• title card: white all caps text reading ‘THE GRANDEUR THAT WAS ROME’ superimposed on dead worms in a box of soil
  • Cathy meets the disguised Steed at United Foods
  • Marcus, centre stage in Roman armour, gloats at Cathy, foreground left while Bruno gazes at her from the shadows
  • Sir Bruno leads his courtesans into the revel, dressed in an emperor’s toga
  • Steed, wearing a toga, is held at gunpoint by Apollodorus
  • Cathy is restrained by two Roman guards as Bruno plans to poison her

Series 3 — Episode 10
The Grandeur That Was Rome

by Rex Edwards
Designed by Stan Woodward
Directed by Kim Mills

Production No 3607, VTR/ABC/2869
Production completed: July 19 1963. First transmission: November 30 1963.

Production Schedule

Episode 60
Production Number : 3607
Teddington Studio 1

Thursday 18th July 1963

Camera rehearsal 10.00–12.30
Lunch break 12.30–13.30
Camera rehearsal 13.30–18.00
Supper break 18.00–19.00
Camera rehearsal 19.00–21.00

Friday 19th July 1963

Camera rehearsal 10.00–12.30
Lunch break 12.30–13.30
Camera rehearsal 13.30–15.10
Tea break, line up,
normal scan, make-up
Photo oall (Honor Blackman and Patrick Macnee) 15.55–16.05
Dress rehearsal 16.05–17.20
Notes 17.20–17.50
Line-up 17.50–18.20
VTR 18.20–19.30

Running time

Expected: 51′25″
Actual running time with bumpers: 51′46″

The bumpers between the acts are generally 10 seconds from fade in to the “End of Act” bumper to the end of audio before the commercial, a 10 second still without audio, then cut to the next act bumper. This would play with the theme for around 10 seconds. Accordingly, with the episodes being in 3 acts, the running time of the action is approximately a minute less than listed above, minus the opening credits (normally 0′16″ with a 2″ fade) and closing credits (anywhere from 0′41″ to 1′20″, hard cut or 1″ fade or mix).


Cameras: 4 Pedestals
Sound: 3 booms
Telecine: ABC symbol, Opening Titles 16 mm. fed to Floor Monitor, oaption scanner.


ATV London30/11/196310.05pm
ABC Midlands30/11/19638.55pm
ABC North30/11/19638.55pm
Anglia Television30/11/19638.55pm
Border Television30/11/196310.05pm
Channel Television30/11/196310.05pm
Grampian Television30/11/19638.55pm
Southern Television30/11/196310.05pm
Scottish Television30/11/19638.55pm
Tyne Tees Television30/11/19638.55pm
Ulster Television30/11/19638.55pm
Westward Television30/11/19638.55pm
Television Wales & West30/11/19638.55pm
Teledu Cymru (WWN)30/11/19638.55pm
ABN2 Sydney5/05/19648.00pm
ABV2 Melbourne3/12/19647.30pm

TV Times listing

TV Times listing for November 30 1963, 10.05pm (London edition)
Sydney Morning Herald listing for May 5 1964, 8pm
The Age listing for December 3 1964, 7.30pm

10.5 The Avengers
Patrick Macnee
Honor Blackman


The Grandeur That Was Rome
By Rex Edwards


Bruno Hugh Burden
Marcus John Flint
Eastow Ian Shand
Catherine Gale Honor Blackman
Octavia Colette Wilde
John Steed Patrick Macnee
Appleton Kenneth Keeling
Lucius Raymond Adamson
Barnes Colin Rix

Directed by Kim Mills
Produced by John Bryce

In which Steed attends a Roman orgy and Cathy is offered as a human sacrifice

ABC Television Network Production


Victim Killer Method
Lucius John Steed sword (per synopsis, off camera)
Sir Bruno Luker Marcus Dodds stabbed
Click a name to see the face

Continuity and trivia

Time codes here include the Studio Canal logo from the remastered 2010 set, which runs for 18 seconds.

  1. The episode takes its title from a quotation of Edgar Allan Poe’s poem, “To Helen” - “To the glory that was Greece, And the grandeur that was Rome”.
  2. 2:15 — Bruno decides the new senator for Singapore, Sears, will be known as Spartacus, gladiator of Rome.
  3. 2:30 — Bruno and Marcus toast each other with the words “Audentes fortuna juvat” (Fortune favours the bold - a quote from Vergil’s Aeneid, 10, 284. Bruno later repeats the toast with Steed, who looks blankly at him until Bruno provides the translation.
  4. 2:40 — Marcus reports that the flies are warbling in the Caucasus, the peasants itch and go deaf in Provence and Madrid ("Some will die", comments Bruno), and the pigs are walking backwards.
  5. 6:00–6:18 — long smear, maybe an out of focus hair at top of picture and a small spot at top left. They reappear at 8:45–9:10 (Bruno CU) and 13:20 (Eastow CU)
  6. 9:11 — A first? Steed pours Cathy and himself a glass of Veuve Cliquot.
  7. 9:27 — Cathy’s view through the microscope is clearly not slides at all, but vignetted pictures of cell structures from a science book.
  8. 11:13 — the “infected grain” is clearly the same picture as pointed to by Cathy in the book moments earlier.
  9. 12:39 — the vision is out of focus on the change of shot.
  10. 13:07- Appleton struggles with the word “necessity”
  11. 18:45 — Eastow refers to “Mrs. Dale” then corrects himself
  12. 27:30 and 48:30 — Sir Bruno pronounces “grandeur” as “grander”
  13. 30:30 — there’s a small spot at the top right of the screen.
  14. 31:39 — the cameraman fluffs the CU of Cathy, first she’s out of focus and he pans sharply to the right, then the camera collides with something (with a dull thud) and the vision leaps as the camera shakes
  15. 41:44 — Just before Steed’s capture at the bacchanal, Sir Bruno, leaving Octavia back stage goes to stage right, pats a girl, then proceed to stage centre, the camera drawing out before him. As the camera pulls back, it promptly crashes into the couch upon which Lucius, Marcus and Rosemary Chalmers are locked in a carnal embrace, making the picture shake - the extras in the background look perturbed, but Hugh Burden carries on without more than raising an eyebrow.
  16. 45:12 — Lucius raps his sword on the tomb as a threat to the hidden Steed, but it sounds like a bit of wood...
  17. 47:29 — Steed’s umbrella has a sword inside it, perhaps the first bit of umbrella gadgetry for the series.
  18. 49:42 — Bruno leads a cheer : “Pax, Imperium et Res Secundae.” - “Peace, the Empire and prosperity!”
  19. 50:57 — Public school humour in the closing scene -
    Cathy, musing over Bruno’s death, says, “Ambition’s debt is paid” (quoting Shakespeare’s Juluis Caesar Act 3, Scene 1, line 84.
    Steed makes up some pseudo-Latin “Alius romedea segovia sunt aliis” (because Macnee got it wrong, the script correctly reads: “Alia remedia graviora sunt aliis” - “Some solutions are more serious than others”). When Cathy replies “Faber est quisque fortunae suae” (a Latin proverb, quoted by both Sallust and Appius Claudius Caecus, which means “Everyone is the architect of their own fortune.” or in a more modern parlance “You dig your own hole.”), Macnee squints at her in disbelief then laughs out loud and says, “You must be mad!”
  20. This episode has a similar, if more outré, plot to the Emma Peel episode Silent Dust.

fan forum Donate Become a Patron!