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I, Claudius

Season 1 Episode 4

What Shall We Do About Claudius?

1
Aired Unknown Oct 04, 1976 on BBC Two
9.5
out of 10
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23 votes
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Episode Summary

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Livia has almost cleared a path to the throne for TIberius. But she has an unseen foe -- her twitching, stammering grandson Claudius, whose afflictions mask a shrewd mind.

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SUBMIT REVIEW

    Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions

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    • TRIVIA (1)

      • Factual Error: The poet Horace is shown to be active 17 years after his historical death. Horace actually died only a few months after his patron and Livia's first victim, Maecenas.

    • QUOTES (6)

      • Livia: (planning to use Livilla to destroy Posthumus) My dear, I must talk to you like a grown woman, now. Can I talk to you? Can I open my heart to you?
        Livilla: Oh, yes, grandmother, yes!
        Livia: Many years ago- oh, before you were born, we all went through the terrible agony of Civil War. Rome tottered and shook and nearly fell. I'm afraid that may happen again.
        Livilla: And will it?
        Livia: I'm sure of one thing- only a single hand at the helm will keep this ship on course. The question is, whose hand will it be? If there is any doubt, the rivalry will plunge us into Civil War again.
        Livilla: Is there a doubt, then?
        Livia: Not in my mind. But there is in someone else's.
        Livilla: Augustus.
        Livia: Yes. And it's my duty to remove that doubt. Through everything I have ever done, that has been my only object. And now it must become yours.

      • Postumus: {About to be banished} I'm sorry I won't be at your wedding.
        Claudius: Don't worry. It will be a very small affair. I embarass them all far too much.
        Postumus: Good. Go on embarassing them. Go on playing the idiot. It's safer that way.

      • Augustus: Quinctilius Varus, where are my eagles?!

      • Livilla: They say that you were the most beautiful woman in the world.
        Livia: There was one other. But she was in Egypt. And besides, she didn't last as long as I did.

      • Pollio: Look here, Claudius, I'll give you some good advice. Do you want to live a long and useful life?
        Claudius: Yes.
        Pollio: In that case, exaggerate your stutter and your limp. Let your wits wander and play the fool as much as you like.

      • Augustus: Which legion are you with?
        Soldier: I was with the XIXth.
        Augustus: Was? Have you been transferred?
        Soldier: No, Caesar. The XIXth legion does not exist anymore. Nor does the XVIIth, nor the XVIIIth. The whole army fo Quinctilius Varus was massacred in the Teutoberg Forest. Nothing stands between the German tribes and our provinces in Gaul.

    • NOTES (1)

    • ALLUSIONS (1)

      • While talking to Livilla, Livia refers to a beautiful woman in Egypt. This was, of course, Cleopatra, who seduced Mark Antony away from Augustus' sister, starting the Civil War that made Augustus Emperor.

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