The Best Episodes of I, Claudius

Based on Robert Graves' epic novels about the decline of Roman civilisation in the first century AD, this award-winning drama redefined the boundaries of television when it was broadcast in 1976. Jack Pulman's brilliant script conveys the unrelenting depravity during the reigns of the four Emperors who succeeded Julius Caesar: Augustus, Tiberius, Caligula, and Claudius. The star-studded cast includes Derek Jacobi as Claudius, John Hurt as Caligula and Brian Blessed as Augustus.

Old King Log

#1 - Old King Log

Season 1 - Episode 12

Claudius remarries and makes his new step-son Nero his heir. His attempts to restore the Republic fail, but his scandalous written history survives.

star 8.67
21 votes
Directors: Herbert Wise
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A God in Colchester

#2 - A God in Colchester

Season 1 - Episode 11

Messalina's behaviour becomes ever more outrageous and it seems that Claudius is the only one who is unaware of this.

star 8.42
24 votes
Directors: Herbert Wise
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Poison is Queen

#3 - Poison is Queen

Season 1 - Episode 4

Claudius' brother Germanicus returns to Rome a war hero. But he, tipped off by an exiled Postumus, tells an unsuspecting Augustus of the schemes against him. Augustus attempts to restore Postumus and protect himself from Livia's designs, and finds in Claudius an unexpected confidante.

star 8.32
28 votes
Directors: Herbert Wise
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Fool's Luck

#4 - Fool's Luck

Season 1 - Episode 10

Claudius has been appointed Emperor by the Praetorian Guard. He quickly proves himself capable of handling the role. But danger lurks in his own household.

star 8.08
26 votes
Directors: Herbert Wise
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Queen of Heaven

#5 - Queen of Heaven

Season 1 - Episode 6

As Tiberius's chief advisor, Sejanus rules Rome with an iron hand, moving himself toward the throne. Meanwhile, an aged Livia asks to meet with Claudius.

star 8.07
27 votes
Directors: Herbert Wise
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What Shall We Do About Claudius?

#6 - What Shall We Do About Claudius?

Season 1 - Episode 3

Livia enlists Claudius' sister Lucilla to discredit Postumus. Now a young adult, Claudius is advised to play up his foolish appearance to protect himself.

star 8.05
37 votes
Directors: Herbert Wise
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Hail Who?

#7 - Hail Who?

Season 1 - Episode 9

Caligula's behavior becomes more and more erratic. Claudius works hard to control him but a conspiracy is growing among the soldiers. How can they rid themselves of their mad Emperor? And who will replace him?

star 8.00
29 votes
Directors: Herbert Wise
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Reign of Terror

#8 - Reign of Terror

Season 1 - Episode 7

Livilla's passion for Sejanus brings his Reign of Terror to a horrific climax.

star 7.93
28 votes
Directors: Herbert Wise
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Waiting in the Wings

#9 - Waiting in the Wings

Season 1 - Episode 2

Child Claudius, stammering and appearing foolish, is an embarrassment to his family, but is fated to rule. Tiberius, in exile for mistreating his well connected but unfaithful wife Julia, is recalled to Rome to be co-heir with Augustus' grandson Postumus.

star 7.77
39 votes
Directors: Herbert Wise
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Some Justice

#10 - Some Justice

Season 1 - Episode 5

Tiberius, aided by Sejanus and Germanicus, becomes Emperor. However, Germanicus dies under mysterious circumstances with Tiberius ally Piso accused of the crime. Claudius' young nephew Caligula already causes concern.

star 7.73
26 votes
Directors: Herbert Wise
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Zeus, By Jove!

#11 - Zeus, By Jove!

Season 1 - Episode 8

Caligula takes over as Emperor. At first he is hailed as a savior. But eventually the monster is revealed.

star 7.59
27 votes
Directors: Herbert Wise
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A Touch of Murder

#12 - A Touch of Murder

Season 1 - Episode 1

Augustus Caesar is at the height of his power. He favors Marcellus but his wife Livia schemes to have her son Tiberius succeed him. Grandson Claudius, narrator and future Emperor and historian, is born.

star 7.55
55 votes
Directors: Herbert Wise
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