Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
|I Claudius/The Epic That Never Was|
Actors: Derek Jacobi, John Hurt, Siān Phillips, Brian Blessed, George Baker
Director: Herbert Wise
Genres: Drama, Television
Roman history comes alive in this magnificent 13-part series. I, Claudius ranks among the most acclaimed productions in television history. Tracing the lives of the last of the Roman emperors, it's an epic of ruthless ambi... more »
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5 stars for I Claudius, no stars for image-entertainment/CBS
Beav | 09/20/2000
(1 out of 5 stars)
"I bought the DVD boxed set fully aware that this was a 24 year old made-for-TV production. I was therefore expecting perhaps a "flat" look with mono sound and muted colours.What I didn't expect was that image-entertainment/CBS would (apparently) cut the DVD from a bad second(+) generation video tape - rather than the presumably superior BBC master.The sound is muffled and the picture has noticeable ghosting. There are no sub-titles so the DVD has to be viewed with the sound on full blast. To be fair to IE/CBS this was true when I watched the series on BBC TV on its first broadcast.Given the (unfortunately) limited market for quality drama in the US I wouldn't expect the full George Lucas treatment. However, why could not IE/CBS (a) get hold of a better master; (b) spend a little money on cleaning up the soundtrack/image; (c) provide sub-titles?Buy it anyway because you'll forget the technical limitations within minutes as you become totally absorbed in this wonderful drama.I note that "The 6 Wives of Henry VIII" (which I intend to purchase) is distributed by "BFS". I hope they've done a better job than IE/CBS and that they will be releasing "Elizabeth R" when the time comes.Amazon should have separate content/technical ratings for DVDs."
Beav | St. Louis, MO | 10/10/2005
(1 out of 5 stars)
"Many important scenes have been cut (censored?) from the original Masterpiece Theater version including the contest between Claudius' wife and the prostitute, Caligula's horse Incitatus being made senator, and others. These omissions sacrifice the overall continuity and flow. These omissions are unnecessary and unforgivable given the DVD format. A general disappointment for those who remember the original version. Other than the above this is highly enjoyable."
Probably the best TV drama ever
Doug Vaughn | 05/25/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I, Claudius, Robert Graves' great book about the Caesars, was brought to television in this BBC series starring Derek Jacobi as the crippled, stuttering Emperor Claudius, narrator of the story. Jacobi is brillian in this role - going from young boy to old man as the series progresses. Other standouts are Sian Phillips as Livia, the evil wife of Augustus, Brian Blessed as Augustus himself in a wonderfully understated performance, and John Hurt as the insane Emperor Caligula in a performance that is abolutely over the top.I have no idea how many times I have watched this series. I have never grown tired of it. The story of the Caesars - of the competition, corruption, assassinations, intrigue, political and military turmoil, family tragedy and human comedy - never fails to entertain. This series has a little bit of everything that all good stories have, great plot, fascinating characters, multiple conflicts, moments of drama and moments of comedy - and it is all (mostly) true.One doesn't have to be an enthusiast for historical drama to really enjoy this saga. These Romans are, in their feeling and ambitions, just like modern folk. Endlessly fascinating, I, Claudius deserves a place in the collection of anyone looking to preserve the best that BBC television has had to offer."
BBC DVD PAL version available
Orson Welles | Seattle, WA United States | 12/10/2005
(3 out of 5 stars)
"Thanks to all the reviewers who've said that this DVD is censored and of poor image and sound quality. I was going to buy it and now will not. I found that there is a BBC DVD version available thorough amazon.co.uk that reviewers say is very high image and sound quality (they have been restored from a master tape), and all episodes are included. There is also a documentary on the never completed epic film about Caligula starring Charles Laughton. I have ordered this one. Of course, you need an all region DVD player to play it.
After watching the UK DVD, I can report that it is excellent. What a spectacular transfer. The series is a delight to watch again."