***image2:left***HBO are set to launch their new epic 12-episode drama series Rome on Sunday Aug. 28. We have a quick guide to the characters plus some stills for you to have a peek at. <P>The series will kick-off Aug. 28 (9:00-10:00 p.m. ET/PT), with the episode entitled “The Stolen Eagle.” Chronicling the fall of a Republic and the rise of an empire, the series debuts new episodes on subsequent Sundays at the same time.</P> <P>In order to maximize subscriber viewing choices, each of the first three episodes will be scheduled so that it can be seen seven days a week at varying times on either HBO, HBO2 or HBO Signature. In addition, throughout the series run, the previous week’s episode will air Sunday (8:00-9:00 p.m.) leading into the debut of that week’s new episode.</P> <P>HBO’s next free preview, Sept. 3-7, will feature “The Stolen Eagle” and episode 2, “How Titus Pullo Brought Down the Republic”; and in a first-ever HBO On Demand exclusive, the third episode, entitled “An Owl in a Thornbush,” will be made available beginning Monday, Sept. 5, in advance of its Sept. 11 debut on HBO.</P> <P>A co-production between HBO and the BBC, ROME began shooting in Rome in March 2004, with Michael Apted (“Coal Miner’s Daughter,” “The World Is Not Enough”) directing the first three episodes. Additional directors include Allen Coulter (HBO’s “The Sopranos”), Julian Farino (HBO’s “Entourage”), Jeremy Podeswa (HBO’s “Carnivàle”), Alan Poul (HBO’s “Six Feet Under”), Mikael Salomon (HBO’s “Band of Brothers”), Steve Shill (HBO’s “The Wire”), Alan Taylor (HBO’s “Deadwood”) and Timothy Van Patten (HBO’s “Sex and the City”). Production for the series is based at Rome’s Cinecittà Studios, with additional locations throughout Italy.</P> <P>***image3:right***Among the actors starring in the first season are Kevin McKidd (“Kingdom of Heaven”) as Lucius Vorenus, Ray Stevenson (“King Arthur”) as Titus Pullo, Ciarán Hinds (“Road to Perdition”) as Gaius Julius Caesar, Kenneth Cranham (“Gangster No. 1”) as Pompey Magnus, Polly Walker (“Patriot Games”) as Atia of the Julii, James Purefoy (“Vanity Fair”) as Mark Antony, Tobias Menzies (“Foyle’s War”) as Marcus Junius Brutus, Lindsay Duncan (“Under the Tuscan Sun”) as Servilia of the Junii, Indira Varma (“Kama Sutra: A Tale of Love”) as Niobe, Max Pirkis (“Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World”) as Gaius Octavian and Kerry Condon (“Angela’s Ashes”) as Octavia of the Julii.</P> <P>ROME is a co-production of HBO and the BBC; co-creators, John Milius and William J. Macdonald and Bruno Heller.</P> <P><STRONG><U>Character Guide</U></STRONG></P> <P><STRONG>Lucius Vorenus</STRONG><BR>The hard essence of a professional Roman soldier. Honorable and severe, he is unforgiving and pitiless when crossed. A dour and pragmatic man, with a tendency towards self-laceration. Loyal to his wife Niobe.</P> <P><STRONG>Titus Pullo</STRONG><BR>A ferocious lover of life, possessing the courage and loyalty of a warrior, but the morality of a pirate. A man of huge appetites and wild passions. Impulsive, unreflective, optimistic, conceited, generous and brutal.</P> <P><STRONG>Julius Caesar<BR></STRONG>Energetic, brilliant, methodical; a man driven, electrified even, by a primordial need for dominance; Caesar has very little room for regular human emotions. He can be witty and charming or warm and caring, but these qualities are always performances, produced as needed, and rarely prompted by genuine feeling. In a society of strict class divisions, Caesar is descended from one of the oldest and most noble patrician families; he has reinforced his status through marriage to Calpurnia, descendant of another influential family. Co-consul of Rome with Pompey Magnus.</P> <P><STRONG>Pompey Magnus<BR></STRONG>The grand old oak of Roman arms; scourge of the Illyrian pirates, Conqueror of Syria and Spain. In a society where soldiers are superstars, Pompey has risen from a provincial commoner to become a beloved national hero. A lion in the winter of his years, Pompey has settled into a comfortable life of repose and adulation.</P> <P><STRONG>Atia of the Julii<BR></STRONG>Niece of Caesar, mother of Octavia and Octavian. She is snobbish, willful and cunning, sexually voracious and totally amoral. In a culture in which women are formally without any power, Atia is among the shadow rulers of Rome – women who have built powerful networks and alliances completely independent of the men’s worlds while they are away for months and years on military campaigns. </P> <P>Access media from <A href="http://smallscreen.monstersandcritics.com/archive/smallscreenarchive.php/Rome/4019">Rome</A>.</P>Note the date on this article may be incorrect due to importing it from our old system.