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I, Claudius - Episode 3: What Shall We Do About Claudius? (1976)

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Published on 14 Mar 2022 / In Television / Movies

⁣A 1976 BBC Television adaptation of Robert Graves' "I, Claudius" and "Claudius the God".

Episode 3: Rome, AD 9. Three Roman legions have been massacred in Germania at the Battle of the Teutoburg Forest. Tiberius and Germanicus are dispatched to exact revenge. While Claudius is in the library researching his family's history, he is advised by the historian Pollio to play up his infirmities to enhance his place in his family as a harmless fool and thus no threat to anyone. Augustus has determined that Postumus will succeed him as Emperor, but Livia overhears this. She tells Livilla that she knows of her affair with Postumus and that a single ruler is needed to avoid a civil war caused by a disputed succession.

With Livilla's help, Postumus is framed for rape. Postumus tells Augustus that Livia has been killing those who could prevent Tiberius succeeding, but he is not believed. Before he is banished, Postumus tells Claudius his (correct) suspicions of all the people whom Livia has killed and reiterates the advice that Claudius should continue to play the fool. The episode ends with Claudius' marriage to Plautia Urgulanilla, who is so much taller than him that he becomes the butt of his family's uproarious, mocking laughter at their wedding.

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