I, Claudius: Season 1, Episode 11

Fool's Luck (22 Nov. 1976)

TV Episode  |  Not Rated  |   |  Drama, History
8.4
Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 8.4/10 from 87 users  
Reviews: 1 user

Claudius accepts the crown and spares all the conspirators except Cassius for killing Caligula's wife and family. He also deifies Livia. Messalina, having borne him children, persuades him ... See full summary »

Director:

Writers:

(novels), (screenplay)
0Check in
0Share...

Watch Now

From $2.99 on Amazon Instant Video

IMDb Picks: May

Visit our IMDb Picks section to see our recommendations of movies and TV shows coming out in May, sponsored by COVERGIRL.

User Lists

Related lists from IMDb users

a list of 988 titles
created 12 Aug 2011
 
a list of 2838 titles
created 30 Oct 2012
 
a list of 10000 titles
created 07 Nov 2012
 
list image
a list of 1887 titles
created 11 Feb 2013
 
a list of 100 titles
created 02 Mar 2014
 

Related Items

Search for "Fool's Luck" on Amazon.com

Connect with IMDb


Share this Rating

Title: Fool's Luck (22 Nov 1976)

Fool's Luck (22 Nov 1976) on IMDb 8.4/10

Want to share IMDb's rating on your own site? Use the HTML below.

Take The Quiz!

Test your knowledge of I, Claudius.
« Previous Episode | 11 of 13 Episodes | Next Episode »

Videos

1 video »
Edit

Cast

Episode cast overview, first billed only:
...
Sheila White ...
Bernard Hepton ...
John Cater ...
Moira Redmond ...
Domitia
Lyndon Brook ...
Silanus
...
Sam Dastor ...
John Bennett ...
Norman Eshley ...
Geoffrey Hinsliff ...
Rufrius
...
George Little ...
Tortius
Neal Arden ...
Cestius
James Fagan ...
Asprenas
Edit

Storyline

Claudius accepts the crown and spares all the conspirators except Cassius for killing Caligula's wife and family. He also deifies Livia. Messalina, having borne him children, persuades him to let her rule alongside him and brings in senator Silanus as an aide, Silanus marrying Domitia, Messalina's mother. However Messalina attempts to seduce Silanus, leading him to try and kill Claudius, for which he is executed. Not for nothing has Claudius's friend Herod Agrippa warned him to trust nobody. Written by don @ minifie-1

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

messalina | baby | See All (2) »

Genres:

Drama | History

Edit

Details

Language:

Release Date:

22 November 1976 (UK)  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Quotes

Herod: Listen Claudius, let me give you a piece of advice.
Claudius: Oh, I thought you'd finished giving advice.
Herod: Well, just one more piece, then I'm done. Trust no one, my friend, no one. Not your most grateful freedman. Not your most intimate friend. Not your dearest child. Not the wife of your bosom. Trust no one.
Claudius: No one? Not even you?
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
Republican's Bad Luck
7 October 2012 | by (Cieszyn, Poland) – See all my reviews

  • "Trust no one, my friend, no one. Not your most grateful freedman.


Not your most intimate friend. Not your dearest child. Not the wife of your bosom. Trust no one!" (Herod Agrippa)

  • "Noone? Not even you?" (Claudius)




A.D. 41 "Long live the emperor!" is being heard in the most unusual circumstances...The source novel by Robert Graves, I CLAUDIUS, came to its 'climactic final moment' when the most shocking aspect of the Sybilline prophesy came true. The sequel, CLAUDIUS THE GOD, the literary source of the three remaining episodes (starting with this one), depicts the 14 year-long reign of our protagonist. Made the ruler of Rome by the Praetorian Guard, he is indeed the only man in the empire who does not want to be an emperor; yet, he is chosen to be one. Not fit to be an emperor? A 'funny chap' who has played a fool for all his life and HAS done nothing extraordinary but merely survived? So little and yet so much... A republican doomed to bad luck? There is much he says to the Senatorial assembly but one statement highlights the very gist of his features: "quality of wits is more important than quantity"

All is about to come to normality in the empire (being sometimes even historically idealized) and the new emperor at last uses his brains instead of lusts (occurs clever while dealing with justice and state affairs). But that finds no relevance within the imperial family. Caught within the claws of a scheme, Claudius proves to be absorbed by 'fool's luck' in his yet another disastrous affair with a woman. Hal Himmelstein, quoted several times before in my reviews, memorably puts this: "while Claudius was wise in matters of history, he was apparently less so in matters requiring discernment of human character. His repression as a child led to his weak reliance on other people as an adult, especially the ruthless women in the Imperial family."

No doubt that Episode 11 calls our attention to Claudius as an emperor. This is actually his chance, the beginning of his reign, the beginning of his policy. Not only an adult but an emperor! That resembles little boredom of historical accuracy but rather fills our imagination with excellent psychological assumptions. We mostly empathize with him at his speech to the senators. It occurs, however, that the major problem lies in the fact he DOES NOT want to be an emperor - it is the bad luck of a republican he has always been. Therefore, he does not act totally on himself but is ADVISED by everybody around. These pieces of advice come from King Herod Agrippa (James Faulkner) - the wonderfully symbolic touch of their dialog I contained at the beginning; they also come from some 'frank' senators who try to accuse Claudius of not being fit for the emperor; from the sarcastic self-confident physician from Greece. Finally, the pieces of advice come from the person who causes and will cause most trouble within the heart of the empire, Claudius' young wife Messalina.

Skillfully played by Sheila White (she is all beautiful, tempting, daring, shocking and still easily empathized with), Messalina of Herbert Wise's I CLAUDIUS is truly a sort of biblical 'whore of Babylon,' a woman-serpent who burns inside, manipulates and makes all men around 'simpletons' within the skillful and wretched web of her schemes. Although she refers to Livia in some of the moments (including her desire to deal with the administrative matters), she differs considerably from Augustus' wife and from all other female characters of the series. She is the Messalina to be remembered, the unique woman driven by lusts and desires that have their roots in early childhood. In that case, she is not mature. The moment with Appius Silanus (Lyndon Brook) whom she brings back from Spain, allegedly to marry her mother, is a gorgeous representation of what happens with a young person who rises too high long before she actually realizes she is not yet grown up. A sort of rebellious, pretentious teenager on a high position in the empire...Sheila White gives a magnetic performance - from subtlety, passion of dreams to disappointment and rage - "You forget who I am!" she says to Appius Silanus. She achieves the climax of panic combined with two-fixedness at the finale of the episode. Simply unforgettable Sheila White...more of her interpretation of Messalina awaits us in the next episode... Poor Claudius, anyway.

The supporting cast of the episode include characters who are practically of no greater relevance to the story and serve, in a way, to fill the dramatic relations that grow within the imperial court. The three, actually, Derek Jacobi, James Faulkner and Sheila White, share one of the greatest scenes of the series when the positions and intentions of them all are clear to us: Messalina's clever manipulations, Herod's revealing advice and Claudius' honesty and honor. But Derek Jacobi and Sheila White, indeed, hold viewers' interest throughout.

Republican's bad luck? Perhaps! But who cares what Rome is when the soon 'tired emperor' is the single most important person in the empire. Dangers actually hide nearer than one could suspect...


0 of 0 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
Recasting I,Claudius ?? awrobel
HBO + BBC2 Teaming to Re-make I, Claudius. efurcolo
Claudius looking for a wife before the giant.... fb-921-79125
Things one learns from I,Claudius... angmc43
Actor Older Than Actress Playing His Mother! vito_marzullo
RIP Martina angmc43
Discuss Fool's Luck (1976) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for:
?