A mere 42 years after Robert Graves wrote I, Claudius, the BBC created television greatness with the 1976 classic of the same name, starring the brilliant Derek Jacobi as the Roman Emperor. Graves’ autobiography of the Roman Emperor Claudius, chronicled the history of the Roman Empire from Julius Caesar’s assassination to Caligula’s assassination. The original novel, along with the sequel, Claudius the God, formed the basis for the classic mini-series that ran in the U.S. as part of PBS’ Masterpiece series.
You’d think after another 45 years, you could leave perfection well-enough alone. Unfortunately, not in today’s re-make happy television landscape where along comes HBO and the production team that created Rome to team up with BBC Worldwide Productions for the new adaptation for BBC2. I can’t think of anyone that could top Jacobi’s performance in the 1976 version so, pardon me if I’m a bit skeptical of this project from the beginning. That said, there is a rumor floating around that puts Benedict Cumberbatch (Sherlock) at the head of the list of possible Claudius’. Now, that is intriguing. Anyone else on board with this?
For those that don’t remember the 1976 classic…..