I'm just going to come out and say it: Brits wearing togas tend to look alike. Beyond that, the characters of "I, Claudius" also tend to have similar names -- Agripinna and Herod Agrippa? Two Julias? -- so KCET is offering this little cheat sheet as to who's who of the major players. And don't worry about spoilers, "I, Claudius" newbies, because characters will only be identified with the bare minimum of info.
Portrayed by: Derek Jacobi
Our protagonist and narrator, hence the title of the mini-series. He stammers and people tend to not think too much of him. Beyond that, he's defined largely by his relationships with other characters, as the rest of this list will demonstrate.
Portrayed by: George Baker
He's Claudius' uncle and Livia's son. He's the heavy, more or less, though for a villain he spends much of the mini-series getting jerked around by Livia and other characters.
Portrayed by: Brian Blessed
Also known as Octavian, Augustus is the man who succeeds Julius Caesar as the emperor of Rome immediately after Caesar's death. He's married to Livia, but it's Livia who holds all the power in the relationship.
Portrayed by: Sian Phillips
Also known to many viewers as "Yikes," Livia is a bit of a Lady McBeth figure who's always pushing for what's best for herself and her son, Tiberius. She's Claudius' grandmother.
Portrayed by: Margaret Tyzack
Claudius' mother, Antonia projects the image that she's above all the family back-stabbing. She's not.
Portrayed by: John Hurt
One of the most famous pervs in history and a true madman, Caligula is Claudius' nephew, and he's just not right from the get-go. Want to know something that's disconcertingly cute, considering what a sicko and despot Caligula turns out to be? His name means "little boots." Isn't that just cute?
Portrayed by: James Faulkner
Yep, it's that Herod -- the one who tried to take out Baby Jesus. As far as "I, Claudius" is concerned, he's a close ally of Claudius' and Julia's husband. Augustus names Agrippa as his heir.
Portrayed by: Patricia Quinn
Claudius' sister very clearly takes after her grandmother, Livia, as far as being a schemer. However, she's not quite as skilled at it as she'd like to think. And yes, "Rocky Horror Picture Show" fans, that is, in fact, Magenta portraying Livilla.
Portrayed by: Patrick Stewart
Jean-Luc Picard himself, with hair and looking extra hunky! Sejanus is the commander of the guard, and though he's not related to Claudius by blood, he can conspire with the best of them. He's Livilla's lover.
Portrayed by: Kevin McNaly
He's Livila's lawful husband, and he's Tiberius' son. Warning: He's sometimes referred to as Julius Caesar Drusus. You know, just to keep you on your toes.
Portrayed by: Fiona Walker
The daughter of Julia and Agrippa, Agripinna marries Germanicus, making her Claudius' sister-in-law. She's also the mother of Caligula, effectively taking her out of the running for any of Rome's mother of the year awards.
Portrayed by: Frances White
Sometimes known as Julie the Elder to differentiate her from a the character played by Beth Morries, Julia is the beautiful woman who is married to Marcellus at the beginning of the series. Livia hates her, and in case you didn't know, it's a very, very bad thing to find yourself on Livia's bad side.
Portrayed by: Sheila White
Also known as Valeria Messalina, this woman is given to Claudius as a wife by Caligula. She's young and lovely, so that means she must be a good person inside, right? ... Right?
Portrayed by: David Robb
Claudius' big brother and the father of Caligula, Germanicus is married to Agripinna. If you know anything about Roman history, you know the story of Caligula's father doesn't have a happy ending...