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Trivia / Rome

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  • Beam Me Up, Scotty!: Averted. The Rome version of Caesar never says the famous Shakespearean line "Et Tu, Brute?" (like in Real Life, his wounds made him unable to talk in his dying moments). This is lampshaded in the next episode, when Brutus asks "You too, Mother?" when Servilia tells him to leave the city.
  • Dawson Casting: Early in the series, 16-year-old Max Pirkis played then 11-year-old Octavian. By the time his character's age caught up with him in season 2, he looked too young to play an adult Octavian, so they replaced him with 27-year-old Simon Woods starting at an episode where Octavian should be 21.
  • Executive Meddling:
    • Writer Bruno Heller learned that HBO cancelled the show when he was halfway into writing the second season. The result: ~15 years of history compressed into 8 episodes, plus a subplot with Timon and his brother that goes absolutely nowhere (since then HBO execs admitted that the cancellation was probably not a good idea).
    • When the series first aired the BBC edited the first three episodes down to just two, without director (and executive producer) Michael Apted's knowledge. The official reason given was that The BBC felt British viewers were already familiar with Roman history and so a lot of the background information was unnecessary. Apted believed the real reason for the cuts was sex + violence = ratings (and given the BBC later screened all four seasons of The Tudors - a series not acclaimed for its fidelity to British historical truthnote  - Apted may have been right).
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  • Fake Nationality: Most of the actors are British or Irish. Not a single Italian in sight for the Romans, nor Greeks for the Ptolemies. This is a bit lampshaded in one scene where Vorenus is called a ginger and must protest that while he looks Gaulish, he's a true-blooded Roman. Oddly enough, the few Italian actors present don't play Italians, instead playing 'barbarian' characters who, genetically and culturally, were far more related to the Britons. Chiara Mastalli (who is actually Roman) plays Eirene, a German slave from beyond the Rhine, while Giovanni Calcagno plays Vercingetorix, a chieftain of the Gauls.
  • Fan Nickname: Atia of the Julii: "Julii Cooper".
  • The Other Darrin: A mix between types 2 and 3 for Octavian, as he is heard talking off-screen to a reaction shot of Pullo before being revealed. Pullo seems to take a minute to recognize him, and then they move on like nothing happened. Justified as the series covers over 20 years of history, and the original Octavian looked too young to play himself as an adult.
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  • Irony as She Is Cast: In a cast where most of the actors are Northern Europeans who speak English, (a Germanic language), actress Chiara Mastalli , literally the only one born and raised in Rome plays a Germanic slave.
  • Referenced by...: As a Casting Gag, Star Wars Rebels features Kevin McKidd, Ray Stevenson, and Tobias Menzies as Mandalorians, with McKidd and Stevenson's characters being archenemies and all three being allied with the Empire (initially and unwillingly for McKidd's character, anyways). Additionally, Menzies' character is named Tiber, for the river that ran through Rome.
  • What Could Have Been: Originally, there were plans for five full seasons. If not for the cancellation, the second and following seasons could have depicted history with the same eye for details as the first one. To quote creator Bruno Heller:
    "The second [season] was going to end with the death of Brutus. Third and fourth season would be set in Egypt. Fifth was going to be the rise of the messiah in Palestine. But because we got the heads-up that the second season would be it, I telescoped the third and fourth season into the second one, which accounts for the blazing speed we go through history near the end."
  • Word of God: According to the creators, Vorenus survives his wound in the series finale, and goes into hiding with his family somewhere in Germania. A feature-length movie that started out from this point was in the works, but apparently succumbed to Development Hell.


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