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9. I, Claudius (1976)

I, Claudius may not have had the production values of the BBC/HBO co-production Rome. (Just check out the austere sets in the above clips.) But the 1976 12-part miniseries, charting the rise of a stammering Roman emperor, managed to be just as dishy and enjoyable with fewer funds. Most deserving of praise is the obscenely talented cast, led by a virtuosic Derek Jacobi, fully believable throughout the title character’s life; Siân Phillips, deliciously vicious as the lethal Livia, Claudius’s grandma; and John Hurt, leaving toothmarks on the scenery as Caligula. (Own it on DVD.)

Next: No. 8

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By Kevin Wicks
Kevin Wicks is the founding editor of Anglophenia.