Last night, an eight-part documentary drama premiered on History Channel. The show is called Barbarians Rising and goes with a tagline “Rome didn’t fall in a day.”
The docu-drama revolves around the rise and fall of the Roman Empire from the perspective of the barbarian rebel leaders. It is a visceral journey that chronicles a wave of rebellions against one of the strongest empires the world has ever known.
The true story of the 700-year battle for supremacy begins as the ancient world were claimed by either the Romans or Barbarians. As revealed in the first episode, Hannibal of Carthage (Nicholas Pinnock) builds the first great barbarian alliance to defeat Rome before it becomes unstoppable.
With stunning and elaborate production, it’s hard to ignore the effort the cast and crew put into staging such grand docu-drama. According to History Channel Executive Producer Kristen Burns, the team had done a lot of research to ensure Barbarians Rising lives up to expectations.
“We made sure we were able to accurately spend 700 years of history. Things change across 700 years, representing different barbarian villages, style in which they live, costumes, making sure each of the barbarian tribes had a distinct characteristic,” Burns told The Standard in a phone interview.
To execute an accurate and detailed description of the barbarian tribes that revolted against the Roman Empire was a bit of a challenge. Given their timetable, they had to shoot during the summer and the actors were clad in wildly flapping fragments of fur.
“The weather was very hot the same time they were shooting Hannibal crossing the Alps which was supposed to be the dead of winter,” Burns revealed.
The television executive met with the actors during one of the location shoots. She shared how these actors were eager to talk about how they were interested in meeting their deadline training for specific fights and filming them days after learning the stunts.
“They only had a matter of days [to prepare] and that actually helped them make it feel a little bit more raw and a little more energetic because it was not so choreographed,” Burns concluded.
Barbarians Rising airs Tuesdays at 9 p.m. and is available on SKYCable Ch 67; Cable Link Ch. 43; Dream Satellite Ch 30; Destiny Cable Ch 57; and Cignal Ch 125.