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I, Claudius

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Old King Log
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. He finishes his book and buries a copy to be found centuries later.

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Old King Log
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.

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A God in Colchester
Rome, 47-48 CE. While Claudius is away invading Britain, Messalina challenges a leading prostitute to a tournament of sex.

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Fool's Luck
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.

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Hail Who?
Rome, 40-41 CE. Now totally mad, Caligula has turned the palace into a brothel, with gambling and orgies.

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Zeus, by Jove!
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.

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Reign of Terror
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.

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Queen of Heaven
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.

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Some Justice
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.

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Poison Is Queen
Rome, 13-14 CE. After decades of deception, Augustus learns of Livia's plots and writes a new will naming Postumus his heir.

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What Shall We Do About Claudius?
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.

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Waiting in the Wings
Rome, 3-5 CE. With Tiberius in exile, it seems that Livia has lost--but everyone Augustus chooses to succeed him dies inexplicably.

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A Touch of Murder
Rome, 24-9 BCE. Nearing the end of his life and surrounded by spies, Claudius, emperor of Rome, writes his family history.

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I, Claudius is a British historical drama television series that aired in 1976. Produced by the BBC, the series is based on Robert Graves' novels "I, Claudius" and "Claudius the God". With a truly stellar cast, this series shines brilliantly, with none other than the great Derek Jacobi leading the charge as the main character, Claudius.

The show takes place in ancient Rome and offers a fascinating, fictionalised version of the city's vibrant history. The story primarily revolves around the life of Claudius, who lived from 10 BC to 54 AD, and narrates his unlikely ascent to the throne. Born into a powerful and ruthless political dynasty, known as the Julio-Claudian house, Claudius was perceived as a weak individual due to his apparent physical infirmities and stammer, and hence was frequently overlooked by his family. This quality, of being constantly under the radar, is exactly what serves as Claudius' most significant strength.

The narrative is presented as a secret autobiography of Claudius, and delves into the vivid details of his challenging yet highly interesting life. From being dubbed as a fool to eventually becoming the Emperor of Rome, Claudius’ journey is filled with intense power struggles, crafty was, and breathtaking political manoeuvres.

The scripts fully rely on the compelling characterisation and intricate dialogue. Be it the powerful, ambitious, and ruthless women who control the reins of the empire from behind the scenes, the flamboyant yet brutal emperors, or the ‘fool’ who observes and outlives them all, the characters bring the ancient Roman setting alive with all its seductive glamour and chilling ruthlessness.

Derek Jacobi delivers an astounding performance as Claudius in the series. His extremely engaging portrayal of the character excellently brings out the multi-faceted layers of Claudius' personality, from its humour and sharp intellect to its deep vulnerability. Sian Phillips is equally remarkable as the scheming Livia, Brian Blessed is unforgettable as Augustus, and a brilliant supporting cast – including John Hurt as Caligula and Patrick Stewart as Sejanus – makes the series an timeless piece of British television.

The series offers a rich, engaging and, at times, horrifying peek into the dark politics of ancient Rome. The nobility of the Roman empire is shown in sharp contrast with the corruption, deceit and deadly power struggles that happen behind its glorious facade. The meticulously detailed sets and costumes provide a vivid backdrop to the gripping narrative that plays out in front of them.

I, Claudius is a series of monumental achievement, skillfully bringing Robert Graves' historical novels to screen. Shot in the traditional BBC manner, which emphasizes detailed set design and intricacy of costumes and props, it adds to the credibility of the time frame in which the narrative is set. The limited use of action sequences does not take away from the programme, because of the storytelling's sophistication and richness, carried masterfully by the skills of the seasoned veteran actors.

While the grainy image and classic BBC style might seem dated in today's high-definition age, it gives the series a sense of being a historical document itself. The high-intensity drama, driven by dialogue and characterisation rather than spectacle, makes this series a compelling watch for any history buff, or simply anyone interested in stories of power, politics, ambition, and survival against all odds.

Despite being shot in the studio, it manages to give an expansive view of the Roman Empire, from the subtle and layered displays of grandeur to the dark corners and the bloody hands that built and sustained it. With powerful performances, an immersing narrative, beautiful scripting, and effective directing, I, Claudius without doubt stands as one of the magnum opus in historical drama television.

Ultimately, 'I, Claudius' offers viewers an intimate look at a tumultuous period in Rome’s history and a fascinating character study of a man who, against all odds, rises to become one of its greatest emperors. The series' historical accuracy might be disputed, but its ability to engage, entertain, and terrify viewers remains indisputable. All in all, this historical drama forms a riveting snapshot of a time and place rife with political scheming, bloody family feuds, and the ceaseless struggle for power.

I, Claudius is a series categorized as a canceled. Spanning 1 seasons with a total of 13 episodes, the show debuted on 1976. The series has earned a mostly positive reviews from both critics and viewers. The IMDb score stands at 8.8.

How to Watch I, Claudius

How can I watch I, Claudius online? I, Claudius is available on BBC with seasons and full episodes. You can also watch I, Claudius on demand at Apple TV Channels, Apple TV, Amazon Prime, Amazon, Google Play online.

Derek Jacobi, Brian Blessed, John Hurt, George Baker, Margaret Tyzack, James Faulkner, Patrick Stewart, Sheila White, Patricia Quinn, Fiona Walker, Kevin R. McNally, Bernard Hepton, John Cater
I, Claudius is available on .