The companions meet up again at the villa, with the Doctor/Vicki and Barbara /Ian knowing nothing of the other's adventures, until later.
Dennis Spooner returns (after the Reign of Terror) with some great characters and a comic script, full of lovely dialogue. Naturally, it is jam packed with all the cliches about Rome.
Derek Francis is wonderful as Nero. The scenes where he is after Barbara (he is smitten with her) are fun - rather similar in a way to say Frankie Howard in the later "Up Pompeii". But he is also insanely cruel; he stabs a guard for not fighting hard enough. There is a wonderful piece of dialogue between the Doctor and Nero
Nero : "I have a little surprise for you. Guess what it is."
The Doctor : "Now, let me think. You want me to play in the arena?"
Nero : "You guessed."
The Doctor : "It's no problem at all. After all, you want to do your very best for your fellow artists: why not the arena?"
Nero : "Yes, yes, of course. That is exactly right."
The Doctor: "Well, I promise you, I will try to make it a roaring success."
Nero: "You'll have to play something special, you know."
The Doctor:"Of course, of course. Something serious, yes. Something they can really get their teeth into."
Nero:[Muttering] "You can't know, you can't. I've told no-one."
The Doctor :"Caesar Nero. I've always wanted to put on a good show; to give a great performance. After all, who knows, if I go down well, I might even make it my farewell performance. You see, I've always wanted to be considered as an artist of some taste, generally considered as palatable, hmm?"
Tavius, who bought Barbara, secretly holds a cross and wishes her luck in his last scene. A little touch about the development of christianity.
The Romans is a great story.