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It not a joke!!! It is the truth!!!

Giving people what they want: violence and sloppy eating

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mini me + poo
Posting about a 1970s TV series recently has reminded me to say something about a 2005 one :)

I've been using the PMA400 I bought a month or so ago to watch Rome, finally, when I commute by train.

I'm currently about a third of the way through series two (thank you BitTorrents) which puts me at an advantage to people waiting for the BBC to show it. (As s2 starts a minute or so after the end of the s1, going straight from one to the other is also the sensible way to do it.)

Apart from curiously skipping over showing anything of the battles - one tiny section of Alesia at the start of s1e1 is all there's been so far - my ghod, it throws money at the screen, doesn't it? Pity that it looks like there won't be a third series as a result.

They've also taken a few odd liberties with history, some dramatically understandable (what a good thing Octavian's real mother can't sue for libel!) and some not (from Julius having so much hair to the aftermath of the assassination being rather different), but overall the basic idea of picking on two legionaries and throwing them onto centre stage works.

The series also features one of the most horrific deaths I can remember on a TV series.

The train of thought that linked the two was I, Claudius, of course. Oh, to have that acting and script with Rome's production values rather than innumerable 'how can we hide the fact that we're in a studio' shots.

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(Deleted comment)
Some of Rome undoubtedly is SFX, but I've just fast forwarded through an episode of I, Claudius to check: there's no scene that clearly wasn't shot in a studio. Even the exterior shots (market place, a garden) were done indoors, with the lighting turned up a bit. It's next on my 'to watch' list and I'd bet you never see the sky once in over ten hours.

In contrast, if the vast bulk of Rome exteriors aren't actually shot outside, I'd be amazed.

So this isn't about 'suspension of disbelief', this is like the difference before and after the invention of a movie camera you could move about.

Or the difference between a theatre play and a film. I, Claudius is recording of a magnificent play, Rome is a film.

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