The lives of a series of queens belonging to the Ptolemaic Dynasty of ancient Egypt, culminating in its final active ruler Cleopatra VII.








Series cast summary:
Michelle Newell Michelle Newell ...  Cleopatra / ... 8 episodes, 1983
Graham Crowden ...  Theodotus 6 episodes, 1983
Helen Sparks Helen Sparks ...  Dancer 5 episodes, 1983
Richard Griffiths ...  Pot Belly 3 episodes, 1983
Adam Bareham Adam Bareham ...  Fluter 3 episodes, 1983
Robert Hardy ...  Julius Caesar 3 episodes, 1983
Shirin Taylor ...  Charmian 3 episodes, 1983
Carol Harrison Carol Harrison ...  Iras 3 episodes, 1983
Christopher Neame ...  Mark Antony 3 episodes, 1983
Wynne McGregor Wynne McGregor ...  Dancer 3 episodes, 1983
Elizabeth Shepherd ...  Cleopatra, the mother 2 episodes, 1983
Francesca Gonshaw Francesca Gonshaw ...  Arsinoe 2 episodes, 1983
James Aubrey ...  Grypus 2 episodes, 1983
Geoffrey Chater ...  Perigenes 2 episodes, 1983
David Horovitch ...  Chickpea 2 episodes, 1983
Ian McNeice ...  Alexander 2 episodes, 1983
Pauline Moran ...  Cleopatra Berenike 2 episodes, 1983
Sue Holderness Sue Holderness ...  Cleopatra, eldest daughter / ... 2 episodes, 1983
Amanda Boxer ...  Cleopatra Tryphaena 2 episodes, 1983
Prue Clarke Prue Clarke ...  Cleopatra Selene 2 episodes, 1983
Jack May Jack May ...  Criton 2 episodes, 1983
Frank Duncan Frank Duncan ...  Ammonius 2 episodes, 1983
Tony Osoba ...  Marsyas 2 episodes, 1983
Morris Perry ...  General Chaeteas 2 episodes, 1983
John Bennett ...  Philocles 2 episodes, 1983
Richard Bates Richard Bates ...  Servant / ... 2 episodes, 1983
Gavin Harding Gavin Harding ...  Servant / ... 2 episodes, 1983
Dinah Jones Dinah Jones ...  Dancer 2 episodes, 1983
Monique Starr Monique Starr ...  Dancer 2 episodes, 1983
Norma Vee Norma Vee ...  Dancer 2 episodes, 1983


The lives of a series of queens belonging to the Ptolemaic Dynasty of ancient Egypt, culminating in its final active ruler Cleopatra VII.

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Plot Keywords:

topless | tv mini series | See All (2) »


Drama | History







Release Date:

19 January 1983 (UK) See more »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


(8 episodes)
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Did You Know?


The series takes place from 145 BC to 30 BC. See more »

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User Reviews

Much maligned
14 February 2015 | by emrys-948-238958See all my reviews

This was an interesting series, it made a real effort to re-create style and manner of the Egyptian court. I remember a lady professor (I think it was) at the time saying it was interesting to see professional dancers translating the fixed and stylized images we have from tomb paintings into actual dance. Did they have bare breasts? Yes, the tomb paintings do, so the dancers do. Every effort is made to keep the costumes match what we know of dress at that time.

The series set an entirely believable note of claustrophobic pomposity. We do know that the Egyptian court was remarkably insulated from the ordinary Alexandrians, whom they feared, and they had good reason to to. It was a very inward looking group.

The series is bedeviled by the occasional outbreak of truly dreadful acting, e.g. Caesar's reaction when Cleopatra is unrolled from her carpet - that is the clip that is always shown. But most of it was pretty good. The contrast between the straight laced, changing to thuggish Romans is nicely contrasted with the hedonistic Egyptians. Sadly, Cleopatra is all wrong. She is presented as a sort of precocious 6th former, a 17 year old convent schoolgirl, whereas it is quite obvious that she was in fact a very tough and ruthless survivor from an early age. More like Elizabeth I than some kind of ingénue.

I have long thought that the BBC should issue the series in DVD, but 1983 was in the early days of video recorders and the rights situation may just be too complicated.

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