Well, first off: Jack Davenport on a horse? SEX. No really, I don't like the scruffy look on him (still, he looks a lot better minus the beard grown for DMC), but he was hot in this. I'm not sure that I can buy Miles becoming so loose in his style, but the eye candy was great.
I'm not sure exactly what to make of the show as a whole. I think as a string of vignettes on the characters it worked great. I liked seeing the scenes of Anna in court, or Egg cooking with the music turned up (always a feature in the series of old), and Miles jogging. But some bits came out a bit flat. I guess I hoped for more nods to events that occurred in the series, such as Milly decking Rachel in the final episode or how Egg ended up doing with his cafe. The line of reasoning goes that this is ten years and the characters have well and truly moved on, but it would've be nice to get a bit of insight into the immediate aftermath of the series. Warren mentioned that he got back together with Ferdy...pity in a way, because I kind of liked that Scotsman that Ferdy got together with. I suppose the writers went in that particular direction so that Warren could have a subplot.
I don't think there should be another reunion special (and there won't be, I daresay), but I was secretly hoping at the end there that when Miles returned from his penniless odyssey to Timbuktu he'd come back to Anna, even though their relationship is turbulent and screwy most of the time.
The acting from all of the cast was good, but I'll single out Daniela Nardini as Anna in particular, because she really stood out above the rest. It's interesting to see how the actors have aged after ten years. I think Amita Dhiri looked just gorgeous (never liked that bob she had as Milly- the longer hair looks fantastic!), and the little boy that played her child with Egg was so cute.
But yeah. Really not as good as the series, but it was a nice little insight into the characters. And Jack Davenport was gorgeous.
You know, I watched Pharsalus with a sort of cold dread, knowing the eventual outcome. Maybe it was spending two agonizing months writing and researching Pompey that I came to sympathize with him here. In part, it was also Kenneth Cranham's acting as well, watching him play the defeated Pompey telling stories to his children and then explaining to Vorenus how he was defeated by Caesar. I didn't even want to watch the final scene where he arrives in Egypt, but forced myself to. Felt rather miserable afterwards, thinking that he didn't really deserve it and all that.
Servilia and Octavia made me 'WTF?!' a bit (that wins as the pairing I didn't expect at all whatsoever), but really the worst bit was when Vorenus and Pullo were stranded. Seriously, is there any historical precedent for this?
Vorenus: *sees corpse floating in surf...light bulb!*
Me: Oh, God, he's not going to...
Vorenus and Pullo: *make a raft using all the dead bodies*
Me: Oh no you didn't! *is squicked*
Oh, and there was CICERO. I laughed at Cicero in his military gear, considering that there was no man in Rome with more aversion to the military than Cicero. At least he didn't look like he wanted to be with either Pompey or Caesar. That we'll probably see Cato's suicide in the next episode fills me with a similar dread I felt with this episode. Poor Cato. But then I'm really looking forward to seeing how Cleopatra is portrayed, and her relationship with Caesar.
Series two of Rome starts in the US next week. I seethe with jealousy at their being able to see it uncut and much earlier than we'll get it (if we get it at all- knowing Nine, they won't bother with showing it). :/