in a critical time for the Roman world.
Caesar returns from Gaul having won the will of the people but Pompey, leader of the republic finds Caesar’s new influence to be overreaching, sparking one of history’s most famous civil wars. “Rome” covers the many different aspects of life at this great crossroads with depth and wit, featuring some fantastic performances from a cast of all ages and strengths.
Despite rave reviews and a solid following Rome was shelved after only two seasons, primarily down to its colossal cost. However, the limited run meant it covered an important period of history and didn’t waver in quality like many long-running shows do.
Vorenus and Pullo’s arc as two of Caesar’s most trusted soldiers provides a familiar backdrop that fans of Game of Thrones will appreciate. War, religion, politics and sex take centre stage in this brutal era. It similarly features British and European actors, even sharing Ciarán Hinds (Thrones’ Mance Rayder) as Caesar. Like many of its peers, Rome makes great use of an army of extras, authentic sets and contains plenty debauchery and black humour while still remaining vaguely educational.
Do as the Romans do and indulge yourself on this great show.
Rome is available to stream via UK/US Netflix and to buy on DVD/Blu-Ray.