One in this ongoing series of dramas presented under the umbrella of "Masterpiece Theatre," hosted by Alistair Cooke. This thirteen-part adaptation of Robert Graves's historical novel "I, Claudius," is set in the early years of the Roman Empire and depicts the life and milieu of the first four Roman Emperors as recalled by the fourth, Tiberius Claudius Drusus Nero Germanicus (10 B.C. - A.D. 54), the lame, stammering grandson of Mark Antony. In part seven, entitled "Queen of Heaven," the aged Claudius recalls the death of his evil grandmother Livia, the suicide of Camilla, and the plots of the ambitious Sejanus, who wishes to supplant Tiberius as Caesar. At a gathering of friends, Camilla recounts how she was brutally sexually degraded by Tiberius and his slaves the previous year, and overwhelmed by the horrible memory, plunges a knife into her belly. While Caligula and Tiberius bond over their mutual perverse passions, Sejanus becomes the emperor's right-hand man. He and Livilla then murder Castor so that they can marry, and he can become a part of the emperor's family. Livia tells Claudius the history of her murderous treachery, begging him to see that Caligula (who will likely succeed Tiberius) will make her a goddess, sparing her the fires of hell. She also informs Claudius of a secret prophesy that says he will someday become the emperor of the Rome. Claudius avoids Sejanus's wrath by agreeing to divorce his wife and marry the scoundrel's sister. This episode concludes as Livia dies after exacting a promise from Claudius that he will see that she is made a goddess, despite Caligula's boast that he will not allow her ascension to occur. Following the program, Alistair Cooke introduces a scene from part eight, in which Tiberius, realizing that Sejanus and Livilla are plotting his murder, implores Claudius and Caligula to help him protect his life and his empire.


  • DATE: December 18, 1977 Sunday 9:00 PM
  • RUNNING TIME: 0:58:49
  • COLOR/B&W: Color
  • CATALOG ID: T86:1261
  • GENRE: Docudrama
  • SUBJECT HEADING: Docudrama
  • SERIES RUN: PBS - TV series, 1971-


    • Martin Lisemore … Producer
    • Herbert Wise … Director
    • Jack Pulman … Writer
    • Robert Graves … Based on the novel by
    • Wilfred Josephs … Music (Misc. Credits), Title Music
    • David Wulstan … Music (Misc. Credits), Incidental Music
    • Clerkes of Oxenford, The … Music (Misc. Credits), Incidental Music
    • Alistair Cooke … Host
    • Derek Jacobi … Cast, Claudius
    • Sian Phillips … Cast, Livia
    • George Baker … Cast, Tiberius
    • Margaret Tyzack … Cast, Antonia
    • Patrick Stewart … Cast, Sejanus
    • John Hurt … Cast, Caligula
    • Isabel Dean … Cast, Lollia
    • Fiona Walker … Cast, Agrippina
    • Patricia Quinn … Cast, Livilla
    • James Faulkner … Cast, Herod
    • Kevin McNally … Cast, Castor
    • Edward Jewesbury … Cast, Titus
    • Aubrey Richards … Cast, Varro
    • Kevin Stoney … Cast, Thrasyllus
    • Peter Williams … Cast, Silius Caecina
    • Karin Foley … Cast, Helen
    • William Bond … Cast, the Usher
    • Neil Dickson … Cast, a Guard
    • Michael Stock … Cast, a Guard