The history of the Roman Empire as experienced by one of its rulers.
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1  
1976  
Top Rated TV #47 | Won 1 Primetime Emmy. Another 6 wins & 3 nominations. See more awards »
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Cast

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Storyline

The mini-series follows the history of the Roman Empire, from approximately the death of Marcellus (24/23 BC) to Claudius' own death in 54 AD. 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>

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Taglines:

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


Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Details

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Release Date:

6 November 1977 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Yo, Claudio  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

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

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Sir John Hurt revealed that he declined the role of Caligula when it was first offered to him. Because of the time-span of the production, the fact that Derek Jacobi would be the only cast member to appear in every episode, and the subsequent commitments of the other cast members. It was decided that rather than the customary "wrap party" at the end of the series, there would be a special pre-production party instead, to give the entire cast and crew the chance to meet. Hurt explained that Herbert Wise deliberately invited him to attend the party, hoping he would reconsider, and that he was so impressed on meeting the cast and crew, that he immediately reversed his decision, and took the part. See more »

Goofs

It has been assumed by many that the reason some of the audio is at too low a level on the DVD is because of some faulty remastering. This is not the case. It is because some of the microphone placement on set during the making of the series was not as polished as it could have been, or as it might be now, and this shows up more clearly on the DVD because of higher fidelity. At certain moments, an actor or actress may be in the rear of the set and his/ her voice is not picked up clearly; then, as the actor advances, the voice becomes louder. See more »

Quotes

[on Claudius]
Livia: That child should have been exposed at birth.
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

Without doubt, the finest Television adaptation ever!

What can one say that has not already been said about this true masterwork of television? Well, I, Claudius has been a part of my life since I was very young, when me and my mum used to sit and watch, totally rapt in the labyrinthine shenanighans of this most horrid little story...although, at 12 hours long, the story is hardly tiny, but horrid it most certainly is. Every episode is filled with intrigue, murder, violence, nudity, back-stabbing, plotting, incest, insanity and everything else one usually connects with this barbaric, nasty little page of history. The Roman Empire was probably the most corrupt moment of history and Robert Graves' epic novels, here turned into stunning drama by Jack Pulman's brilliant script, blows every other BBC drama clean out of the water. And as for the acting...Brian Blessed is a tornado as the weak-willed Emperor Augustus, while John Hurt gives one of his finest performances as the insane, decadent Caligula. But the true star of this fabulous course of debauchery is Sian Phillips' scheming, evil bitch of Rome, Livia. In one of the finest scenes in the drama, she confronts Claudius and reveals the treachery which has singlehandedly rid herself of all those who have stood in her way, including her own husband. It is a powerhouse performance, and her departure from the second part of the show is sorely missed, but this is compensated for when Hurt takes centre-stage when his unhinged Caligula (nice boy!) plunges Rome into lower depths of depravity and madness. Derek Jacobi, as the foolish, but wise Claudius gives us just enough of his presence to make us aware he is watching quietly while the murders occur, but his presence pervades the entire piece due to his diction, his amazingly baritone voice and because he narrates, even when his birth has not actually occured yet. All in all, a stunning, marvellous piece of entertainment which will never be beaten. I happen to own the entire series on video, and it gets an airing at least once a year...with each new watch revealing subtleties i missed last time. I implore anyone who lives Ancient Rome, good drama or just likes a long wallow in unrepentant horror and blood to watch this drama. You will not be disappointed. Brilliant!!


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