I, Claudius 1 Season 1976

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Season 1
(146) IMDb 8.4/10

1. A Touch of Murder TV-NR

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.

Starring:
Derek Jacobi, Siân Phillips
Runtime:
1 hour 38 minutes
Original air date:
September 20, 1976

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A Touch of Murder

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Season 1

Product Details

Genres Drama
Director Herbert Wise
Starring Derek Jacobi, Siân Phillips
Supporting actors Brian Blessed, George Baker, Ian Ogilvy, Frances White, Margaret Tyzack, John Paul, Christopher Guard, Angela Morant, Sheila Ruskin, Carleton Hobbs, Michael Hawkins, Renu Setna, Freda Dowie, Guy Siner, David Davenport, Roger Bizley, Amanda Kirby, Russell Lewis
Network Acorn Media
Producers Martin Lisemore
Purchase rights Stream instantly and download to 2 locations Details
Format Amazon Instant Video (streaming online video and digital download)

Customer Reviews

Great story with fantastic acting.
NickyD
I found the story to be very interesting, knowing that it was a history of Rome and was true.
CA Reader
I have watched this series many a time, and each time I find more and more to love.
Truthbard

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

25 of 25 people found the following review helpful By Nancy c on April 24, 2012
36 years later, and this series still stands up against the Tudors, the Borgias and other period pieces. Lots less blatant sex and profanity, but the horror and thrills of the times still fascinate and hold the interest of viewers used to more modern serials. Highly recommended for anyone who likes period pieces, historical drama, or just great characters and acting.
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15 of 15 people found the following review helpful By DigitalPaperCut on January 22, 2013
It's understandable to hesitate before investing time and money in epic historical dramas from the 1970s and earlier, as so many works from those eras are painfully overacted and disappointingly dependent on cliche.

However, I Claudius is a masterpiece, transcending limited technology of the day to become a timeless classic and required viewing for fans of the best in historical period films. Those who've watched more than once the films Becket, Henry VIII and His Six Wives, Rome, The Tudors, Cromwell and Elizabeth (x3), will find I Claudius to be a fascinating feast of evil-doings by the power-mad and just plain mad.

The most awe-inspiring performance was that of Sian Phillips as Livia Drusilla, empress and third wife of Augustus Caesar, grandmother of Claudius. I simply cannot recall a more all-consuming, bone-chilling, poison-hearted yet void-of-all-emotion portrayal by any actress, ever. Her infinite cruelty is exceeded only by the shockingly calm manner in which she dishes it out. She's not angry...she's just deadly. She elegantly redefines the term "wicked stepmother," making all others seem like Mother Teresa in comparison.

Derek Jacobi is of course brilliantly nuanced in his narration and performance throughout the life of stammering, ticking and limping Claudius, the smartest of the entire dysfunctional bunch. John Hurt reveled in his role as the barbaric Caligula, with evil oozing from his very pores. Patrick Stewart of Star Trek fame was a very naughty boy, indeed.

There was nary a speck of blood visible during this family's carnage, as such blood-and-guts displays were not necessary. The story alone was shocking enough, proving gore is not required to hold audience attention. Can't remember any profanities uttered.
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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Cuic Cuic on December 6, 2012
This mini-series is several magnitudes of better than anything produced since its initial air date. The cast is filled with a large number of the finest actors Britain has produced. It's based on the novels of Robert Graves that were first published in 1934 and regarded, as a whole, as a masterpiece.
The period covered is from the reign of Augustus Caesar(through Tiberius, Caligula and Claudius)to the beginning of Nero. The action centers around the bloody court life of Rome's ruling family and the intrigue and treachery they pursued. The folly of mortals who believe that they are as close to becoming gods as a human can get provides at various times outrageous farce, dark comedy, and suspenseful drama. But even in its most farcical moments there is no sense of a lack in believability because of its adherence to the historical records.
I normally don't give out 5 stars but 'I, Claudius' is easily one of the best programs ever made. I also recommend the novels by Robert Graves, 'The Lives of the Twelve Caesars' by Suetonius, and 'Annals' by Tacitus.
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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Cumberbatch on September 21, 2012
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"Not for nothing is it considered some of the finest television ever made," said Mike Duncan of the History of Rome podcast.
I watched "I, Claudius" as a child in the 70s on PBS and never shook it. Now, to combat Disney drivel, I'm watching the series again with my 10- and 12-year old kids, who are LOVING it.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By John P. Penning on March 6, 2013
Format: Amazon Instant Video
The cast is excellent, the writing superb and the direction first rate. The only criticisms that I have ever read of this series have come from younger viewers that criticize the lower budget production. All I can say is that while I would have preferred that this series of 37 years ago had the type of budget that the BBC could muster today, if given a choice of a bigger budget for production and the quality of cast, writing and direction, I'll take the substance, you can have the flash. My son (who was 15 at the time) and I first watched this in 1990 when PBS broadcast it for the 2nd time and it is still one of our mutual favorites. Long Live Claudius!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By SWD on September 14, 2013
Format: Amazon Instant Video Verified Purchase
If only the budget for this exceptionally good series had been what could have been offered today! This is the epitome of good writing put together with excellent acting and plausible human characters fleshed out in detail and given properly understandable motives for their actions,so that their talk and behavior seems like real people doing real things in real time. The intricacies of their relationships and the development of the characters across the different episodes is plausible and entrancing. The interpretation of some historical events is plausible as imaginative pseudo-fiction, even if disputed by some experts, and cannot be fully supported by historical sources (many of which are lost). However the detective work in putting together a credible theme running through the mysterious events of the Julio-Claudian family was, after all, done by a writer who was thoroughly versed in classical history and he made a decent stab at interpreting what he read and at bringing it to life.
It casts into stark relief the poverty of plot, research and writing of such recent disasters as Vikings and Rome
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