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24 September 2014
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The Romans are coming to BBC ONE

Press pack available

BBC ONE viewers are being offered a ticket to ancient Rome this October as Colosseum – Rome's Arena Of Death and Pompeii – The Last Day prove that time travel is not just the stuff of fiction.

The two prime time history documentaries will peel away 2,000 years of time to reveal just how real the Roman world was to those living – and dying – in it.

Both films are made in a similar style to last year's hit Pyramid, and combine compelling narrative with state-of-the-art computer graphics and high-quality drama reconstruction.

"Opening the door to a wide variety of subjects is key to BBC ONE," says Lorraine Heggessey, Controller of BBC ONE.

"This season we're putting history centre stage. Building on the success of Pyramid and using our expertise in the area of computer-generated imagery, we've pushed technology to the limits to recreate the world of ancient Italy and bring to life history through the stories of those who lived it."

Robert Shannon plays Verus in Colosseum – Rome's Arena Of DeathColosseum – Rome's Arena Of Death throws new light on the way gladiators fought and trained, and reveals how many of them were the superstars of their age.

It revolves around the true story of Verus, who rises from slave to star gladiator, but then faces the ultimate challenge.

The film charts the story of one man's journey from slavery to freedom and of the building where he was prepared to fight for his life.

It is also the story of the Roman civilisation that demanded he should do so.

Pompeii – The Last DayPompeii – The Last Day recreates the 24 hours around 24 August AD79 when Mount Vesuvius erupted with horrifying force, spewing 10 billion tonnes of pumice, rock and ash onto the prosperous Roman cities of Pompeii and Herculaneum.

Using state-of-the-art visual effects and dramatic reconstruction, the film recreates each stage of the eruption and explores the impact it had on factual characters known from historical and forensic evidence unearthed in Pompeii and Herculaneum.

Digital TV viewers will have the chance to investigate the darker side of the Roman world in an interactive 'whodunit' designed to
accompany the BBC ONE transmissions.

Using their remote control, viewers on Freeview and DSat are invited to examine a roman crime scene and deliver a 'post mortem' on a character who appears in both films by applying their knowledge of ancient Rome.

BBCi History - - offers further exciting opportunities to learn about Roman life through websites for each programme: Colosseum – Rome's Arena Of Death; Pompeii – The Last Day

Features include a game in which visitors can arm gladiators for different styles of combat; a chance to reconstruct the Colosseum; and a dedicated message board.

Colosseum – Rome's Arena Of Death is a BBC production for BBC ONE in association with Discovery.

Pompeii – The Last Day is a BBC production for BBC ONE in association with The Learning Channel.

Notes to Editors

The Colosseum - Rome's Arena Of Death and Pompeii - The Last Day press pack is available below in PDF format, in sections or as a complete pack.

You may require Adobe Acrobat Software to read PDF files which can be obtained here.

Full press pack (1.55 MB)

Introduction, Taking it further and Roman timeline (379 KB)

Colosseum – Rome’s Arena Of Death (407 KB)

Pompeii – The Last Day (894 KB)

Related press releases

BBC ONE puts history centre stage this autumn (29.07.03)

BBC ONE history commissions bring to life Pompeii, the Colosseum and the world of Queen Victoria (23.04.03)

All the BBC's digital services are now available on Freeview, the new free-to-view digital terrestrial television service, as well as on satellite and cable.

Freeview offers the BBC's eight television channels, interactive services from BBCi, as well as 11 national BBC radio networks.



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