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Ancient Rome. The Rise and Fall of an Empire: Revolution (2006)
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Directed by: Christopher Spencer
Script by: Christopher Spencer
Status: Release Oct. 5, 2006 - BBC 1 (UK)
Genre: Historical Factual Drama (6 Part Television Series) Part 3: Revolution
Runtime: 60 min
Production Studio: Sinbad Productions for BBC
Co-Stars: Geraldine James, Tom Bell, Paul Brightwell, James Hillier
Role: Tiberius Gracchus
Tiberius is a brave young Tribune from an aristocratic Roman family, a man of honour and a most unlikely revolutionary. Driven by his mother Cornelia’s dreams of family glory and by the example of his late father, Tiberius believes in the ideals of the Republic – fairness, decency and justice for everyone – but is appalled by Rome’s aristocrat’s treatment of the poor. Tiberius is torn between the desire to fulfil his mother’s wishes and yet also to restore the Republic to the values that his father once stood for. He takes up the cause of the poor and unleashes the power of the mob upon the streets of Rome, thereby scattering the seeds for the transformation from Republic to Empire.
Plot: A dramatised documentary series covering the rise and the fall of the Roman world through six key turning points from Caesar to the fall of Rome. Factually accurate and based on extensive historical research. In the episode “Revolution,” Rome was once a largely democratic society, with regular elections. This Republic lasted for 500 years, but then came Tiberius Gracchus. Tiberius first makes a mark on history winning the golden crown from General Scipio Aemilianus by being first over the wall at the victorious Battle of Carthage. Back in Rome, now the capital of the world, he finds the growing gap between rich and poor threatening the foundations of the republic. Urged to achieve greatness through further military exploits he sets out with reinforcements for the campaign of General Mancinus against the rebellious Numantine tribe in Spain but is defeated and forced to negotiate a peace treaty that the Senate later refuses to ratify. His actions while repudiated in the Senate have made him a hero amongst the Roman people and his new father-in-law Senator Pulcher supports him in a successful campaign to become their Tribune. He snubs the Senate and takes his proposed land reforms directly to the People’s Assembly where his old friend Octabius vetoes them. He brings the city to a standstill when he vetoes all other business in response and has Octavius deposed. Octavius and the Senate spread false rumours that he intends to make himself king and in the ensuing unrest he is murdered.
Trivia & Facts:
- Budget 130,000 pounds
- To keep within a limited budget, Ross Little (Costumes) made further use of the costumes and armour produced for the Ancient Rome series and many costumes have been taken apart, re-dyed, re-made and re-cycled.
- The Carthaginian costumes were recycled for the Germanic warriors of Alaric.
- Cambridge professor, Mary Beard, was the series historical consultant.
- Because not everyone could hear him, Tiberius pointed his hand to his head as a sign that his life was in danger. His enemies interpreted this gesture as evil, that he would ask for a crown.
Film Location: Hammamet, Tunisia (other episodes were shot in Tunisia, Morocco and Bulgaria)
Awards & Nominations:
RTS Craft & Design Award - Best Costume Design: Ros Little (2007)
Mary Beard: I am delighted that Tiberius finally comes into view on prime time television. I think that is the first time.
The Gracchus episode makes the best attempt at showing Roman life — siege, villa, perfume bottles, hunting, a wedding — all delicately incorporated --– The Times