31 of 33 people found the following review helpful
This review is from: I Claudius - Complete BBC Series (5 Disc Box Set) [DVD]  (DVD)
This series was made and televised before I was even born and, let's be honest, it shows. No location filming, obvious wigs, bad makeup... the first time my father put it on I couldn't believe how low the production quality really was.
But within five minutes I was gripped. There is some truly sensational acting on display in this masterpiece, Derek Jacobi in particular (his list of credits is long but his most recent high-profile role was Cadfael in the adaptations of Ellis Peters' novels) is superb as the narrator and hero. Portraying each age of the character from stuttering young boy dismissed as an idiot, to bitter old man poisoned by his wife but who yet gets the last laugh, Jacobi tackles the difficulties of the role with gusto and incredible acting skill. In fact it's hard to pick a character anywhere in the series who is not convincingly portrayed.
By the time I'd watched the finale I could barely believe I'd sat through twelve episodes of this work of genius. Never before and never since have I seen such consistently brilliant acting. So much so that my twenty-something brain, spoiled by special effects and computer wizardry, no longer noticed the wigs, the false noses and the polystyrene sets. I only saw the people who played their parts in this (vaguely accurate) historical story. And that is an achievement that will make "I, Claudius" worthy viewing forever. Highly recommended.