Il segno del comando (the sign of the power, 1971)
Edward Forster (Ugo Pagliai, again), a professor of English literature at the University of Cambridge, has discovered a diary of Lord Byron, which was written by the English poet during his stay in Rome in 1817 and has already published an essay about the first part of it on a academic journal. In a passage of that diary Byron wrote: «1817, April 21, 11 at night. Unforgettable experience, amazing place, a square with ruins of a Roman temple, Renaissance church, fountain with dolphins, stone messenger, heavenly music, mysterious presences». George Powell (Massimo Girotti), cultural attaché of the English embassy in Rome, invites the professor Forster to Rome for a lecture during the so called Byronian week at the British Council. Forster accepts the invitation after receiving another letter from Rome: the painter Marco Tagliaferri tells him that the square Byron wrote about is not a imaginary place, the way Forster claimed in his essay, but a real place in Rome. As an evidence of it the painter exhibits a picture of the square.
5 episodes, more or less 1 hour each, the last one a bit longer
Plot: contrarily to the previous TV series I described in this one there is the esoteric element. Forster is skeptical, Powell doesn't care. In spite of the esoteric element, most of events have a logical explanation. All but one, but in the end Forster is the one real witness of it.
Cast: the actors play as if they were on the stage of a theatre and it works very well for the theater actors of the cast, not so well for the actors who in the 70s appeared mostly in the so called "poliziottesco", "spaghetti western" or even "erotico".
Location: Rome is the best possible place for an esoteric atmosphere.
Director: again Daniele D'Anza, who adapted to television the novel of Giuseppe D'Agata
My rating: 8/10
Again, do not confuse it with the remake of 1992 (?), which is shorter, dumber and lost completely the amazing atmosphere of the original (it is not even set in Rome, but in Madrid or in Paris, I'm not sure).