Cleopatra

ABC, May 23, 24

Compared with the tab for the Liz Taylor movie--$240 million in today's dollars--the $30 million-plus cost of this mini-series is piddling. But for TV, it's colossal. So what do those big bucks buy? Lavish spectacle, a Dynasty-style version of Cleopatra's romances with Julius Caesar and Marc Antony, and just about zero chemistry between Leonor Varela's Cleopatra and Billy Zane's Antony. Zane (Titanic) makes a stalwart Roman general (and so does Timothy Dalton as Caesar), but pretty, pouty Varela lacks utterly the "infinite variety" that Shakespeare attributed to history's most famous vamp.

--By William Tynan

...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now

Subscribe
Subscribe

Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on TIME.com

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!