Roman Mysteries (TV series)

Infobox Television
show_name = Roman Mysteries


caption = The "Roman Mysteries" Title Card
genre = Children's
Action
Adventure
Period
creator = Caroline Lawrence
director = Paul Marcus
starring = Francesca Isherwood
Eli Machover
Rebekah Brookes-Murrell
Harry Stott
composer = Cross Wyre
country = UK
language = English
num_seasons = 2
num_episodes = 10
executive_producer = Jon East
David Hunt
Keith Littler
producer = David Ball
Martyn Auty
editor = Adam Green
location = Malta
Tunisia
Bulgaria
runtime = 24 minutes
network = BBC One
first_aired = May 8 2007-
last_aired =
website = http://www.bbc.co.uk/cbbc/romanmysteries/index.shtml
imdb_id = 0808099
tv_com_id =

"Roman Mysteries" is a television series based on the series of children's historical novels by Caroline Lawrence. It is reportedly the most expensive British children's TV series to date at £1 million per hour. [ [http://www.smh.com.au/news/tv-reviews/the-roman-mysteries/2007/06/04/1180809408922.html "The Sydney Morning Herald" Review] ]

The series began filming in June 2006 [http://www.romanmysteries.com/author/tvseries.htm Roman Mysteries TV Series Diary] ] and was first broadcast from 8 May 2007. [http://www.bbc.co.uk/cbbc/romanmysteries/ CBBC - Roman Mysteries] ] The series is divided into "scrolls", each based on one book, starting with "The Secrets of Vesuvius". The stories are told in the same order as the book series, except for book 6, "The Twelve Tasks of Flavia Gemina", which is transposed to the second season. Books 11 and 12 were not adapted, and the series ends with the adaptation of Book 13. Each scroll consists of two half-hour episodes. The first scroll guest-starred Simon Callow as Pliny the Elder.

On 22 May 2007, after just two episodes, Anne Foy announced on CBBC on BBC One that the show has been postponed due to recent events in the news and would return later in the year on CBBC on BBC One. Since "The Pirates of Pompeii" was about children being kidnapped, the postponement was most likely due to the then recent disappearance of Madeleine McCann. On 19 June the series began broadcasting again from the beginning.

Filming for the second season began on 13 August, 2007. The episodes are based on the novels "The Gladiators from Capua", "The Twelve Tasks of Flavia Gemina", "The Colossus of Rhodes", "The Fugitive from Corinth" and "The Slave-girl from Jerusalem".

The series has been sold around the world including Australia, Finland, Germany, Spain, Sweden and the USA. The second season aired first in Australia. The first season is now out on DVD. [ [http://www.romanmysteries.com/author/tvseries.htm Roman Mysteries TV news] ]

Characters

*Flavia, played by Francesca Isherwood
*Nubia, played by Rebekah Brookes-Murrell
*Jonathan, played by Eli Machover
*Lupus, played by Harry Stott
*Marcus, Flavia's father, played by Eoin McCarthy
*Gaius, Flavia's uncle, played by Eoin McCarthy
*Mordecai, Jonathan's father, played by Stephen Mapes
*Miriam, Jonathan's sister, Gaius's wife, played by Natasha Barrero

Episode list

eason one

*Scroll One: The Secrets of Vesuvius (first broadcast 8th May 2007)
*Scroll Two: The Pirates of Pompeii (first broadcast 3rd July 2007)
*Scroll Three: The Assassins of Rome (first broadcast 17th July 2007)
*Scroll Four: The Dolphins of Laurentum (first broadcast 31st July 2007)
*Scroll Five: The Enemies of Jupiter (first broadcast 14th August 2007)

eason two

*Scroll One: The Gladiators of Capua (first UK broadcast 8th July 2008)
*Scroll Two: The Trials of Flavia Gemina (first UK broadcast 15th July 2008)
*Scroll Three: The Colossus of Rhodes (first UK broadcast 29th July 2008)
*Scroll Four: The Fugitive from Corinth (first UK broadcast 19th August 2008)
*Scroll Five: The Slave Girl from Jerusalem (first UK broadcast 2nd September 2008)

Differences from the books

* The children are older;
* Lupus is mute, but his tongue has not been cut out;
* Because "The Thieves of Ostia" was not adapted, the meeting of the children takes place at a different time (just before the eruption of Vesuvius) and under different circumstances;
* Jonathan returns home at the end of The Enemies of Jupiter.
* "The Gladiators of Capua" and "The Fugitive from Corinth" are set in Ostia, rather than Rome and Greece, respectively;
* Pulchra appears in "The Trials of Flavia Gemina" in Jonathan's place.
* Several minor characters have been omitted or combined for the television episodes;
* In "The Slave Girl from Jerusalem", a new character, Floridius (played by Mark Benton), was introduced for comic relief.

Reception

* From "The Times" review of the "The Gladiators of Capua", the first episode of the second season:

"Roman Mysteries is a tremendous way for younger viewers to learn about ancient history. Set in the Roman Empire in AD79, it is based on a series of novels by Caroline Lawrence that have sold more than a million copies worldwide. It isn't hard to see why - they graft child-friendly adventure on to careful research, and the same care has been taken to transfer them faithfully to the screen with the help of a strong cast and healthy-looking budget. The first episode this afternoon gives a vivid sense of gladiatorial combat, without the risk of children waking up in the middle of the night screaming."
[ [http://www.romanmysteries.com/author/tvseries.htm Review excerpt] ]

References


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