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I, Claudius - 10/7/2006 2:48:28 AM   
superfurry


Posts: 37
Joined: 30/9/2005
Anyone agree with me that this is the best tv programme ever?

For anyone who hasn't seen it, it's about the life and family of the Roman Emperor Claudius(reign 41-54 a.d.).  It explains(from his point of view) how he survived the reigns of his great-uncle Augustus, his uncle Tiberius, and his nephew Caligula as well the attention of his grandmother Livia and the praetorian guard Sejanus, to become Emperor(despite him being a supporter of the extinct republic).

It has great drama throughout from the schemes of Livia and the antics of Messalina among others.  It has great performances throughout from Derek Jacobi, Sian Phillips, George Baker, Brian Blessed(scarily enough without a beard), Patrick Stewart, and most impressive of all(in my opinion) the amazing John Hurt as Caligula.

A truly great programme that shits all over Rome.

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Post #: 1
RE: I, Claudius - 10/7/2006 5:06:29 AM   
livila


Posts: 1296
Joined: 30/9/2005
I, Claudius has it all murder, intrigue, political manuvering, treasonous ploting, evil kids, adultery and of course kinky emperors.
I'm a huge fan. I watched it alot as a kid I still love to watch it every now and then. Sure, it's very stagey now

All the actors are absolutely excellent. My favourites, Margaret Tyzack as Claudius' long suffering mother Antonia and Patricia Quinn as Livilla his horrible sister. Top of the list has to be Sian Phillips' protrayal of Livia - she's so much fun to watch.

I liked Rome, it's a different show, made in a different time. I really enjoyed it.

(in reply to superfurry)
Post #: 2
RE: I, Claudius - 10/7/2006 6:46:44 PM   
superfurry


Posts: 37
Joined: 30/9/2005
Good name there.

Sian Phillips is indeed wonderful as Livia and probably just ahead of Derek Jacobi as my second favourite actor in I, Claudius.

I did quite enjoy Rome but I found it a bit over-rated by some people.  I read on the imdb somebody saying that Atia was a match for Livia and Messalina, whereas I think she was an imitation of Livia.  But perhaps Augustus actually had an Oedipus complex. 

*Spoiler Warning*
I'm also puzzled where they got the part where Octavian and Octavia sleep together from.
*Spoiler Warning*

Still Caesar, Atia and Antony were well played and made interesting viewing.

Back to Claudius it had some very dark humour as well.  Among my favourite lines were:
"It's Gemellus. I've cured his cough"
"By the way don't touch the figs"

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Post #: 3
RE: I, Claudius - 10/7/2006 7:10:28 PM   
livila


Posts: 1296
Joined: 30/9/2005
Tiberius to Livia (on Claudius) - That grandson of yours could wreck the empire merely by strolling through it

Tiberius (on his mother Livia).  - They say a snake bit her once. And died.

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Post #: 4
RE: I, Claudius - 30/7/2006 2:19:38 AM   
superfurry


Posts: 37
Joined: 30/9/2005
Drusus(reply to Tiberius) - Hey, that's no longer funny.

Tiberius(speaking of Marcellus) - Frankly I wouldn't have thought you cared whether he lived or died.
Livia - Oh, I care very much whether he lives or dies.

Vinicius - To tell the truth, lord, nature calls. It must have been something I ate last night.
Caligula - Well don't look at me. If I decided to doctor your food, you wouldn't have to wait until morning to find out.(bursts out in laughter)

It turns out that BBC4 are repeating this on consecutive nights beginning on saturday 5th August at nine each night.  I suppose they should really start on the 1st of August since that was Claudius birthday but maybe I'm just being pedantic.

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Post #: 5
RE: I, Claudius - 5/8/2006 6:13:23 PM   
Mason Verger


Posts: 4724
Joined: 13/1/2006
From: Bombing the storage depots at Daiquiri
Saturday 5 August
BBC4

8.00pm Togas on TV
From Up Pompeii and I Claudius to Doctor Who and Morph, togas have turned up in the oddest places. So why are we obsessed with Romans?

9.00pm I Claudius 1/12

10.40 Up Pompeii






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Post #: 6
RE: I, Claudius - 6/8/2006 2:25:11 PM   
Oddjob

 

Posts: 562
Joined: 1/10/2005
From: Wrexham, North Wales
Bought the DVDs recently, & just finished watching this excellent series yesterday.  It's based on the two novels I, Claudius & Claudius The God, which you can buy on Play.com.  Anyone who has seen the special features will know that a film was made in the 1930's, with Charles Laughton playing Claudius.  This however wasn't completed.

If you've watched the special features, my favourite scene is the same as Brian Blessed's choice.  His delivery of "Is there anyone in Rome who has NOT slept with my daughter?!" almost rivals a more famous quote of his, about some bloke called Gordon being alive!

I was suprised to see none other than Christopher Biggins amonst the cast, & Ronnie Barker was apparently offered the lead role!

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Post #: 7
RE: I, Claudius - 9/8/2006 3:27:07 PM   
Nicola1001


Posts: 12312
Joined: 6/8/2006
I watched bits of it when I was little, the parts that I always remembered are Caligula and when Claudius' wife Messalina got her head chopped off.

I'm watching it on BBC4 and this is the first time i've seen it all and it's so good, Sian Philips is great as Livia, what a brilliant character

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Post #: 8
RE: I, Claudius - 9/8/2006 3:38:56 PM   
Mikey C


Posts: 5436
Joined: 1/10/2005
From: The internet
quote:

ORIGINAL: superfurry

It turns out that BBC4 are repeating this on consecutive nights beginning on saturday 5th August at nine each night. I suppose they should really start on the 1st of August since that was Claudius birthday but maybe I'm just being pedantic.


consecutive nights?! Oh bugger. I only recorded the first one. :(

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Post #: 9
RE: I, Claudius - 23/4/2010 5:54:51 PM   
Timon


Posts: 14588
Joined: 30/9/2005
From: Bristol
I was considering buying this as it's a 'historical' sequel to Rome. I guess from the glowing reviews it would be a sound purchase?

Also... what's everyone's opinions on the Taylor/Burton Cleopatra?

_____________________________

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Twitter: @timonsingh

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Post #: 10
RE: I, Claudius - 23/4/2010 6:51:33 PM   
Rgirvan44


Posts: 19049
Joined: 10/3/2006
From: Punishment Park

quote:

ORIGINAL: Timon

I was considering buying this as it's a 'historical' sequel to Rome. I guess from the glowing reviews it would be a sound purchase?

Also... what's everyone's opinions on the Taylor/Burton Cleopatra?


I, Claudius is great fun. Don't go in expecting Rome level of production values. But the acting is brilliant old school RSC. It does have some of the strands from Rome but some of the characters are protrayed differently - Blessed as Augustus in particular.

It really is a classic series, and I have no doubt that you will love it.

Cleopatra was alright - would love to see the proper two movie version that was planned.

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Post #: 11
RE: I, Claudius - 23/4/2010 6:55:52 PM   
elab49


Posts: 54597
Joined: 1/10/2005
quote:

ORIGINAL: Timon

I was considering buying this as it's a 'historical' sequel to Rome. I guess from the glowing reviews it would be a sound purchase?

Also... what's everyone's opinions on the Taylor/Burton Cleopatra?


Rome can't hold a candle to I, Claudius - the writing is consistently some of the best on TV. The acting isn't far off either.

Cleopatra is IMO utter kak. Fox deserved to nearly go down for bankrolling that. You know the way Hopkins is now? Like he's turning up for the pay packet and not bothering to act? That was Burton in the film. And Taylor was never that good anyway. Some of the supports try hard, but really - it's like swimming through treacle.

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quote:

ORIGINAL: Deviation] LIKE AMERICA'S SWEETHEARTS TOO. IT MADE ME LAUGH A LOT AND THOUGHT IT WAS WITTY. ALSO I FEEL SLOWLY DYING INSIDE. I KEEP AGREEING WITH ELAB.


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Post #: 12
RE: I, Claudius - 23/4/2010 7:02:34 PM   
Rgirvan44


Posts: 19049
Joined: 10/3/2006
From: Punishment Park

quote:

ORIGINAL: elab49

quote:

ORIGINAL: Timon

I was considering buying this as it's a 'historical' sequel to Rome. I guess from the glowing reviews it would be a sound purchase?

Also... what's everyone's opinions on the Taylor/Burton Cleopatra?


Rome can't hold a candle to I, Claudius - the writing is consistently some of the best on TV. The acting isn't far off either.

Cleopatra is IMO utter kak. Fox deserved to nearly go down for bankrolling that. You know the way Hopkins is now? Like he's turning up for the pay packet and not bothering to act? That was Burton in the film. And Taylor was never that good anyway. Some of the supports try hard, but really - it's like swimming through treacle.


Yeah, I don't think the longer cuts would have made it any better - there were some fundemental flaws with the film. Taylor was useless, Harrison looked bewildered. And Burton...well.

Claudius has so many classic scenes - and it just gets better and better.

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Post #: 13
RE: I, Claudius - 23/4/2010 7:44:50 PM   
demoncleaner


Posts: 2391
Joined: 3/10/2005
From: Belfast
quote:

ORIGINAL: elab49

quote:

ORIGINAL: Timon

I was considering buying this as it's a 'historical' sequel to Rome. I guess from the glowing reviews it would be a sound purchase?

Also... what's everyone's opinions on the Taylor/Burton Cleopatra?


Rome can't hold a candle to I, Claudius - the writing is consistently some of the best on TV. The acting isn't far off either.

Cleopatra is IMO utter kak. Fox deserved to nearly go down for bankrolling that. You know the way Hopkins is now? Like he's turning up for the pay packet and not bothering to act? That was Burton in the film. And Taylor was never that good anyway. Some of the supports try hard, but really - it's like swimming through treacle.


What elab said.  I,Claudius is probably my second favourite TV show ever.  I watch it at least once a year.  And the books aren't that shabby either.  3 weeks ago I was standing on the Palatine getting my photo taken at Augustus' house and Livia's house.  (For a happily married couple they lived across the street from each other - which is more an arch status-symbol than an indicator for the relationship methinks).  Livia is basically Darth Vader before Darth Vader.

Does anyone know what happened to the touted movie remake of 2009/2010?  Scott Rudin had the rights, William Monahan was attempting a script.  While I think the BBC adaptation is unimpeachable in its wry eloquence (a Jewish comedy as Sian Phillips recognised) I would welcome a cinema experience of it since the book describes things that the Beeb in the 70's couldn't possibly realise, like Germanicus in, er, Germany, Herod's back story and the titanic knees-up that Caligula threw at Ostia. 

I,Claudius is the bees patella's and probably single-handedly inspired my interest in Rome.

(in reply to elab49)
Post #: 14
RE: I, Claudius - 23/4/2010 7:47:13 PM   
elab49


Posts: 54597
Joined: 1/10/2005
Good god - is Monahan planning to debase all of the best of British TV

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quote:

ORIGINAL: Deviation] LIKE AMERICA'S SWEETHEARTS TOO. IT MADE ME LAUGH A LOT AND THOUGHT IT WAS WITTY. ALSO I FEEL SLOWLY DYING INSIDE. I KEEP AGREEING WITH ELAB.


Annual Poll 2013 - All Lists Welcome

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Post #: 15
RE: I, Claudius - 23/4/2010 7:51:20 PM   
Rgirvan44


Posts: 19049
Joined: 10/3/2006
From: Punishment Park
To be fair, it wouldn't be a direct remake of the TV show.

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Post #: 16
RE: I, Claudius - 23/4/2010 8:08:11 PM   
demoncleaner


Posts: 2391
Joined: 3/10/2005
From: Belfast
quote:

ORIGINAL: elab49

Good god - is Monahan planning to debase all of the best of British TV


Don't panic it's patently clear that it's not going to get made.  But a boy can dream.  And I think that Monahan's brilliant by the way.  I was hoping in an adolescent fantasy kinda way that Scorsese would do it because he loves Monahan.  Can you imagine it?  The archetype of Italian gangster movies returning to the heart mafia.  It's probably a good thing it is aborted because I couldn't possibly be content with whoever they got to play Livia.  (Blessed on the other hand could still do Augustus!)  

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Post #: 17
RE: I, Claudius - 23/4/2010 8:13:24 PM   
elab49


Posts: 54597
Joined: 1/10/2005
I'm not withdrawing my Edge of Darkness fatwa, so there

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quote:

ORIGINAL: Deviation] LIKE AMERICA'S SWEETHEARTS TOO. IT MADE ME LAUGH A LOT AND THOUGHT IT WAS WITTY. ALSO I FEEL SLOWLY DYING INSIDE. I KEEP AGREEING WITH ELAB.


Annual Poll 2013 - All Lists Welcome

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Post #: 18
RE: I, Claudius - 23/4/2010 8:51:52 PM   
demoncleaner


Posts: 2391
Joined: 3/10/2005
From: Belfast
I haven't actually seen Edge of Darkness.  The TV or the film...but for 6 quid I might take a punt and agree with you in the future.  To be fair, I have only based my opinion on the writer due to the Departed (I'm well aware that will excite many a groan out there, but he was adapting a contemporary mythology of the neighbourhood he grew up in.   It's only Philistines who think he was adapting a Hong Kong film).

But I digress.

In reply to what RGirvan said about a (hypothetical) modern movie make-over not necessarily being a remake of the TV show...I actually think that any kind of Hollywood attempt would have to heavily reference the BBC adap to be at all good.  I think that when people identify with the unique character of the book, its only by virtue of the series.   Jack Pulman, with his script really sign-posted the humour in the books.  I read the books after seeing the programme and my pleasant attitude to the novels was that this really had potential! I thought Pulman was really astute to see it.  Although all the scenes have their evident origins in the books the real spark of invention that informs our notion of Claudius's distinct tone comes from Pulman's struggle with economy.  The arch example of which is the scene where Sejanus accosts Claudius and in a breathless round of exposition has him married off to his sister within 2 minutes.  On one hand, that's viewed as broad comedy.  When in actual fact that brilliance is a mere by-product of a writer trying to trim and excise, and further the plot.  That scene doesn't happen in the book.  And yet its sooooooo typical of the whole oeuvre. That's..... kinda like.... genius, I have to say.  So I personally think that any future (spurious) adaptions would have to acknowledge the TV version.  In my opinion this story was written by three people.  Suetonius.  Robert Graves.  And Jack Pulman.        

< Message edited by demoncleaner -- 23/4/2010 8:53:50 PM >

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Post #: 19
RE: I, Claudius - 23/4/2010 9:08:34 PM   
Rgirvan44


Posts: 19049
Joined: 10/3/2006
From: Punishment Park
I wonder how the the TV series would have gone had the 1930s film been made?

As for a modern film - Monahan did write Kingdom of Heaven, so I wouldn't be so fast to cast him aside as a writer. In fact he seems like an ideal candidate to adapt the books.

Of course it would be a pretty comprised retelling of the tale, and likely not worth the effort.

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Post #: 20
RE: I, Claudius - 23/4/2010 9:39:56 PM   
demoncleaner


Posts: 2391
Joined: 3/10/2005
From: Belfast
quote:

ORIGINAL: Rgirvan44

I wonder how the the TV series would have gone had the 1930s film been made?


That's a good point.  If the film had seen the light of day the TV series would not have been made.  I fervently believe that.  I think that Golden Age Hollywood has the power to hold posterity to hostage.  People forget that Ben Hur was a novel.  The Robe used to be a novel. I'm pretty sure the Ten Commandments is based on a book no one reads anymore (ba-boom-tish!).  If Laughton's film had been made I don't think Grave's books would have even been considered let alone optioned.  I think that's irrespective of whether the film would have been good or not.  Hollywood from that period has a way of denying its stories are any longer in the public domain.  I think the reason why I,Claudius seemed like a good idea to BBC mid-level ambition was that it pre-empted the burgeoning phenomenon of British soap-opera.  This itself informed the rise of America's growth in soap-opera in the 80's.  I,Claudius director Herbie Wise tells the anecdote on the extras of being ambushed by an American TV executive at a party in London who told him he admired I,Claudius so much that he stole the idea for himself in his new soap that the BBC had already bought broadcasting rights to.  A year later Herbie turns on the telly and there's Dynasty hitting the UK up the face.    I think the whole I'Claudius "franchise" struck lightning because it is material that was first written (as entertainment) in the reign of Hadrian, that was pastiched in novel-form at the turn of the twentieth century.  And all along it was MADE for Coronation Street-informed television viewers.  Who'da thunk it. 

Actually...I've just talked myself out of any desire for this to be movie-cised.  Forget the movie.  Just dig the Jacobi out and enjoy it for what it is.

Which. I believe. Is the point where we came in

< Message edited by demoncleaner -- 23/4/2010 9:44:26 PM >

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Post #: 21
RE: I, Claudius - 24/4/2010 10:45:05 AM   
Ariclenes

 

Posts: 271
Joined: 19/12/2008
Easily one of my favourite TV series of all time. So many great performances; Brian Blessed as Augustus, Sian Philips as Livia, John Hurt as Caligula and of course Derek Jacobi as Claudius himself. 

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Post #: 22
RE: I, Claudius - 24/4/2010 1:25:10 PM   
Timon


Posts: 14588
Joined: 30/9/2005
From: Bristol
So i'll pick it up then...

_____________________________

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Twitter: @timonsingh

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Post #: 23
RE: I, Claudius - 25/4/2010 4:01:17 PM   
Ariclenes

 

Posts: 271
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Well worth it .

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Post #: 24
RE: I, Claudius - 11/7/2010 5:26:52 PM   
Deviation


Posts: 27284
Joined: 2/6/2006
From: Enemies of Film HQ
I am watching it right now. It is incredible. 

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ORIGINAL: Dpp1978
There are certainly times where calling a person a cunt is not only reasonable, it is a gross understatement.

quote:


ORIGINAL: elab49
I really wish I could go down to see Privates

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Post #: 25
RE: I, Claudius - 14/7/2010 11:09:08 AM   
Rebenectomy


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From: 10-0-11-0-0 by 0-2
Just finished this on Sunday, a simply amazing piece of drama. Colossal in its writing and acting. I know I've seen it before yonks ago, but was finally able to take it all in this time round.

Fantastic.


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Post #: 26
RE: I, Claudius - 23/7/2010 2:54:24 AM   
Deviation


Posts: 27284
Joined: 2/6/2006
From: Enemies of Film HQ
SPOILERS

The final episode, where Claudius hallucinates his ancestors and family members. What a powerful moment.

SPOILERS



< Message edited by Deviation -- 23/7/2010 2:57:22 AM >


_____________________________

quote:

ORIGINAL: Dpp1978
There are certainly times where calling a person a cunt is not only reasonable, it is a gross understatement.

quote:


ORIGINAL: elab49
I really wish I could go down to see Privates

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Post #: 27
RE: I, Claudius - 23/7/2010 3:01:09 AM   
demoncleaner


Posts: 2391
Joined: 3/10/2005
From: Belfast
If I had to pick a favourite scene it would be the one between Livia and Caligula's nanny.  Two professional poisoners swapping trade secrets. 

(in reply to Deviation)
Post #: 28
RE: I, Claudius - 19/3/2013 2:32:28 PM   
elab49


Posts: 54597
Joined: 1/10/2005
For anyone who hasn't seen this masterpiece of TV you've not got the chance - it's being shown on TV again. BBC4, this evening, 10pm is the first part. Enjoy!

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quote:

ORIGINAL: Deviation] LIKE AMERICA'S SWEETHEARTS TOO. IT MADE ME LAUGH A LOT AND THOUGHT IT WAS WITTY. ALSO I FEEL SLOWLY DYING INSIDE. I KEEP AGREEING WITH ELAB.


Annual Poll 2013 - All Lists Welcome

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Post #: 29
RE: I, Claudius - 19/3/2013 2:43:59 PM   
Gimli The Dwarf


Posts: 77804
Joined: 30/9/2005
From: Central Park Zoo

quote:

ORIGINAL: elab49

For anyone who hasn't seen this masterpiece of TV you've not got the chance - it's being shown on TV again. BBC4, this evening, 10pm is the first part. Enjoy!


I still have my taped copies, unseen, from when this was last on. I think it was 2006

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