THE BBC’s controversial autumn drama series Rome is so full of sex, violence and racy language that it will have to be toned down for family viewing in Italy itself.
Although filmed at a £10 million re-creation of Rome in the city’s Cinecitta studios, the Italian state broadcaster RAI was so shocked at the scenes of violent copulation, stabbings and a crucifixion that it will screen an edited version next year.
Paola Masini, an RAI executive, said: “We realised from the start that the makers of Rome had a different concept of Ancient Rome than we do.
“If we had broadcast the version being shown in Britain or America, it would have been incomprehensible to Italians.”
For transmission in Italy next spring a “parallel” Italian version was made, with “excessively violent or sexual scenes” toned down or cut back.
... which seems strange to me, given some of the stuff I see on RAI and Telelatino. But even better, later in the piece we discover something which has been a lingering question:
Jonathan Stamp, an award-winning BBC ancient history documentary-maker with a First Class Oxford classics degree, acted as consultant on the series, which stars a British cast.