THIS IS THE ONE. Premium pulling-out-the-stops affair courtesy of a benevolent Beeb looking for something to celebrate 40 years of telly and coming up with a toga-encrused blood-soaked poison-splattered latex-smothered wine-soused vine-doused epic of Romanic empire proportions. Which was convenient, for that was the subject; specifically the decline and fall of Italy’s finest, told from the perspective of a limping, twitching, stuttering DEREK JACOBI dodging the cutting remarks and cutting down of his entire family to somehow survive 70 odd years of palatial pandemonium. Passing through: BRIAN BLESSED as a majestically befuddled Augustus (“Where are my eagles?!”), SIAN LLOYD as his missus Livia (“By the way: don’t touch the figs”), GEORGE BAKER as doomed deviant Tiberias (“Why doesn’t he like me?”), JOHN HURT as demented loon Caligula (“Haven’t you noticed? I have become a God!”), PATRICK STEWART as tyro henchman Sejanus (“Let’s hold another treason trial!”), CHRISTOPHER BIGGINS as Nero (“What a pretty thing a fire is!”), SHEILA WHITE as the near-permanently topless Messalina (“Let’s have a tournament…of sex!”), BERNARD HILL as a Scouse guard (“You’re our emperor now, mate!”), STRATFORD JOHNS as treacherous senator Piso (“Let’s open our veins together!”), IAN OGILVY as naive nuisance Drusus (“I can match you black for black”), SIMON MCCORKINDALE as equally naive nicompoop Lucius, BERNARD HEPTON as meddling aide Pallas and PETER BOWLES as silver-haired Brit (of course) CARACTACUS.Read More
Creamguide's Pick of the Day
It always amuses us when we see clips of Double Your Money and notice the category board includes both “jazz (traditional)” and “jazz (modern)”, though it is true that at that point trad really was big news, the nascent Pick of the Pops spinning off from Trad Tavern being just one example of its hold on the nation’s teens in the early sixties, despite it being influenced by music some forty years old at the time.
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Points of View
- In 'Wheeltappers and Shunters Social Club, The', Droogie says: "Am I alone in thinking Colin Crompton bore an uncanny resemblance to Frank Skinner?"
- In 'Wacky Races', Des E says: "Did Will and Joe intend to make more than 17 episodes (and hence more than 34 races), or is it possible that they *deliberately* left it to the viewers to..."
- In 'Who Pays the Ferryman?', Applemask says: "DON’T EVEN FIX A PRICE"
- In 'Wheeltappers and Shunters Social Club, The', Applemask says: "Clarification: Manning wasn’t deceased at the time"
- In 'Walter', Applemask says: "Made a great statement of intent for launch night. Had a sequel a year later in which Sabrina absconds with Sarah Miles, tries to exist in real world,..."