Sexy, Bloody “I, Claudius”: New DVD Set

Thirty-five years ago, PBS captivated audiences with the blood-and-sex-laden ancient-Roman soap I, Claudius, which is still influential. A new DVD version comes out Tuesday. I can’t tell you how important this series was to me in my childhood. It sparked an interest in ancient history. It introduced me to Derek Jacobi (pictured), who played Claudius, and to Sian Phillips, who played the magnificently scheming Livia. It even introduced me to indiscriminate sex: not to me personally, merely the idea of it as practiced by pagan aristocrats. “Claudius” made sluts chic.

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