BBCDVD 2971 Doctor Who - The Romans by Dennis Spooner

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Release pictures

Front cover
Picture of BBCDVD 2971 Doctor Who - The Romans by artist Dennis Spooner from the BBC records and Tapes library
Rear cover
Picture of BBCDVD 2971 Doctor Who - The Romans by artist Dennis Spooner from the BBC records and Tapes library

BBC records label code
BBC DVD label

Release details

Catalogue numberBBCDVD 2971
TitleDoctor Who - The Romans
Artist(s)Dennis Spooner
Cover conditionNear mint
Record conditionNear mint
BBC records label code-
Item deleted?No
Distributed / printed by2 entertain
Country of originUK UK flag
Media typePrimary
Media genreDramas - Sci-fi
View all other tracks listed as Dramas - Sci-fi.
Run-off codes / Shop bar codesA0101051846-A911 16 IFPI L556 Sony DADC
My rating*****
Guest rating*****

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Number have1
What type of seller was used?Physical shop
Where can I buy this release?You may be able to purchase this release from the following websites (others are available!)

All release pictures

Below is all the cover (front, back, middle and inserts if applicable) and label pictures I have for this release.
Front cover
Front cover of BBCDVD 2971
Back cover
Back cover of BBCDVD 2971
Middle of cover
Middle of cover of BBCDVD 2971 Middle of cover of BBCDVD 2971


Below is a list of tracks for this release.
Side & trackTrack and ArtistLength
A1The slave traders24.14
A2All roads lead to Rome23.14
A5What has the Romans ever done for us?33.59
A6Roma Parva2.33
A7Dennis Spooner - Wanna write a television series?17.48
A8Blue Peter - A Roman banquet7.15
A9Girls girls girls - The 1960's17.40
A10Photo gallery6.07
A11Radio Times billings [PDF]
A12Coming soon - Attack of the Cybermen1.07
Total length of media 3:03:24.


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My rating3
Guest ratingCurrent average value is 5.

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Extra notes on cover, middle (gatefold sleeve) and any inserts


William Hartnell (First Doctor)
Jacqueline Hill (Barbara Wright)
William Russell (Ian Chesterton)
Maureen O'Brien (Vicki)
Derek Francis - Nero
Michael Peake - Tavius
Brian Proudfoot - Tigellinus
Kay Patrick - Poppaea Sabina
Peter Diamond - Delos
Derek Sydney - Sevcheria
Nicholas Evans - Didius
Barry Jackson - Ascaris
Anne Tirard - Locusta
Dennis Edwards - Centurion
Margot Thomas - Stall Holder
Edward Kelsey - Slave Buyer
Bart Allison - Maximus Pettulian
Dorothy-Rose Gribble - Woman Slave
Gertan Klauber - Galley Master
Ernest Jennings, John Caesar - Men in Market
Tony Lambden - Court Messenger

Written by

Dennis Spooner

Produced by

Verity Lambert

Directed by

Christopher Barry


Italy, 64AD. Enjoying a rare holiday with his companions, the Doctor takes Vicki to visit Rome, where he is mistaken for the musician Maximus Pettulian. He finds himself obliged to perform for Nero, or risk incurring the Emperor's wrath ...

In his absence, Ian and Barbara have been kidnapped from their villa. Separated and sold into slavery, they face a bleak future. Can they make their escape and find the Doctor before Rome is consumed by fire?


The Romans represents a brave experiment for Doctor Who, which from its inception had approached historical tales with a scholarly sobriety. Dennis Spooner tempers what would otherwise be a dark lesson in the brutality of life in imperial Rome with a liberal dose of farce. His depiction of Nero as a vain, libidinous fool contrasts sharply with the earnerst characterisation of Marco Polo and Robespierre in the previous season. Although the heavy comic elements are largely restricted to part 3, it was this, combined with certain historical inaccuracies, which drew criticism when the story was originally transmitted.

Pushing viewer credulity to the limit, Spooner would also have us believe that the Doctor honed his astonishing combat skills training the Mountain Mauler of Montana. But whilst it remains difficult to accept the First Doctor engaging in a near-slapstick fight sequence and spouting a succession of bad puns, it should also be noted that this behaviour is exactly what we could expect from the Doctor's most recent incarnation ...

The adverse viewer reaction to the 'silliness' of The Romans ensured that subsequent historical adventures such as The Crusade and The Massacre were played straight, but Dennis Spooner's gift was to introduce history as window-dressing rather than a strictly educational exercise in storytelling. It was an idea he was to develop in The Time Meddler, and by challenging the traditional template, Spooner set a vital precedent in Doctor Who which has been vibrantly exploited in recent stories like The Shakespeare Code and The Girl in the Fireplace.

Other versions

I have the title track on these releases:
[dvds]BBCDVD 2698Doctor Who - The rescue / The Romans

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Further information

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