I know, I know. It's a couple of days late. But there are members of my family that I will miss less than I'll miss Titus Pullo and Lucius Vorenus, so I was in no hurry to say goodbye.
There will be no more "Rome". Anything that is as expensive to film as that was is doomed. HBO, in conjunction with the BBC, literally rebuilt ancient Rome on a vast sound stage and used it as a platform for some of the most compelling TV to ever grace the tube. I've not read a budget estimate on the second season, but the first cost over $200 million.
In terms of historical accuracy, it was a hit and miss. Pullo and Vorenus were actually based on two soldiers mentioned in Caesar's account of the Gallic Wars, yet the writers never referred to the future Augustus by his proper name (Octavianus, not Octavian). And the timeline was anything but consistent. The entire war between Augustus and Mark Antony (Played masterfully by James Purefoy) spanned roughly nine years, yet the Vorenus children didn't age a day.
But at the end of the day, HBO set out to make an interesting TV show--- Not a historical reenactment. And this is where the show excelled.
It certainly suffered in its second season. You knew as you sat down to watch the first episode of the first season that it would culminate in the assassination of Julius Caesar. You knew that the most logical story for the second season would be the war between Octavian and Antony, but it took forever to get there. The stories seemed without focus. I can honestly say I would have written it quite differently.
But the end was satisfactory, and I'm certain I'm far from the only person mourning the fact that there will be no third season that involves Octavian building up the Roman Empire.
Farewell, Pullo. Farewll, Vorenus.