Set just after the death of Jesus Christ, this mini-series chronicles the life & adventures of Jesus's disciples, and events in Rome during the reigns of the Emperors Tiberius, Caligula, Claudius and Nero.
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1  
1985  
Won 1 Primetime Emmy. Another 1 nomination. See more awards »
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Cast

Series cast summary:
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 Agrippina 5 episodes, 1985
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 Porcius Festus 5 episodes, 1985
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 Gamaliel 5 episodes, 1985
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 Claudius 5 episodes, 1985
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 Messalina 5 episodes, 1985
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Denis Quilley ...
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 Serpenius 5 episodes, 1985
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 Ethiopian 5 episodes, 1985
Tony Vogel ...
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 Valerius 5 episodes, 1985
Chris Humphreys ...
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Philip Sayer ...
 Paul / ... 5 episodes, 1985
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Vincent Riotta ...
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Tom Durham ...
Anthony Pedley ...
 Zacchaeus 5 episodes, 1985
Harold Kasket ...
 Caiaphas 5 episodes, 1985
Ralph Arliss ...
Mike Gwilym ...
Davyd Harries ...
Norma Martinelli ...
...
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 Tigellinus 5 episodes, 1985
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 Herod Agrippa 5 episodes, 1985
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 Agrippa II 5 episodes, 1985
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 Priscilla 5 episodes, 1985
Clive Arrindell ...
 Cassius Chaerca 5 episodes, 1985
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 Cornelius 5 episodes, 1985
Andrea Prodan ...
 Brittanicus / ... 5 episodes, 1985
...
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 Flavius Sabinus 5 episodes, 1985
Jane How ...
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Barrie Houghton ...
 Ananias The Essene 5 episodes, 1985
Maggie Wickman ...
Alan Downer ...
 Barnabas 5 episodes, 1985
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 Gaius Calpernius Piso 5 episodes, 1985
Colin Haigh ...
Philip Anthony ...
 James the Elder 5 episodes, 1985
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 Lucius Marinus 5 episodes, 1985
Roderick Horn ...
 Marcellus 5 episodes, 1985
John Wheatley ...
 Marcus I 5 episodes, 1985
David Sumner ...
Stephen Finlay ...
Katia Dandoulaki ...
Eddie Grossman ...
 Parmenas 5 episodes, 1985
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 Petronius 5 episodes, 1985
Robert Wentz ...
 Thrasyllus 5 episodes, 1985
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 Caligula 3 episodes, 1985
Richard Kane ...
 Agrippa III 3 episodes, 1985
Paul Herzberg ...
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 Tiberius 2 episodes, 1985
Gerrard McArthur ...
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Storyline

Set just after the death of Jesus Christ, this mini-series chronicles the life & adventures of Jesus's disciples, and events in Rome during the reigns of the Emperors Tiberius, Caligula, Claudius and Nero.

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Genres:

Drama | History

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Release Date:

31 March 1985 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

A.D. - Anno Domini  »

Box Office

Budget:

$30,000,000 (estimated)
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Company Credits

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Runtime:

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Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Trivia

This was the sequel to Jesus of Nazareth (1977). See more »

Connections

Follows Jesus of Nazareth (1977) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Very good Christian plot as a continuation of Jesus of Nazareth, poor Roman plot as an unsuccessful imitation of I Claudius!
8 April 2004 | by (Cieszyn, Poland) – See all my reviews

POSSIBLE SPOILERS

"Soon the night will come, and we shall be questioned of LOVE..." (the most memorable quote from the movie).

When I watched the miniseries ANNO DOMINI, it made me think that I watch the continuation of Jesus of Nazareth (1977). This has its basis in the fact that the screenplay of Anthony Burgess appears in Jesus of Nazareth too, as well as the photography by Ennio Guarnieri. Other crew are also the same, except for the director, of course. What else makes it strikingly similar to Zeffirelli's colorful depiction of Christ's life is the convention, the music (very touching), the way Jews are showed. And I like it. It is really a true depiction of the situation of the first Nazarenes, or later called Christians. Some scenes showing the spread of Christian faith are really touching!

The historical plot is, however, a background. What comes into view are the fictitious characters, mostly Jews and a Roman, who, in the long run, convert to Christianity. One of them is a Roman soldier, Valerius (Neil Dickson) who falls in love with a Jewish girl, Sarah (Amanda Pays). He experiences the insane reign of Caligula (John McEnery) and sees the decadence and moral downfall of the Roman Empire. When he meets Paul of Tarsus, his life is never the same... I was particularly moved by the scene near the end when he says that while holding the body of a little girl killed on arena, he knew he had been holding Jesus crucified. As a result, the movie is not only another mini series about the 1st century, but leads to profound religious reflections.

The Roman story, however, is poorly presented. It is faithful to history but it too much imitates the style of a classical BBC series I CLAUDIUS (1976) (most viewers remember an excellent acting of Derek Jacobi). Here, in A.D. it is not that interesting! Maybe, the role of Nero (Anthony Andrews) - but that's one of the very few good portrayals of Romans. Ava Gardner as Nero's mother gives a memorable performance, but not her finest one, James Mason is not bad as Tiberius (his last role), and John McEnery is good as insane Caligula (but I like John Hurt in I CLAUDIUS more). The arena moments are haunting and historically exaggerated. Children, worn as sheep, go to arena to be bitten by wild dogs.

/When Caleb wants to rescue them he says to the guard: "Leave them in peace! These are children!" The Roman's reaction is: "Children? These are Christians"!/

I also don't know what led the producers present Poppaea, Nero's wife, as such a gentle, good woman.

Nevertheless, the cast of the movie are very good - lots of great stars (another similarity to Zeffirelli's movie), like already mentioned Ava Gardner, James Mason, John Mc Enery, Anthony Andrews and lots of others. They are a real treasure of this film and make it more valuable.

I love Philip Sayer's portrayal of Paul. He is the best Paul ever. His eyes, his face expression are wonderful!!! In fact, I can't imagine a better choice for Paul of Tarsus. The scene of Saul's (later Paul's) conversion is visually stunning and very moving. "Saul, why do you persecute me?"... Denis Quiley's portrayal of Peter is also worth considering, but not that memorable.

In sum, I would put it like that: ANNO DOMINI is worth watching due to its story, its cast and its touching content combined with lovely music. The Christian plot is done very well; however, don't pay too much attention to the Roman plot if you saw I CLAUDIUS (1976) before. 7/10


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