This one-hour PBS production is based on illustrator and author David Macaulay’s 1974 book, City: A Story of Roman Planning and Construction, in which he depicts the construction of Verbonia, a fictitious but typical ancient Roman city situated in Gaul (modern-day France). Macaulay also appears as the host of this program (one of a series that was based on his books), which cuts back and forth between two parts: a documentary that guides viewers through the archaeological remains of Roman cities, highlighting both engineering feats and architectural features; and an animated story of the construction of Verbonia by the architect Marcus Fabricius during the reign of Caesar Augustus. In this story, Marcus attempts to create a well-designed city but faces the challenges of both political corruption and local insurrection. Notably, the animated characters are voiced by famed actors such as Ian McKellen, Derek Jacobi, and Brian Blessed. Roman City won the 1994 Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Animated Program.
Show minutes 7.22-15.40