- Designated Hero: The Doctor ends up being unintentionally responsible for burning down Rome and this is treated as something to Squee! about. It says a lot about how cleverly-written the episode is that it comes across as a genuine moment of celebration and a turning point for the Doctor's character, but think of all those people who died because of him!
- Hilarious in Hindsight: When Vicki mentions to the Doctor that "You don't even know your own name!" He stammered a bit until the off screen centurion calls out the performers name.
- Special Effects Failure: The burning of Rome. It was added late in production when the budget had run out and nobody was happy with how it looked.
- Stock Footage Failure: Ian is taken to fight in the arena, and peers out of the bars of his cell to see what it is he's going to fight. What follows is a poorly-edited sequence of lots of different lions in clearly very different zoos, none of which look remotely Roman.
- Values Dissonance: The Doctor finding Nero's sexual abuse of women funny and harmless (saying "what an extraordinary fellow!" as he sees Nero chasing an underdressed, screaming women down a corridor) is also something that would never fly in a children's programme nowadays. It works well today as Black Comedy, though.
- The Woobie: That female slave. Also Tigellinus. And super-woobiedom is likely in store for Tavius, as well, in the form of a Cruel and Unusual Death at his master's hands.
YMMV / Doctor Who S2 E4 "The Romans"