I, Claudius (35th Anniversary Edition)
35th Anniversary Edition
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"A true masterpiece" —San Francisco Chronicle "Fiendishly sophisticated" —The New York Times "Handsomely produced, grandly acted, and…thoroughly involving" —The Washington Post "Irresistible, witty" —Los Angeles Times
Rated one of the "100 Best TV Shows of All Time" by Time magazine, this epic BBC series spans the history of the Roman Empire from Augustus through Claudius, a stuttering scholar who learns early to play the fool and stay alive. Based on the novels by Robert Graves, it stars Derek Jacobi (The King’s Speech, Cadfael) in a career-defining role. Siân Phillips (The Age of Innocence) is “exquisitely wicked” (Los Angeles Times) as the lethal Livia, wife to Augustus (Brian Blessed, Hamlet), while John Hurt (The Elephant Man) is "decadence personified" (USA Today) as the depraved Caligula, whose reign of terror paves the way for Claudius’s ascension.
Winner of an Emmy® and numerous other awards, this riveting tale of ambition, debauchery, and intrigue remains one of the most popular and acclaimed dramas in Masterpiece Theatre history. Patrick Stewart (X-Men), George Baker (The Ruth Rendell Mysteries), Margaret Tyzack (Cousin Bette), and James Faulkner (The Bank Job) also star.
Top customer reviews
100s of reviews inform you of the content: An insatiable quest for power among Roman Emperor generations makes the story compelling. It's full of dastardly evolution. The Claudian Dynasty BBC spectacle filled with incest, base perversion and murder perpetrated within the royal family but presented with the historical humor of the 1930s Robert Graves novels. Augusta thru Nero, a plague of Roman Emperors, is a story supposedly told through the buried family story written by Claudius, exposing truth and sinister acts within the outlandish and intrigue filled generations. The film version includes the Graves' toga-talking slang, made a TV epic through the masterful writing of Jack Pulman. Through Roman period sexual twists (nudity, violence, and content warnings are correct throughout) viewers find humor in bizarre conduct, and jocular dialogue.
Aligning with stellar writing was casting. Derek Jacobi shines as perfect here as he did as Cadfael. Augustus (Brian Blessed) & wife, Beautiful, evil Livia by Sian Phillips (Tinker, Taylor, Soldier, Spy), & her son Tiberius (George Baker -Ruth Rendell Mysteries). Add Claudius' mom, Antonia by Margaret Tyzack (Cousin Bette, Forsyte Saga). Caligula by John Hurt, Sejanus by Patrick Stewart (Star Trek), Nero by Christopher Biggins (Poldark), Narcissus (John Cater -Duchess of Duke Street), Ian Ogilvy (Upstairs, Downstairs) are a few more recognized. There is more.
SUBTITLED Episodes total 668 minutes, plus 104 more if you view the alternate episodes.
Episode 1: A TOUCH OF MURDER-Rome 24-9 BC (BCE). Original PBS alternates are 1: A Touch of Murder & 2: Family Affairs.
2: WAITING IN THE WINGS 3-5 AD (CE)
3: WHAT SHALL WE DO ABOUT CLAUDIUS? 9 AD
4: POISON IS QUEEN 13-14 AD
5: SOME JUSTICE 19-20 AD
6: QUEEN OF HEAVEN 23-29 AD
7: REIGN OF TERROR 30-31 AD
8: ZEUS, BY JOVE! 37-38 AD
9: HAIL WHO? 40-41 AD
10: FOOL'S LUCK 41-43 AD
11: A GOD IN COLCHESTER 47-48 AD
12 OLD KING LOG 54 AD
ALL BONUS has SDH SUBTITLES:
The booklet and 2 alternate episodes mentioned.
"I, Claudius": A Television Epic -2002, 74 min behind the scenes
"The Epic That Never Was" -1965, 71 min documentary of a failed B/W 1937 film adaptation staring Charles Laughton.
12 min Jacobi film interview from 2010
36 min Cast/Dir favorite scenes
The only fault I found was the close ups show the latex masks used for make-up technique typical of the 1970s period. But remember, quite advanced in 1976.
An epic that will never be out of style. And cut or reduced scenes are restored.
Even for previous owners, this may be worth a new purchase.
Enjoyed the special features at the end (interviews with the director and some of the major actors) enormously. Had not realized that this these interviews were part of this package. Especially if you enjoy not just history but the history of film and BBC series, you will enjoy this enormously.
2011 is the 35th anniversary of the greatest historical accurate tv series ever made.
I CLAUDIUS is a real masterpiece and is dedicated to all fanatic roman empire fans covering the history of the ancient roman empire from 24 BC the 7nth anniversary of the actium battle to the year 54 AD when nero ascended the throne as the last blood-related successor of augustus.
This series is based in grave's novels I CLAUDIUS and CLAUDIUS THE GOD and many of the situations which are described in the series happened indeed as they are confirmed by suetonius among other historians of that age.
The portraits of augustus, tiberius, young nero, aggrippina, agrippinilla, drusila, sejanus, macro, vipsania, marcus agrippa, livia, julia...etc...are presented in an excellent way. John hurt is THE REAL CALIGULA and derek jacobi is an excellent claudius.
This new dvd set has the complete 13 episodes in 4 discs. disc 5 has all but one new special features which were unavailable until now.
NEW : DOCUMENTARY : I CLAUDIUS: A TELEVISION EPIC. A LOOK BEHIND THE SCENES...74'
DOCUMENTARY : THE EPIC THAT NEVER WAS...71'
NEW : TWO EXTENDED EPISODES : EPISODE 1, 52' // EPISODE 2, 52'
NEW : A NEW DEREC JACOBI 12' INTERVIEW
NEW : ACTOR'S FAV SCENES...34'
NEW : AN 8 PAGE BOOKLET : Fiction or reality ?
All in all this is a must have. I wish the series would continue with prequels and sequels covering in the same way THE WHOLE THOUSAND YEARS OF THE UNITED EMPIRE FROM THE TIME OF THE PUNIC WARS UP TO LATE 9NTH CENTURY AD WHEN IT'S UNITY (What have remained after the disastrous events of the 5th - 7nth centuries) FINALLY BROKE UP.
Don't forget the new series remake which HBO undertook to create by next year...
Still holds up. Leaving aside the threadbare BBC production values, this is a terrific condensation of Graves' landmark historical novels, crisply written and efficiently directed. You almost don't notice that it's virtually all talk and no action. It also spawned a new generation of actors from John Hurt as a truly vile and crazy Caligula before the Alien burst out of his chest to Patrick Stewart as a most serviceable villain well before his more heroic turns in Star Trek and X Men, not to overlook Derek Jacobi, so convincing here in the title role that it's still surprising to see him in later roles where he doesn't limp and stammer.
Must-see if not a must-have for anyone with an interest in TV history, or Roman history. The quality of the home video is about as good as could be expected given the age and production values.