Thursday, November 03, 2005

Rome - not the whole story

One thing I didn't realize when writing my previous two entries on Rome was that the BBC, in its infinite wisdom, have chosen to edit the first three episodes into two. The excuse - I hesitate to call it a reason - is that we Brits are sufficiently clued up about Roman history that we don't need to have all the background information. Passing over the implicit cultural arrogance of that assertion (and it did occur to me that if you don't have any background in Roman history, it might be rather difficult to understand Caesar's motivation), I would like to know if the editing was done by people involved in the original production, or whether it was some junior bloke who was told "edit it into two episodes, don't cut any of the sex".

Essentially this means I can't give a decent judgment on the first couple of episodes, because they are not as originally intended. This sort of editing can play merry hell with the structure of a show, and it may well be that some (though I doubt all) of my criticisms would evaporate if I actually saw the full-length episodes.

Great care will have to be taken when DVDs become available, to ensure that I end up with the proper version.

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