The miniseries depicts the lives of the first four emperors of Rome (Augustus, Tiberius, Caligula, and Claudius) and their families, as told by Claudius, a reluctant ruler who was ridiculed in his day for his lameness and stuttering. The Roman imperial family is depicted unsympathetically, as a pack of murderous, adulterous and often insane schemers who would stop at nothing for a slice of power.
The cast, acting, writing, costumes and sets are all first-rate, and despite its 13-hour length, the series is engrossing, never slow or uninteresting.
There is surprisingly little information about I, Claudius online. The Internet Movie Database has some good info on cast and crew, as well as numerous rave reviews by IMDB users. John Woggon has put together an excellent I, Claudius website as part of a larger History in Film site. This site has detailed plot summaries and outlines for each episode, as well as lots of photos, audio and video files.
While watching I, Claudius, I found a family tree to be very helpful, since the imperial family's relationships by both blood and marriage become very complicated by the end of the series. Mr. Woggon includes a family tree on his site, but I found it confusing. So, to help myself and others, I came up with my own version. Here is the small version (scroll down for others):
Click here for a much larger version (JPEG, 1215 x 791, 108kb)
Click here for a PDF version (102kb)
Comments? send them to RiceG@missouri.edu
Background: original, based on Arizona basket pattern.