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      Miniseries – I, Claudius

      1976 History Drama List
      100% 24 Reviews Tomatometer 89% Fewer than 50 Ratings Audience Score Roman emperor Claudius narrates his life. Read More Read Less

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      I, Claudius — Miniseries

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      I, Claudius — Miniseries

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      Critics Consensus

      Marrying a trove of terrific actors at the their peak with a masterful script that draws from irresistibly juicy source material, I, Claudius transcends its paltry production values to become a gold standard for historical dramas.

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      Cast & Crew


      Episode 1 Aired Sep 20, 1976 A Touch of Murder Aging Claudius (Derek Jacobi), Emperor of Rome, reminisces. With Sian Phillips, George Baker, Brian Blessed, Frances White. Details Episode 2 Aired Sep 20, 1976 Family Affairs Livia (Sian Phillips) schemes and murders to secure the throne for Tiberius (George Baker). With Derek Jacobi, Brian Blessed. Details Episode 3 Aired Sep 27, 1976 Waiting in the Wings Livia (Sian Phillips) begs Augustus (Brian Blessed) to summon Tiberius (George Baker). With Derek Jacobi, John Castle. Details Episode 4 Aired Oct 4, 1976 What Shall We Do About Claudius? Claudius (Derek Jacobi) plays the fool to preserve his life and is ridiculed for marrying an amazon (Jennifer Croxton). Details Episode 5 Aired Oct 11, 1976 Poison Is Queen Claudius (Derek Jacobi) has a son; dying Augustus (Brian Blessed) realizes Livia's (Sian Phillips) treachery. Details Episode 6 Aired Oct 18, 1976 Some Justice Tiberius (George Baker) takes the throne; 9-year-old Caligula (Robert Morgan) shows signs of evil. With Derek Jacobi. Details Episode 7 Aired Oct 25, 1976 Queen of Heaven Caligula (John Hurt) encourages Tiberius' (George Baker) eroticism; Livia (Sian Phillips) wants deification. With Derek Jacobi. Details Episode 8 Aired Nov 1, 1976 Reign of Terror Tiberius (George Baker) accuses many of treason and names Caligula (John Hurt) as his successor. With Derek Jacobi. Details Episode 9 Aired Nov 8, 1976 Zeus, by Jove! Herod (James Faulkener) returns to Rome; Caligula (John Hurt) declares himself a god; with Derek Jacobi, Beth Morris. Details Episode 10 Aired Nov 15, 1976 Hail Who? Mad Caligula (John Hurt) lives decadently; Claudius (Derek Jacobi) is crowned emperor. With Sam Dastor, James Fagan. Details Episode 11 Aired Nov 22, 1976 Fool's Luck Herod (James Faulkener) advises Claudius (Derek Jacobi); Messalina (Sheila White) bears Claudius a son. With Lyndon Brook. Details Episode 12 Aired Nov 29, 1976 A God in Colchester Claudius (Derek Jacobi) and Herod (James Faulkener) are foes; Claudius is blind to Messalina's (Sheila White) infidelity. Details Episode 13 Aired Dec 6, 1976 Old King Log Claudius (Derek Jacobi) has premonitions of death as his wife (Barbara Young) plots for her son, Nero. Details

      Critics Reviews

      View All (24) Critics Reviews
      Hugo Rifkind Times (UK) It’s amazing. Gripping, dark, complex, compulsive. Aug 18, 2023 Full Review Nancy Banks-Smith Guardian Speaking as a food-taster myself, I, Claudius goes down very easily. Jun 25, 2019 Full Review Charlotte Runcie Daily Telegraph (UK) No crowds are visible, which makes everything feel a bit like a school play. But that claustrophobia sometimes creates amazing intensity, with richly textured drama expressed through dialogue and subtle performance alone. Apr 16, 2019 Full Review Alberto Carlos Espinof A series that deserves to be seen at least once in life. [Full Review in Spanish] Apr 16, 2019 Full Review Sarah Boslaugh PopMatters The highbrows can enjoy the history and the literati can feast on Jack Pulman's witty dialogue, while there's more than enough treachery, bloodshed, and bare nipples to please those of more earthy tastes. Rated: 8/10 Apr 16, 2019 Full Review Diane Werts TV Worth Watching Those sets, those costumes -- they all scream "TV budget." But you'd be surprised how immediate those studio cameras make these performances feel, as if they were being beamed live straight into your living room. Apr 15, 2019 Full Review Read all reviews

      Audience Ratings

      View All (8) audience reviews
      orange t I was first shown 'I, Claudius' by a friend at university, on what happend to actually be the 30th aniversary of it ever being aired. 20th September 2006. From that day onward, on which I watched the ENTIRE thing in a single day, I have rewatched it 6-7 more times. It remains to me, the second best show ever made (behind Band of Brothers), and that is a tesitiment to it's charm and strength, as it has basically no budget and the production value compared to shows of this day an age is pitiful. Regardless of this, the cast, the writing, the uneasiness and poison that runs throughout the show cannot be missed by anyone. The book(s) have since become some of my favourite novels and I recommend this show to almost everyone who I become close with. 10/10 TV, almost the best of all time. Rated 5 out of 5 stars 10/19/23 Full Review Richard B Cardboard Romans Shout I watched the highly praised I Claudius again (1976 and sometime in the 1990s) and was struck by two things - how cheap and awful the production was, all cardboard, and how static it looked - and how the Shakespearian actors barked and shouted at the TV cameras. Fortunately, the Robert Graves source novels (read them both, twice) are a firm foundation for the scripts - which are compelling. It is more influential than excellent. There are three outstanding performances - Jacobi (Claudius), Philips (Livia) and Hurt (Caligula). Despite the occasional outbursts of overacting, these three supply credible characters that dominate the drama. But the rest of the cast is awful - Blessed (Augustus), the ugly fool who played Tiberius, the nympho Messalina and most of the remaining cast - who make faces, shout and deliver declaimed lines like they are on stage. The staginess of the production drags it down. The budget did not allow for outside shots, let alone well built exteriors. It is so cheap you can see the sets move on occasion. It was enjoyable to watch again, but for me, its shortcomings were all on display. The critics who gave it 100% RT ratings are wilfully blind to its shortcomings. Rated 3.5 out of 5 stars 09/08/23 Full Review Paul B Fantastic adaptation of Robert Graves novels. Superb performances all around from a stellar cast, notably the great Derek Jacobi. I watched it when it first came out, and again this year. Marvellous. Rated 4.5 out of 5 stars 08/23/23 Full Review PJ P Possibly the best show ever made, certainly in terms of script and acting, which are of the highest level you will ever see on TV. Sian Phillips, Brian Blessed, Derek Jacobi, John Hurt, Patrick Stewart.... all in the same show! (Though all the other actors are incredible too). A masterpiece and a masterclass. This is how it's done. Rated 5 out of 5 stars 11/07/22 Full Review Audience Member Done with a 1970s BBC budget (ie: a shoestring) but more than compensated for by an amazing cast and wonderful script. An absolute must-see Rated 5 out of 5 stars 01/09/23 Full Review robert m My father said, "The light at the end of the tunnel may be the express train that's headed in our direction." That's the story for "I, Claudius" and it may be the story for the United States and the United Kingdom during recent years. We have problems and the situation is bad, but, hey, wait a bit, because things may soon get worse. The "I, Claudius" television series was one of the best in television history. It prepared the English-speaking world for the 1980s and the 21st century. Rated 4.5 out of 5 stars 03/30/23 Full Review Read all reviews Post a review

      Season Info

      Herbert Wise
      Jack Pulman
      History, Drama
      Original Language
      English (United Kingdom)
      Release Date
      Sep 20, 1976