Rome: Season 1 (2005)


Season 1

Critics Consensus

Rome builds slowly, but a laborious start delivers rich rewards in the form of decadent sets, delicious drama and a surprising amount of intimacy.



Critic Ratings: 32

Audience Score

User Ratings: 0
User image


Air date: Sep 4, 2005
Air date: Feb 20, 2006
Air date: Sep 18, 2005
Air date: Sep 25, 2005
Air date: Oct 2, 2005
Air date: Oct 9, 2005
Air date: Oct 16, 2005
Air date: Oct 30, 2005
Air date: Nov 6, 2005
Show More Episodes

Tv Season Info

The Roman Empire's rise gets a royal treatment in this sprawling drama, which begins in 52 B.C., when Julius Caesar finally conquers Gaul, after years of war. Back in Rome, however, the Senate seeks to undermine Caesar's power, setting the stage for inevitable civil war. The HBO-BBC co-production took more than a year to make on acres of sets at Italy's legendary Cinecitta studios.


Ciarán Hinds
as Gaius Julius Caesar
Kevin Mckidd
as Lucius Vorenus
Ray Stevenson
as Titus Pullo
Polly Walker
as Atia of the Julii
James Purefoy
as Mark Antony
Kenneth Cranham
as Pompey Magnus
Tobias Menzies
as Marcus Junius Brutus
Max Pirkis
as Gaius Octavian
Kerry Condon
as Octavia of the Julii
Anna Patrick
as Cornelia
David Kennedy
as Lucius Septimius
Lindsay Duncan
as Servilia of the Julii
Eliza Darby
as Daughter of Pompey
Ian McNeice
as Newsreader
Haydn Gwynne
as Calpurnia
Michele Pettini
as Son of Pompey
Coral Amiga
as Vorena the Elder
Vincenzo Nicoli
as Lysandros
Paolo Risi
as Cato the Dwarf
Rick Warden
as Quintus Pompey
Guy Henry
as Cassius
Anna Fausta Primiano
as Vorena the Younger
Scott Chisholm
as Ptolemy XIII
Ewan Bailey
as Pertinax
Bruce MacKinnon
as Priscus Maevius
Oreste Rotundo
as Aufidius Dento
Helen Stirling
as Old Weaver
Show More Cast

Critic Reviews for Rome Season 1

All Critics (32) | Top Critics (21)

For all the naked bodies and flashy physical displays, Rome thwarts almost every form of desire. Unlike Deadwood, it offers no pause for deliciously dirty and brainy language, nor the relish that adds zest to motive.

Apr 16, 2019 | Full Review…

The first six episodes generate more intrigue than aggravation with the weaving in and out of competing story lines.

Jun 6, 2018 | Full Review…

It's a heady mix of history and fictional characters in a sprawling epic that not only respects but challenges the intelligence of the audience.

Jun 6, 2018 | Full Review…

An addictive piece of costume soap opera rich in atmospheric realism... but it's not psychologically complex.

Jun 4, 2018 | Full Review…

The production values are extraordinary, from the show's magnificent sets to its elaborate wardrobe. But the writing is the richest component. It gives the actors full-blooded characters to play and crisp, appropriate dialogue to speak.

Jun 4, 2018 | Full Review…

Of the six episodes that were released for press review, half a dozen put me to sleep by the end of the hour.

Nov 28, 2017 | Full Review…
Top Critic

There's magnificent acting in the historical roles: Ciaran Hinds, his face long and narrow as a sword blade, is a fully believable Caesar.

Jun 4, 2018 | Full Review…

Rome takes a bit to get going... but once it starts up, I'd say viewers are in for a great ride.

Jun 6, 2018 | Full Review…

Rome is a bit gauche, silly and look-at-me; the TV equivalent of a vulgar little Versace cocktail frock.

Jun 6, 2018 | Full Review…

Rome is simply a triumph across the board, from its stellar writing, solid direction, and an amazing ensemble cast to its exquisite production values.

Jun 6, 2018 | Rating: 9/10 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for Rome: Season 1

  • May 10, 2019
    Magnificent. Kevin McKidd, Ray Stevenson and James Purefoy were brilliant.
  • Feb 07, 2019
    The characters aren't very interesting and the story is moving very slow.
  • Oct 21, 2018
    Best series ever made.
  • Sep 16, 2018
    A fantastic and epic show that succeeds in transporting you into the frame of mind & common beliefs of an average Roman during the Republic. Coupled with a fantastic cast & crew, this series has created a monument that can be rewatched over and over again!
  • May 26, 2018
    It's is often said that Rome started the golden age of tv series in my opinion, rome is on a level of it's own.
  • Jan 27, 2018
    One of my favorite tv series of all time, saddest final episode ever!
  • Nov 24, 2017
    Its an awesome Series having the best story I have come across about Rome and being a Roman History Buff I have come across loads. The Story is told from two prospective, one based on Ceaser and his rise to power and the other based on two soldiers paralleling his life. The many intrigues of Roman Society is shown very accurately. When I say accurately I mean general practices of the society and not on what actually happened, the correct word is authenticity. The ensemble cast is what makes the series so special. Each of the characters is portrayed perfectly. Difficult to choose a favorite actor as all of them were brilliant. Ceaser and Young Octavian do stand out in Season One. The sets and costumes are very authentic. It adds to the genuineness of the periodic theme. Music is different, very instrumental and again adds to the feel of the ancient times. The action is the only part where I was disappointed as they don't show any battles. While the individual fighting is very real they skip out on all the battles and there were some epic ones. This is a must watch series for everyone.
  • Nov 13, 2017
    Some over-theatrical acting and annoying characters but nicely paced political thriller
  • Mar 30, 2017
    The best representation of Rome in a visual medium. While other films such as Kubrick's "Spartacus" had left me with a similar taste, "Rome" brings together the historical accuracy in many respects, social, political, economic and military, reflecting the state of Roman society during the final years of the Republic. In addition, it perfectly fulfills like series of television and tells the history in an excellent way for the little time that had to develop it. Great performances, better characters and no doubt, emotional, exciting and, without needing many cliffhangers, always left you with the feeling of wanting to see another episode.
  • Jul 22, 2016
    Superb historical fiction series, that while has aged somewhat, holds up as one of HBO's best & most innovative series. The cast is superb across the board, with Kevin McKidd & Ray Stevenson getting break out roles as the lead fictional characters, Lucious Vorenous & Titus Pullo. The contrast excellently, with Lucious stubborn righteousness at first butting heads with Pullo's sloven ways, only to slowly find out their more alike they can care to admit. The rest of the cast is equally excellent, with Ciaran Hinds giving one of the best depictions of Julius Caesar ever, capturing his intelligence & charisma of one of histories great figures. Behind the camera, the show runners did an excellent job giving a realistic & mostly historical accurate depiction of Ancient Rome. Rome is depicted as a vibrant & quite frankly, dirty city (this was thousands of years before modern sanitation) and the writers had no problem showing the different moral standards of the time. These were pagans who believed in animal sacrifice & slavery, often treating animals & human slaves in the same manner. They also do a good job naturally weaving in the fictional Lucious & Titus into the middle of the action, sometimes in surprising ways (according to this series, one characters parentage is not what history proclaims). The one downside is that the series skimps on the battle scenes, and comparing it to current series like "Game of Thrones", is a bit of a let down in that area. This quibble aside, this is still one of HBO's best series and still makes one wish it lasted more than two seasons.

News & Features