HBO Asia to air epic series 'Rome' from Sunday

MUMBAI: HBO Asia has announced that it will premiere its epic series Rome in Singapore, Hong Kong, Malaysia and Phillipines from Sunday 27 November 2005.

The series which is a co-production between HBO and the BBC deals with several themes including love and betrayal, masters and slaves, and husbands and wives that chronicles the turbulent times and experiences of two plebeian Roman soldiers who become unwittingly entwined in the pivotal events that led to the fall of a Republic and the creation of an empire.

The series was shot at Rome's Cinecitta Studios. Additional location footage was shot throughout Europe and North Africa. The lead writer is English screen-writer Bruno Heller, who is also an executive producer on the drama.

Heller adds, "You rarely see onscreen the complexity and colour that was ancient Rome. It has more in common with places like Mexico City and Calcutta than quiet white marble. Rome was brightly colored, a place of vibrant cruelty, full of energy, dynamism and chaotic filth. It was a merciless existence, dog-eat-dog, with a very small elite, and masses of poverty. We see the same problems today - crime, unemployment, disease, and pressure to preserve your place in a precarious society.

The series has a budget of $100 million one of the highest in television history. It boasts the largest standing set in the world, comprising five acres of backlot and six soundstages at Rome's legendary Cinecittà studios. It is also the first English-language series to be shot entirely in a non-English-speaking country, Italy. Rome employs an international crew of about 350 and required over 4,000 pieces of wardrobe, 2,500 being used in the first three episodes alone.

Among the actors starring in the first season are Kevin McKidd Kingdom of Heaven as Lucius Vorenus, Ray Stevenson King Arthur as Titus Pullo, Ciarán Hinds Road to Perdition as Gaius Julius Caesar, Kenneth Cranham Layer Cake as Pompey Magnus and Polly Walker Patriot Games as Atia of the Juli

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