27 of 29 people found the following review helpful
A true, television epic drama - as good as it gets...,
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This review is from: I Claudius - Complete BBC Series (5 Disc Box Set) [DVD]  (DVD)
This superb, dramatised history of an Imperial Roman family is compulsive viewing. Be prepared for late nights, as you are drawn into the poisonous web of intrigue, murder and betrayal, with Livia at the core of it all, brilliantly portrayed by the amazing Sian Phillips. There are so many outstanding dramatic performances here - Derek Jacobi as the central character - Claudius, Brian Blessed as Augustus, and John Hurt with a standard-setting role as the totally insane and debauched Caligula.
There are no 'Ben Hur' style sets with thousands of extras, and the 'small set' approach wonderfully enhances both the sense of intrigue and the complexity of the family and power-based relationships.
Also, unlike some other re-issued versions of classic series, the quality of transfer to DVD is superb, as is the audio. I first watched the series - initially released on the then infant BBC2 - on a 14 inch black and white TV. This version is so much better! Don't miss this milestone dramatic production, which I firmly believe has yet to be surpassed for the quality of the acting, and for the sheer level of entertainment it provides.