I, Claudius

Watch I, Claudius

  • Not Rated
  • 1976
  • 1 Season
  • 8.7  (15,902)

"I, Claudius" is a famous BBC series that aired in 1976 and aired in 1977 on PBS. It is based on the 1934 novel and sequel of the same name by Robert Graves. The TV version starred Derek Jacobi as the Emperor Claudius in ancient Rome. It runs for 12 episodes and features a wide variety of multigenerational characters who engage in intrigue, deceit, mayhem, crimes and insanity, among other soap opera vices. Claudius is part of the royal line, but considered a bit of an idiot by his family due to trouble speaking, walking properly, and engaging in relationships. For his part, Claudius hides his genius as much as possible since so many relatives get killed for being too close to power, knowing too much or showing too much ambition. The series takes place between 54 A.D. and 24 B.C. with the Julio-Claudian clan suffering and causing others to suffer. Claudius narrates the show. It is shot with several cameras and has kind of a theatrical look. There aren't crowd scenes so much as a few people milling around. Also appearing besides Jacobi is Sian Phillips as the evil Livia, Augustus' wife who was Claudius' grandmother. She stirs the pot with poison and verbal jabs. Cunning and immoral, she defines the age as she grows older and more dangerous. Brian Blessed plays Augustus and Patrick Stewart plays Sejanus. John Hurt plays Caligula. The show is sort of like "The Sopranos" set in ancient Rome with 20th Century British actors.

I, Claudius
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Seasons
Old King Log
12. Old King Log
December 6, 1976
Rome, 54 CE. Claudius marries Agrippinilla, mother of Nero and the deadliest woman in Rome. A prophecy has told him that Nero will be Rome's next ruler. Claudius knowingly seals his fate and that of his own son by naming Nero his heir.
A God in Colchester
11. A God in Colchester
November 29, 1976
Rome, 47-48 CE. While Claudius is away invading Britain, Messalina challenges a leading prostitute to a tournament of sex. She wins, scandalizing Rome, but Claudius remains in the dark. Soon after, Claudius learns that the British have made him a god.
Fool's Luck
10. Fool's Luck
November 22, 1976
Rome, 41-43 CE. Under Claudius's rule, the empire's finances are improving. His wife, Messalina bears him two children and urges him to make an alliance with Silanus, governor of Spain. An old friend warns him to trust no one.
Hail Who?
9. Hail Who?
November 15, 1976
Rome, 40-41 CE. Now totally mad, Caligula has turned the palace into a brothel, with gambling and orgies. His uncle Claudius serves as doorkeeper. Conspirators plot to assassinate Caligula. Later, as soldiers loot the palace, Claudius hides.
Zeus, by Jove!
8. Zeus, by Jove!
November 8, 1976
Rome, 37-38 CE. On his deathbed, Tiberius names Caligula heir. Caligula promises bread and circuses, and a new age of prosperity seems hopeful. Then Caligula falls into a coma, awakens, and proclaims himself a god. He fears his unborn son by his sister.
Reign of Terror
7. Reign of Terror
November 1, 1976
Rome, 30-31 CE. Sejanus has destroyed nearly all his enemies. Even Tiberius, living on Capri, is in danger. When he receives a warning letter, he wonders how to stop Sejanus. Caligula makes a suggestion, and the streets of Rome run red with blood.
Queen of Heaven
6. Queen of Heaven
October 25, 1976
Rome, 23-29 CE. Tiberius lives only for his perverted pleasures. Sejanus forces Claudius to marry his sister, solidifying his alliance with the imperial family. Livia, confesses her crimes to Claudius and reveals a prophecy that he will be emperor.
Some Justice
5. Some Justice
October 18, 1976
Rome, 19-20 CE. Tiberius rules Rome with help from Sejanus. When Claudius's popular brother, Germanicus, dies under mysterious circumstances, the Roman people protest. A trial in the Senate is rigged to clear the emperor's name.
Poison Is Queen
4. Poison Is Queen
October 11, 1976
Rome, 13-14 CE. After decades of deception, Augustus learns of Livia's plots and writes a new will naming Postumus his heir. Soon after Livia visits the keepers of the emperor's will, Augustus suffers severe stomach pains. She then sends in Sejanus.
What Shall We Do About Claudius?
3. What Shall We Do About Claudius?
October 4, 1976
Rome, 9 CE. When Livia hears that Tiberius has a new rival, Postumus, she quickly moves against him. Before he is banished, Postumus tells Claudius everything Livia. Claudius plays the fool to ensure his safety; he weds in a marriage Livia arranged.
Waiting in the Wings
2. Waiting in the Wings
September 27, 1976
Rome, 3-5 CE. With Tiberius in exile, it seems that Livia has lost--but everyone Augustus chooses to succeed him dies inexplicably. Livia forces the emperor to face the truth about his daughter. An omen hints that Claudius might be more than he appears.
A Touch of Murder
1. A Touch of Murder
September 20, 1976
Rome, 24-9 BCE. Nearing the end of his life and surrounded by spies, Claudius, emperor of Rome, writes his family history. It begins during the reign of Augustus, with his treacherous grandmother, Livia, scheming to advance the career of her son, Tiberius.
I, Claudius
I, Claudius

Trailer - 2 min 29 sec

Description

"I, Claudius" is a famous BBC series that aired in 1976 and aired in 1977 on PBS. It is based on the 1934 novel and sequel of the same name by Robert Graves. The TV version starred Derek Jacobi as the Emperor Claudius in ancient Rome. It runs for 12 episodes and features a wide variety of multigenerational characters who engage in intrigue, deceit, mayhem, crimes and insanity, among other soap opera vices.

Claudius is part of the royal line, but considered a bit of an idiot by his family due to trouble speaking, walking properly, and engaging in relationships. For his part, Claudius hides his genius as much as possible since so many relatives get killed for being too close to power, knowing too much or showing too much ambition. The series takes place between 54 A.D. and 24 B.C. with the Julio-Claudian clan suffering and causing others to suffer.

Claudius narrates the show. It is shot with several cameras and has kind of a theatrical look. There aren't crowd scenes so much as a few people milling around. Also appearing besides Jacobi is Sian Phillips as the evil Livia, Augustus' wife who was Claudius' grandmother. She stirs the pot with poison and verbal jabs. Cunning and immoral, she defines the age as she grows older and more dangerous. Brian Blessed plays Augustus and Patrick Stewart plays Sejanus. John Hurt plays Caligula. The show is sort of like "The Sopranos" set in ancient Rome with 20th Century British actors.I, Claudius is a series that is currently running and has 1 seasons (12 episodes). The series first aired on September 20, 1976.

Where to Watch I, Claudius

I, Claudius is available for streaming on the BBC website, both individual episodes and full seasons. You can also watch I, Claudius on demand at Amazon Prime, Amazon, Google Play, Hoopla and Apple TV.

  • Premiere Date
    September 20, 1976
  • IMDB Rating
    8.7  (15,902)