Roman Mystery (2007)

Roman Mystery (2007)

A valiant attempt at exciting and educational TV programming for young people, "The Roman Mysteries" has a lot going for it. As previous reviewers remarked, it is outstanding for it's realistic portrayal of the period, particularly in the scenes occurring in harbors or aboard ships. In this respect it is every bit as good as the recent blockbuster "Rome" series. The plots are exciting and well written.

Director
Paul Marcus (5 episodes, 2007), Jill Robertson (3 episodes, 2008), Marcus D.F. White (2 episodes, 2008),
Production Companies
BBC British Broadcasting Corporation
Executive Producer
David Hunt, David Ball, Jon East, Jane Dauncey, Michael Treen
Line Producer
Keith Littler, Martyn Auty, Chris Johnson , Martin Haines , Salvatore Morello,

Cast

 
Francesca Isherwood
Eli Machover
Rebekah Brookes-Murrell
Harry Stott
Stephen Mapes
Eoin McCarthy
Natasha Barrero
Jamie Baughan
Sara Harris Davies
Richard Ridings
Christopher Harper
Nick Brimble

Synopsis

A valiant attempt at exciting and educational TV programming for young people, "The Roman Mysteries" has a lot going for it. As previous reviewers remarked, it is outstanding for it's realistic portrayal of the period, particularly in the scenes occurring in harbors or aboard ships. In this respect it is every bit as good as the recent blockbuster "Rome" series. The plots are exciting and well written. My only problem is with the unfortunate casting of some of the principals, starting with Flavia, the "Nancy Drew" of the series. The only thing remotely correct and Roman about her is her rather persistent classic Roman coiffure. She's the leading character but the least likable with her typically self-righteous superiority, priggishness, shallow impulsiveness and readiness to abandon her friends (such as immediately believing her Greek tutor to be guilty of attempted murder.) Johnathan is a sad, expressionless one-note dud and pug ugly to boot. Both her father and her uncle don't look or act remotely Roman, more like Irish or Scots. On the plus side, the characters of Nubia, Lupus, and the tutor, as well as Mordecai the Jewish physician are excellent. It is they and a host of well-played incidental characters such as the poet-lawyer who save the series so all credit for success is due to them. Even as a mute with no lines, little Stott as Lupus out-acts them all with eloquent gestures and facial expressions. Let's see more of the tutor in upcoming episodes....he deserves better after being written off by imperious Flavia's lack of depth and poor judgment. Maybe she should pay more attention to her studies, it might improve her smug, forever simpering character.