TV Worth Watching: I, Claudius

TV Worth Watching is a new series highlighting my favorite television viewing. I am a big fan of UK television, so you are sure to see many UK shows and movies featured here. — Douglas

TV Worth Watching: I, Claudius

I claudius artwork

I, Claudius

I, Claudius is a 1976 BBC Television adaptation of Robert Graves’s I, Claudius and Claudius the God. Written by Jack Pulman,[1] it proved one of the corporation’s most successful drama serials of all time.
It starred Derek Jacobi as Claudius, with Siân Phillips, Brian Blessed, George Baker, John Hurt and Patrick Stewart.

I, Claudius follows the history of Rome, narrated by the elderly Claudius, from the death of Marcellus, nephew and son-in-law of Augustus, in the first episode to Claudius’ own death in the last. The series opens with Augustus, the emperor of Rome, attempting to find an heir, and his wife, Livia, plotting to elevate her own son Tiberius to this position.

The plotting and double-crossing continue for many decades, through the conspiracy of Sejanus and the rule of the lunatic emperor Caligula, culminating in the seemingly accidental rise to power by Claudius. —

If you haven’t seen I, Claudius, I urge you to go and watch it as soon as you can. Filmed in 1976 and starring a host of big name UK stars, I, Claudius was the “Game of Thrones” of its day. Intrigue, betrayal, sex, revenge, perversion and more. Derek Jacobi shines as Claudius, marked by a childhood prophecy to eventually be Rome’s protector. Claudius is afflicted with a nervous tick, a club foot and — others think — a feeble mind. Little do they know that Claudius may be smarter than them all.

As you can see from the link above, most of I, Claudius is available on YouTube, but I encourage you to stream or buy the best copy possible to enjoy it in all its glory. 

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