Ancients Behaving Badly Documentary Series Overview (2009)


Biography Documentary hosted by Tom McCamus, published by History Channel in 2009.

The series brings to life the most brutal and feared leaders of the ancient world.


They employed a brutality which is staggering by today’s standards. A fresh look at some of the world’s most fascinating, iconic, and truly ruthless leaders, how they came to power and stayed in power, how they treated their subjects, friends and family, demonstrated battlefield leadership and achieved transformations at home.

We all know their names:

  • Caligula: The hedonistic Emperor of Rome from 37-41 CE.
  • Attila the Hun: The savage Emperor of several European tribes.
  • Julius Caesar: A military genius who helped transform Rome into an Empire.
  • Alexander the Great: The youthful conqueror.
  • Nero: A Roman Emperor widely considered responsible for the Great Fire of Rome.
  • Hannibal: A Carthaginian military genius.
  • Genghis Khan: Ruler of the Mongol Horde.
  • Cleopatra: Queen of Egypt.

Now discover the truth behind their dastardly deeds.

Informed by the latest research, this uncompromising series cuts through the folklore to present an accurate picture of ruthlessness and debauchery. Using the recent historical discoveries, forensic science tests, archaeological finds, analysis of torture instruments, and battlefield dynamics, Ancients Behaving Badly sheds light on these leaders.

Full of startling revelations, series gives the uncensored lowdown on the greatest icons of the ancient world. Expert interviews, on-location shots, and CGI help to re-create their environments and provide stunning re-enactments.

Each episode:

  • Looks at the actions of one of the above rulers, educating the audience about the person through consultations with historians and animated shorts.
  • Concludes by charting the featured ruler’s actions on a ‘psycho graph’ where they are rated from goal driven killer to psychopathic murderer on one axis, and their individual pathologies measured on the other axis.

Ancients Behaving Badly Series

Production & Filming Details

  • Narrator(s):
    • Tom McCamus.
  • Director(s):
    • Oscar Chan … (1 episode, 2009).
    • Andy Webb … (unknown episodes).
  • Producer(s):
    • Dan Chambers … executive producer (1 episode, 2009).
    • Kelda Deike … producer (1 episode, 2009).
    • Pauline Duffy … executive producer (1 episode, 2009).
    • Dan Gold … series producer (1 episode, 2009).
    • Elliott Halpern … executive producer (1 episode, 2009).
    • Rebecca Snow … assistant producer (1 episode, 2009).
    • Susan Werbe … executive producer: for History (1 episode, 2009).
    • Kate Edwards … associate producer (unknown episodes).
    • Andy Webb … producer (unknown episodes).
  • Writer(s):
  • Music:
    • Norman Orenstein … (8 episodes, 2009).
    • Jerome McPeek … (uncredited) (unknown episodes).
  • Cinematography:
    • Michael Ellis … (1 episode, 2009).
    • Michael Grippo … (1 episode, 2009).
  • Editor(s):
    • Franco Bogino … (1 episode, 2009).
    • Oscar Chan … (1 episode, 2009).
    • Stephen Parry … (1 episode, 2009).
    • Chris Wright … (unknown episodes).
  • Production:
    • Blink Entertainment.
    • Invictus Films.
    • Yap Films.
  • Distributor:
    • History Channel (2009) (World-wide) (all media).
    • Invictus Films (2009) (Non-US) (all media).
  • Release Date: 06 November 2009 to 25 December 2009.
  • Rating: TV-PG.
  • Running Time: 44 minutes (per episode).
  • Country: US.
  • Language: English.

Video Link(s)

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