The Last Days of Pompeii

December 12, 2015  | By William Glasgow

This fictionalized account of the city of Pompeii and its epic destruction, based on the 1834 novel, is a fascinating look at the historical city circa the birth of Christianity and the culture of those who lived in the Roman Empire of the time. This mini-series is filled with a rich cast of characters who depict the clashes of class, politics, sex, and religion in Pompeii — thought by some to have been catalysts for the city’s destruction. Ned Beatty (Deliverance) stars as the wealthy merchant Diomed, whose ambition is to climb beyond his status through politics and a well-made match for his daughter. Lesley-Anne Down (TV’s “Dallas” and “North and South”) is Chloe, a prostitute with a young child, who is one of the growing congregation of Christians following the priest Olinthus (Brian Blessed, Hamlet) in his secret masses, hidden from the persecuting Romans and their magistrate, Quintus (Anthony Quayle, The Guns of Navarone). Olivia Hussey (Romeo and Juliet) plays Ione, the priestess