A twelve-episode series commissioned by the BBC in the mid-1970s, I, Claudius is a must-see for fans of powerful dynasties engaging in internecine war to secure their spot at the top of their food chains. Derek Jacobi puts in work as the stuttering and stunted Tiberius Claudius Nero, whose unassuming presence and his enemies underestimation mark him as the ultimate survivor while his more strident relatives attain the glory but have the bad habit of falling victim to assassinations. Jacobi is supported by a veritable Murderer's Row of British talent of stage and screen at that time: John Hurt (recently the War Doctor for you nuWhovians) turns in a comically scary performance as the insane Caligula; BRIAN BLESSED (those all-caps are earned) as the bombastic first emperor Augustus; villainous Praetorian Sejanus is played by Patrick Stewart (with hair!). Sian Phillips, whose portrayal of the Empress Livia (the wife of Augustus) is a standout: the character shares more than the first name of a certain North Jersey crime boss' mom- like Livia Soprano, she is not above using her apron strings as nooses to keep the Empire in power. I, Claudius is highly addictive. Do yourself a favor and check it out.
Emperor Claudius narrates his unlikely assent to power amidst the political intrigue of the Roman Empire.