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I, Claudius 

Not Rated | | Biography, Drama, History | TV Mini-Series (1976)
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The history of the Roman Empire as experienced by one of its rulers.
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Popularity
2,158 ( 67)

Episodes

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Years



1  
1976  
Top Rated TV #80 | Won 1 Primetime Emmy. Another 6 wins & 5 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Complete series cast summary:
Derek Jacobi ...  Claudius 13 episodes, 1976
George Baker ...  Tiberius 10 episodes, 1976
Margaret Tyzack ...  Antonia 9 episodes, 1976
Siân Phillips ...  Livia 8 episodes, 1976
Brian Blessed ...  Augustus 6 episodes, 1976
James Faulkner ...  Herod Agrippa / ... 6 episodes, 1976
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Storyline

This mini-series follows the history of the Roman Empire, from approximately the death of Marcellus (24/23 B.C.) to Claudius' own death in 54 A.D. As Claudius narrates his life, we witness Augustus' attempts to find an heir, often foiled by his wife Livia who wants her son Tiberius to become emperor. We also see the conspiracy of Sejanus, the infamous reign of Caligula, and Claudius' own troubled period of rule. Written by Erika Grams <erika@email.unc.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Let all the poisons that lurk in the mud hatch out.


Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

UK

Language:

English | German

Release Date:

6 November 1977 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

I, Claudius See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

(13 parts) | (DVD) (13 episodes)

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The series is sometimes jokingly referred to as "I, Clavdivs" because the title sequence followed the Roman convention of using a letter "v" to stand for either a "u" or a "v". See more »

Goofs

Augustus thanks the poet Horace for his performance. Roman soldiers enter to inform Augustus of the troops slaughtered his at Teutoburg Forest. Horace died in 8 BCE, the Battle of Teutoburg Forest occurred in 9 CE. See more »

Quotes

[On seeing your ex-spouse in secret]
Livia: You saw Julia's mother after your divorce.
Augustus: Yes, but not in secret.
Livia: Well I don't remember being present...
See more »

Alternate Versions

The show aired in 13 episodes on PBS in 1977, but was originally shown in 12 episodes in England, the first and second episodes having been combined. This is the version now available in the remastered edition on DVD. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Dead Again (1991) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
A few vital details
8 August 2006 | by SMkShldsSee all my reviews

I won't add to the many superlatives ascribed to this wonderful series, well-deserved though they are. But I would like to point out a few vital details that help explain just why it is so wonderful.

(1) Much has been said about Siân Phillips' intense projection of evil, but just how does she do it? If you watch carefully, you'll see she never blinks in her close-up takes, some of which are very long. This gives her a snakelike appearance, which enhances her voice and cold beauty in imparting such an air of menace to everything she says.

(2) Much has also been said about the lack of expensive sets, location shots, or special effects. But the point is that this series is successful because of these apparent deficiencies and not despite them. So much modern cinema and TV is swamped by expensive irrelevances to the detriment of the basics -- writing, acting, and timing. 'I Claudius' shows just how important these things are, and how unimportant those expensive special effects can be.

(3) I had the good fortune to read both books before the series was made, and then to watch it with a critical eye. It was satisfying to see such an expert adaptation, but especially so to see how the central point of the story has not been lost: the inability of any ruler, however powerful, to control what happens at the end of the long chain of command that inevitably forms. I found this a message of lifelong importance in both politics and management, and it is rare indeed that such a remarkable piece of drama and entertainment is also so fundamentally educational.


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